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My native land : The United States: its wonders, its beauties, and its people, with descriptive notes,… Cox, James, 1851-1901 1895

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Array    The University of British Columbia Library
The United States: its Wonders, its Beauties, and its People;
with  Descriptive  Notes,   Character   Sketches,   Folk
Lore,   Traditions,   Legends  and  History,  for
the Amusement of the Old and the
Instruction  of the  Young.
.  . .BY . .  .
Author of "Our Own Country," "Missouri at the World's Fair,"  "Old and New
St. Louis,"   "An Arkansas Eden,"   "Oklahoma Revisited," Etc.
'Breathes there a man with soul so dead
Who never to himself has said,
This is my own, my native land."
Profusely Illustrated.
Published by The Blair Publishing Co.
1895. Copyright, 1895,
By  Mrs. O. E.   Blatr.
All rights reserved. CONTENTS.
The Story, of Liberty Bell—Impartial Opinions on the
Revolutionary War—The Shot that was Heard Around the
World—The First Committee of Safety—A Defeat which
Equaled a Victory—Washington's Earnestness—To Congress on Horseback—The First 4th of July Celebration.
A Relic of Religious Bigotry—Parson Lawson's Tirade
against Witchcraft—Extraordinary Court Records of Old
Puritan Days—Alleged Supernatural Conjuring—A Man
and his Wife both put to Death—Crushed for Refusing to
Plead—A Romance of the Old Days of Witch Persecution.
Some Local Errors Corrected—A Trip Down the Hudson
River—The Last of the Mohicans—The Home of Rip Van
Winkle—The Ladies of Vassar and their Home—West
Point and its History—Sing Sing Prison—The Falls of
Niagara—Indians in New York State. CONTENTS.
The Geographical Center of the United States, and its
Location West of the Mississippi River—The Center of
Population—History of Fort Riley—The Gallant "Seventh"
—Early-Troubles of Kansas—Extermination of the Buffalo
—But a Few Survivors out of Many Millions.
The Pilgrimage Across the Bad Lands to Utah—Incidents of the March—Success of the New Colony—Religious Persecutions—Murder of an Entire Family—The Curse
of Polygamy—An Ideal City—Humors of Bathing in Great
Salt Lake.
A History of the Indian Nation—Early Struggles of
Oklahoma Boomers—Fight between Home-Seekers and
Soldiers—Scenes at the Opening of Oklahoma Proper—A
Miserable Night on the Prairie—A Race for Homes—Lawlessness in the Old Indian Territory.
A Much Maligned Class—The Cowboy as he Is, and as
he is Supposed to be—Prairie Fever and how it is Cured	 CONTENTS.
Life on the Ranch Thirty Years Ago and Now—Singular
Fashions and Changes of Costume—Troubles Encountered
hy would-be Bad Men.
The Indians' Admirers and Critics—At School and After
—Indian Courtship and Marriage—Extraordinary Dances—
Gambling by Instinct—How "Cross-Eye" Lost his Pony—
Pawning a Baby—Amusing and Degrading Scenes on Annuity Day.
Tried in the Balances and Found Wanting—Indian
Archers—Bow and Arrow Lore—Barbarous Customs that
Die Slowly—"Great Wolf," the Indian Vahderbilt—How
the Seri were Taught a Valuable Lesson—Playing with
^Rattlesnakes with Impunity.
Houses on Rocks and Sand Hills—How Many Families
Dwelt Together in Unity—Peculiarities of Costumes—
Pueblo Architecture and Folk Lore—A Historic Struggle
and how it Ended—Legends Concerning Montezuma-
■Curious Religious Ceremonies, CONTENTS.
"Remember Custer"—An Eye-Witness of the Massacre
 Custer, Cody and Alexis—A Ride over the Scenes of the
Unequal Conflict—Major Reno's Marked Failure—How
"Sitting Bull" Ran Away and Lived to Fight Another Day
—Why a Medicine Man did not Summon Rain.
Meaning of the word "Creole"—An Old Aristocratic
Relic—The Venice of America—Origin of the Creole Carnivals—Rex and his Annual Disguises—Creole Balls—The
St. Louis Veiled Prophets—The French Market and other
Landmarks in New Orleans—A Beautiful Ceremony and an
Unfinished Monument.
A Trip to Chinatown, San Francisco—A House with a
History—Narrow Alleys and Secret Doors—Opium Smoking and its Effects—The Highbinders—Celestial Theatricals
—Chinese Festivals—The Brighter Side of a Great City—
A Mammoth Hotel and a Beautiful Park.
First Importation of Negro Slaves into America—The
Original Abolitionists-
—Origin of the word
-A Colored Enthusiast and a Coward
'Secession"—John Brown's Fanati- CONTENTS.
cism—Uncle Tom's Cabin—Faithful unto Death—George
Augustus Sala on the Negro who Lingered too long in the
Mill Pond.
A Delightful Rhapsody—Early History of Yellowstone
Park—A Fish Story which Convulsed Congress—The First
White Man to Visit the Park—A Race for Life—-Philosophy
of the Hot Springs—Mount Everts—From the Geysers to
Elk Park—Some Old Friends and New Ones—Yellowstone
Lake—The Angler's Paradise.
Honor to whom Honor is Due—A Class of Men Not
Always Thoroughly Appreciated at their Worth—An Amateur's Ride on a Flying Locomotive—From Twelve Miles
an Hour to Six Times that Speed—The Signal Tower and
the Men who Work in it—Stealing a Train—A Race with
Steam—Stories about Bewitched Locomotives and Providential Escapes.
Early History of Manitou—Zebulon Pike's Important
Discovery—A Young Medicine Man's Peril and Final
Triumph—A Health Resort in Years Gone By—The Garden
of the Gods—The Railroad up Pike's Peak—Early Failures
and Final Success—The Most Remarkable Road* in the
World—Riding Above the Clouds.
The Grand Cafion of the Colorado—Niagara Outdone—
The Course of the Colorado River—A Survey Party Through
the Canon—Experiences of a Terrible Night—Wonderful
Contrasts of Color in the Massive Rocks—A Natural Wall
a Thousand Feet High—Hieroglyphics which have Never
been Deciphered—Relics of a Superior Race—Conjecture
as to the Origin of the Ancient Bearded White Men.
Importance of Rivers to Commerce a Generation Ago—
The Ideal River Man—The Great Mississippi River and its
Importance to our Native Land—The Treacherous Missouri
—A First Mate who Found a Cook's Disguise very Convenient—How a Second Mate got over the Inconvenience
of Temporary Financial Embarrassment.
The Importance of Some of our Newest States—Romantic History of Montana—The Bad Lands and their Exact
Opposite—Civilization Away Up in the Mountains—Indians
who have Never Quarreled with White Men—Traditions
Concerning Mount Tacoma—Wonderful Towns of the Extreme Northwest—A State Shaped like a Large Chair—The
Falls of Shoshone. CONTENTS.
Florida and its Appropriate Name—The First Portions
of North America Discovered by White Men—Early Vicissitudes of its Explorers—An Enormous Coast Line—How
Key West came to be a great Cigar Town—The Suwanee
River—St. Augustine and its World-Renowned Hotel-
Statue to Minute Man,
Interior of Independence Hall, Philadelphia,
Tomb of General Grant, Riverside Park,
A Memory of Rip Van Winkle,
The Exact Center of United States,
Brigham Young's Grave, Salt Lake City,
Chief Rain-in-the-Face and his Favorite Pony
The Cowboy as He Is,    .
Civilized Indians,   .
An Uncivilized Savage, .        „
The Belle of the Pueblo,
Custer Battlefield and Monument,
The Old French Market at New Orleans,
The Prettiest Chinese Woman in America,
Yellowstone Falls, .    ^v^Hf'
In and Around Yellowstone Park,
A Marvel of Magnificence,
Climbing Pike's Peak by Rail,
Hieroglyphic Memoirs of Past Ages,
A Fin de Siecle Pleasure Steamer,
Whaleback Steamer on the Lakes,.
Two Views of Mount Tacoma,
A Restful Southern Home,    .  MY NATIVE LAND.
The Story of Liberty Bell — Impartial Opinions on the Revolutionary
War—The Shot that was Heard Around the World—The First Committee of Safety—A Defeat which Equaled a Victory—Washington's
Earnestness—To Congress on Horseback—The First 4th of July
I T was not until April 19th, 1775, that the shot was
■■ fired which was "heard around the world." But the
struggle for American Independence was really started
nearly a quarter of a century earlier, when on the afternoon of August 27th, 1753, Liberty Bell was rung to call
together the Assembly of the Province of Pennsylvania.
In the old days of town meetings, training days, town
schools and Puritans, bells took a more prominent part in
public affairs than they do to-day. It was usual to call the
people together for purposes of deliberation by means of a
village or town bell, and of these bells the one to which we
refer was the most important and interesting. Liberty
Bell is well named. It was ordered in the year 1751, and
it was delivered a year later. Shortly afterwards, it
cracked, and had to be recast, but in June, 1753, it was
finally hung in the Pennsylvania State House at Philadelphia. It has never been removed from the building
except on two occasions.    The first of these was in 1777,
(13) 14
when it was taken to Allentown for safety, and the second
in 1885, when it was exhibited at New Orleans.
This bell, which sounded the death-blow to tyranny and
oppression, was first rung to call together the Assembly,
which immediately resolved to insist upon certain rights
which had been denied the colonists by the British Crown.
Eighteen months later, it was again rung to announce
the meeting at which the rights of the colonists were
sternly defined and insisted upon. In 1765, it convened
the meeting of the Assembly at which it was resolved
to be represented at the Congress of the Colonies in New
York, and a month later it was muffled and tolled when the
«' Royal Charlotte" arrived, bearing the much-hated
stamps, whose landing was not permitted. Again it rang
muffled, when the Stamp Act went into operation, and
when the people publicly burned stamp papers. In 1768,
the Liberty Bell called a meeting of the men of
Philadelphia, who protested once again against the oppression of government without representation. In 1771, it
called the Assembly together to petition the King of
England for the repeal of the duty on tea, and two years
later it summoned together the largest crowd ever seen in
Philadelphia up to that date. At that meeting it was
resolved that the ship "Polly," loaded with tea, should not
be allowed to land.
In 1774, the bell was muffled and tolled on the closing
of the Port of Boston, and in the following year it convened the memorable meeting following the battle of Lexington. On this occasion 8,000 people assembled in
the State House yard and unanimously agreed to associate
for the purpose of defending, with arms, their lives, liberty
and property against all attempts to deprive them of them. OUR NATIONS BIRTH.
In June, 1776, Liberty Bell announced the submission to
Congress of the draft of the Declaration of Independence,
•and on July 4th of the same year, the same bell announced
~the signing of the Declaration. On July 8th of the same
.year, the bell was tolled vigorously for the great proclamation of America's Independence. The tolling was suspended while the Declaration was read, and was once more
Tung when that immortal document had been thus formally
In April, 1783, Liberty Bell rang the proclamation of
Peace, and on July 4th, 1826, it ushered in the year of
The last tolling of the bell was in July, 1835, when,
ivhile slowly tolling, and without any apparent reason, the
Tbell, which had played such an important part in the
War of Independence, and in the securing of liberty for the
people of this great country, parted through its side, making a large rent, which can still be clearly seen. It was as
"though the bell realized that its great task was accomplished, and that it could leave to other and younger bells,
the minor duties which remained to be performed.
This is not a history of the United States, but is rather
:a description of some of the most interesting and remarkable features to be found in various parts of it. It is
difficult, however, to describe scenes and buildings without
at least brief historical reference, and as we present an
^excellent illustration of the apartment in which the Declaration of Independence was signed, we are compelled to make
41 brief reference to the circumstances and events which
preceded that most important event in the world's history.
As we have seen, the conflict between the home country
^nd the  colonies commenced long before there was any 16 MY NATIVE LAND.
actual outbreak. As Mr. Thomas Wentworth Higginson
so graphically expresses it, the surrender of Canada to
England by France in 1763 suddenly opened men's eyes to
the fact that British America had become a country so
large as to make England seem ridiculously small. Even
the cool-headed Dr. Franklin, writing that same year to
Mary Stevenson in London, spoke of England as "that
stone in a brook, scarce enough of it above water to keep
one's shoes dry." A far-seeing French statesman of the
period looked at the matter in the same way. Choiseul,
the Prime Minister who ceded Canada, claimed afterwards
that he had done it in order to destroy the British nation by
creating for it a rival. This assertion was not made till
ten years later, and may very likely have been an afterthought, but it was destined to be confirmed by the
We have now to deal with the outbreak of a contest
which was, according to the greatest of the English statesmen of the period, "a most accursed, wicked, barbarous,
cruel, unnatural, unjust, and diabolical war." No American writer ever employed to describe it a combination of
adjectives so vigorous as those brought together by the
elder Pitt, afterwards Lord Chatham. The rights for
which Americans fought seemed to him to be the common
rights of Englishmen, and many Englishmen thought the
On the other hand, we are now able to do justice to
those American Loyalists who honestly believed that the
attempt at independence was a mad one, and who sacrificed
all they had rather than rebel against their King. Massa-
chusettensis, the well-known Tory pamphleteer, wrote that
the annals of the world  had not been deformed with a   OUR NATIONS BIRTH. 19
single instance of so unnatural, so causeless, so wanton, so
wicked a rebellion.
These strong epithets used on both sides show how
strangely opinions were divided as to the rebellion and its
causes. Some of the first statesmen of England defended
the colonists, and some of the best known men in the
colonies defended England.
The City of Boston at this time had a population of
about seventeen thousand, as compared with some half a
million to-day. In its garrison there were three thousand
British troops, and the laws of Parliament were enforced
rigidly. The city suffered temporary commercial death
in consequence, and there were the most vigorous efforts
made to prevent an open outbreak of hostilities. In January, 1775, a conflict was barely averted at Marshfield, and
in the following month the situation was so strained at
Salem that nothing but great forbearance and presence of
mind on the part of the colonists prevented bloodshed.
The Boston massacre of less than five years before was
still uppermost in men's thoughts, and it was determined
that the responsibility of the first shot in the war, if war
there must be, should rest with the Royal troops.
Accordingly, the colonists accepted insult and abuse
until they were suspected by the British troops of cowardice. One officer wrote home telling his friends that
there was no danger of war, because the colonists were
bullies, but not fighters, adding that any two regiments
ought to be decimated which could not beat the entire
force arrayed against them. But the conflict could not be
long delayed. It was on April 18th, 1775, that Paul Revere
rode his famous ride. He had seen the two lights in a
church steeple in Boston, which had been agreed upon as a 20
signal that the British troops were about to seize the supplies of the patriots at Concord. Sergeant Monroe's
caution against making unnecessary noise, was met by his
rejoinder, "You will have noise enough here before long—
the regulars are coming out."
Then he commenced his ride for life, or, rather, for
the lives of others. We all know the result of his ride,
and how church bells were tolled and signal shots fired to
warn the people that the soldiers were coming. It was a
night of tumult and horror, no one knowing what brutality
they had to expect from the now enraged British soldiers.
The women of the towns, warned by the pre-arranged
signals, hurried their children from their homes, and fled
to farm houses, and even barns in the vicinity. Before
daybreak the British troops had reached Lexington
Green. Here they found Captain Parker and 38 men
standing up before twenty times that number of armed
troops, indifferent as to their fate, but determined to protect their cause and their friends. The Captain's words
have passed into history. They took the form of an order
to the men:
"Don't fire unless you are fired on; but, if they want a
war, let it begin here."
History tells us of few such unequal contests as this.
The troops fired on the gallant little band, and seven of
their number were killed. The fight at Concord followed,
when 450 Americans met the British troops at the North
Bridge, where
"Once the embattled farmers stood,
And fired the shot heard around the world."
The British detachment was beaten back in disorder, but
the main body wus too strong to be attacked.    The minute OUR NATIONS BIRTH. 21
men, however, made a most magnificent fight, and at the
close of the day they had killed 273 British soldiers, only
93 of their own number being among the killed or
Thus commenced the War of Independence, the event
being described by Dr. Joseph Warren in a document of
sufficient  interest  to   warrant   its   reproduction  in   full.
"The barbarous murders committed on our innocent
brethren," wrote the doctor, "have made it absolutely
necessary that we immediately raise an army to defend
our wives and our children from the butchering hands of
an inhuman soldiery, who, incensed at the obstacles they
met with in their bloody progress, and enraged at being
repulsed from the field of slaughter, will, without the least
doubt, take the first opportunity in their power to ravage
this devoted country with fire and sword. We conjure
you, therefore, by all that is dear, by all- that is sacred,
that you give all assistance possible in forming an army.
Our all is at stake. Death and devastation are the instant
consequences of delay. Every moment is infinitely
precious. An hour lost may deluge our country in blood,
and entail perpetual slavery upon the few of your posterity who may survive the carnage. We beg and entreat,
as you will answer to your country, to your own consciences, and, above all, as you will answer to God himself,
that you will hasten and encourage, by all possible means,
the enlistment of men to form an army, and send them
forward to headquarters at Cambridge, with that expedition which the vast importance and instant urgency of the
affair demand."
Two days after the fight, the Massachusetts Committee of Safety resolved to enlist 8,000 men, an event 22
which our old friend Liberty Bell celebrated by a vigorous
tolling. All over the colonies a spirit of determination to
resist spread like lightning, and the shot that was heard
around the world was certainly heard very distinctly in
every nook and corner of New "England, and of the old
Atlantic States. Naturally, there was at first a lack of
concentration and even of discipline; but what was lacking-
in these features was more than made up for by bravery and
determination. As John Adams wrote in 1818, the army
at Cambridge at this time was not a National army, for
there was no nation. It was not even an army of the
United Colonies, because the Congress at Philadelphia
had not adopted or acknowledged the army at Cambridge.
It was not even the New England army, for each State
had its separate armies, which had united to imprison the
British army in Boston. There was not even the Commander-in-Chief of the allied armies.
These anomalies, of course, righted themselves rapidly.
Gage's proclamation of martial law expedited the battle
at Bunker Hill, which was brought about by the impatience of the British troops, and by the increased confidence among the colonists, resulting, from the fights at
Lexington and Concord. It is true, of course, that the
untrained American troops failed to vanquish the British,
army at Bunker Hill, but the monument at that spot celebrates the fact that for two hours the attacks of the
regulars were withstood. A prominent English newspaper described the battle as one of innumerable errors on
the part of the British. As William Tudor wrote so
graphically, "The Ministerial troops gained the hill, but
were victorious losers. A few more such victories and
they are undone."     Many writers have been credited with OUR NATION'S BIRTH. 25
the authorship of a similar sentiment, written from the
American standpoint. "It is true that we were beaten $
but it will not take many such defeats to accomplish a
magnificent victory."
What began to be known as the great American army
increased in strength. It was adopted by Congress, and
George Washington placed in command. Under the historic elm tree at Cambridge, Mass., which was the scene of
so many important councils in the first hours of the life of
the United States, he assumed the authority bestowed
upon him with this office, and a week later he held a council
with his officers. He found some 17,000 men at his command, whom he described as a mixed multitude of people
under very little discipline.
William Emerson, grandfather of the great poet, in a
soliloquy on the strange turn events had taken, said "Who
would have thought, twelve months past, that all Cambridge and Charleston would be covered over with American camps and cut up into forts and entrenchments, and
all the lands, fields and orchards laid common, with horses
and cattle feeding on the choicest mowing land, and large
parks of well-regulated locusts cut down for firewood.
This, I must say, looks a little melancholy. It is very diverting to walk among the camps. They are as different in
their look as the owners are in their dress, and every tent
is a portraiture of the temper and tastes of the persons who
encamp in it. Some are made of boards and some of sailcloth ; some partly of one and some partly of the other;
again, others are made of stone and turf, brick or brush.
Some are thrown up in a hurry, others curiously wrought
with doors and windows, done with wreaths and withes, in
the manner of a basket.     Some are proper tents, looking 24
like the regular camp of the enemy. In these are the Rhode
Islanders, who are furnished with tent equipages and everything in the most exact English style. However, I think
this great variety is rather a beauty than a blemish in the
As was to be expected, there was more or less of a lack
of harmony and unity among the companies of men collected together to form an army to fight for liberty.
History tells us that there was even a little jealousy between
the four New England colonies. There was also a good deal
of distrust of Washington. It was argued that at least one-
third of the class from which he came had Tory and
Royalist inclinations, and what guarantee had they that
Washington was not one of their number? Washington
himself found that those who styled themselves in old
country parlance "The Gentry," were loyal to King George
rather than to the colonies, and while his own men were
inclined, at times, to doubt the sincerity of the Father of
his Country, the very men with whom he was suspected of
being in sympathy were denouncing him with vigor.
Washington, to his lasting credit be it said, was indifferent both to praise and censure. Seeing that discipline was
the one thing needful, he commenced to enforce it with an
iron hand. He declined any remuneration, and gave his
services freely to the cause. He found himself short
of ammunition, and several times he lost a number of
his men. In the spring of 1776, Washington went to
New York with his Continental army. Here he found
new difficulties, and met with a series of mishaps. The
failure of the advance into Canada during the winter
had hurt materially, but the bravery of the troops in
the  Carolinas  came as a grand  encouragement. OUR NATION'S BIRTH.
We need not trace further the progress of the war, or
note how, through many discouragements and difficulties,
the cause of right was made to triumph over the cause of
might. We will pass on to note a few of the interesting
facts in connection with the signing of the Declaration of
Independence. To-day, our Senators and Congressmen
travel to the National Capital in Pullman cars, surrounded
by every luxury that wealth and influence can bring
* In the days of the Continental Congress it required a
good deal more nerve to fulfill one's duty. The delegate had
to journey to Congress on horseback. Sometimes he could
find a little country inn at which he could sleep at night,
but at others he had to camp in the open as best he could.
Frequently a friendly warning would cause him to make a
detour of several miles in order to escape some threatened
danger, and, altogether, his march to the capital was far
from being triumphant.
At this particular period the difficulties were more than
usually great. The delegates arrived at Philadelphia jaded
and tired. They found stable room for their horses, made
the best toilet possible, and found their way at once to
Independence Hall, where opinions were exchanged. On
the 7th of June, Richard Henry Lee of Virginia submitted a
series of resolutions, under the instructions of the Virginia
Assembly—resolutions which, it may be stated, pledged
the colonies to carry on the war until the English were
entirely driven out of the country. Congress declared
deliberately that the United States was absolved from all
allegiance to the British Crown, and it then proceeded to
burn its bridges, by declaring the expediency of taking
effectual measures for forming  foreign  alliances.    John 31Y NATIVE LAND.
Adams seconded the resolutions, which were not passed
^without debate.
Delegates from New York, Pennsylvania and South
•Carolina opposed the proposition very vigorously, one
member stating that it required the impudence of a New
Englander for them, in their disjointed state, to propose a
treaty to a nation now at peace; that no reason could be
.assigned for pressing this measure but the reason of every
madman—a show of spirit. John Adams defended the
resolutions, claiming that they proclaimed objects of th©
most stupendous magnitude, in which the lives and liberties
of millions yet unborn were infinitely interested. Finally,
the consideration was postponed, to be passed almost
unanimously on July 2d. John Adams was most enthusiastic over this result, and, writing to his wife on the
subject, he said:
"The 2d day of July, 1776, will be the most memorable
epoch in the history of America. I am apt to believe that
it will be celebrated by succeeding generations as the great
.anniversary festival. It ought to be commemorated as a
-day of deliverance, by solemn acts of devotion to God
Almighty, from one end of the continent to the other,
from this time forward, forevermore."
But although the day referred to by John Adams saw
the thirteen colonies become independent States, it is July
the 4th that the country celebrates. On that day the
Declaration of Independence was promulgated. This marvelous document was prepared by Jefferson in a small brick
house, which then stood out in the fields, but which is now
known as the southwest corner of Market and Seventh
Streets, Philadelphia. It is situated within about four
.hundred yards of Independence Square.    In his little room OUR NATION'S BIRTH.
in this house, on a very small writing desk, which is still in
existence, Jefferson drafted the title deed of our liberties.
He wrote without reference of any kind, merely placing
upon paper the succession of thoughts which had been
paramount in his mind for years. In the original document, as submitted by Jefferson, there appeared a stern
condemnation of the "piratical warfare against human
nature itself," as slavery was described. This was stricken
out by Congress, and finally the document, as amended,
i»as adopted by the vote of twelve colonies, New York
declining to vote.
We give an illustration of the Interior of Independence
Hall. Here it was that the Declaration was signed.
According to some authorities the signing did not take
place on July 4th, while according to others it did. Some
.records seem to show that fifty-four of the fifty-six names
were attached to the parchment on August 2d. Jefferson
frequently stated that the signing of the Declaration was
hastened by a very trivial circumstance. Near the Hall there
was a large stable, where flies abounded. All the delegates
vrore silk stockings, and were thus in a condition to be easily
annoyed by flies. The heat was intolerable, and a
tremendous invasion by the little pests, who were not
Tetarded by fly screens or mosquito bars, drove the legislators almost frantic, and caused them to append their
signatures to the document with almost indecent haste.
However this may be, the Declaration was finally signed,
and Liberty Bell proclaimed the fact to all within hearing.
-John Hancock, we are told, referred to his almost school-
Doy signature with a smile, saying that John Bull could
read his name without spectacles. Franklin is said to have
Temarked that they must all hang together, or else  most 2*8
assuredly they would all hang separately—a play upon
words showing that the patriot's sense of humor was too
admirably developed to be dimmed even by an event of
this magnitude.
There were rejoicings on every hand that the great act
had been accomplished. A very pleasing story tells of
bow an aged bell-ringer waited breathlessly to announce to
waking thousands the vote of Congress. This story has
since been denied, and it seems evident that the vote was
not announced until the following day, when circulars were
issued to the people. On July 6th, the Declaration was
printed in a Philadelphia newspaper, and on the 8th,
John Nixon read the Declaration in the yard of Independence Hall. On the same day, the Royal Arms over the
door of the Supreme Court Room were torn down, and the
trophies thus secured burned.
The first 4th of July celebration of which we have
any record, took place two years after the signing.
General Howe had left the city shortly before, and every
one was feeling bright and happy. In the diary of one of
the old patriots who took part in this unique celebration,
appears the following quaint, and even picturesque,
description of the events of the day:
"On the glorious 4th of July (1778), I celebrated in
the City Tavern, with my brother delegates of Congress
and a number of other gentlemen, amounting, in whole, to
about eighty, the anniversary of Independency. The entertainment was elegant and well conducted. There were four
tables spread; two of them extended the whole length of
the room; the other two crossed them at right angles. At
the end of the room, opposite the upper table, was erected
an Orchestra.    At the head of the upper table, and at the OUR NATION'S BIRTH.
President's right hand, stood a large baked pudding, in the
center of which was planted a staff, on which was displayed
a crimson flag, in the midst of which was this emblematic
device: An eye, denoting Providenee; a label, on which
was inscribed, 'An appeal to Heaven;' a man with a drawn
sword in his hand, and in the other the Declaration of
Independence, and at his feet a scroll inscribed, * The
declaratory acts.' As soon as the dinner began, the music,
consisting of clarionets, hautboys, French horns, violins
and bass-viols, opened and continued, making proper
pauses, until it was finished. Then the toasts, followed by
a discharge of field-pieces, were drank, and so the afternoon ended. On the evening there was a cold collation
and a brilliant exhibition of fireworks. The street was
crowded with people during the exhibition.
"What a strange vicissitude in human affairs! These,
but a few years since colonies of Great Britain, are now
free, sovereign, and independent States, and now celebrate
the anniversary of their independence in the very city
where, but a day or two before, General Howe exhibited
his ridiculous Champhaitre."
Independence Hall remains to-day in a marvelous state
of preservation. At the great Centennial Exposition, held
to celebrate the hundredth anniversary of the events to
which we have alluded in this chapter, tens of thousands of
people passed through the room in which the Declaration
of Independence was signed, and gazed with mingled feelings upon the historical bell, which, although it had long
outlived its usefulness, had in days gone by done such
grand proclaiming of noble truth, sentiment and action.
Up to quite a recent date, justice was administered in the
old building, but most of the courts have now been moved 30
to the stately structure modern Philadelphia is now erecting at the cost of some $16,000,000.
Independence Hall and Independence Square are lovingly cared for, and visitors from all nations are careful to
include them both in their tour of sight-seeing while in this
country. Within the Hall they find old parchments and
Eighteenth Century curiosities almost without number, and
antiquarians find sufficient to interest and amuse them for
several days in succession. Every lover of his native land,
no matter what that land may be, raises his hat in reverence
when in this ancient and memory-inspiring building, and
he must be thoughtless, indeed, who can pass through it
without paying at least a mental tribute of respect to the
memories of the men who were present at the birth of the
greatest nation the world has ever seen, and who secured
for the people of the United States absolute liberty.
The illustration of the interior of Independence Hall
on page 17, was furnished for use in this work by the
National Company of St. Louis, publishers of "Our Own
Country," a large work descriptive of a tour throughout the most picturesque sections of the United States.
The letter-press in "Our Own Country" was written by
the author of this work, and it is one of the finest tributes
to the picturesqueness of America that has ever been published. Other illustrations in this work were also kindly
supplied by the same publishing house. CHAPTER II.
A Relic of Religious Bigotry — Parson Lawson's Tirade Against
Witchcraft—Extraordinary Court Records of Old Puritan Days-
Alleged Supernatural Conjuring—A Man and his Wife both put to
Death—Crushed for Refusing to Plead—A Romance of the Old Days
of Witch Persecution.
BMONG the curiosities of New England shown to
tourists and visitors, is the original site of some of
the extraordinary trials and executions for witchcraft
in the town of Salem, now known as Danvers, Mass.
Looking back upon the events of two hundred years ago,
the prosecution of the alleged witches appears to us to
have been persecution of the most infamous type. The
only justification for the stern Puritans is the fact that
they inherited their ideas of witchcraft and its evils from
their forefathers, and from the country whence most of
them came.
One of the earliest precepts of religious bigotry was,
"Thou shalt not allow a witch to live," and from time
immemorial witchcraft appears to have been a capital
offense. It is on record that thousands of people have,
from time to time, been legally murdered for alleged intercourse and leaguing with the Evil One. The superstition
seems to have gained force rather than lost it by the spread
of early Christianity. As a rule, the victims of the craze
were women, and the percentage of aged and infirm women
was always very large.    One of the greatest jurists  of MY NATIVE LAND.
England, during the Seventeenth Century, condemned two
youno- girls to the gallows for no other offense than the
alleged crime of having exerted a baneful influence over
certain victims, and having, what would be called in certain
districts, "hoodooed" them.
In Scotland the craze was carried to still further
lengths. To be accused of witchcraft was to be con-
demned as a matter of course, and the terrible death of
burning at the stake was the invariable sentence. Most
of the victims made imaginary confessions, preferring to
die at once than to be tortured indefinitely. In the year
1716, a wealthy lady and her nine-year-old daughter were
hanged for witchcraft, and even thirty or forty years later
the records of Great Britain are sullied by another similar
case of persecution.
These unsavory records are given in order to correct a
misapprehension as to the part the old Puritans took in the
persecutions. Many people seriously believed that the idea
of witchcraft, as a capital offense, originated in Salem, and
attribute to the original witch-house the reputation of
having really given birth to a new superstition and a new
persecution. As we have seen, this is entirely erroneous.
The fact that the Puritans copied a bad example, instead of
setting a new one, should, at least, be remembered in
palliation of the unfortunate blot upon their otherwise
clean escutcheon.
In the year 1704, one Deodat Lawson, minister at
Salem during the last sixteen or seventeen years of the
Seventeenth Century, published a remarkable work, entitled
"Christ's Fidelity, the only Shield against Satan's Malignity." In this work appears a record of the so-called
calamity at Salem, which the author tells us was afflicted, THE WITCHES OF SALEM.
about the year 1692, "with a very sore and grievous infliction, in which they had reason to believe that the Sovereign
and Holy God was pleased to permit Satan and his instruments to affright and afflict those poor mortals in such an
astonishing and unusual manner."
