Page images

ARTICLE X. Sec. 1. Whoever shall forcibly compel any woman to commit adultery, or who shall commit a rape upon a woman, shall, for the first offence, be fined the sum of fifty dollars, and be imprisoned in jail for thirty-five days; for the second offence he shall be fined one hundred dollars, and be confined three months in the national jail; and for the third offence he shall be punished as the court shall see proper.



CHEROKEE ALPHABET. “SEQUOYAH, a Cherokee Indian, instead of joining the rude sports of Indian boys while a child, took great delight in exercising his ingenuity by various mechanical labors. He also assisted in the management of his mother's property, consisting of a farm and cattle and horses. In his intercourse with the whites he became aware that they possessed an art by which a name impressed upon a hard substance might be understood at a glance by any one acquainted with the art. He requested an educated half-breed, named Charles Hicks, to write his name; which being done, he made a die containing a fac-simile of the word, which he stamped upon all the articles fabricated by his mechanical ingenuity. From this he proceeded to the art of drawing, in which he made rapid progress before he had the opportunity of seeing a picture or engraving. These accomplishments made the young man very popular among his associates, and particularly among the red ladies; but it was long before incessant adulation produced any evil effect upon his character. At length, however, he was prevailed upon to join his companions, and share in the carouse which had been supplied by his own industry. But he soon wearied of an idle and dissipated life, suddenly resolved to give up drinking, and learned the trade of a blacksmith by his own unaided efforts. In the year 1820, while on a visit to some friends in a Cherokee village, he listened to a conversation on the art of writing, which seems always to have been the subject of great curiosity among the Indians. Sequoyah remarked that he did not regard the art as so very extraordinary, and believed he could invent a plan by which the red man might do the same

thing. The company were incredulous; but the matter had long been the subject of his reflections, and he had come to the conclusion that letters represented words or ideas, and being always uniform, would always convey the same meaning. His first plan was to invent signs for words; but upon trial he was speedily satisfied that this would be too cumbrous and laborious, and he soon contrived the plan of an alphabet which should represent sounds, each character standing for a syllable. He persevered in carrying out his intention, and attained his object by forming eighty-six characters.

“ While thus employed he incurred the ridicule of his neighbors, and was entreated to desist by his friends. The invention, however, was completely successful, and the Cherokee dialect is now a written language; a result entirely due to the extraordinary genius of Sequoyah. After teaching many to read and write, he left the Cherokee nation in 1822 on a visit to Arkansas, and introduced the art among the Cherokees who had emigrated to that country; and, after his return home, a correspondence was opened in the Cherokee language between the two branches of the nation. In the autumn of 1823 the General Council bestowed upon him a silver medal in honor of his genius, and as an expression of gratitude for his eminent public services." —North American Review.

“We may remark, with reference to the above, that as each letter of this alphabet represents one of eighty-six sounds, of which in various transpositions the language is composed, a Cherokee can read as soon as he has learned his alphabet. It is said that a clever boy may thus be taught to read in a single day.The Saturday Magazine, London, April, 1842.


PRICES PAID BY WHITE MEN FOR SCALPS. “In the wars between France and England and their colonies, their Indian allies were entitled to a premium for every scalp of an enemy. In the war preceding 1703 the Government of Massachusetts gave twelve pounds for every Indian scalp. In 1722 it was augmented to one hundred pounds—a sum sufficient to purchase a considerable extent of American land. On the 25th of February, 1745, an act was passed by the American colonial legislature, entitled “An Act for giving a reward for

scalps.' -Sketches of the History, Manners, and Customs of the North American Indians, by JAMES BUCHANAN, 1824.

There was a constant rivalry between the Governments of Great Britain, France, and the United States as to which of them should secure the services of the barbarians to scalp their white enemies, while each in turn was the loudest to denounce the shocking barbarities of such trik as they failed to secure in their own service; and the civilized world, aghast at these horrid recitals, ignores the fact that nearly every important massacre in the history of North America was organized and directed by agents of some one of these Governments.” —GALE, Upper Mississippi.