The record of Parson Lawson is so realistic and emblematic of the times in which he lived, that we reproduce some of his own expressions. Thus, he says, "Now,
I having for some time before attended the work of the
Ministry in Salem Village, the report of those great afflictions came quickly to my notice, the more so, because the
first person afflicted was in the minister's family, who
succeeded me after I was removed from them. In pity,
therefore, to my Christian friends and former acquaintance
there, I was much concerned about them, frequently consulted with them, and (by Divine assistance) prayed for
them; but especially my concern was augmented when it
was reported at an examination of a person suspected
for witchcraft, that my wife and daughter, who died three
years before, were sent out of the world under the
malicious operations of the infernal powers, as is more
fully represented in the following remarks. I did then
desire, and was also desired by some concerned in the
court, to be there present that I might hear what was
alleged in that respect, o^erving, therefore, when I was
.amongst them, that the case of the afflicted was very
amazing and deplorable, and the charges brought against
the accused such as were grounds of suspicion, yet very
intricate and difficult to draw up right conclusions about
them. They affirmed that they saw the ghosts of several
departed persons, who, at their appearing, did instigate
them to discover such as (they said) were instruments  to 34 MY NATIVE LAND.
hasten their death, threatening sorely to afflict them if they
did not make it known to the magistrates.
"They did affirm at the examination, and again at the
trial of an accused person, that they saw the ghosts of his
two wives (to whom he had acted very ill in their lives, as
was proved by several testimonies), and also that they saw
the ghosts of my wife and daughter (who died above three
years before), and they did affirm that when the very
ghosts looked on the prisoner at the bar they looked red,
as if the blood would fly out of their faces with indignation
at him. The manner of it was thus: Several afflicted
being before the prisoner at the bar, on a sudden they fixed
all their eyes together on a certain place on the floor before
the prisoner, neither moving their eyes nor bodies for some
few minutes, nor answering to any question which was
asked them. So soon as that trance was over, some being
out of sight and hearing, they were all, one after another,
asked what they saw, and they did all agree that they saw
those ghosts above mentioned. I was present and heard
and saw the whole of what passed upon that account
during the trial of that person who was accused to be the
instrument of Satan's malice therein.
"Sundry pins have been taken out the wrists and arms
of the afflicted, and one, in time of examination of a
suspected person, had a pin run through both her upper
and lower lip when she was called to speak, yet no apparent festering followed thereupon after it was taken out.
Some of the afflicted, as they were striving in their fits in
open court, have (by invisible means) had their wrists
bound together with a real cord, so as it could hardly be
taken off without cutting. Some afflicted have been found
with their arms tied and hanged upon a hook, from whence Tomb of General Grant, Riverside Park, New York.  THE WITCHES OF SALEM.
others have been forced to take them down, that they
might not expire in that, posture. Some afflicted have
been drawn under tables and beds by undiscerned force, so
as they could hardly be pulled out. And one was drawn
half way over the side of a well, and with much difficulty
recovered back again. When they were most grievously
afflicted, if they were brought to the accused, and the
suspected person's hand but laid upon them, they were
immediately relieved out of their tortures; but if the
accused did but look on them, they were immediately
struck down again. Wherefore, they used to cover the
face of the accused while they laid their hands on the
afflicted, and then it obtained the desired issue. For it
hath been experienced (both in examinations and trials)
that so soon as the afflicted came in sight of the accused,
they were immediately cast into their fits. Yea, though
the accused were among the crowd of people, unknown to
the sufferers, yet on the first view they were struck down;
which was observed in a child of four or five years of age,
when it was apprehended that so many as she would look
upon, either directly or by turning her head, were immediately struck into their fits.
"An iron spindle of a woolen wheel, being taken very
strangely out of an house at Salem Village, was used by a
spectre as an instrument of torture to a sufferer, not being
discernible to the standers by until it was by the said
sufferer snatched out of the spectre's hand, and then it
did immediately appear to the persons present to be really
the same iron spindle.
"Sometimes, in their fits, they have had their tongues
drawn out of their mouths to a fearful length, their heads
turned very much over their shoulders,   and while they
3 38
have been so strained in their fits, and had their arms and
leo*s, etc., wrested as if they were quite dislocated, the
blood hath gushed plentifully out of their mouths for a
considerable time together; which some, that they might
be satisfied that it was real blood, took upon their finger
and rubbed on their other hand. I saw several together
thus violently strained and bleeding in their fits, to my
very great astonishment that my fellow mortals should be
so grievously distressed by the invisible powers of darkness. For certainly all considerate persons who beheld
these things must needs be convinced their motions in
their fits were preternatural and involuntary, both as to
the manner, which was so strange, as a well person could
not (at least without great pain) screw their bodies into;
and as to the violence, also, they were preternatural
motions, being much beyond the ordinary force of the
same persons when they were in their right minds. So
that, being such grievous sufferers, it would seem very
hard and unjust to censure them of consenting to or holding any voluntary converse or familiarity with the devil.
"Some of them were asked how it came to pass that
they were not affrighted when they saw the Black-man.
They said they were at first, but not so much afterwards.
Some of them affirmed they saw the Black-man sit on the
gallows, and that he whispered in the ears of some of the
condemned persons when they were just ready to be turned
off—even while they were making their last speech.
"Some of them have sundry times seen a White-man
appearing among the spectres, and as soon as he appeared,
the Black-Witches vanished; they said this White-man
had often foretold them what respite they should have
from their fits;   as, sometimes,  a day or two or more, THE WITCHES OF SALEM.
which fell out accordingly. One of the afflicted said she
saw him in her fit, and was with him in a glorious place,
which had no candle or sun, yet was full of light and
brightness, where there was a multitude in 'white, glittering robes,' and they sang the song in Rev. v, 9. She was
loth to leave that place and said: 'How long shall I stay
here? Let me be along with you.' She was grieved she
could stay no longer in that place and company.
"A young woman that was afflicted at a fearful rate
had a spectre appear to her with a white sheet wrapped
about it, not visible to the standers by, until this sufferer
(violently striving in her fit) snatched at, took hold and
tore off the corner of that sheet. Her father, being by
her, endeavored to lay hold of it with her, that she might
retain what she had gotten; but at the passing away of the
spectre, he had such a violent twitch of his hand as it
would have been torn off. Immediately thereupon appeared
in the sufferer's hand the corner of a sheet, a real cloth,
visible to the spectators, which (as it is said) remains still
to be seen."
It was proved, the records of the time continue, by
substantial evidences against one person accused, that he
had such an unusual strength (though a very little man)
that he could hold out a gun with one hand, behind the
lock, which was near seven foot in the barrel, being such
as a lusty man could command with both hands, after the
usual manner of shooting. It was also proved that he
lifted barrels of metal and barrels of molasses out of a
canoe alone; and that, putting his fingers into a barrel of
molasses, full within a finger's length, according to custom,
he carried it several paces. And that he put his finger
into the muzzle of a gun which was more than five foot in 40 MY NATIVE LAND.
the barrel, and lifted up the butt end thereof, lock, stock
and all, without any visible help to raise it. It was also
testified that, being abroad with his wife and his wife's
brother, he occasionally stayed behind, letting his wife and
ber brother walk forward; but, suddenly coming up with
them, he was angry with his wife for what discourse had
passed betwixt her and her brother. They wondering how
he should know it, he said: "I know your thoughts," at
which expression they, being amazed, asked him how he
could do that, he said: "My God whom I serve makes
known your thoughts to me."
Some affirmed that there were some hundreds of the
society of witches, considerable companies of whom were
affirmed to muster in arms by beat of drum. In time of
examinations and trials, they declared that such a man was
wont to call them together from all quarters to witch-
meetings, with the sound of a diabolical trumpet.
Being brought to see the prisoners at the bar, upon their
trials, they swore, in open court, that they had oftentimes
seen them at witch meetings, "where was feasting, dancing and jollity, as also at devil sacraments, and particularly
that they saw such a man amongst the accursed crew,
and affirming that he did minister the sacrament of Satan
to them, encouraging them to go on in their way, and that
they should certainly prevail. They said, also, that such a
woman was a deacon and served in distributing the diabolical element. They affirmed that there were great numbers
of the witches."
With such sentiments as these prevailing, it is not at
all remarkable that the alleged witches were treated with
continual and conspicuous brutality. One old lady of
sixty, named Sarah Osburn, was hounded to  death  for THE  WITCHES OF SALEM.
being a witch. The poor old lady, who was in fairly good
circumstances, and appears to have been of good character,
was put upon her trial for witchcraft. For three days,
more or less ridiculous testimony was given against her,
and a number of little children, who had evidently been
carefully coached, stated upon the stand that Mrs. Osburn
had bewitched them. She was called upon by the court
to confess, which she declined to do, stating that she was
rather a victim than a criminal. She was sent to jail, and
treated with so much brutality that she died before it was
possible to execute her in the regulation manner.
Bridget Bishop was another of the numerous victims*
The usual charges were brought against her, and she was
speedily condemned to death. Before the sentence was
executed, the custom of taking council with the local
clergy was followed. These good men, while they counseled caution in accepting testimony, humbly recommended
the government to the speedy and vigorous prosecution of
such as ' 'had rendered themselves obnoxious by infringing
the wholesome statutes of the English Nation for the
detection of witchcraft." Following this recommendation,
double and treble hangings took place, and there was
enough brutality to appease the appetite of the most
vindictive and malicious.
Perhaps the most extraordinary record of witchcraft
persecution at the end of the Seventeenth Century was
that of Giles Corey and his wife Martha. The singular
feature of the case is, that the husband had been one of
the most enthusiastic declaimers against the unholy crime
of witchcraft, while his good wife had been rather disposed
to ridicule the idea, and to condemn the prosecutions as
persecutions.    She  did  her  best to prevent  Giles  from 42 MY NATIVE LAND.
attending trials, and one of the most serious charges
against her was that on one occasion she hid the family
saddle, so as to prevent her lord and master from riding
to one of the examinations.
This attempt to assert woman's rights two hundred
years ago was resented very bitterly, and two enthusiastic
witch-hunters were sent to her house to entrap her into a
confession. On the way they made inquiries, which
resulted in their being able to patch up a charge against
the woman for.walking in ghostly attire during the night.
When the detectives called at the house she told them she
knew the object of their visit, but that she was no. witch,
and did not believe there was such a thing. The mere
fact of her knowing the object of their visit was regarded
as conclusive evidence against her, although a fair-minded
person would naturally suggest that, in view of local sentiment, her guess was a very easy one. The poor woman
was immediately arrested and placed on trial. Several
little children were examined, and these shouted out in the
witness-stand, that when the afflicted woman bit her lip in
her grief, they were seized with bodily pains, which continued until she loosened her teeth. The chronicles of the
court tell us, with much solemnity, that when the
woman's hands were tied her victims did not suffer, but
the moment the cords were removed they had fits.
Even her husband was called as a witness against her/
His evidence does not appear to have been very important
or relevant. But another witness, a Mrs. Pope, who
appears to have been an expert in these matters, and to
have been called at nearly every trial, took off her shoe in
court and threw it at the prisoner's head, an act of indecorum which was condoned on the ground of the evident THE WITCHES OF SALEM.
sincerity of the culprit. The poor woman was condemned,
as a matter of course, an I when she was removed to jail, a
deputation from the church of which she was a member
called upon her and excommunicated her. She mounted
the ladder which led to the gallows with much dignity,
and died without any attempt to prolong her life by a confession.
The fate of her husband was still more terrible. Notwithstanding his zeal, and the fact that he had given
evidence against his own wife, he was arrested, charged
with a similar offense. Whether hypnotic influences were
exerted, or whether the examining justices merely imagined things against the prisoner, cannot be known at this
time. The court records, however, state that while the
witnesses were on the stand, they were so badly afflicted
with fits and hurts, that the prisoner's hands had to be tied
before they could continue their testimony. Unlike his
wife, the poor man did not deny the existence of witchcraft, and merely whined out, in reply to the magistrate's
censure, that he was a poor creature and could not help it.
The evidence against him was very slight, indeed, and he
was remanded to 'jail, where he lay unmolested, and
apparently forgotten, for ^ve or six months.
He was then excommunicated by his church, and brought
before the court again. Sojourn in jail seems to have made
the old man stubborn, for when he was once more confronted by his persecutors he declined to plead, on the
ground that there was no charge against him. An old
obsolete English law was revived against him, and the terrible sentence was pronounced that for standing mute he be
remanded to the prison from whence he came and put" into
a low, dark chamber.    There he was to be laid on his back, 44
on the bare floor, without clothing. As great a weight of
iron as he could bear was to be placed upon his body, and
there to remain. The first day he was to have three morsels
of bread, and on the second day three draughts of water, to
be selected from the nearest pool that could be found.
Thus was the diet to be alternated, day by day, until he
either answered his accusation or died.
On September 19th, 1692, death came as a happy relief
to the miserable man, who had begged the sheriff to add
greater weights so as to expedite the end. This is the only
case on record of a man having been "pressed to death"
in New England for refusing to plead, or for any other
offense. There are a few cases on record where this inhuman law was enforced previously in England, but it was
always regarded as a relic of mediaeval barbarity, and the
fact that it was revived in the witch persecutions is a very
significant one. After his death, an attempt was made to
justify the act by the statement that Corey himself had
pressed a man to death. This justification appears feeble,
and to be without any corroborative testimony.
Another very remarkable witch story has about it a
tinge of romance, although the main facts actually occurred
as stated. A sailor named Orcutt, left his sweetheart on
one of his regular voyages, promising to return at an early
date to claim his bride. The girl he left behind him, whose
name was Margaret, appears to have been a very attractive,
innocent young lady, who suffered considerably from the
jealousy of a rival. * Soon after the departure of her lover,
the witch difficulty arose, and the young girl was much
worried and grieved at what happened. On one occasion
she happened to say to a friend that she was sorry for the
unfortunate witches who were to be hanged on the follow- THE  WITCHES OF SALEM.
ing day. The friend appears to have been an enemy in
disguise, and, turning to Margaret, told her that if she
talked that way she would herself be tried as a witch.
As an evidence of how vindictive justice was at this time,
the poor girl was arrested by the sheriff on the following
day, in the name of the King and Queen, on a charge of
witchcraft. The young girl was led through the streets
and jeered at by the crowd. Arrived at the court, her
alleged friend gave a variety of testimony against her. The
usual stories about aches and pains were of course told.
Some other details were added. Thus, Margaret by looking at a number of hens had killed them. She had also
been seen running around at night in spectral attire. The
poor girl fainted in the dock, and this was regarded as a
chastisement from above, and as direct evidence of her
guilt. She was removed to the jail, where she had to lie on
a hard bench, only to be dragged back into court the
following day, to be asked a number of outrageous
With sobs she protested her innocence, but as she did
so, the witnesses against her called out that they were in
torment, and that the very motion of the girl's lips caused
them terrible pain. She was sentenced to be hanged with
eight other alleged witches two days later, and was carried
back, fainting, to her cell. In a few minutes the girl was
delirious, and began to talk about her lover, and of her
future prospects. Even her sister was not allowed to
remain with her during the night, and the frail young
creature was left to the tender mercies of heartless jailors.
A few hours before the time set for execution, young
Orcutt sailed into the harbor, and before daybreak he was
at the house.    Here he learned for the first time the awful 46
calamity which had befallen his sweetheart in his absence.
At 7 o'clock he was allowed to enter the jail, with the
convicted girl's sister. At the prison door they were
informed that the wicked girl had died during the night.
Knowing that there was no hope under any circumstances
of the sentence being remitted, the bereaved ones regarded
the news as good, and although they broke down with grief
at the shipwreck of their lives, they both realized that, to
use the devout words of the victim's sister, "The Lord had
delivered her from the hands of her enemies."
The record of brutality in connection with the witch
agitation might be continued almost without limit, for the
number of victims was very great. Visitors to Dan vers
to-day are often shown by local guides where some of the
tragedies of the persecution were committed. The superstition was finally driven away by educational enlightenment,
and it seems astounding that it lasted as long as it did.
Two hundred years have nearly elapsed since the craze died
out, and it is but charitable to admit, that although many
of the witnesses must have been corrupt and perjured, the
majority of those connected with the cases were thoroughly
in earnest, and that although they rejoiced at the undoing
of the ungodly, they regretted very much being made the
instruments of that undoing. CHAPTER III.
Some Local Errors Corrected—A Trip Down the Hudson River—The
Last of the Mohicans—The Home of Rip Van Winkle—The Ladies
of Vassar and their Home—West Point and its History—Sing Sing
Prison—The Falls of Niagara—Indians in New York State.
*frtESIDENTS in the older States of the East are
" ^ frequently twitted with their ignorance concerning the newer States of the West, and of the habits and
customs of those who, having taken Horace Greeley's
advice at various times, turned their faces toward the
setting sun, determined to take advantage of the fertility
of the soil, and grow up with the country of which they
knew but little.
It needs but a few days' sojourn in an Eastern city by
a Western man to realize how sublimely ignorant the New
Englander is concerning at least three-fourths of his native
land. Tb« writer was, on a recent occasion, asked, in an
Eastern city, how he managed to get along without any of
the comforts of Civilization, and whether he did not find it
necessary to order all of his clothing and comforts by mail
from the East. When he replied that in the larger cities,
at any rate, of the West, there were retail emporiums fully
up to date in all matters of fashion and improvement, and
caterers who could supply the latest delicacies in season
at reasonable prices, an incredulous smile was the result,
(47) 48
and regret was expressed that local prejudice and pride
should  so  blind a man  to  the  actual  truth.
Yet there was no exaggeration whatever in the reply,
as the experienced traveler knows well. Neither Chicago
nor St. Louis are really in the West, so far as points of
the compass are concerned, both of these cities being
hundreds of miles east of the geographical center of the
United States. But they are both spoken of as "out
West," and are included in the territory in which the
extreme Eastern man is apt to think people live on the
coarsest fare, and clothe themselves in the roughest possible manner. Yet the impartial and disinterested New
York or Boston man who visits either of these cities speedily admits that he frequently finds it difficult to believe
that he is not in his own much loved city, so close is the
resemblance in many respects between the business houses
and the method of doing business. Denver is looked upon
by the average Easterner almost in the light of a frontier
city, away out in the Bockies, surrounded by awe-inspiring
scenery, no doubt, but also by grizzly bears and ferocious
Indians. San Francisco is too far away to be thought of
very intelligently, but a great many people regard that
home of wealth and elegance as another extreme Western
die-in-your-boots, rough-and-tumble city.
This ignorance, for it is ignorance rather than prejudice, results from the mania for European travel, which.
was formerly a characteristic of the Atlantic States, but
which of recent years has, like civilization, traveled West.
The Eastern man who has made money is much more likely
to take his family on a European tour than on a trip
through his native country. He incurs more expense by
crossing the Atlantic, and although he adds to his store of IN PICTURESQUE NEW YORK.
knowledge by traveling, he does not learn matter of equal
importance to him as if * be had crossed the American
continent and enlightened himself as to the men and
manners in its different sections and States.
Nor is this sectional ignorance confined, by any means,
to the East. People in the West are apt to form an
entirely erroneous impression of Eastern States. The
word, "East," to them conveys an impression of dense
population, overcrowding, and manufacturing activity.
That there are thousands and thousands of acres of scenic
grandeur, as well as farm lands, in some of the most
crowded States, is not realized, and that this is the case
will be news to many. Last year a party of Western
people were traveling to New York, and, on their way, ran
through Pennsylvania, around the picturesque Horse Shoe
Curve in the Alleghenies, and along the banks of the
romantic and historic Susquehanna. A member of the
party was seen to be wrapped in thought for a long time.
He was finally asked what was worrying him.
"I was thinking," was his reply, "how singular it is
that the Bepublican party ran up a majority of something
like a hundred thousand at the election, and I was wondering where all the folks came from who did the voting. I
haven't seen a dozen houses in the last hour."
Our friend was only putting into expression the thought
which was indulged in pretty generally by the entire
crowd. Those who were making the transcontinental trip
for the first time marveled at the expanse of open country, and the exquisite scenery through which they passed;
and they were wondering how they ever came to think that
the noise of the hammer and the smoke of the factory
chimney were part and parcel of  the East, where they 50
knew the money, as well as the "wise men," came from.
The object of this book being to present some of the
prominent features of all sections of the United States, it
is necessary to remove, as far as possible, this false impression; and in order to do so, we propose to give a brief
description of the romantic and historic River Hudson.
This river runs through the great State of New York,
concerning which the greatest ignorance prevails. The
State itself is dwarfed, in common estimation, by the
magnitude of its metropolis, and if the Greater New York
project is carried into execution, and the limits of New
York City extended so as to take in Brooklyn and, other
adjoining cities, this feeling will be intensified, rather than
But "above the Harlem," to use an expression so
commonly used when a political contest is on, there are
thousands of square miles of what may be called "country," including picturesque mountains, pine lands which
are not susceptible of cultivation, and are preserved for
recreation and pleasure purposes, and fertile valleys,
divided up into homesteads and farms.
It is through country such as this that the River
Hudson flows. It rises in the Adirondack Mountains,
some 300 miles from the sea, and more than 4,000
feet above its level. It acts as a feeder and outlet for
numerous larger and smaller lakes. At first it is a
pretty little brook, almost dry in summer, but noisy
and turbulent in the rainy seasons. From Schroon Lake,
near Saratoga, it receives such a large quantity of water
that it begins to put on airs. It ceases to be a country
brook and becomes a small river. A little farther down,
the bed of the river falls suddenly, producing falls of much IN PICTURESQUE NEW YORK.
beauty, which vary in intensity and volume with the
At Glens Falls the upper Hudson passes through a long
defile, over a precipice some hundred feet long. It was
here that Cooper received much of his inspiration, and one
of the most startling incidents in his " The Last of the
Mohicans" is supposed to have been enacted at the falls.
When Troy is reached, the river takes upon itself quite
another aspect, and runs with singular straightness almost
direct to New York harbor. Tourists delight to sail up
the Hudson, and they find an immense quantity of scenery
of the most delightful character, with fresh discoveries at
every trip. Millionaires regard the banks of the Hudson
as the most suitable spots upon which to build country
mansions and rural retreats. Many of these mansions are
surrounded by exquisitely kept grounds and beautiful
parterres, which are in themselves well worth a long
journey to see.
Beacon Island, a few miles below Albany, is pointed
out to the traveler as particularly interesting, because
four counties corner upon the river just across from it.
The island has a history of more than ordinary interest.
It used to be presided over by a patroon, who levied toll
on all passing vessels. Right in the neighborhood are
original Dutch settlements, and the descendants of the
original immigrants hold themselves quite aloof from the
English-speaking public. They retain the language, as
well as the manners and customs, of Holland, and the
tourist who strays among them finds himself, for the
moment, distinctly a stranger in a strange land. The
country abounds with legends and romances, and is literally honeycombed with historic memories. I
The town of Hudson, a little farther down the river, is
interesting because it was near here that Henry Hudson
landed in September, 1609. He was immediately surrounded by Indians, who gave him an immense amount of
information, and added to his store of experiences quite a
number of novel ones. Here is the mouth of the Catskill
River, with the wonderful Catskill Mountains in the rear.
It will be news, indeed, to many of our readers that in these
wild (only partially explored) mountains there are forests
where bears, wild cats and snakes abound in large
Many people of comparative affluence reside in the
hills, where there are hotels and pleasure resorts of the
most costly character. During the storms of winter these
lovers of the picturesque find themselves snowed in for
several days at the time, and have a little experience in
the way of frontier and exploration life.
The sunrises in the Catskills are rendered uniquely
beautiful by the peculiar formation of the ground, and
from the same reason the thunder storms are often thrilling in character and awful in their magnificence. Waterfalls of all sizes and kinds, brooks, with scenery along the
banks of every description, forests, meadows, and lofty
peaks make monotony impossible, and give to the Catskill
region an air of majesty which is not easy to describe on
Every visitor asks to be shown the immortalized bridge
at Sleepy Hollow, and as he gazes upon it he thinks of
Washington Irving's unrivaled description of this country.
He speedily agrees with Irving that every change of
weather, and indeed every hour of the day, produces some
change in the magical hues and shapes of these mountains, A Memory of Rip Van Winkle.  IN PICTURESQUE NEW YORK. 55
and they are regarded by all the good wives far and near
as perfect barometers. When the weather is fair and
settled they are clothed in blue and purple, and print their
bold outlines on the clear evening sky, but, sometimes,
when the rear of the landscape is clear and cloudless, they
will gather a hood of gray vapors which, in the last rays
of the setting sun, will grow up like a crown of glory.
Here it was that Rip Van Winkle is supposed to have
lived and slept, and astonished his old friends and neighbors, and their descendants. The path along which Rip
Van Winkle marched up the mountain, prior to his prolonged sleep, is shown to the tourist, who hears at his
hotel, in the conveyance he hires for the day, and among
the very mountains themselves, countless local legends as
to Rip Van Winkle, and as to the percentage of fact and
fiction in Washington Irving's masterly production.
If he is antiquarian enough to desire it, he can be
shown the very spot upon which Rip Van Winkle laid himself down to sleep. Local opinion differs as to the exact
spot, but there is so much faith displayed by the people
that no one can doubt that they are genuine in their beliefs
and sincere in their convictions. The tourist can also be
shown the site of the old country inn, upon the bench in
front of which Rip Van Winkle sat and astonished the
natives by his extraordinary conversation, and his refusal
to believe that a generation had elapsed since he was in
the town last.
The chair upon which Dame Van Winkle is supposed
to have sat, while she was berating her idle and incorrigible
lord and master, is also shown to the visitor, and the more
credulous ones gaze with interest upon a flagon which they
are assured is the very one out of which Rip Van Winkle 56
drank. The only thing needed to complete the illusion is
the appearance of the old dog, which the man who had so
grievously overslept himself was sure would have recognized him, had he put in his appearance.
It is almost impossible to outlive one's welcome in the
Catskill Mountains, or to wear one's self out with sight
seeing, so many are the novelties which greet the gaze.,
The Catskills are abounding with traditions quite as interesting and extraordinary as the Rip Van Winkle story.
They were known originally as the "Mountains of the
Sky," a name given them by the Indians, who for so many
generations held them in undisputed possession. Hyde
Peak, the loftiest point in the Catskills, was regarded by
the Indians, as the throne of the Great Spirit, and the
Dutch settlers who crowded out the Indians seem to have
been almost as generous in their superstitions and legends.
These settlers dropped the name, "Mountains of the Sky,"
and adopted the, to them, more euphonic one of the
Katzberg Mountains, from which the more modern name
bas been adopted.
The village of Catskill deserves more than a passing
notice. It is the home of a large number of well-known
people, including the widows of many men whose names
are famous in history. The old Livingston Manor was
located near the village, and a little farther down is Barry-
town, where the wealthy As tors have a palatial summer
resort. A little farther down the river are two towns with
a distinctly ancient and Dutch aspect. They were settled
by the Dutch over two hundred years ago, and there are
many houses still standing which were built last century,
so strongly did our forefathers construct their homes, and
make them veritable castles and impregnable fortresses. IN PICTURESQUE NEW YORK.
Another very old town on the Hudson is the celebrated
seat of learning, Poughkeepsie. Of this, it has been said
that there is more tuition to the square inch than in any
other town in the world. The most celebrated of the
educational institutions at this point is the Vassar College,
the first ladies' seminary in the world, and the butt of so
many jokes and sarcasms. Poughkeepsie is not quite as
old as the hills above it, but it is exceedingly ancient.
Here was held the celebrated State convention for the ratification of the Federal Constitution, in which Alexander
Hamilton, Governor Clinton, and John Jay, and other men
of immortal names took part.
It is only comparatively recently that the first stone
building erected in this town was torn down, to make room
for improvements, after it had weathered storm and time
in the most perfect manner for more than a century and a
quarter. At Newburgh, a few miles farther south, an old
gray mansion is pointed out to the visitor as Washington's headquarters on several occasions during the Revolution. Fortunately, the State has secured possession of the
house and protects it from the hands of the vandal.
This wonderful old house was built just a century and
a half ago. A hundred and twelve years ago Washington's
army finally disbanded from this point, and the visitor can
see witam the well-preserved walls of this house the
historical room, with its seven doors, within which Washington and his generals held their numerous conferences,
and in which there are still to be found almost countless
relics of the Revolutionary War.
While sailing on the Hudson, a glimpse is obtained of
West Point, the great military school from which so many
of America's celebrated generals have graduated.    West 9*1
Point commands one of the finest river passes in the
country. The fort and chain stretched across the river
were captured by the British in 1777 (two years after it
was decided that West Point should be established a military post), but were abandoned after Burgoyne's surrender. The Continental forces then substituted stronger
works. West Point thus has a history running right back
to the Revolutionary War, and the ruins of Forts Clinton
and Montgomery, which were erected in 1775, are in the
immediate vicinity.
There are 176 rooms in the cadet barrack. There is
no attempt at ornamentation, and the quarters are almost
rigid in their simplicity and lack of home comfort. Not
only are the embryo warriors taught the rudiments of drill
and warfare, but they are also given stern lessons in camp
life. Each young man acts as his own chambermaid, and
has to keep his little room absolutely neat and free from
litter and dirt of any kind.
The West Point Chapel is of interest on account of the
number of tablets to be found in it, immortalizing many
of the Revolutionary heroes. A winding road leads up to
the cemetery, where are resting the remains of many other
celebrated generals, including Winfield Scott. The State
Camp meets annually at Peekskill, another very ancient
town, replete with Revolutionary War reminiscences. It
was settled in the year 1764 by a Dutch navigator, from
whom it takes its name. Another house used by General
Washington for headquarters is to be found near the town,
as well as St. Peter's Church, in which the Father of his
Country worshiped.
Tarrytown is another of the famous spots on the
Hudson.    Near here Washington Irving lived, and on the IN PICTURESQUE NEW YORK.
old Sleepy Hollow road is to be found the oldest religious
structure in New York State. The church was built by
the Dutch settlers in the year 1699, and close to it is the
cemetery in which Washington Irving was interred.
Sunnyside, Irving's home, is a most interesting stone
structure, whose numerous gables are covered with ivy,
the immense mass of which has grown from a few slips
presented to Irving by Sir Walter Scott.
A sadder sight to the tourist on the Hudson, but one
which is of necessity full of interest, is the Sing Sing
Prison, just below Croton Point. In this great State jail
an army of convicts are kept busy manufacturing various
articles of domestic use. The prison itself takes its name
from the Indian word " Ossining," which means "stone
upon stone." The village of Sing Sing, strange to say,
contains many charming residences, and the proximity of
the State's prison does not seem to have any particular
effect on the spirits and the ideas of those living in it.
Still further down the Hudson is Riverside Park, New
York, the scene of General Grant's tomb, which overlooks
the lower section of the river, concerning which we have
endeavored to impart some little information of an interesting character. Of the tomb, we present a very accurate
While in New York State, the tourist, whether he be
American or European, is careful to pay a visit to the
Niagara Falls, which have been viewed by a greater number
of people than any other scene or wonder on the American
continent. This fact is due, in part, to the admirable railroad facilities which bring Niagara within easy riding
distance of the great cities of the East. It is also due,
very largely, to the extraordinary nature of the falls them- 60
selves, and to the grandeur of the scene which greets the
eye of the spectator.
The River Niagara is a little more than thirty-three
miles long. In its short course it takes care of the overflow of Lakes Superior, Michigan, Huron and Erie, and as
it discharges the waters of these lakes into Lake Ontario,
it falls 334 feet, or more than ten feet to the mile.
The rapids start some sixteen miles from Lake Erie.
As the river channel suddenly narrows, the velocity of the
current increases with great abruptness. The rapids are but
a third of a mile in length, during which distance there is a
fall of fifty-two feet. The boat caught in these rapids
stands but a poor chance, as at the end of the torrent the
water dashes down a cataract over 150 feet deep.
The Canadian Fall passes over a rocky ledge of immense
area, and in the descent leaves a space with a watery roof,
the space being known as the "Cave of the Winds," with
an entrance from the Canadian side. The Canadian Fall
has a sweep of 1,100 feet and is considerably deeper than
the other.
It is little more than a waste of words to endeavor to
convey an impression of. the grandeur and magnificence of
Niagara. People have visited it from all parts of the
world. Monarchs and princes have acknowledged that it
exceeded their wildest expectation, and every one who has
gazed upon it agrees that it is almost impossible to exaggerate its grandeur, or to say too much concerning its
magnitude. Even after the water has dashed wildly 150
feet downwards, the descent continues. The river bed
contracts in width gradually, for seven miles below the
falls, where the whirlpool rapids are to be seen. After
the  second  fall, the  river seems to have exhausted  its IN PICTURESQUE NEW YORK.
vehemence, and runs more deliberately, cutting its channel
deeper into the rocky bed, and dropping its sensational
Some writers have hazarded an opinion that, as time
changes all things, so the day may come when Niagara
Falls shall cease to exist. Improbable as this idea naturally
sounds, it has some foundation in fact, for there have been
marvelous changes in the falls during the last few generations. About two hundred and fifty years ago a sketch
was taken of Niagara, and a hundred years later another
artist made a careful and apparently accurate picture.
These two differ from one another materially, and they
also differ greatly from the appearance of the falls at the
present time. Both of the old pictures show a third fall
on the Canadian side. It is known that about a hundred
years ago several immense fragments of rock were broken
off the rocky ledge on the American side, and, more
recently, an earthquake affected the appearance of the
Canadian Fall. Certain it is, that the immense corrosive
action of the water, and the gradual eating away of the
rock on both the ledge and basin, has had the effect of
changing the location of the falls, and forcing up the river
in the direction of Lake Erie. Time alone can decide the
momentous question as to whether the falls will eventually
be so changed in appearance as to be beyond recognition.
The lover of the beautiful and grand, and more especially
the antiquarian, sincerely trusts that no such calamity will
ever take place.
The history of the Indians in New York State is a very
interesting one. Prior to the discovery of America by
Columbus, the section of country including a majority of
New York State and the northern portion of Pennsylvania, 62
was occupied by the Iroquois, Mohawks, Oneidas, Onon-
dagas, Cayugas and Senecas. These formed the historical
Five Nations, of whom writers of the last century tell us so
much that is of lasting importance. These tribes were
self-governed, their rulers being selected on the hereditary
plan. There was a federal union between them for purposes of offense and defense, and they called themselves,
collectively, the "People of the Long House." This imaginary house had an eastern door at the mouth of the
Mohawk River, and a western door at the Falls of Niagara.
Bashfulness was not a characteristic of these old-time
red men, who had a special name of many letters for
themselves, which, being interpreted, meant "Men surpassing all others." They trace their origin from the
serpent-haired God, Atotarhon, and other traditions attribute their powers of confederation and alliance to the
legendary Hiawatha. They built frame cabins and defended their homes with much skill. Their dress was chiefly
made out of deer and elk hide, and relics still in existence
show that they had good ideas of agriculture, tanning,
pottery, and even carving. They were about 12,000
strong, and they appear to have been the most powerful
Indian combination prior to the arrival of the white man.
They were powerful in war as well as comparatively
sensible in peace. Their religion was, at least, consistent,
and included a firm belief in immortality. They maintained
what may be termed civilized family relations, and treated
their women with proper respect. Their conduct towards
the white men was much more friendly than might have
been expected, and almost from the first they displayed a
conciliatory attitude, and entered into alliances with the
newcomers.     They  fought  side  by  side  with  the  New
Englanders against the French, and the hostile Indians
who allied with them, and in the year 1710, five of their
sachems or legislators crossed the Atlantic, and were
received with honors by the Queen of England. In diplomacy they did not prove themselves in the long run as
skillful as the newcomers, who by degrees secured from
them the land over which they had previously exercised
sovereign rights.
The survivors of these Indians have not sunk to as low
a level as many other tribes have done. It is not generally
known in the West that there are on the New York
reservations, at the present time, more than 5,000 Indians,
including about 2,700 survivors of the once great Seneca
The State of New York is about the same size as the
Kingdom of England. It is the nineteenth State in the
Union in point of size, possessing area of more than 49,000
square miles, of which 1,500 square miles is covered by
water, forming portions of the lakes. Its lake coast line
extends 200 miles on Lake Ontario and 75 miles on Lake
Erie. Lake* Champlain flows along the eastern frontier
for more than 100 miles, receiving the waters of Lake
George, which has been described as the Como of America.
The lake has a singular history. It was originally called
by the French Canadians who discovered it, the "Lake of
'the Holy Sacrament," and it was the scene of battles and
conflicts for over a hundred years.
The capital of the Empire State, with its population of
such magnitude that it exceeds that of more than twenty
important foreign nations, is Albany, which was founded
by the Dutch in 1623, and which has since earned for itself
the title of the "Edinburgh of America."    Compared with 64
New York City it is dwarfed in point of population and
commercial importance.
Of the actual metropolis of the great Empire State it is
impossible to speak at any length in the limited space at
one's command. Of New York itself, Mr. Chauncey Depew
said recently, in his forcible manner, "To-day, in the
sisterhood of States, she is an empire in all that constitutes
a great commonwealth. An industrious, intelligent, and
prosperous population of 5,000,000 of people live within
her borders. In the value of her farms and farm products,
and in her manufacturing industries, she is the first
State in the Union. She sustains over 1,000 newspapers
and periodicals, has $80,000,000 invested in church
property, and spends $12,000,000 a year on popular education. Upward of 300 academies and colleges fit her youth
for special professions, and furnish opportunities for
liberal learning and the highest culture, and stately edifices
all over the State, dedicated to humane and benevolent
•objects, exhibit the permanence and extent of her organized
cbarities. There are $600,000,000 in her savings banks,
$300,000,000 in her insurance companies, and $700,000,000
in the capital and loans of her State and National banks.
Six thousand miles of railroads, costing $600,000,000, have
penetrated and developed every accessible corner of the
State, and maintain, against all rivalry and competition,
her commercial prestige." CHAPTER IV.
The Geographical Center of the United States and its Location West
of the Mississippi River—The Center of Population—History of
Fort Rile j—The Gallant "Seventh"—Early Troubles of Kansas-
Extermination of the Buffalo—But a Few Survivors out of Many
II^ANSAS is included by most people in the list of
■■ ^ Western States; by many it is regarded as in the
extreme West. If the Pilgrim Fathers had been told that
the haven of refuge they had selected would, within two or
three hundred }Tears, be part of a great English-speaking
nation with some 70,000,000 of inhabitants, and with its
center some 1,500 miles westward, they would have listened
to the story with pardonable incredulity, and would have
felt like invoking condemnation upon the head of the
reckless  prophet  who  was addressing them.
Yet Kansas is to-day in the very center of the United
States. This is not a printer's error, nor a play upon words,
much as the New Englander may suspect the one or the
other. There was a time when the word "West" was
used to apply to any section of the country a day's journey
on horseback from the Atlantic Coast. For years, and
even generations, everything west of the Allegheny
Mountains or of the Ohio River was " Out West." Even
to-day it is probable that a majority of the residents in
the strictly Eastern States regard anything west of the
Mississippi  River  as  strictly  Western.
(65) 66
There is no doubt that when Horace Greeley told the
young men of the country to "Go West and grow up with
the country," he used the term in its common and not its
strictly geographical sense, and many thousand youths,
who took the advice of the philosopher and statesman,
stopped close to the banks of the Mississippi River, and
have grown rich in their new homes. It cannot be too
generally realized, however, that the Mississippi Rivcr^
slowly wends its way down to the Gulf of Mexico well
within the eastern half of the greatest nation in the world.
At several points in the circuitous course of the Father of
Waters, the distance between the river and the Atlantic
Ocean is about 1,000 miles. In an equal number of points
the distance to the Pacific Ocean is 2,000 miles, showing
that whatever may be said of the tributaries of the Mississippi River, and especially of its gigantic tributary the
Missouri, the Mississippi is an Eastern and not a Western
We give an illustration of the point which competent
surveyors and engineers tell us is the exact geographical
center of the United States proper. The monument
standing in the center of this great country is surrounded
by an iron railing, and is visited again and again by
tourists, who find it difficult to believe the fact that a point
apparently so far western is really central. The center of
the United States has gone west with the absorption of territory, and the Louisiana purchase, the centenary of which
we shall shortly celebrate, had a great effect on the location.
The center of population has moved less spasmodically,
but with great regularity. A hundred years ago the City
of Baltimore was the center of population, and it was not
until  the  middle  of  the  century  that  Ohio   boasted of IN THE CENTER OF THE COUNTRY.     67
owning the population center. For some twenty years
it remained near Cincinnati, but during the '80s it went
as far as Columbus, Indiana, where it was at the last
Government census. At the present time it is probably
twenty or thirty miles west of Columbus, and in the near
future Fort Riley will be the population, as well as the
geographical, center.
Fort Riley is an interesting spot for civilian and soldier
alike. Having been selected by the Government as the
permanent training school for the two mounted branches
of the service—the cavalry and light artillery—its 21,000
acres have been improved at lavish expense. It seems
really remarkable that so metropolitan a bit of ground
could be found out on the plains, where, though civilization is making rapid strides, and the luxuries of wealth arc
being acquired by the advancing population, it is unusual
to find macadamized streets and buildings that can harbor a
regiment and still not be crowded. Yet such are some of
the characteristics of Fort Riley Reservation, and the
newness of it all is the best evidence of the interest the
War Department has taken in its development. Many of
the recently erected buildings would grace the capital
itself. Nearly $1,000,000 have been expended in the past
four years in new structures, all of magnesia limestone,
and built along the lines of the most approved modern
architecture, and of a character which insures scores of
years of usefulness.
The fort is situated on the left bank of the Kansas
River, near the junction of the Republican and Smoky
Hill Forks. It was first laid out in 1852, and has ever
since been one of the leading Western posts. Located,
though it is, far out on the Kansas prairies, it has, partic- 68
ularly in late years, been fully in touch with the social life
of the East, through the addition of new officers and the
interchange of post courtesies.
The post, as it stands to-day, consists of officers'
quarters, artillery and cavalry barracks, administration
buildings, sheds, hospital, dispensary, etc., scattered over
150 acres of ground. The Kansas River is formed just
southwest of it by the union of the Smoky Hill and Republican Forks, and the topography for practice and sightseeing could not be surpassed in the State. Five miles
of macadamized streets, 150,000 feet of stone and gravel
walks, six miles of sewers, four miles of water and steam
heating pipes, leading to every room of each of the sixty
buildings, make up the equipment, which is, of course, of
the highest quality throughout. All the stone is quarried
on the reservation, and is of lasting variety, and makes
buildings which bear a truly substantial appearance. The
Government has an idea toward permanency in its
The history of Fort Riley has been one of vicissitudes.
When it was laid out in 1852, it was at first called Camp
Center, but was changed to its present name by order of
the War Department in honor of General B. C. Riley. In
1855, the fort suffered from Asiatic cholera, and Major E.
A. Ogden, one of the original commissioners who laid out
the reservation, who was staying there, nursed the soldiers
with a heroic attachment to duty, and himself fell a victim
to the disease. A handsome monument marks his resting
place. He was a true soldier hero, and his name is still
spoken in reverence by the attaches of the post.
Another notable feature of the reservation is the dismantled rock wall to the east of the fort, which is all that IN THE CENTER OF THE COUNTRY.     69
now remains of the once ambitious capitol building of the
State of Kansas. It has a strange history, being the
* 'Pawnee House," in which the Territorial Legislature met
in the early ante-bellum days, confident of protection by
the soldiers from the roaming Indian bands infesting the
A famous dweller at the fort for two decades was old
Comanche, the only living creature to escape from the
Custer massacre on the side of the Government. He was
the horse ridden by an officer in that memorable fight, and
by miracle escaped, after having seven balls fired into him.
He was found roaming over the prairie, after the massacre,
and was ordered put on the retired list, and stationed at
Fort Riley, where for twenty years he was petted and
cared for, but never ridden. His only service was to be
led in processions of ceremony, draped in mourning. Now
that he is dead, his body has been preserved with the
taxidermist's best skill, and is one of the State's most
noted relics.
The fort has been of unusual interest of late. In
addition to the maneuvers of the school for mounted
service, in which the soldiers have been regularly drilled,
engaging in sham battles, throwing up mimic fortifications,
fording the rivers, etc., the War Signal Service has been
conducting some interesting experiments. The Signal
Service has had its huge balloon, which was exhibited at
the World's Fair, at the post, and its ascensions and the
operations put in practice have proved very attractive and
The new riding hall, or cavalry practice building, makes
it possible for the training school to go on the year round,
regardless of the weather.    It has an open floor space 300, 70
feet long and 100 feet wide, making it an admirable room
for the purpose.
The Fort Riley troops are always called on when there
is trouble in the West. They have put down a dozen
Indian uprisings on the plains, and only a few months ago
were sent for to keep order in Chicago during the railway
strikes. From this trip, four old members of the post
were brought back dead, having met their fate in the
bursting of a caisson, while marching along a paved street.
The fort is the great pleasure resort of Kansas. The late
commanding officer, Colonel Forsyth, now General Forsyth,
is much given to hospitality, and the people of the State
take great pride in the post's advancement and its victories.
During the summer, on several occasions, the national
holidays especially, the soldiers "receive," and excursion
trains bring hundreds of visitors from every direction,
who are delighted to feast their eyes on real cannon,
uniforms and shoulder straps. They are entertained
royally. Drills, salutes, sham battles and parades, occupy
every hour of the day, and in the evening the drill floor
becomes a dancing place for all who enjoy the delights of
a military ball.
The history of the fort has been, in a measure, that of
the Seventh Cavalry, which for nearly two decades has
had its residence there, and become identified with the
spot. The Seventh Cavalry dates its glory from before
the days of the intrepid Custer, whose memory it cherishes. It has taken part in scores of Indian battles—
indeed, there has not, for years, been an uprising in the
West in which it has not done duty. Its last considerable
encounter was at Wounded Knee and Drexel Mission,
where the Custer massacre was in a degree avenged.   Here   IN THE CENTER OF THE COUNTR Y.     73
it lost twenty-four of its members, and a magnificent
granite monument has been erected at the fort to their
memory. It bears the names of those who fell, and tells
briefly the story of their bravery.
In the Wounded Knee battle, on the plains of Dakota,
during the closing days of 1891, the four troops of the
regiment were treacherously surprised by the Sioux, and
because, after the attack, Colonel Forsyth ordered a charge,
resulting in the killing of many of the savages, he was
suspended by his superior officer, General Miles, for disobedience of orders, which were not to fire on the enemy.
An investigation, however, amply justified his action, and
he was reinstated in charge of his post as before. Early
in November, 1894, on the promotion of General McCook
to be Major General, Colonel Forsyth stepped up to the
Brigadier Generalship, and his place at Fort Riley will be
taken by Colonel Sumner. There is a rumor, however, in
army circles, that the old Seventh will be stationed in the
far Northwest, and the Fifth Cavalry will succeed it as
resident regiment here. The post has become so closely
identified with the fortunes of the former regiment that it
will seem strange to have any other troops call it home.
There are usually at the fort three squadrons of
cavalry, of four troops each, and five batteries of light
artillery, engaged in the maneuvers of the school for
mounted service, which has its headquarters for the entire
army here. The principal object of this school is instruction in the combined operations of the cavalry and light
artillery, and this object is kept steadily in view. The
troops of each arm form a sub-school, and are instructed
nine months in the year in their own arm, preparatory to
the  three   months  of   combined  operations.     Thus  the 74
batteries are frequently practiced in road marching in rapid
gaits; the Kansas River is often forded; rough: hills are
climbed at "double quick," and guns are brought to action
on all sorts of difficult ground, with the result that, when
the combined operations begin, the batteries may be
maneuvered over all kinds of obstacles.
Among the plans of the future is one, which was a
favorite with General Sheridan, of making Fort Riley the
horse-furnishing headquarters for the entire army. The
location being so central, it insures the nearest approach
to perfect acclimation of animals sent to any part of the
Union. Two plans are being contemplated for the accomplishment of this object. One is to make it a breeding
station; the other is to simply make it a purchasing station,
which shall buy of the farmers of the West the horses
needed by the army, and train the animals for regular use
before sending them to the various posts.
Present plans also include an increase in the number of
soldiers stationed at Fort Riley to 3,000. If the proposed
increase in the standing army is carried out, there may be
more than that. The Government evidently has faith in
the location of the fort. While it has abandoned and consolidated other stations, it has all the time been increasing
its expenditures here, and the estimates for the next year
aggregate expenditures of over $500,000, provided the
Appropriation Committee does its duty. There are plans
of still further beautifying the grounds, and the addition
of more turnpikes and macadamized roads.
The State of Kansas, and especially Geary and Riley
Counties, in which the fort is situated, reap a considerable
benefit from its location. The perishable produce of the
commissary department comes from the country around. IN THE CENTER OF THE COUNTRY.
Hundreds of horses are bought at round prices, while the
soldier trade has sent Junction City, four miles west,
ahead of all competitors in Central Kansas for volume of
business and population. Naturally, Kansas is glad to see
Fort Riley a permanency, and hopes that it may be made
the Government's chief Western post.
Kansas has been spoken of as the most wonderful
State in the Union, and in many respects it is fully entitled
to its reputation in this respect. It has had enough discouragements and drawbacks to ruin half a dozen States,
and nothing but the phenomenal fertility of the soil, and
the push and go of the pioneers who claim the State as
their own, has enabled Kansas to withstand difficulties,
and to sail buoyantly through waves of danger into harbors
of refuge. In its early days, border warfare hindered
development and drove many most desirable settlers to
more peaceful spots. Since then the prefix "Bleeding"
has again been used repeatedly in connection with the
State, because of the succession of droughts and plagues
of grasshoppers and chinch bugs, which have imperiled its
credit and fair name. But Kansas remains to-day a great
State, with a magnificent future before it. The fertility of
the soil is more than phenomenal. Kansas corn is known
throughout the world for its excellency, and at the World's
Fair in 1893 it took highest awards for both the white and
. yellow varieties. In addition to this, it secured the gold
medal for the best corn in the world, as' well as the highest
awards for red winter wheat flour, sorghum sugar and
apples. Indeed, Kansas soil produces almost anything to
perfection, and the State, thanks largely to works of irrigation in the extreme western section, is producing larger
quantities of indispensable agricultural products every year. 76
The very motto of the State indicates the early troubles
through which it went, the literal interpretation being "To
the stars (and stripes) through difficulties." The State
is generally known now as the "Sunflower State," and for
many years the sword has given place to the plowshare.
But the very existence of Fort Riley shows that this was
not always the condition of affairs. Early in the Eighteenth
Century, French fur-traders crossed over into Kansas, and,
later on, Spanish explorers were struck with the possibilities
of the fertile plains. Local Indian tribes were then at war,
but a sense of common danger caused the antagonistic red
men to unite, and the white immigrants were massacred in a
body. After the famous Missouri Compromise of 1820,
and the Kansas-Nebraska Act of thirty years later, the
slave issue became a very live one in Kansas, and for some
time the State was in a condition bordering upon civil
war. The convention of 1859, at Wyandotte, settled this
difficulty, and placed Kansas in the list of anti-slavery
Some ten years ago, after Kansas had enjoyed a period
of the most unique prosperity, from an agricultural standpoint, the general impression began to prevail that the
State was destined to become almost immediately the
greatest in the nation. Corn fields were platted out into
town sites, and additions to existing cities were arranged
in every direction. For a time it appeared as though there
was little exaggeration in the extravagant forecast of future
greatness. Town lots sold in a most remarkable manner,
many valuable corners increasing in value ten and twenty-
fold in a single night. The era of railroad building was
coincident with the town boom craze, and Eastern people
were so anxious to obtain a share of the enormous profits IN THE CENTER OF THE COUNTRY.     11
to be made by speculating in Kansas town lots, that
money was telegraphed to agents and banks all over the
State, and options on real estate were sold very much on
the plan adopted by traders in stocks and bonds in Wall
The greed of some, if not most, of the speculators, soon
killed the goose which laid the golden egg. The boom
burst in a most pronounced manner. People who had lost
their heads found them again, and many a farmer who had
abandoned agriculture in order to get rich by trading in
lots, went back to his plow and his chores, a sadder and
wiser, although generally poorer, man. Many hundreds of
thousands of dollars changed hands during the boom.
Exactly who "beat the game," to use the gambler's
expression, has never been known. Certain it is, that for
every man in Kansas who admits that he made money out
of the excitement and inflation, there are at least fifty who
say that the boom well-nigh ruined them.
Kansas is as large as Great Britain, larger than the
whole of New England combined, and a veritable empire
in itself. It is a State of magnificent proportions, and of
the most unique and delightful history. Three and a half
centuries ago, Coronado, the great pioneer prospector and
adventurer, hunted Kansas from end to end in search of
the precious metals which he had been told could be found
there in abundance. He wandered over the immense
stretch of prairies and searched along the creek bottoms
without finding what he sought. He speaks in his records
of "mighty plains and sandy heaths, smooth and wearisome and bare of wood. All the way the plains are as full
of crooked-back oxen as the mountain Serena in Spain
is of sheep." 78
These crooked-back oxen were of course buffaloes, or,
more correctly speaking, species of the American bison.
No other continent was ever blessed with a more magnificent and varied selection of beasts and birds in forests and
prairies than was North America. Kansas in particular
was fortunate in the possession of thousands of herds of
buffaloes. Now it has none, except a few in a domesticated
state, with their old regal glory departed forever. When we
read the reports of travelers and trappers, written little
more than half a century ago, and treating of the enormous
buffalo herds that covered the prairies as far as the eye
could reach, we wonder whether these descriptions can be
real, or whether they are not more in the line of fables
and the outgrowth of a too vivid imagination.
If, thirty years ago, some wiseacre had come forward
and predicted that it would become necessary to devise
means for the protection of this enormous amount of game,
he would have been laughed out of countenance. Yet this
extraordinary condition of affairs has actually come to pass.
Entire species of animals which belonged to the magnificent fauna of North America are already extinct or are
rapidly becoming so. The sea-cow is one of these animals :
the last specimens of which were seen in 1767 and 1768.
The Californian sea-elephant and the sea-dog of the West
Indies have shared a like fate. Not a trace of these
animals has been found for a long time. The extinction
of the Labrador duck and the great auk have often been
deplored. Both of these birds may be regarded as practically extinct. The last skeleton of the great auk was
sold for $600, the last skin for $650, and the last egg
brought the fabulous sum of $1,500.
Last, not least, the American bison is a thing of the past! rN THE CENTER OF THE COUNTRY.     79
It has been historically proven that at the time of the
discovery of America, the buffalo herds covered the entire
enormous territory from Pennsylvania to Oregon and
Nevada, and down to Mexico, and thirty years ago the
large emigrant caravans which traveled from the Eastern
States across the Mississippi to the gold fields of California,
met with herds of buffaloes, not numbering thousands, but
hundreds of thousands. The construction trains of the
first Pacific Railroad were frequently interrupted and
delayed by wandering buffalo herds.
To-day the United States may be traversed from end
to end, and not a single buffalo will be,seen, and nothing
remains to even indicate their presence but the deep, well-
trodden paths which they made years ago. Rain has not
been able to wash away these traces, and they are counted
among the "features" of the prairies, where the bisons once
roamed in undisturbed glory. It was a difficult task for the
Government to gather the last remnants, about 150 to 200
head, to stock Yellowstone Park with them, and to prevent
their complete extinction.
Undoubtedly, the buffalo was the most stupid animal
of the prairies. In small flocks, he eluded the hunter well
enough; but in herds of thousands, he cared not a whit for
the shooting at the flanks of his army. Any Indian or
trapper, stationed behind some shrubs or earth hill, could
kill dozens of buffalo without disturbing the herd by the
swish of the arrow, the report of the rifle, or the dying
groans of the wounded animals. A general stampede
ensued at times, which often led the herd into morasses,
or the quick-sand of the rivers, where they perished
miserably. The destruction was still greater when the
leader of the herd came upon some yawning abyss.   Those 80
behind drove him down into the deep, and the entire herd
followed blindly, only to be dashed to death.
The very stupidity of the bison helped to exterminate
the race, where human agency would have seemed well
nigh inadequate.
Among the large game of the continent, the bison was
the most important, and furnished the numerous Indian
tribes not only with abundant food, but other things as
well. They covered their tents with the thick skins, and
made saddles, boats, lassoes and shoes from them. Folded
up, they used them as beds, and wore them around their
shoulders as a protection against the winter's cold. Spoons
and other utensils for the household could be made from
their hoofs and horns, and their bones were shaped into all
kinds of arms and weapons. The life and existence of the
prairie Indian depended almost entirely upon that of the
buffalo. There is no doubt that the Indians killed many
buffaloes, but while the damage may have been great,
there was not much of a reduction noti'ceable in their
numbers, for the buffalo cow is an enormous breeder.
Conditions were changed, however, when the white
man arrived with his rifle, settled down on the shores of
the Atlantic Ocean, and began to drive the aborigines of
the American continent further and further West. With
this crowding back of the Indians began that also of the
buffalo, and the destruction of the latter was far more
rapid than that of the former.
It was about the middle of the Seventeenth Century
when the first English colonists climbed the summits of the
Allegheny Mountains. Enormous herds of buffalo grazed
then in Western Pennsylvania, Ohio, Indiana, Illinois,
Tennessee,   and  in   the   famous   blue   grass  regions  of ^w   -
Kentucky. How fast the buffaloes became exterminated
may best be illustrated by the fact that, at the beginning
of the present century, the bison had entirely disappeared
from tbe-eastera banks of the Mississippi. A few isolated
herds could be found in Kentucky in 1792. In 1814 the
animal had disappeared in Indiana and Illinois. When the
white settlers crossed the Mississippi, to seek connection
with the territories on the Pacific coast, the buffalo
dominion, once so vast, decreased from year to year, and
finally it was split in two and divided into a northern and
southern strip. The cause of this division was the California overland emigration, the route of which followed
the Kansas and Platte Rivers, cutting through the center
of the buffalo regions. These emigrants killed hundreds
of thousands of animals, and the division became still
greater after the completion of the Union Pacific line and
the settlement of the adjacent districts.
The buffaloes of the southern strip were the first to be
exterminated, particularly when the building of the Atchison, Topeka & Santa Fe Railroad facilitated entrance to
the southern range.
Aside from the pleasure and excitement from a buffalo
hunt, the yield was a rich one, and troops of hunters
swarmed over the Western prairies; buffalo hunting
became an industry which gave employment to thousands
of people. But human avarice knew no bounds, and
massacred senselessly the finest game with which this
continent was stocked. The dimensions to which this
industry grew may best be guessed when it is stated that
in 1872 more than 100,000 buffaloes were killed near Fort
Dodge in three months. During the summer of 1874, an
expedition   composed   of   sixteen   hunters   killed   2,800 82
buffaloes, and during that same season one young trapper
boasted of having killed 3,000 animals. The sight of such
a slaughter scene was gruesome to behold. Colonel Dodge
writes of it: "During the fall of 1873 I rode across the
prairie, where a year ago I had hunted several herds. At
the time we enjoyed the aspect of a myriad of buffaloes,
which were grazing peacefully over the prairies. Now we
rode past myriads of decaying cadavers and skeletons,
which filled the air with an insufferable stench. The broad
plain which, a year ago, had teemed with animals, was
nothing more than a dead, foul desert." :^ri
Mr. Blackmore, another traveler, who went through
Kansas at about the same time, says that he counted, on
four acres of ground, no less than sixty-seven buffalo
carcasses. As was to be expected, this wholesale and,
indeed, wanton slaughter brought its own reward and
condemnation. The price of buffalo skins dropped to
50 cents, although as much as $3.00 had been paid regularly
for them. Moreover, as the number of animals killed
was greater than could be removed, the decaying carcasses
attracted wolves, and even worse foes, to the farmyard,
and terrible damage to cattle resulted.
The Indians also were disturbed. "Poor Lo " complained of the wanton and senseless killing of the principal
means of his sustenance, and when the white man with a
laugh ignored these complaints, the Indians got on the
war-path, attacked settlements, killed cattle and stole provisions, thus giving rise to conflicts, which devoured not
only enormous sums of money, but cost the lives of
thousands of people. When the locust plague swept over
the fields of Kansas and destroyed the entire crop, the
settlers  themselves  hungered   for  the  buffalo   meat   of IN THE CENTER OF THE COUNTRY.     83
which they had robbed themselves, and vengeance came in
more ways than one.
The extermination of the buffalo of the southern range
was completed about 1875 ; to the bisons of the northern
range were given a few years' grace. But the same scenes
which were enacted in the South, repeated themselves in the
North, and the white barbarians were not satisfied until they
had killed the last of the noble game in 1885. When the
massacre was nearly over, a few isolated herds were collected and transported to Yellowstone Park, where they
have increased to about 400 during the last few years,
protected by the hunting laws, which are strictly enforced.
With the exception of a very few specimens, tenderly
nursed by some cattle raisers in Kansas and Texas, and
in some remote parts of British America, these are the
last animals of a species, which two decades ago wandered
in millions over the vast prairies of the West. CHAPTER  V.
The Pilgrimage Across the Bad Lands to Utah—Incidents of the
March—Success of the New Colony — Religious Persecutions—
Murder of an Entire Family—The Curse of Polygamy—An Ideal
City—Humors of Bathing in Great Salt Lake.
BBOUT half a century ago one of the most remarkable
pilgrimages of modern times took place. Across
what was then, not inaptly, described by writers as an arid
and repulsive desert, there advanced a procession of the most
unique and awe-inspiring character. History tells us of
bands of crusaders who tramped across Europe in order to
rescue the Holy Land from tyrants and invaders. On that
occasion, all sorts and conditions of men were represented,
from the religious enthusiast, to the ignorant bigot, and
from the rich man who was sacrificing his all in the cause
that he believed to be right, to the tramp and ne'er-do-well,
who had allied himself with that cause for revenue only.
But the distance traversed by the crusaders six or seven
hundred years ago was insignificant compared with the distance traversed by the pilgrims to whom we are referring.
In addition to this, the country to be crossed presented
difficulties of a far more startling and threatening character.
There was before them a promised land in the extreme
distance, but there intervened a tract of land which
seemed as impassable a barrier as the much talked-of, but
seldom inspected, Chinese Wall of old.    There was a region
of desolation and death, extending from the Sierra Nevadas
to the border lines of Nebraska, and from the Yellowstone
to the Colorado Rivers. A profane writer once suggested
that the same Creator could hardly have brought into
existence this arid, barren and inhospitable region and the
fertile plains and beautiful mountains which surrounded it
on all sides.
Civilization and irrigation have destroyed the most
awful characteristics of this region, but at the time to
which we are referring, it was about as bad from the
standpoint of humanity and human needs as could well be
imagined. Here and there, there were lofty mountains
and deep canons, as there are now, but the immense plains,
which occupy the bulk of the land, were unwatered and
uncared for, giving forth volumes of a penetrating alkali
dust, almost as injurious to human flesh as to human attire.
Here and there, there were, of course, little oases of
comparative verdure, which were regarded by unfortunate
travelers not only as havens of refuge, but as little heavens
in the midst of a sea of despair. The trail across the
desert, naturally, ran through as many as possible of these
successful efforts of nature to resist decay, and along the
trail there were to be found skeletons and ghastly remains
of men whose courage had exceeded their ability, and who
had succumbed to hunger and thirst in this great, lonesome
That no one lived in this region it would seem superfluous to state. Occasionally a band of Indians would
traverse it in search of hunting grounds beyond, though,
as a general rule, the red man left the country severely
alone, and made no effort to dispute the rights of the
coyotes and buzzards  to sole  possession. 86
Along the trail mentioned, there advanced at the period
to which we have referred, a procession which we have
likened, in some respects, to the advance of the crusaders
in mediaeval days. Those who happened to see it pass
described this cavalcade as almost beyond conception.
The first impression from a distance was that an Immense
herd of buffalo were advancing and creating the cloud of
dust, which seemed to rise from the bare ground and mount
to the clouds. As it came nearer, and the figures became
more discernible, it was seen that the caravan was headed
by a band of armed horsemen. The animals were jaded and
fatigued, and walked with their heads low down and their
knees bent out of shape and form. Their riders seemed as
exhausted as the animals themselves, and they carried their
dust-begrimed guns in anything but military fashion.
Behind them came hundreds, nay, thousands, of wagons,
of all shapes and builds, some of them entirely open and
exposed, and others protected more or less by canvas tilts.
These wagons seemed to stretch back indefinitely into
space, and even when there was no undulation of the
surface to obstruct the view, the naked eye could not determine to any degree the length of the procession. Near
the front of the great cavalcade was a wagon different in
build and appearance to any of the others. It was handsomely and even gaudily decorated, and it was covered in
so carefully that its occupants could sleep and rest as
secure from annoyance by the dust as though they were in
bed at home.