Art. 6th of the treaty of Oct. 14th, 1865, between the United States and the chiefs and headmen representing the confederated tribes of the Arapahoe and Cheyenne Indians:

“ The United States being desirous to express its condemnation of, and as far as may be repudiate the gross and wanton outrages perpetrated against certain bands of Cheyenne and Arapahoe Indians by Colonel J. M. Chivington, in command of United States troops, on the 29th day of November, 1864, at Sand Creek, in Colorado Territory, while the said Indians were at peace with the United States and under its flag, whose protection they had by lawful authority been promised and induced to seek, and the Government, being desirous to make some suitable reparation for the injuries thus done, will grant 320 acres of land by patent to each of the following named chiefs of said bands, *** and will in like manner grant to each other person of said bands made a widow, or who lost a parent on that occasion, 160 acres of land. *** The United States will also pay in United States securities, animals, goods, provisions, or such other useful articles as may in the discretion of the Secretary of the Interior be deemed best adapted to the respective wants and conditions of the persons named in the schedule hereto annexed, they being present and members of the bands who suffered at Sand Creek on the occasion aforesaid, the sums set opposite their names respectively, as a compensation for property belonging to them, and then and there destroyed or taken from them by the United States troops aforesaid.”

[ocr errors]

One of the Senate amendments to this treaty struck out the words" by Colonel J. M. Chivington, in command of United States troops.” If this were done with a view of relieving “ Colonel J. M. Chivington” of obloquy, or of screening the fact that " United States troops were the instruments by which the murders were committed, is not clear. But in either case the device was a futile one. The massacre will be known as “ The Chivington Massacre as long as history lasts, and the United States must bear its share of the infamy of it.


WOOD-CUTTING BY INDIANS IN DAKOTA. In his report for 1877 the Superintendent of Indian Affairs in Dakota says: “Orders have been received to stop cutting of wood by Indians, to pay them for what they have already cut, to take possession of it and sell it. This I am advised is under a recent decision which deprives Indians of any ownership in the wood until the land is taken by them in severalty. If agents do not enforce these orders, they lay themselves liable. If they do enforce them, the Indians are deprived of what little motive they have for labor. In the mean time, aliens of all nations cut wood on Indian lands, sell to steamboats, fill contracts for the army and for Indian agencies at high prices. *** Cutting wood is one of the very few things an Indian can do in Dakota at this time.


SEQUEL TO THE WALLA WALLA MASSACRE. [This narrative was written by a well-known army officer, correspondent of the

Army and Navy Journal, and appeared in that paper Nov. 1st, 1879.] The history of that affair (the Walla Walla Massacre) was never written, we believe; or, if it was, the absolute facts in the case were never given by any unprejudiced person, and it may be interesting to not a few to give them here. The story, as told by our Washington correspondent, “ Ebbitt,” who was a witness of the scenes narrated, is as follows:

" The first settlements in Oregon, some thirty years ago, were

made by a colony of Methodists. One of the principal men among them was the late Mr. or Governor Abernethy, as he was called, as he was for a short time the prominent Governor of Oregon. He was the father-in-law of our genial Deputy Quartermaster-general Henry C. Hodges, an excellent man, and he must not be remembered as one of those who were responsible for the shocking proceedings which we are about to relate. A minister by the naine of Whitman, we believe, had gone up to the Walla Walla region, where he was kindly received by the Cayuse and other friendly Indians, who, while they did not particularly desire to be converted to the Christian faith as expounded by one of Wesley's followers, saw no special objection to the presence of the missionary. So they lived quietly along for a year or two; then the measles broke out among the Indians, and a large number of them were carried off. They were told by their medicine men that the disease was owing to the presence of the whites, and Mr. Whitman was notified that he must leave their country. Filled with zeal for the cause, and not having sense enough to grasp the situation, he refused to go.

" At this time the people of the Hudson's Bay Conipany had great influence with all the Indians in that region, and the good old Governor Peter Skeen Ogden was the chief factor of the Company at Fort Vancouver. He was apprised of the state of feeling among the Indians near the mission by the Indians themselves, and he was entreated by them to urge Whitman to go away, for if he did not he would surely be killed. The governor wrote up to the mission advising them to leave, for a while at least, untii the Indians should become quiet, which they would do as soon as the measles had run its course among them. His efforts were useless, and sure enough one day in 1847, we believe, the mission was cleaned out, the missionary and nearly all of those connected with it being killed.

" An Indian war follows. This was carried on for some months, and with little damage, but sufficient for a claim by the territory upon the General Government for untold amounts of money. Two or three years later, when the country had commenced to fill up with emigration, and after the regiment of Mounted Riflemen and two companies of the First Artillery had taken post in Oregon, the people began to think that it would be well to stir up the matter of the murder of the Whitman family. General Joseph Lane had been sent out as governor in 1849, and he doubtless thought it would be a good thing for him politically to humor

« PreviousContinue »