Instead of two broken-down horses, six well-fed and
well-watered steeds were attached to the wagon, and it was
evident that no matter how short had been the supply of
food and water, the horses and occupants of this particular THE MORMONS AND THEIR WIVES.      87
conveyance had had everything they desired. The occupant of this wagon was a man who did not look to be more
than thirty years of age, • but whose face and manner
indicated that he was in the habit of being obeyed rather
than obeying. A great portion of his time was occupied
in reading from a large vellum-bound book, but from time
to time he laid it on one side to settle disputes which had
arisen among some of his ten thousand followers, or to
issue orders of the most emphatic and dogmatic character.
This man was Brigham Young, the successor of Joseph
Smith, and the chosen Prophet of the Mormons, who were
marching across the desert in search of the promised land,
which they were informed had been set aside for their
purpose by the Ruler of the Universe.
We need not follow the fortunes and misfortunes of
the zealous, if misguided, men and families who followed
their leader across the great unwatered and almost unexplored desert. No one knows how many fell by the
wayside and succumbed to hunger, exhaustion or disease.
The bulk of the column, however, persevered in the march,
and, through much sadness and tribulation, finally arrived
at a country which, while it was not then by any means up
to expectation or representation, at least presented facilities
and opportunities for living. When the great valleys of
Utah were reached, men who a few months before had
been strong and hardy, but who now were lank and lean,
fell on their knees and offered up thanksgiving for their
deliverance, while the exhausted women and children sought
repose and rest, which had been denied them for so many
long, wearisome days.
But there was no time to be wasted in rejoicings over
achievements, or regrets over  losses.     The  virgin   acres 88
before them were theirs for the asking, or rather taking,
and the Mormon colony set to work at once to parcel out
the land and to commence the building of homes. Whatever may be said against the religious ideas of these
pilgrims, too much credit cannot be given them for the
business-like energy which characterized their every movement. A site was selected for what is now known as
Salt Lake City. Broad streets were laid out, building
plans and rules adopted, and every arrangement made for
the construction of a handsome and symmetrical city.
Houses, streets and squares appeared almost by magic, and
in a very few weeks quite a healthy town was built up.
Those who in more Eastern regions had learned different
trades were set to work at callings of their choice, and for
those who were agriculturally disposed, farms were mapped
out and reserved.
Fortunately for the newcomers, industry was a watchword among them, and a country which had been up to
that time a stranger to the plow and shovel was drained
and ditched, and very speedily planted to corn and wheat.
So fertile did this so-called arid ground prove to be, that
one year's crop threw aside all fears of further poverty, and
prosperity began to reign supreme. Had the Mormons
confined themselves to work, and had abandoned extreme
religious and social ideas, impossible in an enlightened age
and country, they would have risen long before this into an
impregnable position in every respect.
But polygamy, hitherto restrained and checked by
laws of Eastern States and Territories, was now indulged in
indiscriminately. The more wives a member of the
Mormon church possessed, the greater was his standing in
the community.    The man who had but two or three wives  flff THE MORMONS AND THEIR WIVES.      91
was censured for nis want of enthusiasm, and he was frequently fined heavily by the church, which was not above
levying fines, and. thus licensing alleged irregularities.
Some of the elders had more than a hundred wives each,
and these were maintained under relations of a most
peculiar character.
At first the polygamous tenents of the church did not
cause much comment on the outside, because the Mormons
were so shut off from civilization that they seemed to
occupy a little world of their own, and no one claimed the
right to censure or interfere with them. Gradually, however, there became a shortage of marriageable women, and
© © '
this resulted in mvsterious raids being made on neighboring
v © © ©
settlements. Wanderers upon the mountains spoke with
horror of mysterious tribes of men who wandered around
engaged in acts of plunder, and from time to time strange
women appeared in the towns and settlements.
Like so many other bands of persecuted men who had
fled from their oppressors in search of liberty, the early
Mormons soon adopted the tactics of which they had complained so bitterly. The man who refused to obey the
orders of the church, or who was in any way rebellious,
was apt to disappear from his home without warning or
explanation. He was not arrested or tried; he was simply
spirited away, and no mark or sign proclaimed his last
resiing j lure. The Danite Band, or the Avenging Angels,
came into existence, and some of their terrible deeds have
contributed dark pages to the history of our native land.
It is not to be supposed that acts such as these were
approved indiscriminately by the newcomers. Occasionally
a mild protest would be uttered, but it seemed as though
the very walls had ears, for even if a man in the bosom of
•6 92
his family criticised the conduct of the church, his doom
appeared to be sealed, and he generally disappeared within
a few days. Occasionally a family would attempt to escape
from Utah, in order to avoid compliance with laws and
orders which they believed to be criminal in character, as
well as contrary to their preconceived notions of domestic
happiness and right. To make an attempt of this character
was to invite death. In the first place, it was almost
impossible to traverse the surrounding mountains and
deserts, and even if these natural obstacles were overcome,
the hand of the avenger was constantly uplifted against „
the fugitives, who were blotted off the face of the earth, on
the theory that dead men tell no tales.
On one occasion, a man left his home in Utah in the
way described, because he declined to bring home a second
wife. Brigham Young, in the course of his pastoral calls,
entered the comfortable house occupied by the family, and
called upon the man to introduce to him his wives. He
was one of the few men who, while in every other respect
a zealous Mormon, had declined to break up his family
relations by bringing a young wife into his home. The
mother of his children informed the Prophet with much
vehemence of this fact, and in words more noble than
discreet assured him that no effort of his could disturb the
domestic relations of the house, or make her husband
untrue to vows he had taken twenty years before.
The Prophet was too astounded to lose his temper, but
turning to the happy husband and father, he told him in
stentorian tones that unless within one month he complied
with the orders of the church, it would have been better
for him had he never been born, or had he died while on
the terrible march across the Bad Lands and  the   alkali THE MORMONS AND THEIR WIVES.      93
desert. That the Prophet was in earnest was evidenced by
the arrival the following day of some of his minions, who
brought with them more explicit directions, as well as the
names of certain young women to whom the man must be
"sealed" or "married" within the time mentioned by
No idea of complying with this order ever occurred to
the head of the house. He knew that his wife would far
rather die than be dishonored, and he himself was perfectly willing to sacrifice his life rather than his honor.
But for the sake of his four children he determined to
make an attempt to escape, and accordingly, a few days
later, the family, having collected together all their
available and easily transported assets, hitched up their
wagon and drove away in the dead of night. Their departure in this manner was not expected, and was not discovered
for nearly forty-eight hours, during which time the
refugees had made considerable progress over the surrounding mountains. They maintained their march for nearly a
week, without incident, and were congratulating themselves
upon their escape, when the disaster which they had feared
overtook them.
They were camped by the side of a little stream in a fertile valley, and all were sleeping peacefully but the elder boy,
who was acting as sentinel. His attention was first called
to danger by the uneasiness displayed by the horses, which,
by their restless manner and sudden anxiety, showed that
instinct warned them of an approaching party. Without
wasting a moment's time, the young man hastily aroused
the sleepers, who prepared to abandon their camp and seek
refuge in the adjoining timber. They had barely reached
cover  when a  party   of  mounted   armed  men  rode  up. 94
Finding a deserted camp, they separated, and commenced
to scour the surrounding country. One of the number
soon came upon the retreating family, but before he could
cover them with his rifle he had been shot dead by the
infuriated father, who was determined to resist to the
uttermost the horrible fate which now stared them in the
The noise was taken by the other searchers as a signal
to them that the hunted family had been found, and
knowing that this would be so, the man and his sons
hurried the woman and younger children to a secluded spot
at a little distance, and seeking convenient cover determined to make a desperate effort to protect those for
whose safety they were responsible. Unfortunately for
the successful carrying out of this plan, the. helpless
section of the party was discovered first. The avenging
party then divided up into two sections, one of which
dragged away the woman and her young children, and the
others went in search of the man and his two sons. They
speedily found them, and in the fight which followed two
lives were lost on both sides.
The oldest son of the escaping party was wounded and
left for dead. Several hours later consciousness returned
to him, and the first sight that met his gaze was the dead
bodies of his father and brother. A chance was offered
him to escape, but weak as he was from loss of blood, he
determined to follow up the kidnaping party, forming the
desperate resolve that if he could not rescue his mother
and sisters, he would at least save them from the horrible
fate that he knew awaited them. This resolve involved
his death, for he was no match for the men he was contending against.    No grave was ever dug for his remains, THE MORMONS AND THEIR WIVES.     95
and no headstone tells the story of his noble resolution and
his intrepid effort to carry it into execution.
There were hundreds, and probably thousands, of
similar incidents, and Mormonism proved a sad drawback
to the happiness of a people who otherwise had before
them prospects of a most delightful character. Brigham
Young proved a marvelous success as a ruler. He had
eighteen wives and an indefinite number of children, estimates concerning the number of which vary so much that
it is best not to give any of them. It is generally stated
and understood that the so-called revelation calling upon
the chosen people to practice polygamy, was an invention
•on the part of Young, designed to cover up his own immorality, and to obtain religious sanction for improper
relationships he had already built up. However this may
De, it is certain that polygamy had a serious blow dealt at it
hy the death of its ardent champion. Since then stern
federal legislation has resulted in the practical suppression
•of the crime, and in recent years the present head of the
church has officially declared the practice to be improper,
and the habit dead. £$*•?
Brigham Young's grave, of which we give an illustration, has been visited from time to time by countless
pleasure and sight-seekers. Like the man, it is unique in
every respect. It is situated in the Prophet's private
burial ground, which was surveyed and laid out by him with
special care. He even went so far as to select the last
Testing place for each of his eighteen wives, and so careful
was he over these details that the honor of resting near him
was given to each wife in order of the date of her being
"sealed" to him, in accordance with the rites and laws of
the church.    Most of the Mrs. Youngs have been buried 96
according to arrangements made, but all of the remarkable
aggregation of wives has not yet been disposed of in the
manner desired. The Prophet's favorite wife, concerning-
whose relationship to Mrs. Grover Cleveland there has
been so much controversy, was named Amelia Folsom.
! For her special comfort the Prophet built the Amelia.
Palace, one of the most unique features of Salt Lake City.
Here the lady lived for several years.
Let us leave the unpleasant side of Mormon history and.
see what the zealous, if misguided, people have succeeded
in accomplishing. Salt Lake City, which was originally
settled by Brigham Young and his followers in July, 1847,
is perhaps the most uniform city in the world so far as its
plans are concerned. The original settlers laid out the
city in squares ten acres large. Instead of streets sixty
and eighty feet wide, as are too common in all our crowded
cities, a uniform width of 130 feet was adopted, with more
satisfactory results. In the original portion of the city
these wide streets are a permanent memorial to the forethought of the early Mormons. The shade trees they
planted are now magnificent in their proportions, and along
each side of the street there runs a stream of water of"
exquisite clearness. There is very little crowding in the
way of house-building. Each house in the city is surrounded by a green lawn, a garden and an orchard, so that,
poverty and squalor of the slum type is practically unknown.
The communistic idea of homes in common, which has
received so much attention of late years, was not adopted
by the founders of this city, who, however, took excellent
precautions to stamp out loafing, begging and other accompaniments of what may be described as professional,
pauperism. THE MORMONS AND THEIR WIVES.      97
Within thirty years of the building of the first house in
Salt Lake City, which, by the way, is still standing, the
number of inhabitants ran up to 20,000. It is now probably more than 50,000, and the city stands thirty-first
in the order of those whose clearing-house returns are
reported and compared weekly. Hotels abound on every
side, and benevolent institutions and parks are common.
Churches, of course, there are without number, and now
that the Government has interfered in the protection of
so-called Gentiles, almost all religious sects are represented.
No description of the Mormon Temple can convey a
reasonable idea of its grandeur. Six years after the arrival
of the pilgrims at Salt Lake City, or in 1853, work was
commenced on this immense structure, upon which at least
$7,000,000 have been expended. Its length is 200 feet, its
width 100 feet, and its height the same. At each corner
there is a tower 220 feet high. The thickness of the walls
is 10 feet, and these are built of snow-white granite. So
conspicuous and massive is this building, that it can be seen
from the mountains fifty and even a hundred miles away.
The Tabernacle, which is in the same square as the
Temple, and just west of it, is aptly described by Mr. P.
Donan as one of the architectural curios of the world.
It looks like a vast terrapin back, or half of a prodigious
egg-shell cut in two lengthwise, and is built wholly of iron,
glass and stone. It is 250 feet long, 150 feet wide, and
100 feet high in the center of the roof, which is a single
mighty arch, unsupported by pillar or post, and is said to
Iiave but one counterpart on the globe. The walls are
12 feet thick, and there are 20 huge double doors for
entrance and exit. The Tabernacle seats 13,462 people,
and its acoustic properties are so marvelously perfect that a 98
whisper or the dropping of a pin can be heard all over it.
The organ is one of the largest and grandest toned in
existence, and was built of native woods, by Mormon
workmen and artists, at a cost of $100,000. It is 58 feet
high, has 57 stops, and contains 2,648 pipes, some of them
nearly as large as the chimneys of a Mississippi River
The choir consists of from 200 to 500 trained voices,
and the music is glorious beyond description. Much of
it is in minor keys, and a strain of plaintiveness mingles
with all its majesty and power. All the seats are free,
and tourists from all parts of the world are to be found
among the vast multitudes that assemble at every service.
Think of seeing the Holy Communion broken bread, and
water from the Jordan River, instead of wine, administered
to from 6,000 to 8,000 communicants at one time! One
can just fancy the old-time Mormon elders marching in,
each followed by his ^.ve or twenty-five wives and his fifty
or a hundred children.
Close by is Assembly Hall, also of white granite, and of
Gothic architecture. It has seats for 2,500 people, and is
most remarkable for the costly fresco work on the ceiling,
which illustrates scenes from Mormon history, including
the alleged discovery of the golden plates and their delivery
to Prophet Smith by the Angel Moroni.
All around this remarkable city are sights of surpassing
beauty. Great Salt Lake itself ought to be regarded as
one of the wonders of the world. Although an inland sea,
with an immense area intervening between it and the
nearest ocean, its waters are much more brackish and salty
than those of either the Atlantic or the Pacific, and its
specific gravity is far greater.     Experts tell us that the THE MORMONS AND THEIR WIVES.     99
percentage of salt and soda is six times as great as in the
waters of the Atlantic, and one great advantage of living
in its vicinity is the abundance of good, pure salt, which is
produced by natural evaporation on its banks. It would
be interesting, if it were possible, to explain why it is that
the water is so salty. Various reasons have been advanced
from time to time for this phenomenon, but none of them
are sufficiently practical or tangible to be of great interest
to the unscientific reader.
It is just possible that this wonderful lake may in course
of time disappear entirely. Some years ago its width was
over 40 miles on an average, and its length was very much
greater. Now it barely measures 100 miles from end to end
and the width varies from 10 to 60 miles. In the depth the
gradual curtailment has been more apparent. At one time
the average depth was many hundred feet, and several
soundings of 1,000 feet were taken, with the result reported,
in sailors' parlance, of "No bottom." At the present time
the depth varies from 40 to 100 feet, and appears to be
lessening steadily, presumably because of the extraordinary
deposit of solid matter from the very dense waters with
which it is filled.
The lake is a bathers' paradise, and the arrangements
for bathing from Garfield Beach are like everything else in
the land of the Mormons, extraordinary to a degree. In
one year there were nearly half a million bathers accommodated at the four principal resorts, and so rapidly are these
bathing resorts and establishments multiplied, that the day
is not distant when every available site on the eastern shore
of the lake will be appropriated for the purpose. As a
gentleman who has bathed in this lake again and again
says, it seems preposterous to speak of the finest sea-bath- 100
ing on earth a thousand miles from the ocean, although the
bathing in Great Salt Lake infinitely surpasses anything of
the kind on either the Atlantic or Pacific coasts.
The water contains many times more salt, and much
more soda, sulphur, magnesia, chlorine, bromine and
potassium than any ocean water on the globe. It is powerful in medicinal virtues, curing or benefiting many forms
of rheumatism, rheumatic gout, dyspepsia, nervous disorders and cutaneous diseases, and it acts like magic on the
hair of those unfortunates whose tendencies are to bald-
headedness. It is a prompt and potent tonic and invigorant
of body and mind, and then there is no end of fun in
getting acquainted with its peculiarities. A first bath in it
is always as good as a circus, the bather being his or her
own trick mule. The specific gravity is but a trifle less
than that of the Holy Land Dead Sea.
The human body will not and cannot sink in it. You
can walk out in it where it is fifty feet deep, and your body
will stick up out of it like a fishing-cork from the shoulders
upward. You can sit down in it perfectly secure where it
is fathoms deep. Men lie on top of it with their arms
under their heads and smoking cigars. Its buoyancy is
indescribable and unimaginable. Any one can float upon
it at the first trial; there is nothing to do but lie down
gently upon it and float.
But swimming is an entirely different matter. The
moment you begin to "paddle your own canoe," lively and
— to the lookers-on—mirth-provoking exercises ensue.
When you stick your hand under to make a stroke your
feet decline to stay anywhere but on top; and when, after
an exciting tussle with your refractory pedal extremities,
you again get them beneath the surface, your hands fly out THE MORMONS AND THEIR WIVES.    101
with the splash and splutter of a half-dozen flutter wheels.
If, on account of your brains being heavier than your
heels, you chance to turn a somersault, and your head goes
under, your heels will pop up like a pair of frisky, dapper
You cannot keep more than one end of yourself under
Water at once, but you soon learn how to wrestle with its
novelties, and then it becomes a thing of beauty and a joy
for any summer day. The water is delightful to the skin,
every sensation is exhilarating, and one cannot help feeling
in it like a gilded cork adrift in a jewel-rimmed bowl of
champagne punch. In the sense of luxurious ease with
which it envelops the bather, it is unrivaled on earth.
The only approximation to it is in the phosphorescent
waters of the Mosquito Indian coast.
The water does not freeze until the thermometric
mercury tumbles down to eighteen degrees above zero, or
fourteen below the ordinary freezing point. It is clear as
crystal, with a bottom of snow-white sand, and small
objects can be distinctly seen at a depth of twenty feet.
There is not a fish or any other living thing in all the 2,500
to 3,000 square miles of beautiful and mysterious waters,
except the yearly increasing swarms of summer bathers.
Not a shark, or a stingaree, to scare the timid swimmer or
floater; not a minnow, or a frog, a tadpole, or a pollywog
—nothing that lives, moves, swims, crawls or wiggles. It
is the ideal sea-bathing place of the world. CHAPTER VI.
A History of the Indian Nation — Early Struggles of Oklahoma
Boomers—Fight between Home-Seekers and Soldiers—Scenes at
the Opening of Oklahoma Proper—A Miserable Night on the
Prairie—A Race for Homes—Lawlessness in the Old Indian
©KLAHOMA, the youngest of our Territories, is in
many respects also the most interesting. Many
people confound Oklahoma Territory with the Indian Territory, but the two are separate and distinct, the former
enjoying Territorial Government, while the latter, unfortunately, is in a very anomalous condition, so far as the
making and enforcing of laws is concerned.
Up to within a few years Oklahoma was a part of what
was then the "Indian Territory." Now it has been
separated from what may be described as its original
parent, and is entirely distinct. It contains nearly 40,000
square miles, and has a population of about a quarter of a
million, exclusive cf about 18,000 Indians. It contains
more than twice as many people to the square mile as
many of the Western States and Territories, and is in a
condition of thriving prosperity, which is extraordinary,
when its extreme youth as a Territory is considered.
In   1888, Oklahoma  was  the  largest  single body  of
unimproved land capable of cultivation in the Southwest. *
It was nominally farmed by Indian tribes, but the natural
productiveness of  the soil, and  the immense amount of
land at their disposal, cultivated habits of indolence, and
there was a grievous and even sinful waste of fertility.
To the south was. Texas, and on the jiorth, Kansas, both
rich, powerful and wealthy States. The Indian possessions
lying between disturbed the natural growth and trend of
Seen from car windows only, the country appeared
inviting to the eye. It was known, from reports of
traders, to have all  the elements of agricultural wealth.
And this made the land-hungry man hungrier.
The era of the "boomer" began; and the "boomer"
did not stop until he had inserted an opening wedge, in the
shape of the purchase and opening to settlement of a vast
area right in the heart of the prairie wilderness. When
the first opening took place it seemed as though the supply
would be in excess of the demand. Not so. Every acre—
good, bad, or indifferent—was gobbled up, and, like as
from an army of Oliver Twists, the cry went up for more.
Then the Iowa and Pottawatomie reservations were placed
on the market. They lasted a day only, and the still unsatisfied crowd began another agitation. Resultant of this,
a third bargain-counter sale took place. The big Cheyenne
and Arapahoe country was opened for settlement. Immigrants poured in, and now every quarter-section that is
tillable there has its individual occupant and owner.
But still on the south border of Kansas there camped
a landless and homeless multitude. They looked longingly
over the fertile prairies of the Cherokee Strip country,
stirred the camp-fire embers emphatically, and sent
another dispatch to Washington asking for a chance
to get in. Congress heard at last, and in the fall of
1893   the   congestion   was   relieved. 104
The scenes attending the wild scramble from all sides
of the Strip are a matter of history and do not require
repetition. Five million acres were quickly taken by
30,000 farmers.
•The old proverb or adage, which states that the man
who makes two blades of grass grow where one grew before
is a public benefactor, would seem to proclaim that Oklahoma is peopled with philanthropists, for the sturdy
pioneers who braved hardship and ridicule in order to
obtain a foothold in this promised land, have, in five or six
years, completely changed the appearance of the country.
A larger proportion of ground in this youthful Territory
shows that it is a sturdy infant, and it is doubtful whether
in any part of the United States there has been more
economy in land, or a more rapid use made of opportunities
so bountifully provided by nature.
Truth is often much stranger than fiction, and the story
of the invasion of Oklahoma reads like one long romance.
Many men lost their lives in the attempt, some few dying by
violence, and many others succumbing to disease brought
about by hardship. Many of the men who started the
agitation to have Oklahoma opened for settlement by white
citizens.are still alive, and some of them have had their
heart's desire fulfilled, and now occupy little homes they
have built in some favorite nook and corner of their much
loved, and at one time grievously coveted, country.
Oklahoma came into the possession of the Seminole
Indians by the ordinary process, and remained their
alleged home until about thirty years ago. In 1866, the
country was ceded to the United States Government for
-a consideration, and in 1873, it was surveyed by Federal
officers, and  section  lines established  according  to  law. THE INVASION OF OKLAHOMA
It was the natural presumption that this expense was
incurred with a view to the immediate opening of the
Territory for settlement. For various reasons, more or
less valid, and more or less the result of influence and
possible corruption, the actual opening of the country was
deferred for more than twenty years after its cession to
the United States Government, and in the meantime it
occupied a peculiar condition. Immense herds of cattle
were pastured on it, and bad men and outlaws from various
sections of the country awoke reminiscences of biblical
stories about cities of refuge by squatting upon it, making
a living by hunting and indifferent agriculture, and resting
secure from molestation from officers of the law.
To remedy this anomaly, and to secure homes for themselves and families in what was reported to be one of the
most fertile tracts in the world, Captain Payne and a
number of determined men organized themselves into
colonies. There has always been a mania for new land,
and many people are never happy unless they are keeping
pace with the invasion of civilization into hitherto unknown
and unopened countries. Many who joined the Payne
movement were doubtless roving spirits of this character,
but the majority of them were bona fide home-seekers,
who believed as citizens of this country they had a right to
quarter-sections in the promised land, and who were
determined to enforce those rights.
No matter, however, what were the motives of the
"boomers," as they were called from the first, it is certain
that they went to work in a business-like manner, planned
a regular invasion, and formed a number of colonies or
small armies for the purpose.
We will follow the fortune of one of these colonies in -
order to show what extraordinary difficulties they went
through, and how much more there is in heaven and earth
than is dreamt of in our humdrum philosophy. The town
of Caldwell, on the southern line of Kansas, was the camp
from which the first colonists started. It consisted of about
forty men, and about 100 women and children. Each
family provided itself with such equipment and conveniences
as the scanty means at disposal made possible. A prairie
schooner, or a wagon with a covering to protect the
inmates from the weather and secure a certain amount of
privacy for the women and children, was an indispensable
item. When the advance was made, there were forty such
covered wagons, each drawn by a pair of horses or mules,
and each containing such furniture as the family possessed.
The more fortunate ones also had in the wagons certain
material to be used in building the little hut, which was te
be their home until they could earn enough to build a more
pretentious residence. fSfjjB
Eye witnesses describe the starting of the colony as one
of the most remarkable sights ever witnessed. The wagons
advanced in single file, and some few of the men rode on
horseback in order to act as advance guides to seek suitable camping grounds, and to protect the occupants of the
wagons from attack. In some cases one or two cows were
attached by halters to the rear of the wagons, and there
were several dogs which evidently entered heartily into the
spirit of the affair. The utmost confidence prevailed, and
hearty cheers were given as the cavalcade crossed the
Kansas State line and commenced its long and dreary
march through the rich blue grass of the Cherokee Strip.
The journey before the home-seekers was about 100
miles, and at the slow rate of progress they were compelled   THE INVASION OF OKLAHOMA.
to make, it was necessarily a long and arduous task.
Some few of the women were a little nervous, but the
majority had thoroughly fallen in with the general feeling
and were enthusiastic in the extreme. The food they had
with them was sufficient for immediate needs, and when
they camped for the night, the younger members of the
party generally succeeded in adding to the larder by hunting and fishing:.
We have all heard of invading armies being allowed to
proceed on their march unmolested only to be treated with
additional severity on arriving at the enemies' camp. So
it was with the colonists. They got through with very
little difficulty, and no one took the trouble to interfere
with their progress. Men who had been in the promised
land for the purpose, had located a suitable spot for the
formation of the proposed colony, and here the people
were directed. One of the party had some knowledge of
land laws, and after a long hunt he succeeded in locating
one of the section corners established by the recent
Government survey. This being done, quarter-sections
were selected by each of the newcomers, and work commenced with a will. Tents and huts were put up as
rapidly as possible, and before a week had passed the
newcomers were fairly well settled. They even selected a
town site and built castles in the air of a most remarkable
That they were monarchs of all they surveyed seemed
to be obvious, and for some weeks their right there was
none to dispute. Then by degrees the cowboys who were
herding cattle in the neighborhood began to drop hints of
possible interference, and while these suggestions were
being   discussed   a   company   of   United   States   troops
7 110
suddenly appeared. With very little explanation they
arrested every man in the colony for treason and conspiracy, and proceeded to drive the colonists out of the
country. The men were compelled to hitch up their
horses, and, succumbing to force of numbers, the colonists
sadly and wearily advanced to Fort Reno, where they were
turned over to the authorities. After being kept in confinement for five days they were released, and told to get
back into Kansas as rapidly as possible. Government
officials saw that the order was carried out, and then left
the colonists to themselves.
The men lost no time in making up their minds to
organize a second attempt to establish homes for their
families, and once more they made the march. A bitter
disappointment awaited them, for they found that their
cabins had all been destroyed and they had to commence
work over again. This they did, and they had scarcely got
themselves comfortable when another small detachment
of troops arrived to turn them out. The men were tied
by means of ropes to the tail-ends of Wagons, and driven
like cattle across the prairie to the military fort. For a
third time they conducted an invasion, and for the third
time they were attacked by Government troops.
A spirit of determination had, however, come over the
men in the interval, and an attempt was made to resist the
onslaught of the soldiers. The Lieutenant in charge was
astonished at the attitude assumed, and did not care to
assume the responsibility of ordering his men to fire, as
many of the colonists were well armed and were undoubtedly crack shots. He, accordingly, adopted more diplomatic measures, and, by establishing somewhat friendly
relations, got into  close  quarters  with  the settlers.     A THE INVASION OF OKLAHOMA.       Ill
rough and tumble fight with fists soon afterwards resulted,
and the hard fists and brawny arms of the settlers proved
too much for the regulars, who were for the time being
•driven off.
The result of the boomers' victory was the sending of
600 soldiers to dislodge them, and it being impossible
to resist such a force as this, the colonists yielded with
the best grace they could and sadly deserted the homes
they had tried so hard to build up. Some of the men were
actually imprisoned for the action they had taken, and the
colony for a time was completely broken up. The example
:set was followed by several others, and for some years a
conflict, not particularly creditable to the Government, went
-on. No law was discovered to punish the boomers and
thus put a final end to the invasions. All that could be
-done was to drive the families out as fast as they went in,
a course of action far more calculated to excite disorder
~than to quell it. Sometimes the soldiers displayed a great
•deal of forbearance, and even went out of their way to
help the women and children and reduce their sufferings
to the smallest possible point. Again, they were sometimes unduly harsh, and more than one infant lost its life
from the exposure the evictions brought about. The
soldiers by no means relished the work given them, and
many of them complained bitterly that it was no part of
their duty to fight women and babies. Still they were
•compelled to obey orders and ask no questions.
While the original colonists, or boomers, gained little
or nothing for themselves by the hardships they insisted on
encountering, they really brought about the opening for
settlement of Oklahoma. About the year 1885 it began to
.be generally understood that the necessary proclamation 112
would be issued, and from all parts of the country home-
hunters began to set out on a journey, varying in length
from a few hundreds to several thousand miles. The
Kansas border towns on the south were made the headquarters for the home-seekers, and as they arrived at
different points they were astonished to find that others-
had got there before them. In the neighborhood of
Arkansas City, particularly, there were large settlements of
boomers, who from time to time made efforts to enter the
promised land in advance of the proclamation, only to be
turned back by the soldiers who were guarding every trail.
The majority of the newcomers thought it better to obey
the law, and these settled down, with their wagons for
their homes, and sought work with which to maintain their
families until the proclamation was issued and the country
opened to them.
It was a long and dreary wait. The children were sent
to school, the men obtained such employment as was-
possible, and life* went on peacefully in some of the most
peculiar settlements ever seen in this country. Finally the
Springer Bill was passed and the speedy opening of at least
a portion of Oklahoma assured. The news was telegraphed
to the four winds of heaven, and where there had been one
boomer before there were soon fifty or a hundred. In the
winter of 1888, various estimates were made as to the
number of people awaiting the President's proclamation,
and the total could not have been less than 50,000 or
60,000. Finally the long-looked-for document appeared,
and Easter Monday, 1889, was named as the date on
which the section of Oklahoma included in the bill was to
be declared open. There was a special proviso that any one
entering the promised and mysterious land prior to noon THE INVASION OF OKLAHOMA.       113
on the day named, would be forever disqualified from
holding land in it, and accordingly the opening resolved
itself into a race, to commence promptly at high noon on
.the day named.
Seldom has such a remarkable race been witnessed in
any part of the world. The principal town sites were on
the line of the Sante Fe Railroad, and those who were
-seeking town lots crowded the trains, which were not
allowed to enter Oklahoma until noon. All available
rolling stock was brought into requisition for the occasion,
and provision was made for hauling thousands of home-
seekers to the towns of Guthrie and Oklahoma City, as
well as to intervening points., ■% Before daylight on the
morning of the opening, the approaches of the railway
station at Arkansas City were blocked with masses of
liumanity, and every train was thronged with town boomers,
•or with people in search of free land or town lots.
The author was fortunate in securing a seat on the first
"train which crossed the Oklahoma border, and which
arrived at Guthrie before 1 o'clock on the day of the
opening. It was presumed that the law had been enforced,
and that we should find nothing but a land-office and a few
officials on the town site.
But such was far from being the case. Hundreds of
people were already on the ground. The town had been
platted out, streets located, and the best corners seized in
advance of the law and of the regulations of the proclamation.
There was no time to argue with points of law or order.
Those who got in in advance of the law were of a deter-
mined character, and their number was so great that
they relied on the confusion to evade detection.    One of 114
their number told an interesting story to the writer,,
concerning the experience he had gone through. He
had slipped into Oklahoma prior to the opening, carrying
with him enough food to last him for a few days. He
found a hiding place in the creek bank, and there laid
until a few minutes before noon on the opening day.
When his watch and the sun both told him that it.
lacked but a few minutes of noon, he emerged from his
hiding place, with a view to leisurely locating one of the
best corner lots in the town. To his chagrin he saw men
advancing from every direction, and he was made aware of
the fact that he had no patent on his idea, which had been
adopted simultaneously by several hundred others. He
secured a good lot for himself, and sold it before his
disqualification on account of being too "previous" in his
entry was discovered.
As each train unloaded its immense throngs of passengers, the scene was one that must always baffle description..
The town site was on rising ground, and men, and even
women, sprang from the moving trains, falling headlong
over each other, and then rushing up hill ^as fast as their
legs would carry them, in the mad fight for town lots free
of charge. The town site was entirely occupied within
half an hour, and the surrounding country in every direction was appropriated for additions to the main "city."
Before night there were at least 10,000 people on the
ground, many estimates placing the number as high as.
Some few had brought with them blankets and provisions, and these passed a comparatively comfortable
night. Thousands, however, had no alternative but to
sleep on the open prairie, hungry, as well as thirsty.    The
water in the creek was scarcely fit to drink, and the railroad company had to protect its water tank by force from
the thirsty adventurers and speculators.
The night brought additional terrors. There was no
danger of wild animals or of snakes, for the stampede of
the previous day had probably driven every living thing
miles away, with the solitary exception of ants, which, in
armies ten thousand strong, attacked the trespassers. By
morning several houses had been erected, and the arrival of
freight trains loaded with provisions not only enabled
thoughtful caterers to make small fortunes, but also
relieved the newcomers of much of the distress they had
been suffering. Within a week the streets were well
defined, and houses were being built in every direction, and
within six months there were several brick buildings erected
and occupied for business and banking purposes.
The process of building up was one of the quickest on
record, and Guthrie, like its neighbor on the south, Oklahoma City, is to-day a large, substantial business and
financial center. Those of our readers who crossed Oklahoma by rail, even as lately as the winter of 1888, will
remember that they saw nothing but open prairie, with
occasional belts of timber. There was not so much as a
post to mark the location of either of these two large
cities, nor was there a plow line to define their limits.
In no other country in the world could results such as
these have been accomplished. The amount of courage
required to invest time and money in a prospective town in
a country hitherto closed against white citizens is enormous, and it takes an American, born and bred, to make
the venture. The Oklahoma cities are not boom towns,
laid out on paper and advertised as future railroad and 116
business centers; from the first moment of their existence
they have been practical, useful trading centers, and every
particle of growth they have made has been of a permanent
and lasting character.
But if the race to the Oklahoma town sites was interesting, the race to the homesteads was sensational and
bewildering. All around the coveted land, anxious, determined men were waiting for the word "Go," in order to
rush forward and select a future home. In some instances
the race was made in the wagons, but in many cases a
solitary horseman acted as pioneer and galloped ahead, in
order to secure prior claim to a coveted, well-watered
quarter-section. Shortly before the hour of noon, a
number of boomers on the northern frontier made an
effort to advance in spite of the protests of the soldiers on
guard. These latter were outnumbered ten to one, and
could not attempt to hold back the home-seekers by force.
Seeing this fact, the young Lieutenant in charge addressed
a few pointed sentences to the would-be violators of the
law. He knew most of the men personally, and was aware
that several of them were old soldiers. Addressing these
especially, he appealed to their patriotism, and asked
whether it was logical for men who had borne arms for
their country to combine to break the laws, which they
themselves had risked their lives to uphold. This appeal
to the loyalty of the veterans had the desired effect, and
what threatened to be a dangerous conflict resulted in a
series of hearty hand-shakes.
A mighty shout went up at noon, and*the deer, rabbits
and birds, which for years had held undisputed possession
of the promised land, were treated to a surprise of the
first water.    Horses which had never been asked to run THE INVASION OF OKLAHOMA.
before, were now compelled to assume a gait hitherto
unknown to them. Wagons were upset, horses thrown
down, and all sorts of accidents happened. One man, who
liad set his heart on locating on the Canadian River near
the Old Payne Colony, rode his horse in that direction, and
urged the beast on to further exertions, until it could
scarcely keep on its feet. Finally he reached one of the
creeks running into the river. The jaded animal just
managed to drag its rider up the steep bank of the creek,
and it then fell dead. Its rider had no time for regrets.
He had still four or five miles to cover, and he commenced
to run as fast as his legs would carry him. His overestimate of his horse's powers of endurance, and his
nnder-estimate of the distance to be covered, lost him his
coveted home; for when he arrived a large colony had got
in ahead of him from the western border, and there were
two or three claimants to every homestead.
In other cases there were neck and neck races for
favored locations, and sometimes it would have puzzled an
experienced referee to have determined which was really
the winner of the race. Compromises were occasionally
agreed to, and although there was a good deal of bad
temper and recrimination, there was very little violence,
and the men whose patience had been sorely taxed,
behaved themselves admirably, earning the respect of the
soldiers who were on guard to preserve order. The excitement and uproar was kept up long after night-fall. In
their feverish anxiety to retain possession of the homes for
wrhich they had waited and raced, hundreds of men stayed
up all night to continue the work of hut building, knowing
that nothing would help them so much in pressing their
claims for a title as evidence of work on bona fide improve- 118
ments. They kept on day after day, and, late in the
season as it was, many of the newcomers raised a good
crop that year.
The opening of other sections of the old Indian Territory, now included in Oklahoma, took place two or three
years later, when the scenes we have briefly described were
repeated. To-day, Oklahoma extends right up to the
southern Kansas line, and the Cherokee Strip, on whose
rich blue grass hundreds of thousands of cattle have been
fattened, is now a settled country, with at least four families to every square mile, and with a number of thriving
towns and even large cities. At the present time the
question of Statehood for the youngest of mrr Territories
is being actively debated. No one disputes the fact that
the population and wealth is large enough to justify the
step, and the only question at issue is whether the whole
of the Indian Territory should be included in the new
State, or whether the lands of the so-called civilized tribes
should be excluded.
The lawlessness which has prevailed in some portions
of the Indian Territory is held to be a strong argument in
favor of opening up all the lands for settlement. At
present the Indians own immense tracts of land under very
peculiar conditions. A large number of white men, many
of them respectable citizens, and many of them outlaws
and refugees from justice, have married fair Cherokee,
Choctaw and Creek girls, and these men, while not recognized by the heads of the tribes, are able to draw from the
Government, in the names of their wives, the large sums-
of money from time to time distributed. Advocates of
Statehood favor the allotment to each Indian of his share
of the land, and the purchase by the Government of the THE INVASION OF OKLAHOMA.       119'
immense residue, which could then be opened for settlement.
Until this question is settled, the anomaly will continue
of civilization and the reverse existing side by side. Some
of the Indians have assumed the manners, dress, virtues
and vices of their white neighbors, in which case they have
generally dropped their old names and assumed something
reasonable in their place. But many of the red men who
adhere to tradition, and who object to innovation, still stick
to the names given them in their boyhood. Thus, in traveling across the Indian Territory, Indians with such names
as "Hears-Something-E very where," "Knows-Where-He-
Walks," "Bear-in-the-Cloud," "Goose-Over-the-Hill,"
"Shell-on-the-Neck," "Sorrel Horse," "White Fox,"
"Strikes-on-the-Top-of-the-Head," and other equally farfetched and ridiculous terms and cognomens.
Every one has heard of Chief "Rain-in-the-Face," a.
characteristic Indian, whose virtues and vices have both
been greatly exaggerated from time to time. A picture is
given of this representative of a rapidly decaying race, and
of the favorite pony upon which he has ridden thousands
of miles, and which in its early years possessed powers of
endurance far beyond what any one who has resided in
countries removed from Indian settlements can have any
idea or conception of. CHAPTER VII.
A Much Maligned Class—The Cowboy as he Is, and as he is Supposed
to be—Prairie Fever and how it is Cured—Life on the Ranch
Thirty Years Ago and Now—Singular Fashions and Changes of
Costume—Troubles Encountered by would-be Bad Men.
BMONG the thoroughly American types of humanity,
none is more striking or unique than the cowboy.
This master of horsemanship and subduer of wild and
even dangerous cattle, has been described in so many ways
that a great difference of opinion exists as to what he was,
and what he is. We give a picture of a cowboy of to-day,
and will endeavor to show in what important respects he
differs from the cowboy of fiction, and even of history.
Sensational writers have described the cowboy as a
thoroughly bad man, and, moreover, as one who delights in
the word "bad," and regards it as a sort of diploma or
qualification. Travelers over the region in which the
cowboy used to be predominant give him a very different
character, and speak of him as a hard-working, honest
citizen, generous to a fault, courteous to women and aged
or infirm men, but inclined to be humorous at the expense
of those who are strong and big enough to return a joke,
or resent it, if they so prefer.
We have spoken of the cowboy in two tenses: the
present and the past. Strictly speaking, we should,
perhaps, have only used one, for many of the best judges
(120) COWBOYS—Real and Ideal.
say that there is no such thing as a cowboy in this day and
generation. He flourished in all his glory in the days of
immense ranges, when there was an abundance of elbow
room for both man and beast, and when such modern
interferences with the cattle business as the barb-wire fence
did not exist. The work of cattle herding and feeding
to-day certainly differs in a most remarkable manner from
that of thirty and even twenty years ago, and the man has
naturally changed with his work. Now, the cowboy is, to
all intents and purposes, a farm hand. He feeds the
stock; drives it to water when necessary, and goes to the
nearest market town to dispose of surplus products, with
all the system and method of a thoroughly domesticated
man. Formerly he had charge of hundreds, and perhaps
thousands, of branded cattle, which ranged at will over
boundless prairies, and the day's work was frequently
varied by a set-to with some unfriendly Indians or some
exceptionally daring cattle thieves.
The very nature of his work used to make the cowboy
somewhat desperate in his habits, and apt to be suspicious
of newcomers. He was never such a terrible individual as
has been frequently stated in print. His work confined
him to a few frontier States and Territories, and hence he
was a very convenient person to ridicule and decry. The
man who met the average cowboy face to face, generally
learned to respect him, and speedily appreciated the fact
that it paid to be at least civil. Writers who never went
within 500 miles of the nearest cattle ranch or cowboy's
home, treated him with less courtesy and described him in
all sorts of terms.
Dime literature, with its yellow covers and sensational
pictures  of   stage  robberies   and   the   like,   has   always 122
libeled the American cowboy to a most outrageous extent.
As a result of the misapprehensions thus created, what is
known as cowboy or prairie fever is quite a common
disease among youths who are trying to raise a mustache
for a first time. The feats of recklessness, the absolute
disregard of conventionality and the general defiance
attributed to the man who herds- cattle on the prairie,
seem to create. a longing on the part of sensationally
inclined youths, and many of these have cut their teeth
and learned their lesson in a very different manner from
what was expected.
Let us imagine for a moment the experiences of the
young man from the East, who has convinced himself, by
careful reasoning and reading, that nature intended him to
shine in the West. It is probable that he came to this
most important conclusion many years before, and it is not
unlikely that his first cowboy enthusiasm was fed by
attacks upon the cat, with the nearest approach he could
obtain to a rawhide whip. From this primitive experience,
sensational literature, and five and ten-cent illustrated
descriptions of the adventures of "Bill, the Plunger,"
and "Jack, tbe Indian Slayer," completed the education,
until the boy, or young man, as the case may be, determines that the hour has arrived for him to cast away
childish things and become a genuine bad man of the
Just how he gets half way across the continent is a
matter of detail. Sometimes the misguided youth is too
proud to beg and too honest to steal, in which case he
probably saves up his pocket money and buys a cheap
ticket. The more romantic and strictly correct course to
adopt is to start out without a dollar, and to beat one's
mm COWBOYS—Real and Ideal.
way across the continent, so as to be thoroughly entitled to
recognition on the prairie. Many a young man who has
commenced the pilgrimage towards glorified badness, has
had the fever knocked out of him before advancing: 100
miles, but others have succeeded in getting through, and
have arrived in Texas, Wyoming or Montana, as the case
may have been, thoroughly convinced of their own ability
to hold their own in all company.
The disappointment that awaits the adventurous one is
almost too great to be expressed in words. If the cowboys
were one-half as bad as they are painted, they would
proceed to demonstrate their right to an evil reputation by
murdering the newcomer, and stealing his wearing apparel
and any money he might happen to have with him.
Instead of doing this, the cowboy generally looks with
amusement on the individual who has come so many miles
to join him. The greeting is not of the exuberant character
expected, and frequently the heart of the newcomer is
broken by being told to go back to his mammy and spend
a few years more in the nursery. A runaway tenderfoot
just fresh from school is not wanted on the cattle ranch,
and although Western farmers are too good-natured to
resent very severely the liberty taken, they never flatter
the newcomer by holding out any inducements or making
any prophecies as to his future.
The writer met a runaway enthusiast of this character
a few years ago. His destination was the extreme West.
As he did not know himself the State to which he was
bound, he presumed that no one else did. When found,
he had got as far as Kansas City, and hunger and lack of
a place where he could sleep in comfort had cooled his
ardor and inaugurated a vigorous attack of home-sickness. MY NATIVE LAND.
As the ideal cowboy life does not provide for feather beds
or meals served in courses, it was suggested to the lad that
possibly he was having a good experience in advance, and
getting himself accustomed to the privations of the life he
had decided to adopt.
This logic did not commend itself at all to the runaway,
whose sole ambition now was to borrow enough money to
telegraph a message of penitence to his father. A small
sum necessary for the purpose was given him, and the
dispatch sent. Within an hour an answer was received
and money transmitted by wire to supply the lad with a
ticket for his home, where it is exceedingly probable what
little cowboy fever he had left in him was speedily
removed in old-fashioned and regulation manner.
The cowboy must not be confounded with the cattle baron.
Ten or twelve years ago, when a great deal of money was
made out of raising cattle, there was an invasion of the
prairie States by men who knew nothing whatever about
cattle raising, but who had made up their minds to secure
a fortune by raising steers. They took with them as
inconsistent ideas as did the youth in search of adventure.
Often they carried large sums of money, which they
invested very lavishly in business, and they also took with
them ridiculously fine clothes, patent leather boots, velveteen jackets, and other evidences of luxury, which made
them very unpopular and very ridiculous in their new
homes. Nine-tenths of these called themselves "cattle
barons," and about the same proportion obtained a great
deal of experience but very little money, while trying to
revolutionize the cattle business.
It is not necessary to own cattle at all to be a cowboy,
although many members of this interesting profession own IRN& m  COWBOYS—Real and Ideal.
a few beasts of their own and are allowed to have them
graze with the other stock on the ranch. Generally
speaking, the term used to be applied to all those who
were engaged in handling the cattle, and in getting them
together on the occasion of the annual round-ups. The
old-time cowboy did not have a very high reputation, nor
was he always looked upon quite as leniently as his surroundings demanded. About twenty years ago, a well-
known cattleman wrote the following description of the
cowboy and the life he led:
"If any one imagines that the life of a cowboy or
ranchman is one of ease and luxury, or his diet a feast of
fat things, a brief trial will dispel the illusion, as is mist by
the sunshine. True, his life is one of more or less excitement or adventures, and much of it is spent in the saddle,
yet it is a hard life, and his daily fare will never give the
gout. Corn bread, mast-fed bacon, and coffee, constitute
nine-tenths of their diet; occasionally they have fresh
beef, and less often they have vegetables of any descrip^
tion. They do their own cooking in the rudest and fewest
possible vessels, often not having a single plate or knife
and fork, other than their pocket knife, but gather around
the camp-kettle in true Indian style, and with a piece of
bread in one hand, proceed to fish up a piece of 'sow
belly,' and dine sumptuously, not forgetting to stow away
one or more quarts of the strongest coffee imaginable,
without sugar or cream. Indeed, you would hesitate, if
judging it from appearance, whether to call it coffee or
ink. Of all the vegetables, onions and potatoes are the
most desired and the oftenest used, when anything more
than the 'old regulation' is had. Instead of an oven,
fireplace or cooking stove, a rude hole is dug in the ground 128
and a fire made therein, and the coffee pot, the camp
kettle and the skillet are his only culinary articles used.
"The life of the cowboy is one of considerable daily
danger and excitement. It is hard and full of exposure,
but is wild and free, and the young man who has long been
a cowboy has but little taste for any other occupation.
He lives hard, works hard, has but few comforts, and
fewer necessities. He has but little, if any, taste for
reading. He enjoys a coarse practical joke, or a smutty
story; loves danger, but abhors labor of the common
kind; never tires of riding, never wants to walk, no
matter how short the distance he desires to go. He would
rather fight with pistols than pray; loves tobacco, liquor
and woman better than any other trinity. His life
borders nearly upon that of an Indian. If he reads anything, it is in most cases a blood and thunder story of the
sensational style. He enjoys his pipe, and relishes a
practical joke on his comrades, or a tale where abounds
animal propensity.
"His clothes are few and substantial, scarce in number
and often of a gaudy pattern. The 'sombrero' and large
spurs are inevitable accompaniments. Every house has
the appearance of lack of convenience and comfort, but
the most rude and primitive modes of life seem to be
satisfactory to the cowboy. His wages range from $15.00
to $20.00 a month in specie. Mexicans can be employed
for about $12.00 per month. The cowboy has few wants
and fewer necessities, the principal one being a full supply
of tobacco.
"We will here say for the benefit of our Northern
readers, that the term 'ranch' is used in the Southwest
instead of 'farm,' the ordinary laborer is termed a 'cowboy,' COWBOYS—Real and Ideal.
the horse used a 'cow horse,' and the herd of horses a
'cavvie yard.'
"The fame of Texas as a stock-growing country went
abroad in the land, and soon after her admission to the
Union, unto her were turned the eyes of many young men
born and reared in the older Southern States, who were
poor in this world's goods, but were ambitious to make
for themselves a home and a fortune. Many of this class
went to Texas, then a new and comparatively thin and
unsettled country, and began in humblest manner, perhaps
for nominal .wages, to lay the foundation for future wealth
and success."
This is a very severe description, and relates to a class
of men who were found in the wildest parts of Texas
shortly after the war. It certainly does not adequately
describe the cowboy of the last twenty years. Another
writer, who was himself for more than a quarter of a
century engaged in the work of herding cattle, gives a
much fairer description of the cowboy. He divides those
entitled to this name into three classes, and argues that
there is something noble about the name. He also claims
that in view of the peculiar associations, privations, surroundings and temptations of the cowboy, he is entitled to
much credit for the way in which he has retained the
best characteristics of human nature, in spite of his
absence from the refining influences of civilization.
According to this authority, the first class of cowboys
include the genuine, honest worker on the prairie, the man
who has due respect for the rights of all. He is scrupulously honest, but yet charitable enough to look leniently
on the falling away from grace of his less scrupulous
brothers, and he is loyal to a remarkable extent to every 130
one who has a right to claim his friendship. In the second
class is placed the less careful cowboy, who is not quite so
strict in his moral views, although no one would like to
class him as a thief. The story is told of the Irishman
who found a blanket bearing upon it the Government
mark "U. S." Paddy examined the blanket carefully and
on finding the mark shouted out: "U. for Patrick and S.
for McCarty. Och, but I'm glad I've found me blanket.
Me fayther told me that eddication was a good thing, and
now I know it; but for an eddication I never would have
found the blanket."
Reasoning of this kind is quite common among this
second class or division of the cowboy. It is not suir-
gested that he is exactly a thief, because he would scorn
the acts of the city light-fingered gentleman, who asks you
the time of day, and then, by a little sleight-of-hand,
succeeds in introducing your watch to a too obliging and
careless pawnbroker at the next corner. But he is a little
reckless in his ideas of what lawyers call the rights of
individuals, and he is a little too much inclined, at times,
to think that trifles that are not his own ought to be so.
The writer, to whom we are referring, includes in class
three the typical cowboy, and the man used by the fiction
writer as a basis for his exaggerations and romances. Into
this class drifts the cowboy who is absolutely indifferent as
to the future, and who is perfectly happy if he has enough
money to enable him to buy a fancy bridle or a magnificent
saddle. These are about the beginning and the end of his
ideas of luxury; although he enjoys a good time, he looks
upon it rather as incidental and essential to pleasure. A
steady position at a small salary, a reasonable amount to
do, and fairly good quarters, constitute all he looks for or COWBOYS—Real and Ideal.
expects. He is perfectly honest with all his indifference.
He is often whole-souled and big-hearted, constantly allows
himself to be imposed upon, but has an inconvenient habit
of occasionally standing up for his rights and resenting too
much oppression. He is exceedingly good-natured, and
will often drive some stray cattle several miles for the convenience of a perfect stranger, and a man to whom he
owes no obligation whatever.
It is said that such a thing as distress among the relatives or descendants of cowboys was impossible, because
of the delightful tenderheartedness of men with rough
exterior and whose daily life makes them appear hardened.
The working cowboy is seldom rich, even in the most
generous acceptation of the term. The small wages he
earns are expended almost entirely on decorations for his
borse or himself. Even when he succeeds in saving a few
dollars, the money seems to burn a hole in his pocket, and
he generally lends it to some one in. greater need than"
himself. But every man working on a ranch has something to spare for the widow or children of a deceased
brother, especially if he was killed in the course of his
duties. An instance of this generous-hearted disposition
might well be given, but it is sufficient to say that the rule
is invariable, and that a promise made to a dying man in
this respect is never forgotten.
Leaving for a moment the personal characteristics of
the much-maligned cowboy, who has been described as
everything from a stage-robber to a cutthroat, we may
with profit devote a little space to a consideration of his
attire as it was, and as it is. In the picture of a cowboy
in this work the modern dress is shown very accurately.
It will be seen that the man is dressed conveniently for his 132
work, and that he has none of the extraordinary handicaps
to progress, in the way of grotesque decorations, which he
had been thought to believe were, at least, part and parcel
of the cowboy's wardrobe and get up. Certainly at the
present time men engaged- in feeding and raising cattle are
almost indifferent as to their attire, wearing anything
suitable for their purpose, and making their selections
rather with a view to the durability, than the handsomeness, of the clothing.
But in years gone by, there was almost as much fashion
changing among the men on the prairie as among the
woman in the drawing-room. At the close of the war the
first of the arbitrary dictates of fashion went out. A
special form of stirrup was introduced. It was yery
narrow and exceedingly inconvenient, but it was considered the right thing, and so everybody used it. Rawhide
was used in place of lines, and homespun garments were
uniform. Calfskin leggings, made on the prairie, with the
hair on the outside, were first worn, and large umbrella-like
straw hats came into use. A little later it was decided the
straw hat was not durable enough for the purpose. When
excited a cowboy frequently starts his horse with his hat,
and when he is wearing a straw, four or five sharp blows
knock out of the hat any semblance it may ever have had
to respectability and symmetry. The wide brim woolen
hat was declared to be the correct thing, and every one was
glad of the change. The narrow stirrup gave place to a
wider one, and the stirrup leather was shortened so as to
compel the rider to keep his knees bent the whole time.
The most important change in fashion twenty years
ago, was the introduction of tanned leather leggings and, of
handsome bridles.    Many a man now pays two or three COWBOYS—Real and Ideal.
months' wages for his bridle, and since the fashion came
in, it is probable that many thousand dollars have been
invested in ornamental headgear for prairie horses and
ponies. A new saddle, as well as bow and tassel decorations, also came in at this period, and it is to be admitted
that for a time-exaggeration in clothing became general.
It is an old joke on the prairie that the average man's hat
costs him more than his clothes.
Many a cowboy earning $30.00 a month has spent
three times that sum on his saddle alone. More than one
man earning $25.00 a month has invested every cent of
his salary in silver buckles for his strange looking hat.
Equally extravagant is the average man as to his saddle,
bridle, and even spurs and bit. Those who talk so much
about the bad habits of these people, will hardly credit the
fact that many a cowboy abstains from liquor and tobacco
for an entire year at a stretch, simply because he wants to
purchase some article of attire, which he thinks will make
him the envy of the entire ranch.
The cow pony is worthy of as much attention and
thought as the cowboy. It is often said that the latter is
hard and cruel, and that he uses his pony roughly. This
is far from being correct.. Between the cowboy and his
pet pony there is generally a bond of sympathy and a
thorough understanding, without which the marvelous
feats of horsemanship which are performed daily would be
impossible. Perhaps in the preliminary breaking in of
the pony there is more roughness than is quite necessary.
At the same time, it should be remembered that to subdue
an animal which was born on the prairie and has run
wild to its heart's content, is not a yery simple matter.
The  habit  of   bucking,   which  a  Texas  pony  seems  to MY NATIVE LAND.
inherit from its ancestors, is a very inconvenient one, and
an expert rider from the East is perfectly helpless upon
the back of a bucking pony. The way in which he mounts
assures the animal at once that he is a stranger in those
parts. A natural desire to unseat the daring stranger
becomes paramount, and the pony proceeds to carry out
the idea.
At first it moves quietly and the rider congratulates
himself on having convinced the animal that resistance will
be in vain. But just as he begins to do this the animal
gets down its head, arches up its back, something after the
manner of an angry cat, leaps into the air and comes down
on the ground with its four legs drawn together under it,
perfectly stiff and straight. The rider seldom knows how
it happened. He only knows that it felt as though a
cannon ball had struck him, and that he fell off most
A pony never bucks viciously when a cowboy is riding
it. It has learned by long experience that the process is
distinctly unprofitable. Breaking in a pony and convincing
it that the way of the transgressor is hard, is one of the
difficulties of prairie life. When, however, it is once
accomplished, an almost invaluable assistant has been
secured. The staying powers of the cow pony are almost
without limit. He will carry his master 100 miles in a day,
apparently with very little fatigue. In point of speed he
may not be able to compete with his better bred Eastern
cousin, but in point of distance covered he entirely outclasses him. Assuming an easy gait within its powers of
endurance, a pony of the prairie will keep it up almost
indefinitely. At the end of a very long ride, the man is
generally more fatigued than his steed.    The latter, after COWBOYS—Real and Ideal.
being relieved of its saddle and bridle, rolls vigorously to
get rid of the stiffness, and, after an hour or two, is
apparently in as good condition as ever.
The charm connected with cowboy life is found in the
disregard of strict rules of etiquette and ceremony, and in
the amount of fun which is considered to be in place
around the prairie fire. We have already seen that the
wages paid to cowboys are, and always have been, very
small. The hours that have to be worked, and the hardships that have to be encountered, seem to combine
together to deter men from leading the life at all. We
know that it does neither, and that it is seldom there ifc
really any dearth of help on the prairie or among the
cattle herds. The greatest delight is derived from jokes
played at the expense of smart tenderfeet, who approach
the camp with too much confidence in themselves. The
commonest way of convincing the newcomer that he has
made a mistake is to persuade him to ride an exceptionally
fractious pony. The task is generally approached with
much confidence, and almost invariably ends in grief. If
the stranger can retain his seat and thus upset the rehearsed programme, the delight of the onlookers is even
greater than their disappointment, and the newcomer is
admitted at once into the good fellowship of the crowd.
Nothing aggravates a cowboy so much, or makes him
more desperate in his selection of tricks, as the affectation
of badness on the part of a newcomer. A year or two
ago a young man, who had been saving up his money for
years in order to emulate the deeds of some of the heroes
described in the cheap books he had been reading, arrived
in the Southwest, and proceeded to introduce himself to a
number of employes of a cattle ranch who, a few years 136
ago, would have been known as regulation cowboys. The
unlimited impudence and the astounding mendacity of the
youth amused the cowboys very much, and they allowed
him to narrate a whole list of terrible acts he had committed in the East. Before he had been in his new
company an hour, he had talked of thefts and even killings
with the nonchalance of a man who had served a dozen
years in jail. His listeners enjoyed the absurdity of the
situation, and allowed him to talk at random without
The story telling was brought to an end in a very
sensational manner indeed. One of the listeners knew that
a deputy sheriff was in the neighborhood looking out for a
dangerous character. Skipping out from the party, he
hunted up the deputy, and told him that one of the hunted
man's .confederates was in the camp. The deputy, who
was new to the business and anxious to make a reputation
for himself, rushed to the camp and arrested the storyteller in spite of his protests. The young man, who had
been so brave a few minutes before, wept bitterly, and
begged that some one would telegraph his mother so as to
have his character established and his liberty assured. The
joke was kept up so long that the young man was actually
placed in safe keeping all night. The following morning
he was released, as there was nothing whatever against
him except artistic lying. The speed that he managed to
attain while hurrying to the nearest railroad station showed
that with proper training he might have made a good
athlete,    i
He waited around the station until the next train
went East, and no passenger was more delighted when the
conductor  said  "All  aboard," than was the youth who COWBOYS—Real and Ideal.
was going back home very much discouraged, but very
considerably enlightened.
On another occasion a typical cowboy was traveling on
the cars, and as is quite common with members of his
profession, had been approached by a sickly looking youth,
who asked him dozens of questions and evinced a great
anxiety to embark upon prairie life. There was very little
to interest the cattle-worker, and after awhile he determined to get rid of his not overwelcome, self-introduced
friend. He accordingly pointed out a rough-looking man
at the far end of the car, and told the questioner that he
was the leader of a dangerous band of train robbers. The
individual was probably some hard-working man of perfectly honest habits, but the would-be brave young man,
who a few moments before had been a candidate for a life
of danger and hardship, was so horrified at the bare idea,
that he decided in a moment to emulate the Irishman who
said he had left his future behind him, and jumped
from the moving train, preferring a succession of knocks
and bruises to actual contact with a man of the character
he had schooled himself into admiring.
Every man who creates a disturbance, defies the law,
and discharges fire-arms at random is spoken of as a cowboy, although in a majority of instances he has never done
a day's work to justify the name. The tough man from
the East who goes West to play the bad cowboy, is liable
to find that he has been borrowing trouble. He finds out
that an altercation is likely to bring him up facing the
muzzle of a pistol in the hands of a man much more ready
to pull the trigger off-hand than to waste time in
preliminary talk. He soon learns the lesson of circumspection  and,  if  he  survives  the process, his  behavior 138
is usually modified to fit his new surroundings. A
tragic illustration of the results that may come from a
tenderfoot's attempt to masquerade as a bad man west of
the Mississippi River, took place in the winter of 1881-82
in New Mexico, on a southward-bound Atchison train.
One of the strangers was terrorizing the others. He was
a tough-looking fellow from some Eastern city; he had
been drinking, and he paraded the cars talking loudly and
profanely, trying to pick quarrels with passengers and
frequently flourishing a revolver. The train hands did not
seem inclined to interfere with him, and among the people
aboard whom he directly insulted, he did not happen to hit
upon any one who had the sand or the disposition to call
him down.
Toward the members of a theatrical company, traveling
in one of the coaches, he particularly directed his violence
and insults. His conduct with them at last became
unbearable, and when, after threatening two actors with
his revolver and frightening the women to the verge of
hysterics, he passed onward into another car, a hurried
council of war was held in the coach be had just vacated,
and every man who had a pistol got it in readiness, with
the understanding that if he returned, he was to be shot
down at the first aggressive movement. But that phase of
trouble was averted, for, as it happened, he remained in
the car ahead until, at dusk, the train rolled into
Here the proprietor of the Armijo House was at the
station with his hackman awaiting the train's arrival. He
called out the name of his house at the door of one car,
and then turning to the hackman said: "You take care of
the passengers in this car, and I will  go to the next." COWBOYS—Real and Ideal.
These inoffensive words caught the ear of the tough
man from the East, who was pushing his way to the car
platform. He drew his pistol and started for the nearest
man on the station platform, shouting:
"You'll take care of us, will you? I'll show you smart
fellows out here that you are not able to take care of me."
He flourished his revolver as he spoke and, just as his
feet struck the second step of the car, he fired, the ball
passing over the head of the man on the station platform.
The sound of his pistol was quickly followed by two loud
reports, and the tough man fell forward upon the platform
dead. The man at whom he had apparently fired had
drawn his revolver and shot him twice through the heart.
A crowd gathered as the train rolled on, leaving the
tough man where he had fallen. Of course the man who
killed him, a gambler of the town, was fully exonerated at
the inquest, and was never even indicted for the killing. CHAPTER VIII.
The Indians' Admirers and Critics—At School and After—Indian
Courtship and Marriage—Extraordinary Dances—Gambling by
Instinct—How "Cross-Eye" Lost his Pony—Pawning a Baby—
Amusing and Degrading Scenes on Annuity Day.
©PINIONS differ materially as to the rights and
wrongs, privileges and grievances, and worthiness
and worthlessness of the North American Indian. Some
people think that the red man has been shamefully treated
and betrayed by the white man, and that the catalogue of
his grievances is as long as the tale of woe the former is
apt to tell, whenever he can make himself understood by a
sympathetic listener.
Holders of this opinion live for the most part in districts where there are no Indians located.
There are others who think that the Indian has been
absurdly pampered by the Government, and that it would
be as sensible to try to change the arrangement of seasons
as to attempt to prevent the survival of the fittest, or, in
other words, to interfere with the gradual, but in their
opinion inevitable, extermination of the Indian.
Those holding this extreme view are for the most part
those who live near Indian reservations, and who have had
opportunities of studying the red man's character.
Both views are of course unduly severe. , As a useful
citizen the Indian varies considerably, and it is rather as
an   interesting   study   that   we   approach   the   subject.
(140) WARDS OF OUR NATIVE LAND.       141
Civilization has a very peculiar effect upon the American Indian. The schools for Indian children are well
managed, and the education imparted should be sufficient
to prevent the possibility of a relapse into the unsatisfactory habits and the traditional uncleanliness of the
different tribes. Sometimes the effect of education is
excellent. There are many Indians to be found who have
adopted civilized modes of living, and who have built up
homes and amassed little fortunes by farming, raising
cattle and trading. Some of the Indians, notably those of
the five civilized tribes or nations in Indian Territory,
resemble white men in appearance very much. They will
sometimes work side by side with swarthy Caucasians,
whose skin has been tanned by exposure to the sun, and
except for the exceptionally high cheek bone and the
peculiarly straight hair, there is little to distinguish the
Indian from the white man.
But these cases are exceptions to the general rule,
which is that education is looked upon by Indians as a
degradation rather than otherwise. Great difficulty is
often experienced in persuading parents to allow their
children to be taken to the training schools at all, and so
much compulsion is often necessary that an appearance of
kidnaping is imparted. The first thing that is done with
an Indian boy or girl admitted to one of these schools, is
to wash the newcomer with considerable vigor from head
to foot, and to cut off the superfluous, and, generally
speaking, thickly matted hair.
The comfort of short hair, neatly combed and brushed,
seldom impresses itself upon the youthful brave. For
obvious reasons this is, however, insisted upon, and while
the boy is at school he is kept neat and clean.    Directly, MY NATIVE LAND.
however, he returns to his tribe he is in danger of relapsing into the habits of his forefathers. Too often he is
sneered at for his neatness. His short hair is looked upon
as an offense, and he is generally willing to fall in with
tribal fashions, abandon his neat clothing, and let his hair
grow and his face accumulate the regulation amount of
dust and dirt.
The Indian trader and the pioneer generally will tell
you that the only good Indian is a dead Indian. He will
repeat this adage until it becomes wearisome in its-
monotony. Then, perhaps, he will vary it by telling
you that of all the mean Indians the educated one is the
meanest. This is only true in some instances, but it is a
fact that education does not invariably benefit the Indian
at all.
Almost all Indians are passionately fond of dancing.
Several books have been written descriptive of the various
dances of different tribes. Some of them have a hidden
meaning and dangerous significance, while others are
merely for the purpose of amusement and recreation.
Eor these dances the Indians generally put on the most
fancy costumes they have, and their movements are sometimes graceful and sometimes grotesque. The sign dance,
as seen in some of the Southwestern tribes, is a curious
one. One of the belles of the tribe leads a man into the
dancing apartment, which consists of one of two tepees
thrown together. In one are the tomtom beaters, in the
other the dancers. In this room the couple begin to
dance, making signs to each other, the meaning of which
may be: "Well, what do you think of me? Do you like
me? Do you think me pretty? How do I affect you?"
and  so  on, the  signs all being closely watched by the   WARDS OF OUR NATIVE LAND.       145
spectators, who applaud, giggle, chuckle or laugh uproariously by turns, as the case may be. Such a dance is a
questioning bee, a coBffeion of wits on the part of two
really facetious Indians.
Wit is a universal trait of the savage. Some white
men draw. All Indians draw. Some white men are
cunning. All Indians are cunning. Some white men are
humorous. All Indians are witty. Dry wit, with a proverbial philosophy in it which would have delighted the
soul of Tupper, is indigenous to the Indian. The Indian
is the finest epigrammist on earth. His sentences are
pithy and sententious, because short—never long and
involved. A book of Indian wit and wisdom would have
an enormous sale, and reveal the very core of his thought
on a typical scale.
The Indian flirt is sweet, saucy, subtle, seductive.
She has the art of keeping in stock constantly about her
a score of bucks, each one of whom flatters himself that
he, and he alone, is the special object of her admiration.
Every tribe has had its belle. Poquite for the Modocs,
Ur-ska-te-na for the Navajos, Mini-haha for the Dakotas,
Romona for the neighboring bands. These belles have
their foes among Indian women, but, however cordially
hated, they never brawl or come to blows.
Love-making is one of the interesting night scenes in
an Indian camp. When a young man wants to court a
pretty red couquette, he stands at the door of his lodge on
a bright day and flashes a ray of light from his sun-glass
on the face of his sweetheart far away. She sees the ray
as it falls on her, and follows in the direction whence it is
thrown, right or left. She understands the secret of these
flash lights.    Soon the lovers meet, each under a blanket; 146
not a word, not a salutation is exchanged; they stand
near each other for a time and then retire, only to repeat
the affair day after day.
At last, upon some favorable night, the Indian youth
visits the door of her lodge; she comes out and sits
down on the ground beside him; still no word is spoken.
At last she arises from the ground; he also rises, and
standing before her, throws his blanket over both of them.
No sooner has he done so than she doffs her blanket,
letting it fall upon the ground, which is the admission on
her part that she loves him, and does him obeisance as her
future lord and master.
Every Indian camp at night is full of such lovers, with
wooings as sweet, lips as willing, embraces as fond, lives
as romantic, hearts as true, and elopements as daring and
desperate as ever graced a Spanish court. The old people
come together with their friends and hold a council.
"How many ponies can he pay for her?" has a good deal
to do with the eligibility of the suitor. That night he
brings his articles of dowry to the door of his fiancee. If
they are still there next morning, he is rejected; if not,
No formal marriage ceremony is gone through as a
rule. The heart is the certificate and the Great Spirit the
priest. Under the tribal government of the Indians, the
rights of women were respected and clearly defined. She
was the head of the house, and all property, save an insignificant amount, descended at death to her. She was in
many tribes personified as the principal object of worship,
prayer and adoration, in the tutelary goddess of the tribe.
Now all is changed. The Indian of to-day is not the
Indian of fifty years ago, and cannot be studied in  the WARDS OF OUR NATIVE LAND.       147
same light. His manners, customs and habits are all
changed, and polygamy, more and more, creeps in with all
its appalling degradations.
On special occasions an entire tribe is gathered under
an open space in the cottonwoods to celebrate their principal dances. Hands are wildly wraved above the heads of
the dancers around a central fire of logs, piled in a conical
heap. Around this blazing pile runs the dark circle which
was built at sunset, inclosing sacred ground, which must
not be trespassed on. The old chanter stands at the gate
of the corral and sings. The men built the dark circle in
less than an hour. When done, the corral measures forty
paces in diameter. Around it stands a fence eight feet
high, with a gate in the east ten feet wide.
At night-fall many of the Navajo people move, temporarily, all their goods and property into the corral, and
abandon their huts or hogans. Those who do not move
in are watchers to protect their property, for there are
thieves among the Navajos. At 8 o'clock a band of
musicians enters, and, sitting down, begins a series of
cacophonous sounds on a drum. As soon as the music
begins, the great wood pile is lighted. The conflagration
spreads rapidly and lights the whole landscape and the
sky. A storm of red, whirling sparks fly upward, like bright
golden bees from out a hive, to a height of a hundred feet.
The descending ashes fall in the corral like a light shower
of snow. The heat soon grows so intense that in the
remotest parts of the enclosure it is necessary for a person
to screen his face when he looks towards the fire.
Suddenly a warning whistle is heard in the outer darkness, and a dozen forms, lithe and lean, dressed only with
the narrow white breech-clout and mocassins, and daubed 148
with white earth until they seem a group of living marbles,
come bounding through the entrance, yelping like wolves,
and slowly moving round the fire. As they advance, in
single file, they throw their bodies into diverse attitudes,
some graceful, some strained, some difficult, some menacing, and all grotesque. Now they face the east, now the
west, now the south, now the north, bearing aloft their
slender wands, tipped with eagle down, holding and waving them with surprising effects. Their course around the
fire is to the left, east, west, south, north, a course invariably taken by all the dancers of the night.
When they have circled the fire twice, they begin to
thrust their wands toward it. Their object is to try to
burn off the tip of eagle down. They dash up to the fire,
crawl up to it on their faces, run up holding their heads
sidewise, dart up backward and approach it in all sorts of
attitudes. Suddenly, one approaching the flaming pile
throws himself on his back, with his head to the fire, and
swiftly thrusts his wand into the flames. Many are the
unsuccessful attempts, but at length, one by one, they all
succeed in burning the downy balls from the end of their
wands. As each accomplishes his feat, it becomes necessary, as the next duty, to restore the ball of down, which
is done by refitting the ring held in the hand with down
upon it, and putting it on the head of the aromatic sumac
The dance customs and ideas differ with the tribes and
localities. Sometimes the dance is little more than an
exhibition of powers of endurance. Men or women, or
both, go.through fatiguing motions for hours and even
days in succession, astounding spectators by their disregard of the traditions of their race, so far as idleness is WARDS OF OUR NATIVE LAND.       149
concerned. Other dances are grotesque and brutal. On
special occasions weird ceremonies are indulged in, and the
proceedings are sensational in the extreme.
Of the ghost dance and its serious import, readers of
the daily papers are familiar. Of the war dances of the
different tribes a great deal has also been written, and
altogether the dance lore of the American Indian is replete
with singular incongruities and picturesque anomalies.
Dancing with the Indian is often a religious exercise. It
Involves hardship at times, and occasionally the participants even mutilate themselves in their enthusiasm. Some
of the tribes of the Southwest dance, as we shall see
later, with venomous snakes in their hands, allowing themselves to be bitten, and relying on the power of the priests
to save them from evil consequences.
The Indians gamble as if by instinct. On one occasion
the writer was visiting a frontier town just after its settlement. Indians were present in very large numbers, and in
a variety of ways they got hold of a good deal of money.
The newcomers from the Eastern States were absolutely
unprepared for the necessary privations of frontier life.
Hence they were willing to purchase necessary articles at
almost any price, while they were easily deluded into
buying all sorts of articles for which they had no possible
need. The Indians, who are supposed to be civilized, took
full advantage of the situation, and brought into town
everything that was of a salable character, frequently
obtaining three or four times the local cash value.
With the money thus obtained they gambled desperately. One Indian, who boasted of the terrible name of
"Cross-Eye," brought in two ponies to sell. One of them
was  an  exceptionally ancient-looking animal, which had 150
long since outlived its usefulness, and which, under ordinary local conditions, could certainly have been purchased
for $4.00 or $5.00. A friendly Indian met Mr. "Cross-
Eye," and a conversation ensued as to the value of the
pony and the probable price that it would realize. The two
men soon got angry tm the subject, and finally the owner
of the pony bet his animal's critic the pony against $20.00
that it would realize at least the last-named sum.
With this extra stimulus for driving a good bargain>
the man offered his pony to a number of white men, and
finally found one who needed an animal at once, and who
was willing to pay $20.00 for the antiquated quadruped.
\ 'Cross-Eye" made a number of guttural noises indicative
of his delight, and promptly collected the second $20.00.
He had thus practically sold a worthless pony for
$40.00, and had it not been for his innate passion for
gambling, would have done a very good day's business. -A
few hours later, however, he was found looking very
disconsolate, and trying very hard to sell some supposed
curiosities for a few dollars with which to buy a blanket he
sorely needed. His impecuniosity was easily explained.
Instead of proceeding at once to sell his second pony, he
turned his attention first to gambling, and in less than an
hour his last dollar had gone. Then, with the gamester's
desperation, he had put up his second pony as a final
stake, with the result that he lost his money and his sto6k
in trade as well. He took the situation philosophically
and stoically, but when he found it impossible in the busy
pioneer town to get even the price of a drink of whisky
for his curiosities, he began to get reckless, and was
finally escorted out of the town by two or three of his
friends  to  prevent   him   getting   mixed  up  in  a fight. WARDS OF OUR NATIVE LAND.      151
When the Indians have enough energy they gamble
almost day and night. The women themselves are generally kept under sufficient subjection by their husbands to
make gambling on their part impossible, so far as the
actual playing of games of chance is concerned, but they
stand by and watch the men. They stake their necklaces,
leggings, ornaments, and in fact, their all, on the play,
which is done sometimes with blue wild plum-stones,
hieroglyphically charactered, and sometimes with playing
bones, but oftener with common cards. Above the ground
the tom-tok would be sounded, but below ground the tomtom was buried.
An Indian smokes incessantly while he gambles.
Putting the cigarette or cigar to his mouth he draws in the
smoke in long, deep breaths, until he has filled his lungs
completely, when he begins slowly to emit the smoke from
his nose, little by little, until it is all gone. The object of
this with the Indian is to steep his senses more deeply with
the narcotizing soporific. The tobacco they smoke is
generally their own raising.
"The thing that moved me most," writes a traveler,
describing a visit to an Indian gambling den, "was the
spectacle in the furthest corner of the 'shack' of an Indian
mother, with a pappoose in its baby-case peeping over her
back. There she stood behind an Indian gambler, to
whom she had joined her life, painted and beaded and half
intoxicated. The Indian husband had already put his
saddle in pawn to the white professional gambler for his
$5.00, and it was not five minutes before the white
gambler had the saddle and $5.00 both. Then, when
they had nothing else left to bet, so intense was their
love for gambling, they began to put themselves in pawn, 152
piecemeal, saying: 'I'll bet you my whole body.' That
means 'I'll put myself in pawn to you as your slave to
serve you as you will for a specified time.'
"So it was that this Indian mother stood leaning back
wearily against the wall, half drunk and dazed with smoke
and heat, when all at once the Indian who lived with her
said to her in Indian: 'Put in the baby for a week.
Then pay-day will come.' It was done. The baby was
handed over. That is what civilization has done for the
Indian.    Its virtues escapes him; its vices inoculate him."
One of these vices is gambling. The Indian is kept
poor all the year round and plucked of every pinfeather.
That is the principal reason why he steals, not only to
reimburse himself for loss, but also to avenge himself
upon the white man, who he knows well enough has
constantly robbed him.
Gambling, as witnessed in the Indian camp at night, is
a very different affair from the cache. The tom-tom
notifies all that the bouts with fortune are about to begin.
During the game the music is steadily kept up. In the
intervals between the games the players all sing. Crowds
surround the camp. When a man loses heavily the whole
camp knows it in a few minutes, and not infrequently the
wife rushes in and puts a stop to the stake by driving her
chief away. Gambling is the great winter game. It is
often played from morning till night, and right along all
night long. Cheating and trickery of every sort are
practiced. -^Iv*
"Lizwin" or "mescal" are the two drinks made by the
Indians themselves, one from corn and the other from the
"maguay" plant. The plains Indians drink whisky. To
gamble is to drink, and to drink is to lose.    Gambling is WARDS OF OUR NATIVE LAND.       153
the hardest work that you can persuade an Indian to do,
unless threatened by starvation. Different tribes gamble
The Comanches, undoubtedly, have by far the most
exciting and fascinating gambling games. The Comanche
puzzles, tricks and problems are also decidedly superior
to those of any other nation. The gambling bone is used
by the Comanches. The leader of the game holds it up
before the eyes of all, so that all can see it; he then
closes his two hands over it, and manipulates it so
dexterously in his fingers that it is simply impossible to
tell which hand the bone is in. In a moment he suddenly
flings each closed hand on either side of him down into the
outreaching hand of the player next to him.
The game commences at this point. The whole line of
players passes, or pretends to pass, this bone on from one
to another, until at last every hand is waving. All this
time the eyes along the opposite line of gamblers are
eagerly watching each shift and movement of the hands,
in hopes of discovering the white flash of the bone. At
last some one descries the hand that holds the bone, or
thinks so. He points out and calls out for his side. The
hand must instantly be thrown up. If it is right, the
watching side scores a point and takes the bone. The
sides change off in this way until the game is won.
The full score is twenty-one points. The excitement produced by this game is at times simply indescribable.
The Utes play with two bones in each hand, one of
which is wrapped about with a string. The game is to
guess the hand that holds the wrapped bone. The plum-
stone game is played by the plains Indians. It is only
another  name for dice  throwing.     The plum-stones are MY NATIVE LAND.
graved with hieroglyphics, and counts are curiously made
in a way that often defies computation by white men.
The women gamble quite as much as the men, when they
dare, and grow even more excited over the game than their
lords. Their game, as witnessed among the Cheyennes,
is played with beads, little loops and long horn sticks
made of deer foot.
The children look on and learn to gamble from their
earliest childhood, and soon learn to cheat and impose on
their juniors. Their little juvenile gambling operations
are done principally with arrows. Winter breeds sloth,
and sloth begets gambling, and gambling, drink. There
is no conviviality in Indian drinking bouts. The Indian
gets drunk, and dead drunk, as soon as he possibly can,
and finds his highest enjoyment in sleeping it off. His
nature reacts viciously under drink, however, in many
cases, and he is then a dangerous customer.
The women of many tribes are a most pitiable lot of
bard working, ragged and dirty humanity. Upon them
falls all the drudgery of the camp; they are "hewers of
wood and drawers of water," and bend under immense
burdens piled upon their backs, while thousands of ponies
"browse, undisturbed, in every direction. As the troops
are withdrawn, the squaws swoop down upon the deserted
camps, and rapidly glean them of all that is portable, for
use in their domestic economy. An Indian fire would be
considered a very cheerless affair by the inmates of houses
heated by modern appliances; but such as it is—a few
sticks burning with feeble blaze and scarcely penetrating
the dense smoke filling the tepee from the ground to the
small opening at the top—it consumes fuel, and the de^
mand is always greater than the supply, for the  reason WARDS OF OUR NATIVE LAND.      155
that an Indian has no idea of preparation for future necessities. If the fire burns, all right; when the last stick is
laid on, a squaw will start for a fresh supply, no matter
Ilow cold and stormy the weather may be.
The poetical Indian maiden may still exist in the vivid
imagination of extreme youth, but she is not common
to-day. The young girls affect gay attire, and are exempt
from the hardships of toil which are imposed on their
elder sisters, mothers and grandams, but their fate is
infinitely worse. Little beauty is to be discerned among
them, and in this regard time seems to have effaced the
types which were prevalent a few years ago.
Annuity day is a great event in the life of every Agency
Indian, and if the reader would see Indian life represented
in some of its most interesting features, there is no more
suitable time to select for a visit to any Agency. It is a
■"grand opening," attended by the whole tribe; but the
squaws do not enjoy quite the freedom of choice in the
matter of dress goods, or receive such prompt attention
from the clerks as our city ladies are accustomed to.
Even at 9 o'clock in the morning, notwithstanding the
fact that the actual distribution would not take place until
noon, the nation's wards are there, patiently waiting for
the business of the day to begin. Stakes have been driven
into the ground to mark the space to be occupied by each
band, and behind them, arranged in a semicircle, are the
different families, under the charge of a head man. The
oands vary in numbers, both of families and individuals,
but they all look equally solemn as they sit on the ground,
with their knees drawn up under their chins, or cross-
legged like Turks and tailors.
The scene now becomes one of bustle and activity on 156
the part of the Agency people, who begin rapidly filling
wagon after wagon with goods from the store-houses.
Blankets of dark blue material, cotton cloth, calico of all
colors and patterns, red flannel, gay woolen shawls, boots
and shoes that make one's feet ache to look at them,
coffee pots, water buckets, axes, and numerous other
articles, are piled into each wagon in the proportion previously determined by conference with the head men. A
ticket is then given to the driver, bearing the number of
the stake and the name of the head man. Away goes the
wagon; the goods are thrown out on the ground in a pile
at the proper stake, and that completes the formal transfer
to the head man, who then takes charge of them, and,
with the assistance of a few of the bucks designated by
himself, divides the various articles, according to the
wants of the families and the amount of goods supplied.
During the rush and fury of the issue and division of
the goods, the sombre figures in the background have
scarcely moved. Not one has ventured to approach the
center where the bucks are at work, measuring off the
cloth, etc.; they are waiting for the tap of the bell, when
they will receive just what the head man chooses to give
them. There is no system of exchange there; it is take
what you get or get nothing. In a great many cases they
do not use the goods at all, but openly offer them for sale
to the whites, who, no doubt, find it profitable to purchase
at Indian prices.
As soon as the issue is completed, a crowd of Indians
gather in front of the trader's store to indulge their
passion for gambling, and in a short space of time a number of blankets and other articles change hands on the
result of pony races, foot races or any other species of WARDS OF OUR NATIVE LAND.       157
excitement that can be invented. There is a white man on
the ground who is, no doubt, a professional runner, and
the Indians back their favorite against him in a purse of
over $30.00, which the white man covers, and wins
the race by a few inches. The Indians will not give up,
and make similar purses on the two succeeding days, only
to lose by an inch or two. There is a master of ceremonies, who displays a wonderful control over the Indians.
He makes all the bets for the red men, collecting different
amounts for a score or more, but never forgetting a single
item or person.
Ration day brings out the squaws and dogs in full
force; the one to pack the rations to camp, and the latter
to pick up stray bits. A few at a time the squaws enter
the store-house and receive their week's supply of flour,
coffee, sugar, salt, etc., for themselves and families. The
beef is issued directly from the slaughter-house, and the
proceeding is anything but appetizing to watch. The
beeves to be killed are first driven into a corral, where they
are shot by the Indian butchers; when the poor beasts
have been shot to death, they are dragged to the door of
the slaughter-house and passed through the hands of half-
naked bucks, who seem to glory in the profusion of blood,
and eagerly seek the position on account of the perquisites
attached to it in the way of tempting (?) morsels which
usually go to the dogs or on the refuse heap. The beef
is issued as fast as it can be cut up, at the rate of half a
pound a day for each person, regardless of age; bacon is
also issued as a part of the meat ration. CHAPTER   IX.
Tried in the Balances and Found Wanting—Indian Archers—Bow
and Arrow Lore—Barbarous Customs that Die Slowly—"Great
Wolf," the Indian Vanderbilt—How the Seri were Taught a
Valuable  Lesson—Playing with  Rattlesnakes with Impunity.
TX^OES Prohibition prohibit? is a question politicians
^^ and social reformers ask again and again. Does
civilization civilize? is a question which is asked almost
exclusively by persons who are interested in the welfare of
the American Indian, and who come in daily contact
with him.
In the preceding chapter we have seen some little of
the peculiar habits of the American Indian, civilized and
otherwise, and it will be interesting now to see to what
extent the white man's teaching has driven away primeval
habits of living, hunting and fighting. Within the last
few weeks, evidence of a most valuable character on this
question has been furnished by the report submitted to
the Secretary of the Interior by the Commission sent to
investigate matters concerning the five civilized tribes of
Indians in the Indian Territory. This says that they have
demonstrated their incapacity to govern themselves, and
recommends that the trust that has been reposed in them
by the Government should be revoked.
The courts of justice have become helpless and paralyzed. Murder, violence and robbery are an e very-day
occurrence.      It was learned   by   the Commission that
(158) CIVILIZATION—Actual and Alleged.        159
fifty-three murders occurred in the months of September
and October in one tribe only, and not one of the culprits
was brought to justice. The Dawes Commission recommends that a large portion of the Indian reservation be
annexed to Oklahoma; this action to be followed by forming that country into a Territory. But to accomplish this,
it would be necessary that the consent of the Indians be
obtained, and this is doubtful.
The statement that the Indians have cast aside their
ancient weapons and adopted more modern ones, and that,
through the use of them, they are gradually extending
their hunting grounds beyond the lines of their reservations, is false. The report of the Commission makes this
clearly known. Throughout the West the Indians still
trust to their bows and arrows. On the northwest coast
most of the Indians live by hunting and fishing. They
use principally the bow and arrow, knife, war club and
lance. In the North Pacific Ocean are several islands
inhabited only by Indians. In the Queen Charlotte and
the Prince of Wales Archipelago is found one of the most
remarkable races of aborigines on the American continent.
These are the Haida tribes, and consist of strikingly
intelligent Indians. They acquire knowledge readily;
learn trades and exhibit much ingenuity in following the
teachings of missionaries and traders. But for all that,
they still cling with something bordering upon affection to
the primitive weapons of their race.
During the long winter nights the old Indians seat
themselves before the fire and carve bows, ornament club
handles, and feather and point arrows. Perhaps in some
of the tepees hang polished guns furnished by the Government, but they are more for ornament  than use.     This 160
evening work is accompanied by the low croaking of some
old Indian, who tells over again the legends, folk-lore and
nursery tales of their grandfathers and grandmothers.
The Haida tribe is more rapidly advancing in civilization than any of its neighbors, yet they still carve and
paint bows, arrows, club handles and paddles. The Indians
still cling to other rude implements and take not kindly
to metal ones. Rude knives are still used for skinning
deer, especially by the old Indians. The axe, of course, is
employed for cutting trees and excavating canoes and
mortars. It has really taken the place of the stone chisel,
yet many old men prefer burning the roots of the tree
until it can be made to fall by giving it a few hacks witb
the rude stone hatchet.
In archery, the Indian has scarcely been excelled.
With a quick eye and a powerful muscle, he sends the
arrow as unerringly as the archers of olden time.
The Indian bow is usually from three and one-half to
four feet in length, with such a difficult spring that one
with no experience can scarcely bend it sufficiently to set
the string. Different tribes, of course, carry bows of different lengths, the Senecas having the longest. The best
'of woods for making bows are Osage orange, hickory, ash,
elm, cedar, plum and cherry; some of these are strengthened with sinews and glue. Almost every tribe has three
sizes, the largest being used for war purposes, and until
an Indian can handle this war bow, he is not considered
entitled to be called a warrior.
Some claim the Sioux and the Crows make the best
bows, although the Apaches come close in the rank.
When the Sioux bow is unstrung, it is a straight piece of
wood, while the Apaches and the Southern Indians make a An Uncivilized Savage.  CIVILIZATION—Actual and Alleged.        163
perfect Cupid's bow. The.Crows often use elk horns as
material, and carve them beautifully. The Sioux, to make
the straight piece of wood more elastic, string the backs
with sinews. Often these are beautifully beaded and
leathered, quite equaling, as a piece of art, the elaborate
elk horn bows made by the Crows. The Comanches*
bows are covered with sinew, much like those of the
Apaches. The object of practice is to enable the bowman
to draw the bow with sudden and instant effect. It is
seldom that the Indian has need of throwing the arrow to
a great distance.
The bow of the Western Indian is small and apparently
insignificant, though its owner makes it very powerful,
indeed. From his babyhood days he has habituated it to
his use, until it has become, as it were, a very part of his
nature. The Indian studies to get the greatest power out
of the smallest possible compass, and he finds a short bow
on horseback far more easily used and much more reliable
in its execution. In the Far West, bows are made largely
of ash, and are lined with layers of buffalo or deer sinews
on the back. The Blackfeet have in use very valuable
bows of bone. Other tribes make use of the horns of
mountain sheep. Sometimes the bone bows will fetch very
large sums of money, and deals have been noticed in which
the consideration for one of them was a pair of ponies,
with five pounds of butter thrown in as make-weight.
An athletic Indian on a fleet horse can do terrible
execution with one of these bows, which, even in these
days of repeating rifles, is by no means to be despised as a
weapon. No one can estimate the force of a throw from
one of them when an artistic archer is in charge. The
effects from a wound from an arrow are so distressing that 164
it is quite common to accuse an Indian of using poisoned
arrows, when possibly such a fiendish idea never entered
his head. Only those who have ridden side by side with
an Indian hunter really know how much more powerful
an arrow shot is than the average man supposes.
In war the Indians would even now arm themselves in
part with bow, quiver, lance, war club and shield. The
Northwestern tribes are partial to fighting with the bow and
lance, protected with a shield. This shield is worn outside of the left arm, after the manner of the Roman and
Grecian shield.
The Western Indians are fonder of horseback riding
than the Eastern tribes, and have learned to wield their
weapons while mounted. They are taught to kill game
while running at full speed, and prefer to fight on horseback. Some of them are great cowards when dismounted,
but seated on an Indian pony they are undaunted.
It is a mistake to suppose that arrow-heads are no
longer manufactured; the art of fashioning them is not
lost. Almost every tribe manufactures its own. Bowlders
of flint are broken with a sledge-hammer made of a
rounded pebble of hornstone set in a twisted withe. This
bone is thought to be the tooth of the sperm whale. In
Oregon the Indian arrow is still pointed with flint. The
Iroquois also used flint until they laid aside the arrow for
the lack of anything to hunt* The Iroquois youth, though
the rifle has been introduced largely into his tribe, will
have none of it, but takes naturally to the bow and arrow.
Steel for arrow-heads is furnished by the fur-traders in the
Rocky Mountains, and iron heads are often made from old
barrel hoops, fashioned with a piece of sandstone.
In  shooting  with  the bow and arrow on horseback, the CIVILIZATION—Actual and Alleged.        165
Indian horse is taught to approach the animal attacked on
the right side, enabling its rider to throw the arrow to the
left. Buffalo Bill was an adept at slaughtering game on
horseback, and he won his great bet at killing the greatest
number of buffaloes, by following the custom of the
Indians and shooting to the left. The horse approaches
the animal, his halter hanging loose upon his neck, bringing the rider within three or four paces of the game, when
the arrow or rifle ball is sent with ease and certainty
through the heart.
Indians who have the opportunity to ride nowadays,
still exercise with a lance twelve or fifteen feet in length.
In their war games and dances they always appear with
this lance and shield. The spears are modern and have a
blade of polished steel, and the shields are made of skin.
Those of old make are of buffalo neck. The skin is
soaked and hardened with a glue extracted from the hoofs.
The shields are arrow-proof, and will throw off a rifle shot
if held obliquely, and this the Indian can do with great
skill. Since there is no war or the occasion for the use of
these arms, except in games of practice, many of the
Indians, for a few bottles of "fire water," have sold their
"best shields, and now they are seen scattered over the
country, preserved as curios.
It is folly to assume that the Indians have wholly or
partly done away with their barbaric customs. In their
celebrations it is their great joy to cast off their clothing
and to paint their bodies all colors of the rainbow, wear
horns on their heads and make themselves look as hideous
as possible. The arrow game is introduced—never are
there demonstrations with the modern weapons—and the
man  is   esteemed  above  all  others  who  can  throw  the 166
greatest number of arrows in the sky before the first one
falls. In hunting, the Sioux kill muskrats with spears, as
they did in early days spear the buffaloes, managing to get
close to them by being dressed in wolf skin, and going on
all fours. There are Indians who would, on horseback,
attack and kill a bear with a lance, but are afraid to molest
the animal unless they have the Indian pony as a means of
The arrow-heads of chert used for hunting are peculiarly fastened, in order to make the arrow revolve. The
Indian feathers the arrow for the same purpose, and also
carves the arrow shaft with a spiral groove. This is not,
as has been supposed, to let the blood out of the wound,
but to make the arrow carry.
Every tribe has its own arrow. It is claimed that the
Pawnees are the best manufacturers. The Comanches
feather their arrows with two feathers; the Navajos,
Utes and all Apaches, except the Tontos, have three
feathers—the Tontos using four feathers for each shaft.
The bird arrow is the very smallest made.
" I have practiced" says one traveler, " for hours with
the Utes, uselessly trying to blame the twist of the feathered arrow for my bad shots. The Indians say the carving
and feathers are so arranged as to give the arrow the correct motion, and one old chief on seeing the twist in the
rifle barrel by which the ball is made to revolve in the
same manner, claimed that the white man stole his idea
from the Indian."
Stones, with grooves around their greatest circumference, are secured to a handle by a withe or' thong and
become war clubs. They are dangerous weapons in the
hand of an Indian.    Tomahawks, manufactured by white CIVILIZATION—Actual and Alleged.        167
men, have succeeded the war club in a way, as it is claimed
the rifle has the bow and arrow. Recent tomahawks
taken from the Indians bear an English trade-mark. They
originally cost about 15 cents, and were sold to the Indians
for nothing less than a horse, and perhaps two.
Chief "Wolf," an Indian Croesus, and the Yanderbilt of
the red men, though he is worth over $500,000 and drives
at times in an elegant coach, clings closely to his tepee,
ever demonstrating the savage part of his life.
He lives at Fishhook Bay, on the Snake River, in the
State of Washington. He is of the Palo use Snake Indians,
and though he has a comfortable house, he never sleeps
there, but goes to the tepee, no matter how inclement the
weather. In the days when the buffalo were plenty,
"Wolf" was a great hunter. He tells a tale of driving
3,000 bison over a bluff near the Snake, where they were
all killed by the fall. This is supposed to be true, because
until late years the place was a mass of bones. Though
he has his guns and all the modern fire-arms, both he
and his children cling to the primitive weapons of war.
The correspondence between the Governments of the
United States and Mexico over the brutal murder of two
men by the Seri Indians, seems to show that some at least
of the North American Indians have gained nothing at all
from the civilizing influences which are supposed to have
extended for so many years. The deed" had no other
motive than pure fiendishness. Small as is the tribe of
Seris—they number only about 200 souls—these savages
are the most blood-thirsty in North America. For a long
time they have terrorized Sonora, but the Mexican Government seems powerless to control them.
The tribe was visited recently by an expedition from 168
the Bureau of Ethnology, which has just returned to
Washington with some very interesting information.
Prof. W. J. McGee, who led the party, says: "It is
understood that the Seris are cannibals—at all events they
eat every white man they can slay. They are cruel and
treacherous beyond description. Toward the white man,
their attitude is exactly the same as that of a white man
toward a rattlesnake—they kill him as a matter of course,
unless restrained by fear. Never do they fight in open
warfare, but always lie in ambush. They are copper-
colored Ishmaelites. It is their custom to murder everybody, white, red or Mexican, who ventures to enter the
territory they call their own."
In many respects the Seris are the most interesting
tribe of savages in North America. They are decidedly
more primitive in their way than any other Indians, having
scarcely any arts worth mentioning. In fact, they have
not yet advanced as far as the stone age. The only stone
implement in common use among them is a rude hammer
of that material, which they employ for beating clay to
make a fragile and peculiar kind of pottery. When one
of the squaws wishes to make meal of mesquite beans, and
she has no utensil for the purpose, she looks about until
she finds a rock with an upper surface, conveniently hollow, and on this she places the beans, pounding them with
an ordinary stone.
The Seris live on the Island of Tiburon, in the Gulf of
California. They also claim 5,000 square miles of the
mainland in Sonora. Their dwellings are the rudest imaginable. A chance rock commonly serves for one wall of
the habitation; stones are piled up so as to make a small
enclosure, and the shell of a single great turtle does  for CIVILIZATION—Actual and Alleged.        169
a roof. The house is always open on one side, and is
not intended as a shelter from storms, but chiefly to keep
off the sun. - The men and women wear a single garment
like a petticoat, made of pelican skin; the children are
naked. Not far from Tiburon, which is about thirty miles
long by fifteen miles wide, there is a smaller island where
pelicans roost in vast numbers. The Seris go at night and
with sticks knock over as many birds as they require.
These Indians are fond of carrion. It makes no difference to them whether a horse has died a natural death a
week or a month ago, they devour the flesh greedily. The
feet of the animal they boil until those parts are tender
enough to bite. The Seris are among the very dirtiest
of savages. Their habits in all respects are filthy. They
seem to have almost no amusements, though the children
play with the very rudest dolls. Before the whites came
they used pieces of shells for cutting instruments. They
are accustomed to killing deer by running and surrounding
the animals. No traditions of sufficient interest to justify
recording in print appear to exist among these people.
The most interesting ornament seen on any member of the
tribe was a necklace of human hair, adorned with the
rattles of rattlesnakes, which abound in the territory
infested with these remnants of all that is most objectionable among the aboriginal red men of this continent.
Physically speaking, the Seris are most remarkable.
They are of great stature, the men averaging nearly six
feet in height, with splendid chests. But the most
noticeable point about them is their legs, which are very
slender and sinewy, resembling the legs of the deer.
Since the first coming of the Spaniards they have been
known to other tribes as the runners.    It is said that they 170
can run from 150 to 200 miles per day, not pausing for
rest. The jack rabbit is considered a very fleet animal,
yet these Indians are accustomed to catch jack rabbits by
outrunning them.
For this purpose, three men or boys go together. If
the rabbit ran straight away from the pursuer it could not
be taken, but its instinct is to make its flight by zigzags.
The hunters arrange themselves a short distance apart.
As quickly as one of them starts a rabbit, a second Indian
runs as fast as he can along a line parallel with the course
taken by the animal. Presently the rabbit sees the second
Indian, and dashes off at a tangent. By this time the
third hunter has come up and gives the quarry another
turn. After the third or fourth zigzag, the rabbit is surrounded, and the hunters quickly close in upon him and
grab him.
It is an odd fact that this method of catching jack
rabbits is precisely the same as that adopted by coyotes,
which work similarily by threes. By this strategy,
these wild dogs capture the rabbits, though the latter
are more fleet by far. It is believed that no other human
being approaches the Seris in celerity of movement. A
favorite sport of the boys is lassoing dogs. Mongrel curs
are the only animals domesticated by these wild people.
For amusement sake, the boys take their dogs to a clear
place and drive them in all directions, then they capture
the frightened animals by running and throwing the lassos,
which are made of human hair. They have no difficulty
in overtaking the dogs.
One day, a party of boys returning with their dogs
after a bout of this sport, passed near a bush in which
there were three or four blackbirds;   on spying the birds, CIVILIZATION—Actual and Alleged.        Ill
they dashed toward the bush and tried to catch them with
their hands; they did not succeed, though one of the
birds only escaped with the loss of several feathers.
Some women of the tribe were watching, and they actually
jeered at the birys for their failure. The boys were so
mortified that tfiey did not go into camp, but went off and
sat by themselves in the shade of a greasewood bush.
What white man or boy would think of catching blackbirds in such a way? Yet non-success in an attempt of
that kind was the exception and not the rule. The Seris
often take birds in this fashion.
Senor Encinas was the pioneer in that region. He
found good grazing country in the territory claimed by
the Seris, and so established his stock farm there. He
brought. priests with him to convert the savages, and
caught a couple of the latter to educate as interpreters.
The plan for civilizing the Indians proved a failure. They
did not care to become Christians, and they killed the
Senor's stock. So, finally, the Senor decided to adopt a
new course of procedure. He summoned the Indians to
a council, as many of them as would come, and informed
them that from that time on he and his vaqueros would
slay an Indian for every head of cattle that was killed.
At the same time he sent away the priests and engaged an
additional number of vaqueros.
The Indians paid no attention to the warning, and a
few days later they killed several head of cattle. Without
delay the Senor and his men coralled and killed a corresponding number of the Seris. Then there was war.
The savages made ambushes, but they had only bows and
arrows, and the vaqueros fought bravely with their guns.
Every   ambush turned out disastrously for the Indians. 172
Finally, the Seris made a great ambush, and there was a
battle which resulted in the killing of sixty-five savages.
The lesson proved sufficient, and the Indians were glad to
conclude a permanent peace, agreeing that no further
depredations against the Senor or his property should be
attempted. From beginning to end the fighting lasted ten
After the killing of the two Americans, the Seris were
very much afraid of reprisals. For a good while they did
not dare to. come to the ranch of- Senor Encinas, but at
length one old woman came for the philosophical purpose
of seeing if she would be killed. She was well treated and
went away. Eventually confidence was restored, and about
sixty of the savages were visiting on the premises.
No other people in North America have so few conceptions of civilization as the Seris. They have absolutely no
agriculture. As well as can be ascertained they never put
a seed into the ground or cultivate a plant. They live
almost wholly on fish, water fowl, and such game as they
kill on the main land. The game includes large deer, like
black tails, and exquisite species of dwarf deer, about
the size of a three months' fawn, pecarries, wild turkeys,
prairie dogs, rabbits and quail. They take very large
green turtles in the Gulf of California. Mesquite beans*
they eat both cooked and raw. The mesquite is a small
tree that bears seeds in pods.
The snake dance is another evidence of the comparative
failure of civilization to civilize. This is seen chiefly in
the vicinity of the Grand Caiion of the Colorado.
Venomous rattlesnakes are used in the dance, which is
an annual affair. Hundreds of snakes are caught for the
occasion, and when the great day arrives the devotees rush CIVILIZATION—Actual and Alleged.        173
into the corral and each seizes a rattler for his purpose.
^Reliable authorities, who have witnessed this dance,
Touch for the fact that the snakes are not in any way
robbed of their power to implant their poisonous fangs
into the flesh of the dancers. It even appears as though
the greater the number of bites, the more delighted are the
participants, who hold the reptiles in the most careless
manner and allow them to strike where they will, and to
plant their horrible fangs into the most vulnerable parts
with impunity. When the dance is over, the snakes are
taken back to the woods and given their liberty, the superstition prevailing that for the space of one year the
reptiles will protect the tribe from all ill or suffering.
The main interest attached to this dance is the secret
•of why. it is the dancers do not die promptly. No one
doubts the power of the rattlesnake to kill. Liberal
potations of whisky are supposed by some people to serve
as an antidote, while Mexicans and some tribes of Indians
claim to have knowledge of a herb which will also prolong
the life of a man stung by a snake and apparently doomed
to an early death. Tradition tells us that for the purposes
of this dance, a special antidote has been handed down
from year to year, and from generation to generation, by
the priests of the Moquis. It is stated that one of the
patriarchs of old had the secret imparted to him under
pledges and threats of inviolable secrecy. By him it has
heen perpetuated with great care, being always known to
three persons, the high priest of the tribe, his vice-regent
and proclaimed successor, and the oldest woman among
them. On the death of any one of the three trustees of
the secret, the number is made up in the manner ordered
by  the  rites  of  the  tribal   religion,   and to  reveal  the 174
secret in any other way is to invite a sudden and an awful
During the three days spent by the dancers in hunting
snakes, it is stated that the secret decoction is freely
administered to them, and that in consequence they handle
the reptiles with perfect confidence. When they are bitten
there is a slight irritation but nothing worse. On the
other hand, there is often a heavy loss of life during the
year from snake bites, for the sacred antidote is only used
on the stated occasion for which it was, so the legend runs,
specially prepared or its nature revealed.
The people living within almost sight of the Grand
Canon vary as much in habits and physique as does the
scenery and general contour of the canon vary in appearance. The Cliff Dwellers and the Pueblos do not as a
rule impress the stranger with their physical development,
nor are they on the average exceptionally tall or heavy.
There are, however, small tribes in which physical development has been, and still is, a great feature. Unlike the
Pueblos, these larger men wear little clothing, so that their
muscular development and the size of their limbs are more
conspicuous. Naturally skilled hunters, these powerful
members of the human race climb up and down the most
dangerous precipices, and lead an almost ideal life in the
most inaccessible of spots.
The Maricopa Indians must be included among those
whose general appearance seems to invite admiration, however much one may regret the absence of general civilization and education. These men are for the most part
honest, if not hard working, and they are by no means
unpleasant neighbors. Right near them are the homes of
smaller Indians, who have reduced peculation to a fine art, CIVILIZATION—Actual and Alleged.        175
and who steal on general principles. We have all heard of
the little boy who prefers to steal poor apples from his
neighbor's tree to picking up good ones in his father's
orchard. Much the same idea seems to prevail among
these Indians. They will frequently spend several hours,
and even the greater portion of a day, maneuvering to
secure some small article worth but a few cents to any one.
They have a way of ingratiating themselves with white
tourists, and offering to act as guides not only to spots of
special beauty, but also to mines of great value. When
they succeed in convincing strangers of their reliability,
they are happy, and at once proceed to exhibit the peculiar
characteristics of their race. Pocket handkerchiefs, stockings and hats are believed to be the articles after which
they seek with the most vigor. They are, however, not
particular as to what they secure, and anything that is left
unguarded for but a few hours, or even minutes, is certain
to be missed. The perquisites thus obtained or retained
are regarded as treasure trove. When first charged with
having stolen anything, they deny all knowledge of the
offense, and protest their innocence in an amusing manner. When, however, convincing proof is obtained, and
the missing article discovered, the convicted thief thinks
the matter a good joke, and laughs most heartily at the
credulity and carelessness of the white man.
Houses on Rocks and Sand Hiils—How Many Families Dwelt Together
in Unity—Peculiarities of Costumes—Pueblo Architecture and Folk
Lore—A Historic Struggle and How it Ended—Legends Concerning Montezuma—Curious Religious Ceremonies.
[I^^ERHAPS the most peculiar people to be found in
Ur our native land are the Pueblos, who live in
New Mexico between the Grande and Colorado Rivers.
When Coronado, the great explorer, marched through the
territory 450 years ago, he found these people in a condition of at least comparative civilization. They were
living in large houses, each capable of accommodating
several families, and solidly built. Although they had.
wandering bands of robbers for their nearest neighbors,
they were able to defend themselves against all comers, and
were content and prosperous. Their weapons, although
primitive, were quite scientific, and were handled with
much skill as well as bravery.
For two years they were able to withstand the Spanish
invaders in their "casas-grandes." It had been reported
to the Spanish commanders that several hundred miles in
the north lay a great empire named Cibola, which had seven
large cities. In these were long streets, on which only
gold and silversmiths resided; imposing palaces towered
in the suburbs, with doors and columns of pure turquoise;
the windows were made of precious stones brilliantly polished.    At the sumptuous feasts of the prince of the land,
enchanting slaves served the most delicate dainties on
golden dishes. There were mountains of opal rising above
valleys reveling in jewels, with crystal streams, whose
bottom consisted of pure silver sand.
The disappointment of the Spaniards was great. A
number of large Indian villages were found, whose inhabitants subsisted upon the fruits of a primitive agriculture.
The frugality and thrift of the Pueblos excited the interest
of the voluptuous Spaniards. The peculiar architecture of
the villages and houses also drew their admiration. Taken
as a whole, the circles of houses resembled the cells of a
wasp's nest, of which the upper stories were reached on a
crude ladder. Entrance could be gained only through a
small opening in the roof, not even the sides facing the
streets containing doors. A few heavily grated windows
served as port-holes for their arrows. These peculiar constructions of baked clay are still fashionable in such old
towns as Suni, Taos and others.
Situated as the Moqui villages and Acoma were, on
the top of an inaccessible rock, the Spaniards despaired of
conquering them. The supposed Cibola not panning out
according to expectation, they did not seek reinforcement,
and left the Pueblos in peace. Only near the end of the
Sixteenth Century the Pueblos had to submit to Spanish
rule, under which they remained until 1848, when the
territory embracing New Mexico and Arizona was ceded
to the United States.
In some respects the Spanish supremacy proved beneficial to the Indians. They virtually maintained their
independence. Many innovations in their life and customs can be traced from this period. The only domestic
creatures  in  their  villages  were   large   turkeys,   whose 178
feathers served as head ornaments for the warriors; but
horses, cows, sheep, goats, dogs and last, but not least,
the indispensable burros were added to their domestic
The most important change in their communistic mode
of living dates from the annexation of New Mexico to the
United States, and the introduction of railroads. Their
unfriendly neighbors, the Apaches, Comanches, Kiowas
and Navajos, were restricted to their own reservations.
Feeling safe under the powerful protection of the
Government, these peaceable people have begun to relinquish their old mode of communistic existence in their
strange dwellings. Until recently, there was a promiscuous
living together of large families in the numerous apartments
of a single house, to which access could be only obtained
through a small aperture in the roof. More modern
cottages are being built for single families now; farming
is also carried on on a large scale, and in some parts grape
and fruit culture is attempted with good results.
All the villages are characterized by a certain industrial
monopoly. In one of them, for instance, the pottery for
all the Pueblos is manufactured; in others, like the Moqui
villages, all the people are employed in the making of
finely woven goats' hair blankets, in which occupation many
are great experts. Although a large number are engaged in
the sale of blankets and Indian goods in the southwestern
part of the Union, in the gold diggings of California, in
Mormon settlements, in the small railroad stations of
Arizona, the average Pueblo Indian prefers a settled life.
He is domestic in his habits, and loves his family, his
cattle, his farm and his neighbors as dearly as does his
pale-faced   brothers.    And  has   he  not   good  cause  to   OLD   TIME   COMMUNISTS.
rejoice and be contented with his lot? Has he not a faithful and charming wife? There are some pretty girls of
perfect contour among the Pueblo Indians, especially in
the Tigua villages. Are not his gleeful children, who are
enjoying a romp on the huge sand hills, obedient and reverential in his presence ? The impudent spirit of young
America has not yet exerted its baneful influence here.
How scrupulously clean are the households! The good
housewives of the Netherlands do not excel the Pueblo
squaws in cleanliness. Floors are always carefully swept;
all along the walls of the spacious rooms seats and couches
are covered with finely variegated rugs; the walls are
tastefully decorated with pictures and mirrors, and the
large cupboards are filled with luxurious fruits, meats,
pastry and jellies. Thousands of white bread-winners in
the large cities would envy these Indians if they could
behold their comparative affluence and their obviously
contented state. Nor do they obtain all this without
fatiguing toil. The land is barren and dry, which compels
them to induce irrigation through long canals from far
away streams, and the men are never afraid of work.
The Pueblo pottery of to-day differs but little from
that of the Sixteenth Century. In the pottery villages the
work is done mostly by men, who sit on the broad, shaded
platform and shape their immense vessels in imitation of
human beings and every imaginable animal shape. The
grotesquely shaped mouth is generally intended for the
opening, through which the water, soup or milk Is poured.
The squaws are assuming more and more the occupations of the modern housewife, though they still grind
their corn in the stone troughs used hundreds of years
ago, and they still bake their bread in thin layers on hot, 182
glowing stones. Dressmakers and tailors still go a-begging among the Pueblo people, and no attention whatever
is paid to Parisian dictators of fashion. The good Pueblo
squaw cuts, fits, and sews all the clothing for the family,
which used to be composed mostly of leather. Her
husband's wardrobe consists now of a few multi-colored
shirts, a pair or two of leather pantaloons, with silver
buttons, mocassins and a shoulder blanket.
The head gear,-if any be worn, as is often the case, is
simply a large colored handkerchief. Girls are usually
dressed like the daughters of Southern farmers, but they
refuse to discard the bloomers, over which the petticoats
are worn a little below the knees. These leather pantalettes are a necessity in a country where poisonous snakes
and insects abound in gardens and fields. To see a
Pueblo girl at her best, she must be surprised in animated
gossip in a bevy of girl friends, or when engaged in
mirthful laughter while at work. Then the expressive,
deep black eyes sparkle and the white teeth offer a glittering contrast to her fine black tresses, eyes and eyebrows.
The Pueblo Indians are to be congratulated on one fact
especially, that they permitted their moral improvement
through the agency of the black-frocked missionaries and
school teachers who came from the East, but also that they
are one of the few tribes who resisted the conscienceless
rascals who would wreck their homes through "fire water"
and gambling devices.
A large number of ancient many-storied, many chambered communal houses are scattered over New Mexico,
three of the most important of which are Isletta, Laguna
and Acoma. Isletta and Laguna are within a stone's
throw  of   the   railroad,  ten  miles   and   sixty-six  miles, OLD  TIME   COMMUNISTS.
respectively, beyond Albuquerque, and Acoma is reached
from either Laguna or Bubero by a drive of a dozen miles.
The aboriginal inhabitants of the pueblos, an intelligent,
complex, industrious and independent race, are anomalous
among North American natives. They are housed to-day
in the self-same structures in which their forefathers were
discovered, and in three and a half centuries of contact
with Europeans their manner of life has not materially
The Indian tribes that roamed over mountain and plain
have become wards of the Government, debased and
denuded of whatever dignity they once possessed, ascribe
what cause you will for their present condition. But the
Pueblo Indian has absolutely maintained the integrity of
his individuality, and is self-respecting and self-sufficient.
He accepted the form of religion professed by his Spanish
conquerors, but without abandoning his own, and that is
practically the only concession his persistent conservatism
has ever made to external influence.
Laborious efforts have been made to penetrate the
reserve with which the involved inner life of this strange
child of the desert is guarded, but it lies like a dark, vast
continent behind a dimly visible shore, and he dwells
within the shadowy rim of a night that yields no ray to
tell of his origin. He is a true pagan, swathed in seemingly dense clouds of superstition, rich in fanciful legend,
and profoundly ceremonious in religion. His gods are
innumerable. Not even the ancient Greeks possessed a
more populous Olympus. On that austere yet familiar
height, gods of peace and of war, of the chase, of bountiful harvest and of famine, of sun and rain and snow, elbow
a thousand others for standing room.    The trail of the 184
serpent has crossed his history, too, and he frets his
pottery with an imitation of its scales, and gives the rattlesnake a prominent place among his deities. Unmistakably
a pagan, yet the purity and well being of his communities-
will bear favorable comparison with those of the enlightened world.
He is brave, honest and enterprising within the fixed
limits of his little sphere; his wife is virtuous, his children
are docile. And were the whole earth swept bare of every
living thing, save for a few leagues surrounding his tribal
home, his life would show no manner of disturbance.
Probably he might never hear of so unimportant an event.
He would still alternately labor and relax in festive games,
still reverence his gods and rear his children to a life of
industry and content, so anomalous is he, so firmly established in an absolute independence.
Pueblo architecture possesses none of the elaborate
ornamentation found in the Aztec ruins in Mexico. The
exterior of the house is absolutely plain. It is sometimes
seven stories in height and contains over a thousand rooms.
In some instances it is built of adobe—blocks of mud
mixed with straw and dried in the sun, and in others, of
stone covered with mud cement. The entrance is by
means of a ladder, and when that is pulled up the latch-
string is considered withdrawn.
• The pueblo of pueblos is Acoma, a city without a peer.
It is built upon the summit of a table-rock, with overhanging, eroded sides, 350 feet above the plain, which is 7,000-
feet above the sea. Anciently, according to the traditions
of the Queres, it stood upon the crest of the superb
Haunted Mesa, three miles away, and some 300 feet
higher, but its only approach was one day destroyed by OLD  TIME   COMMUNISTS.
the falling of a cliff, and three unhappy women, who
chanced to be the only occupants—the remainder of the
population being at work in the fields below—died of
starvation, in view of the homeless hundreds of their
people who for many days surrounded the unscalable mesa
with upturned, agonized faces.
The present Acoma is the one discovered by the Spaniards; the original pueblo on the Mesa Encantada being
even then an ancient tradition. It is 1,000 feet in length
and 40 feet high, and there is, besides, a church of enormous proportions. Until lately, it was reached only by a
precipitous stairway in the rock, up which the inhabitants
carried upon their backs every particle of the materials of
which the village is constructed. The graveyard consumed
forty years in building, by reason of the necessity of
hringing earth from the plain below; and the church must
have cost the labor of many generations, for its walls are
GO feet high and 10 feet thick, and it has timbers 40 feet
long and 14 inches square.
The Acomas welcomed the soldiers of Coronado with
deference, ascribing to them celestial origin. Subsequently, upon learning the distinctly human character of
the Spaniards, they professed allegiance, but afterwards
wantonly slew a dozen of Zaldibar's men. By way of
reprisal, Zaldibar headed three-score soldiers and undertook to carry the sky-citadel by assault. The incident has
no parallel in American history, short of the memorable
and similar exploit of Cortez on the great Aztec pyramid.
After a three days' hand to hand struggle, the Spaniards
stood victors upon that seemingly impregnable fortress,
and received the submission of the Queres, who for three-
quarters of a century thereafter remained tractable.    In 186
that interval, the priests came to Acoma and held footing
for fifty years, until the bloody uprisal of 1680 occurred,
in which priest, soldier and settler were massacred or
driven from the land, and every vestige of their occupation
was extirpated. After the resubjection of the natives by
De Yargas, the present church was constructed, and the
Pueblos have not since rebelled against the contiguity of
the white man.
All the numerous Mexican communities in the Terri-
tory contain representatives of the Penitentes order, which
is peculiar by reason of the self-flagellations inflicted by its
members in excess of pietistic zeal. Unlike their ilk of
India, they do not practice self-torture for long periods,
but only upon a certain day in each year. Then, stripped
to the waist, these poor zealots go chanting a dolorous
strain, and beating themselves unsparingly upon the back
with the sharp-spined cactus, or soap-weed, until they are
a revolting sight to look upon. Often they sink from the
exhaustion of long-sustained suffering and loss of blood.
One of the ceremonies among these peculiar people is the
bearing of a huge cross of heavy timber for long distances.
Martyrs to conscience and religious devotees frequently
carry crosses of immense weight for miles, and arc
watched eagerly by crowds of excited spectators. The
man who carries this f anatacism to the greatest length is
the hero of the day, and receives the appointment of Chief
of the Ceremonies for the following year.
Ceremonies such as these point to the extreme antiquity
of the people, and seem to indicate that they must have
been descended from tribes which were prominent in
biblical narrative. According to many able historians,
people have resided in this part of the world for at least OLD   TIME   COMMUNISTS.
twelve hundred years. In other words, when Columbus
and Americus Vespucius discovered and explored the new
world or portions of it, these peculiar people had been
living on the then mysterious continent for the greater
part of a thousand years.
According to some authorities these people are aboriginal. According to others, they migrated from some distant clime. The antiquity of China is well known, and
there is good reason to believe that the Moquis and Zunis
have sprung from Chinese voyagers, or perhaps pirates,
who, hundreds of years ago, were wrecked on the western
shores of America. Another theory is, that on the occasion of one of the numerous expulsions or emigrations from
China, a band of Mongolians turned northward and came
into America by crossing the Behring Strait.
Other antiquarians think that Morocco, rather than
China, was the original home of these races. The traveler
is much struck with the resemblance between the habits and
customs of the Moors and of some of the old established
tribes of New Mexico. In dress and architecture the
Moorish idea certainly prevails very prominently. The
white toga and the picturesque red turban are prominent
in these resemblances. The jugs used for carrying water
are distinctly Moorish in type, and the women carry them
on their heads in that peculiar manner which is so characteristic of Moorish habits and customs.
One of the very earliest records of these people has
been left us by Spanish explorers. A writer who accompanied one of the earliest expeditions from Spain, says :
\ "We found a great town called Acoma, containing about
5,000 people, and situated upon a rock about fifty paces
high, with no other entrance but by a pair of stairs hewn 188
in the rock, whereat our people marveled not a little. The
chief men of this town came peaceably to visit us, bringing
many mantles and chamois skins, excellently dressed, and
great plenty of victuals. Their corn-fields were two leagues
distant, and they fetched water out of a small river to
water the same, on the brinks whereof there were great
hanks of roses like those of Castile.— There—were many
mountains full of metals. Our men remained in the place
three days, upon one of which the inhabitants made before
them a very solemn dance, coming forth in the same
gallant apparel, using very witty sports, wherewith our
men were exceedingly delighted."
Among the ruins found here, the early use of stone
iior architectural purposes is clearly manifested, and there
a,re innumerable relics of ingenuity in periods upon which
we are apt to look with great contempt. Arrow-heads
made of flint, quartz, agate and jaspar, can easily be found
by the relic hunter. Hatchets made of stone, and sharpened in a most unique manner, are also common, and fhe
ancestors of the Pueblos undoubtedly used knives made
of stone hundreds of years ago.
One of the most interesting of the ancient houses is
in the Chaco Canon. This edifice was probably at one
time 300 feet long, about half as wide and three stories
high. From the nature of the rooms, it is evident that
the walls were built in terrace-form out of sandstone.
There were about 150 rooms, and judging from the present
habits of the people, at least 500 human beings lived in
this mammoth boarding-house. Another very interesting
structure of a similar character is found on the Upper
Grande River, about two hours' drive from Santa Fe. It
was  about  300 feet square originally, and most of the OLD   TIME   COMMUNISTS.
foundations are still in fairly good condition, though much
of the exposed portion of the stone has yielded by degrees
to the friction caused by continual sandstorms. It is
believed that more than 1,000 people lived in this one
Of recent years a good deal has been written concerning the possibilities of the future in regard to saving
expense by large numbers of families occupying one
house. Most of these ideas have been ridiculed, because
experience has proved that families seldom reside comfortably in crowded quarters. The tribes of which we are
writing, while they destroy the originality of the communistic ideas of the Nineteenth Century, also disprove the
arguments which are principally brought against them.
In these singular houses or colonies, several families live
together in perfect harmony. There are no instances on
record of disputes such as are met with in boarding-houses
patronized by white people, and in this one respect, at any
rate, quite a lesson is taught us by the Pueblo tribes.
The people are quiet and peaceable in disposition, and one
secret of their peaceful dwelling together is found in the
absence of jealousy, a characteristic or vice which does not
seem to have penetrated into the houses on the cliffs, or
to have sullied the dispositions of these people with such a
remarkable and creditable history. It requires a good
deal of dexterity and agility "to enter or leave a communal house of this character, and a door, from what we
are apt to term a civilized point of view, is unknown.
The visitor is told a number of legends and stories
about these houses and the people who live in them. The
coming of Montezuma is the great idea which permeates
all the legends and stories.    According to many* of the 190
people, Montezuma left Mexico, during the remote ages,
in a canoe built of serpent-skins. His object was to civilize the East and to do away with human sacrifice. He
communicated with the people by means of cords in which
knots were tied in the most ingenious manner. The knots
conveyed the meaning of the Prophet, and his peculiar
messages were carried from pueblo to pueblo by swift
messengers, who took great delight in executing their
A number of exceedingly romantic legends are centered
around the Pueblo de Taos, which is about twenty miles
from Embudo. Taos is considered the most interesting
and the most perfect specimen of a Pueblo Indian fortress.
It consists of two communistic houses, each five stories
high, and a Roman Catholic church (now in a ruined
condition) which stands near, although apart from the
dwellings. Around the fortress are seven circular mounds,
which at first suggest the idea of being the work of
mound-builders. On further examination they prove to
be the sweating chambers or Turkish baths of this curious
people. Of these chambers, the largest appears also to
serve the purpose of a council chamber and mystic hall,
where rites peculiar to the tribe (about which they are
very reticent) are performed.
The Pueblo Indians delight to adorn themselves in gay
colors, and form very interesting and picturesque subjects
for the artist, especially when associated with their quaint
surroundings. They are skilled in the manufacture of
pottery, basket-making and bead work. The grand annual
festival of these Indians occurs on the 30th of September, and the ceremonies are of a peculiarly interesting
character. OLD   TIME   COMMUNISTS. 191
Jesuitism has grafted its faith upon the superstitions
of the Montezumas, and a curious fruitage is the result.
The mystic rites of the Pueblo Indians, performed at
Pueblo de Taos in honor of San Geronimo (St. Jerome),
upon each succeeding 30th day of September, attract large
concourses of people, and are of great interest to either
the ethnologist, ecclesiastic or tourist. A brief description can give but a faint idea of these ceremonies, but may
serve to arouse an interest in the matter. In the early
morning of St. Jerome's day, a black-robed Indian makes
a recitation from the top of the pueblo to the assembled
multitude below. In the plaza stands a pine tree pole,
fifty feet in height, and from a cross-piece at top dangles
a live sheep, with legs tied together and back down.
Besides the sheep, a garland of such fruits and vegetables
as the valley produces, together with a basket of bread
and grain, hang from the pole. The bell in the little
adobe chapel sounds and a few of the Indians go in to
A curious service follows. A rubicund Mexican priest
is the celebrant, while two old Mexicans in modern dress,
and a Pueblo Indian in a red blanket, are acolytes. When
the host is elevated, an Indian at the door beats a villainous
drum and four musket shots are discharged. After the
services are concluded, a procession is formed and marches
to the race track, which is three hundred yards in length.
The runners have prepared themselves in the estufas, or
underground council chambers, and soon appear. There
are fifty of them, and all are naked except a breech-clout,
and are painted no two alike. Fifty other runners to contest with these, arrive from the other pueblo. They form
in line on either side of fhe course, and a slow, graceful 192
dance ensues. All at once three hundred mad young Mexicans rush through the throng on their wild ponies, the
leader swinging by the neck the gallo or cock. Then the
races begin, two runners from each side darting down the
track cheered by their companions. No sooner do they
reach the goal than two others start off, and thus for two
hours, until the sum of victories gained by individuals
entitles one party or the other to claim success. The race
decided, the runners range themselves in two facing lines,
and, preceded by the drum, begin a slow zig-zag march.
Excitement now runs riot. The dancers chant weird
songs, break the ranks and vie with each other in their
antics and peculiarities. A rush is made upon the crowd
of spectators through whom the participants in the orgies
force their way, regardless of consequences. The women,
who hitherto have taken but little part in the excitement,
now come forward and throw cakes and rolls of bread
from the pueblo terraces. Everybody rushes after these
prizes in a headlong manner, and the confusion becomes
still greater.
An adjournment is then taken for dinner, and in the
afternoon, six gorgeously painted and hideously decorated
clowns come forward and go through a series of antics
calculated to disgust rather than amuse the spectator.
The unfortunate sheep, which is still hanging to the pole, is
finally thrown to the ground after several attempts have
been made to climb the pole. The fruits and products are
seized by the clowns, who rush off with them, and every one
connected with the tribe seem to be highly satisfied with
the outcome of the day's proceedings, and the culmination
of the spectacle. CHAPTER  XL
''Remember Custer"—An Eye Witness of the Massacre—Custer,
Cody and Alexis—A Ride over the Scenes of the Unequal
Conflict—Major Reno V Marked Failure—How "Sitting Bull" Ran
Away and Lived to Fight Another Day—Why a Medicine Man
did   not   Summon   Rain.
**iOEMEMBER Custer" was the watchword and
■■ ^ battle-cry of the small army of American soldiers who early in the present decade advanced against
hostile Indians in the Northwest, who after indulging f0r
weeks in a series of fantastic dances and superstitious
rites, were finally called to time by the Government and
punished for their disregard of treaty rights and reasonable orders. Every American child should know who
Custer was and why the troopers called upon each other to
remember him on the occasion referred to. It is less than
twenty years since he died. His name should be remembered by civilians as well as soldiers for almost as many
centuries to come.
There are some men who seem to defy and even court
death. Custer was one of these. He was so recklessly
brave that he often caused anxiety to his superior officers.
Time and again he led a handful" of men apparently into
the jaws of death and brought them out safely, after having practically annihilated the foe. As the pitcher which
is carried safely to the well ninety-nine times sometimes
gets broken at the hundredth attempt, so was it with Gen-
(193) 194
eral Custer. In June, 1876, his detachment was outnumbered twenty to one at a little ford near Crazy Horse
Creek, in Dakota, and his entire command was wiped out.
An adopted son of "Sitting Bull," the famous Indian, states
that he saw Custer die, adding that he twice witnessed the
hero lying on his back fighting his foes. The third time
he saw him a blanket was drawn over the hero, who was
apparently dead.
On another page is given an admirable illustration of
the camp and ford, as well as of the monument erected in
Custer's memory, with typical Indian camp scene. This
picture is from photographs taken specially for Mr.
Charles S. Fee, General Passenger Agent of the Northern
Pacific Railroad, whose tracks run close by this scene of
such sad history.
A volume could be devoted to the life of Custer, the
adventures he encountered, and the risks he ran in the course
of his eventful and useful career. His works and his memoirs bristle with information concerning the actual truths of
border life and Indian warfare, bereft of romance and exaggeration. Like almost all Indian fighters, Custer enter-
tained a supreme contempt for the red man generally,
although his naturally kind disposition led him to give
credit to individual red men for bravery, gratitude, and
other characteristics generally believed to be inconsistent
with their character and nationality.
Besides being a gallant fighter, Custer was also a great
lover of recreation and fun, while a genuine hunting expedition drew him out from his almost habitual quiet and
made him the natural leader of the party. Among his
friends was William Cody, better known to the amusement
loving world as Buffalo Bill, on account of his alleged exces- HOW CUSTER LIVED AND DIED.      195
sive prowess in the shooting and destruction of buffalo.
If Mr. Cody were consulted, he would probably prefer to be
called Indian Bill, as his hatred of the average red man
was very largely in excess of his anxiety to kill the humpbacked oxen, which were, at one time, almost in sole possession of the Western prairies. On one occasion, he and
Custer had a very delightful time together, and Cody has
given a pleasing description of what took place.
This was on the occasion of the visit to this country of
the Grand Duke Alexis. Some twenty-three years ago this
European celebrity enjoyed a tour through the United
States, and visited most of the grandest features of our
native land. Before coming to the country, he had heard
vof its great hunting facilities, and also of the sport to be
obtained from shooting buffalo on the prairie. He mentioned this fact to the officers of the Government, who
were detailed to complete arrangements for his benefit,
and, acccordingly, it was arranged that the Grand Duke
should be conducted into buffalo land, and initiated into
the mysteries of buffalo hunting, by the officer who has
since been annihilated by the Sioux, and the irrepressible
hunter who has since developed into a prince among show-
These two somewhat rough, but very kind, chaperones,
took with them on this trip a party of Indians, including
"Spotted Tail," with whose daughter Custer carried on, we
are told, a mild flirtation on the march. A great deal of
amusement was derived from the trip, as well as very much
important information.
It was but four years later that Custer was engaged on
a more serious and less entertaining mission. The scene
of the tragedy was visited some three years ago by Mr. 196
JL. D. Wheeler, to whom we are indebted for the following
very graphic and interesting description of the visit and of
the thoughts it called forth:
"A rather lengthy ride found us at Reno's crossing of
the river, the ford where he crossed to make his attack.
Fording the stream, we dismounted among the youno-
timber and bushes lining the stream, and ate lunch.
Before lunch was finished, two Indian girls came down the
river. The younger, tall, slender and graceful, dressed in
bright, clean scarlet, was a picture. With her jet black
hair hanging in shining plaits, her piercing eyes and handsome face, she was the most comely, sylph-like Indian
maiden I have ever seen.
"Mounting our horses, lunch over, we cantered backod
the trail that Custer and Reno followed, for a ride of
several miles to Lookout Hill, or Point, which we ascended. This was the point where Custer and his officers
obtained their first view of the valley of the Greasy Grass,
as the Sioux call the Little Horn.
"After a survey of the region, spurring our horses forward, we in time found ourselves climbing the gentle
acclivities which led up to Reno's old rifle-pits, now almost
obliterated. The most noticeable feature of the spot is
the number of blanched bones of horses which He scattered
about. A short distance from the pits—which are rather
rounded, and follow the outline of the hills in shape—and
in a slight hollow below them, are more bones of horses.
This is where the wounded were taken, and the hospital
established, and the horses kept. From the wavy summit
line of the bluffs, the ground slopes in an irregular broken
way back to the northeast and east, into a .coulee that
forms the passage to the ford which Custer aimed for and Custer Battle Field and Monument.  HOW CUSTER LIVED AND DIED,
never reached. The ground about the battle-field is now
a national cemetery. It is enclosed by a wire fence,
and there are several hundred acres of it. It might be
cared for in a manner somewhat better than it is. During
one of my visits there, a Crow Indfan rode up to the gate
and deliberately turned his herd of horses into the in-
closure to graze.
"As I rode into the grounds, after fording and recross-
ing the river where Custer failed, the first object to greet my
sight was a small inclosure, with large mound and headstone, which marked the spot where Lieutenant Crittenden
fell. At one corner, and outside of it, stood the regulation
marble slab which marks the place where each body on the
field was found. This one stated that there Lieutenant
Calhoun was killed. At numbers of places down the
western slope, but near the ravines, the surface is dotted
with the little gravestones. In some places, far down the
descent, and far from where Custer, Van Reilly, Tom
Custer and others fell, they are seen singly; in other spots
three or four, or half a dozen. At one point there are
over thirty, well massed together. Down in this part of
the field, in the ravine running towards the monument, is
the stone marking where Dr. Lord's body was found, and
with it are four others.
"In the shallow coulee east of the ridge, and almost at
the bottom of the slope, some distance northwest of where
Calhoun and Crittenden were killed, and on the main
ridge slope of it, is a large group of stones. Here is where
Captain Miles Keogh and thirty-eight men gave up their
lives. On this side of the ridge—the eastern side—between where Keogh and his men died and where Custer
fell, there are numerous stones.    On the opposite side of
12 200
the Custer ridge—that which faces the river—and close to
its crest, there are very few stones, and those are much
scattered, and not in groups. At the northern extremity
of the ridge is a slight elevation which overtops everything
else, and slopes away*in all directions, save where the
ridge lies. Just below this knoll, or hillock—Custer
Hill—facing southwest, is where Custer and the larger
part of his men fell." -?**>%*,
On the right bank of the Missouri River—the Big
Muddy—in North Dakota, almost within rifle shot of the
town of Mandan, on the Northern Pacific Railroad, there
existed in the '70s a military post named after the nation's
great martyr President, Fort Abraham Lincoln. On the
morning of the 17th of June, 1876, there went forth from
here among others, with the pomp and ceremony for which
they were distinguished, a cavalry regiment famed in the
army for dash, bravery and endurance—the noted Seventh
At the head of the Seventh Cavalry was a man who
was unquestionably the most picturesque character for
long years, and perhaps for all previous and present time,
in the army. Entering the army in active service during
the Civil War, his career was a continual round of successes and advances, and at its close, aside from the
peerless Sheridan, no cavalryman had a greater reputation
for magnificent dash than he. Transferred to the plains—
the war over—his success as an Indian campaigner naturally followed, and at the time he moved out upon his
latest and fated expedition, George Custer had a reputation as an Indian fighter second to none.
On June 22d, Custer and the Seventh Cavalry left
camp on  the Rosebud in compliance with  their  instruc- HOW CUSTER LIVED AND DIED.     201
tions. On the 23d and 24th, many of the camping places
of the Indians, in their migration westward, were passed.
By evening of June 24th, the trail and signs had become
so hot and fresh that a halt was ordered to await tidings
from the scouts. Their information proved that the Indians were across the divide, over in the valley of the
Little Horn. Custer, confident of his ability to whip the
Indians single-handed, prepared for fight at once. He
pushed ahead on the trail, and created the impression that
it was his determination to get to the spot, and have one
battle royal with the Indians, in which he and the Seventh
should be the sole participants on our side, and in consequence the sole heroes. The idea of defeat seems never
to have occurred to him.
Early on the morning of June 25th, Custer resumed
his march. Up to that time the command was maneuvered as a whole. Now, however, it was divided into four
detachments. One under Major Reno, consisting of three
troops of cavalry and the Indian scouts, forty in number,
held the advance; the second battalion, composed also of
three troops, moved off some miles to the left of Reno,
scouting the country to the southward; a third detachment, comprising the pack train which carried the reserve
ammunition—some 24,000 rounds—was under the command of Captain McDougall, and had one troop as an escort;
the fourth battalion was that under Custer himself, and
was the largest, having five troops, and it marched parallel
to Reno and within easy supporting distance to the north,
the pack train following the trail in rear of Reno and
Reno advanced from the ford across the valley in column of fours for some distance, then formed in line of 202
battle, and afterwards deployed the command as skirmishers. The bulk of the Indians and their camp were hidden by a bend of the river, and Reno, instead of charging
round the bend and into the Indian camp, halted and dismounted his command to fight on foot. At this point two
or three of the horses could not be controlled, and carried
their riders into the Indian camp; one account stating that
they plunged over the river bank, injuring the men, who
were afterwards killed by the Indians. Here at Ash Point,
or Hollow, the command soon got sheltered in the timber,
and were on the defensive; the Indians now pouring in
from all sides- The Indian scouts with Reno had before
now been dispersed, and were making back tracks fast as
their ponies could carry them. Accounts differ as to how
long they remained in this timber, but it was probably not
to exceed half an hour. The "charge" out—as Reno
termed it—was virtually a stampede, and many did not
know of the departure until too late to start, no well-defined
and well-understood order having been given to that effect.
There was no systematic attempt to check the pursuit of
the Indians, who now, directed by "Gall," swarmed down
upon them and prevented. them from reaching the ford at
which they had crossed. Many were killed on this retreat,
and many others wounded, among the former being
Lieutenant Donald Mcintosh. Reno headed the retreat,
and they tore pell mell across the valley, and at the new
ford they were lucky to strike, there was great confusion,
it being every man for himself, and the devil take the
hindmost; and, as is usually the case, the (red) devil got
his clutches on more than one. Crossing the stream as best
they could, Lieutenant Hodgson being killed after having
crossed, men and horses climbed the steep, almost inacces- HOW CUSTER LIVED AND DIED.      203
sible bluffs and ravines, upon the top of which they had a
chance to "take account of stock." Many had attempted
to scale the bluffs at other points hard by. The Indians
were up there in some force, and by them, when almost
up the cliffs, Dr. DeWolf was killed.
After remaining on the bluffs at least an hour, probably longer, a forward movement down stream was made
for a mile or mile and a half. Previous to this, heavy
firing had been heard down the river in the direction Custer had gone. Two distinct volleys were heard by the
entire command, followed by scattering shots, and it was
supposed Custer was carrying all before him. When Reno
had reached the rimit of this advance north toward Custer,
they saw large numbers of Indian horsemen scurrying
over what afterward proved to be Custer's battle-field.
Soon these came tearing up toward Reno, who hastily
retreated from what would seem to have been a strong
position, back to near the point where he had originally
reached the bluffs. Here they sheltered themselves on the
small hills by the shallow breastworks, and placed the
wounded and horses in a depression. That night, until
between 9 and 10 o'clock, they were subjected to a heavy
fire from the Indians, who entirely surrounded them. The
firing again began at daylight of the 26th, and lasted all
day, and as the Indians had command of some high points
near by, there were many casualties. Reno's total loss, as
given by Godfrey, was fifty killed, including three officers,
and fifty-nine wounded. Many of those left in the river
bottom when the retreat began, eventually reached the
command again, escaping under cover of night.
Of Custer's movements, opinions of what he did or should
have done, are many and various.    The theory first enter- MY NATIVE LAND.
tained and held for years, but not now tenable nor, indeed,
probably held by many, was that Custer reached the ford
and attempted to cross; was met by a fire so scorching
that he drew back and retreated to the hill in the best
form possible, and there fought like an animal at bay,
hoping that Reno's attack in the bottom and Benton's
timely arrival would yet relieve him. The Indians, however, strenuously assert that Custer never attempted the
ford, and never got anywhere near it. No dead bodies
were found any nearer than within half a mile of the ford,
and it seems undoubted that the Indians tell the truth.
When Custer rode out on the bluff and looked over into
the valley of the Greasy Grass, he must have seen at once
that he had before utterly misapprehended the situation.
The natural thing to do would have been to retrace his trail,
join Reno by the shortest route, and then, united, have
pushed the attack in person or, if then too late for successful attack, he could, in all likelihood, have extricated the
command and made junction with Terry. Indian signals
travel rapidly, and as soon as Reno was checked and beaten,
not only was this fact signaled through the camp, but every
warrior tore away down stream to oppose Custer, joining
those already there, and now, at least, alert.
It is probable, then, that before Custer could reach the
creek valley the Indians had made sufficient demonstrations to cause him to swerve from where he would otherwise, and naturally, strike it, and work farther back toward
the second line of bluffs, even perhaps as far back as Captain
Godfrey gives the trail. The only thing to militate against
this would be the element of time, which seems hardly to
oppose it. However he got there, Custer is at last upon the
eminence which is so soon to be consecreted with his life's HOW CUSTER LIVED AND DIED.      205
blood. What saw he ? What did he ? The sources of information are necessarily largely Indian. At the southeastern
end of the Custer ridge, facing, apparently, the draw, or
coulee, of the branch of Custer Creek, Calhoun and Crittenden were placed. Some little distance back of them,
in a depression, and down the northern slope of the Custer
Ridge, Keogh stood. Stretched along the north slope of
the ridge, from Keogh to Custer Hill, was Smith's command, and at the culminating point of the ridge, or Custer
Hill, but on the opposite ridge from where the others were
placed, were Tom Custer and Yates, and with them Custer
himself. Yates' and Custer's men evidently faced northwest. It would appear from the Indians' statements that
most of the command were dismounted.
The line was about three-quarters of a mile in length,
and the attack was made by two strong bodies of Indians.
One of these came up from the ford named after the hero
and victim of the day. It was led by a daring Indian, with
some knowledge of generalship, and his followers were of
a very superior class to the average red man. This body
of attackers did great execution and succeeded in almost
annihilating the white men against whom they were
placed, and whom they outnumbered so conspicuously.
From the meagre information concerning what took place
that is accessible, it appears as though the execution of
these men was almost equal to that of skilled sharpshooters. A reckless Indian named "Crazy Horse" was at
the head of a number of Cheyennes who formed the principal part of the second attacking body. These encountered Custer himself, and the men immediately under his
orders. Outnumbering the white men to an overwhelming
extent, they circled around, and being reinforced by the 206
first column, which by this time was elated by victory and
reckless as to its brutality, it commenced the work of blotting out of existence the gallant cavalrymen before them.
Most of Custer's men knew the nature of their destroyers too well to think of crying for quarter or making any
effort to escape. There was a blank space between the
ridge on which the battle was fought and the river below.
Some few men ran down this spot in hopes of fording the
river and finding temporary hiding places; they prolonged
their lives but for a few minutes only, for some of the
fleetest Indians rushed after them and killed them as they
ran. The horse upon which Captain Keogh rode into the
battle escaped the general slaughter, and found its way
back once more to civilization. Of the way it spent its
declining years we have already spoken.
With this exception, it is more than probable that no
living creature which entered the fight with Custer came
out of it alive. A Crow scout named "Curley," claims that
he was in the fight, and that after it was over he disguised
himself as a Sioux, held his blanket around his head and
escaped. "Curley's" statement was never received with
much credence. The evidence generally points to the fact
that, prior to the battle, nearly all the Indian scouts who were
with Custer on the march ran away when they saw the
overpowering nature of the foe. "Sitting Bull," who has
since met the fate many believe he deserved, also claimed
to be in the fight on the other side. His story of the
prowess of Custer, and of his death, was probably concocted with a view to currying favor with white men, as it
appears evident that "Sitting Bull" showed his usual cowardice, and ran away before there was a battle within
twenty-four hours' distance. HOW CUSTER LIVED AND DIED.      207
Major James McLaughlin, during his experience as
Indian Agent at Standing Rock Agency, North Dakota,
had an opportunity of gathering a great deal of important
information with reference to the battle-field and incidents
connected with it. At the request of Mr. Wheeler, whose
researches into the legends and history of interesting spots
within easy access by means of the Northern Pacific Railroad were most successful, obtained from the Major the
following valuable information concerning many points of
detail which have been the subject of debate and dispute:
"It is difficult," says this undoubted authority, "to
arrive at even approximately the number of Indians who
were encamped in the valley of the Little Big Horn when
Custer's command reached there on June 25th, 1876; the
indifference of the Indians as to ascertaining their strength
by actual count, and their ideas at that time being too
crude to know themselves. I have been stationed at this
Agency since the surrendered hostiles were brought here
in the summer of 1881, and have conversed frequently
with many of the Indians who were engaged in that fight,
and more particularly with'Gall,' 'Crow King,' 'Big Road,
'Hump,' 'Sitting Bull,' 'Gray Eagle,' 'Spotted Horn Bull,'
and other prominent men of the Sioux, regarding the Custer
affair. When questioned as to the number of Indians
engaged, the answer has invariably been, 'None of us knew;
nina wicoti,' which means 'very many lodges.' From this
source of information, which is the best obtainable, I
place the number of male adults then in the camp at 3,000 ;
and that on June 25th, 1876, the fighting strength of the
Indians was between 2,500 and 3,000, and more probably
approximating the latter number.
" 'Sitting Bull' was a recognized medicine man, and of 208
great repute among the Sioux, not so much for his powers
of healing and curing the sick—which, after he had re-
gained such renown, was beneath his dignity—as for his
prophecies; and no matter how absurd his prophecies
might be, he found ready believers and willing followers,
and when his prophecies failed to come to pass, he always
succeeded in satisfying his over-credulous followers by
giving some absurd reason. For instance, I was in his
camp on Grande River in the spring of 1888, sometime
about the end of June. There had been no rain for some
weeks, and crops were suffering from drouth, and I
remarked to him, who was in an assemblage of a large
number of Indians of that district, that the crops needed
rain badly, and that if much longer without rain the crops
would amount to nothing. He, 'Sitting Bull,' replied:
'Yes, the crops need rain, and my people have been importuning me to have it rain. I am considering the matter
as to whether I will or not. I can make it rain any time
I wish, but I fear hail. I cannot control hail, and should
I make it rain, heavy hail might follow, which would ruin
the prairie grass as well as the crops, and our horses and our
cattle would thus be deprived of subsistence.' He made
this statement with as much apparent candor as it was
possible for a man to give expression to, and there was
not an Indian among his hearers but appeared to accept it
as within his power.
" 'Sitting Bull' was dull in intellect, and not near as able
a man as 'Gall,' 'Hump,' 'Crow,' and many others who were
regarded as subordinate to him; but he was an adept
schemer and very cunning, and could work upon the credulity of the Indians to a wonderful degree, and this,
together with great obstinacy and tenacity, gained for him HOW CUSTER LIVED AND DIED.      209
his world-wide reputation. 'Sitting Bull' claimed in his
statement to me that he directed and led in the Custer
fight; but all the other Indians with whom I have talked
contradict it, and said that 'Sitting Bull' fled with his family
as soon as the village was attacked by Major Reno's command, and that he was making his way to a place of
safety, several miles out in the hills, when overtaken by
some of his friends with news of victory over the soldiers,
whereupon he returned, and in his usual style, took all the
credit of victory to himself as having planned for the outcome, and as having been on a bluff overlooking the battlefield, appeasing the evil spirits and invoking the Great
Spirit for the result of the fight.
"And, when considering the ignorance and inherent
superstition of the average Sioux Indian at that time, it is
not to be wondered at that the majority, if not all, were
willing to accept it, especially when united in common
cause and what they considered as their only safety from
annihilation. As a matter of fact, there was no one man
who led or directed that fight; it was a pell mell rush
under a number of recognized warriors as leaders, with
'Gall' of the Hunkpapas and 'Crazy Horse' of the
Cheyennes the more prominent.
"The Indians with whom I have talked deny having
mutilated any of the killed, but admit that many dead
bodies were mutilated by women of the camp. They also
claim that the fight with Custer was of short duration.
They have no knowledge as to hours and minutes, but have
explained by the distance that could be walked while the
fight lasted. They vary from twenty minutes to three-
quarters of an hour, none placing it longer than forty-five
minutes.    This does not include the fight with Reno before 210
his retreat, but from the time that Custer's command
advanced and the fight with his command commenced.
The opinion of the Indians regarding Reno's first attack
and short stand is, that it was his retreat that gave them
the victory over Custer's command. The helter skelter
retreat of Reno's men enthused the Indians to such an
extent that, flushed with excitement and this early success,
they were reckless in their charge upon Custer's command,
and with the slight number of Indians thus fully enthused,
that small command was but a slight check to their sweeping impetuosity. The Indians also state that the separated
detachments made their victory over the troops more
Thus Custer fell. The mystery surrounding his death
will probably never be solved in a satisfactory manner,
owing to the impossibility of placing any reliance on statements made by the Indians. The way in which the
command was annihilated and the soldiers' bodies mutilated, should go a long way towards disproving many of
the theories now in existence concerning the alleged ill
treatment of Indians, and their natural peacefulness and
good disposition. Custer had so frequently befriended
the very men who surrounded his command and annihilated
it, that the baseness of their ingratitude should be apparent
even to those who are inclined to sympathize with the red
men, and to denounce the alleged severity with which they
have been treated. Travelers through the Dakota region
find few spots of more melancholy, though marked, interest than the one illustrated in connection with this
chapter. CHAPTER XII.
Meaning of the Word "Creole"—An Old Aristocratic Relic—The
Venice of America—Origin of the Creole Carnivals—Rex and His
Annual Disguises—Creole Balls—The St. Louis Veiled Prophets—
The French Market and Other Landmarks in New Orleans—A
Beautiful Ceremony and an Unfinished Monument.
*fl+| EW ORLEANS is known throughout the world for
■■ ^ the splendor of its carnivals. As one of the great
Creole cities of the world, it has for more than half a
century made merry once a year, and given quite a business aspect to carnival festivities. The Creole is one of
the interesting characters to be met with in a tour through
the United States. As a rule, he or she is joyous in the
extreme, and believes most heartily in the wisdom of the
command to "laugh and grow fat." The genuine Creole
scarcely knows what it is to be sad for more than a few
hours at a time, a very little pleasure more than offsetting
a very great deal of trouble and suffering. A desire to
move around and to enjoy changes of scene is a special
feature of the Creole, and hence the spectacular effects of
the carnival procession appeal most eloquently to him.
Many Eastern and Northern people confound the term
"Creole" and "Mulatto," believing that the former name
is given to the offspring of mixed marriages, which take
place in spite of the vigilance of the laws of most of the
Southern States. This is entirely a mistake, for the genuine Creole, instead of being an object of contempt and
(211) 212
pity, is rather an aristocrat and of a higher caste than the
average white man. Strictly speaking, the term implies
birth in this country, but foreign parentage or ancestry.
It was originally applied to the children of French and
Spanish settlers in Louisiana, and in that application
applied only to quite a handful of people. As time has
worn on, and French emigration has ceased, and the
Spaniard has been gradually pushed south, the number of
actual Creoles has of course diminished rapidly. The
name, however, by common consent, has been perpetuated
and is retained by descendants in the third and fourth generations of original Creoles. Some of the Creoles of
to-day are very wealthy, and many of the others are comparatively poor, changes in modes and conditions of life
having affected them very much. Although the very
name Creole suggests Spanish origin, there is more French
blood among the Creoles of to-day than that of any other
nation. The vivacious habits and general love of change
. so common among French people, continue in their
descendants. The old plan of sending the children over to
France to be educated has been largely abandoned in
these later days, but the influences of Parisian life still
have their effect on the race.
This is largely the reason why it is- that New Orleans,
has been often spoken of as the American Venice. To
that beautiful European city, with its gondolas and picturesque costumes, belongs the honor of having originated
high-class, comedy. To New Orleans must be given the
credit of planting, or at any rate perpetuating, the idea in
a tangible shape in this country, and of having, for fully
two generations, kept up the annual celebration almost
without a break.    Masquerading came across the Atlantic AMONG  THE  CREOLES.
from Venice by way of France, where the idea took
strong hold. When emigration from France to the old
Territory of Louisiana became general, the idea came with
it, and the practice of sending children to Paris to be
educated resulted in the latest ideas of aristocratic festivities being brought over to the home which has since
sheltered them.
History tells us that on New Year's Eve of 1831, a
number of pleasure-seeking men spent the entire night in
a Creole restaurant at Mobile arranging for the first mystic
order in that city, and from this beginning the long line
of Creole comedies sprang up. In 1857, the Mystic
Krewe of Comus made its first appearance upon the streets
of New Orleans. "Paradise Lost" was the subject selected
for illustration. Year after year the revelry was repeated
on Shrove Tuesday, but the outbreak of the war naturally
put a stop to the annual rejoicing. Southern enthusiasm
is, however, hard to down, and directly the war was over,
Comus reappeared in all his glory. A few years later the
Knights of Momus were created, and in 1876 the Krewe of
Proteus had its first carnival. Many other orders have
followed, but these are the more magnificent and important.
It is difficult to convey an adequate idea of the feeling
which prevails4n-regard to these comedies. The mystery
which surrounds the orders is extraordinary, and the secret
has been well kept, a fact which cynics attribute to the exclusion of ladies from the secret circle. It is well known that
on many occasions men have pretended to leave the city on
the eve of the comedy, and to have returned to their
homes a day or two later, not even their own families
knowing that they took a leading part in the procession. .214
The Carnival Kings issue royal edicts prior to their arrival,
commanding all business to cease on the occasion of
the rejoicings. The command is obeyed literally, Banks,
courts of justice and business houses generally suspend
operations, and old and young alike turn out to do homage
to the monarch of the day.
Let us imagine for a moment we are privileged to see a
Creole carnival. Every inch of available space has been
taken up. Every balcony overlooking the royal route is
crowded ,with pleasure parties, including richly dressed
ladies, all the flower and beauty of the Sunny South being
represented. The course is illuminated in the most attractive manner, and every one is waiting anxiously for the
procession. Bands of music, playing sprightly tunes, finally
reward the patience of the watchers. Then come heralds,
bodyguards and marshals, all gorgeously arrayed for the
occasion. Their horses, like themselves, are richly adorned
for the occasion, and the banners and flags are conspicuous
for the artistic blending of colors.
Then riding in state comes the Lord High Chamberlain,
bearing the golden key of the city, delivered over to him
in state twenty-four hours previously by the Mayor.
Next comes the hero of the parade, the King himself. All
eyes are riveted upon him. Thoroughly disguised himself,
he is able to recognize on the balconies and among the
crowds his personal friends and most devoted admirers.
To these he bows with great solemnity. Mystified to a
degree, and often disputing among themselves as to the
probable identity of the monarch, the richly dressed young
ladies and their cavaliers bow in return, and look as though
they would fain hold the monarch among them m«ch
longer than the necessity of keeping order makes it possi-   AMONG  THE   CREOLES.
ble. Following the King are the bodyguards and crowds
of holiday makers.
Rex generally makes a display now of some special
theme, appearing this year as a crusader, another year as
the discoverer of America, and a third year as some other
mystic individual. But no matter what the subject of the
carnival may be, the underlying principle is the same.
Sometimes a great deal of instruction is imparted with the
mirth-making, but in every case the procession is but a
signal for general rejoicing. Directly the procession is
disbanded, which always takes place in military order, the
entire city gives way to fun and mirth of every character.
Liberty abounds throughout the city without license. By
common consent every one is careful to prevent disturbance
or trouble. All are happy, and every one seems to appreciate the fact that the very life of the comedy depends
upon its respectability. There is nothing vulgar or common about any of the proceedings, or about the countless
tableaux which pass along the private streets. Everything
is what has been described as orderly disorder. Everything is attractive and easy.
The ball, which is a prominent feature of a Creole
carnival, is a wonderful combination of Nineteenth Century
aristocratic ideas and of Oriental humor. The guests are
in full dress, and represent the highest elements of Southern society. Around the carpeted floor, those who have
taken part in the pageant march in their grotesque costumes. An apparently blood-thirsty Indian, brandishing a
club over his head, darts for a second from the line to go
through the motions of dashing out the brains of perhaps
a most intimate friend, who has no idea who has thus honored him by a recognition. 218
Another man, who in everyday life is, perhaps, a
sedate banker or a prominent physician, is masquerading
in some extraordinary attire with a mask of extraordinary
dimensions and significance. He sees in the throng a
young lady of his acquaintance, and proceeds to shake
hands with her with great effusion. So well is the secret
kept, that she has no idea that the apparently frolicsome
youth is a middle-aged man of business, and she spends
perhaps half the night wondering which of her beaus this
fearfully and wonderfully disguised man was.
Of the balls which succeed carnivals in the cities which
delight in these temporary divorces from the cares of business and finance, pages might be written. One ball only
need be mentioned in any detail. This is the ball given by
the "Knights of Revelry," in connection with and at the
expense of the Mobile clubs. The entire theatre was
rearranged in illustration of the theme of the club's
pageant for the year. All around the halls were hung
tapestries and banners, artistically decorated, and arranged
so as to convey the idea of forests and gardens. The very
doors were converted into mimic entrances to caves and
parterres, and the general effect was entrancing as well as
sentimental. The band was hidden from the guests in a
most delightfully arranged little Swiss chalet, and refreshments were served from miniature garden pavilions. The
very floors upon which the dancing was to take place were
decorated so as to present ,the appearance of a newly mown
The height of realism was attained by means of an imitation moat over the orchestra well. Across this was a
drawbridge, which was raised and dropped at fitting intervals, and the drop curtain was made to represent a massive AMONG   THE  CREOLES.
castle door. There was a banquet chamber, with faultless
reproductions of mediaeval grandeur and wonder. Stained
glass windows represented well-known and attractive
ladies, and there were other marvelous and costly innovations which seemed practically impossible within a theatre.
At this ball, as at all others, the revelry proceeded
until midnight. Just as Cinderella left the ball when the
clock struck 12, so do the holders of the Creole revels
stop dancing immediately that Lent has commenced. The
next day all is over. Men who the night before were the
leaders in the masquerade, resume their commonplace
existence, and are seen at the ordinary seats of custom,
buying and selling and conducting themselves like Eastern
rather than Southern men.
The carnival idea has not been confined to strictly
Southern cities. St. Louis has, for many years in succession, enjoyed the pageants and balls of its Veiled Prophets,
an organization as secret and mysterious as any to be
found in a Creole section. Instead of being a Mardi Gras
celebration, the St. Louis pageant is given during the
Indian summer days of the first w7eek of October. The
parade takes place after night-fall, and consists of very
costly pageants and displays. It is no exaggeration to say
that hundreds of thousands of dollars have been spent in
illuminating the streets through which the processions have
passed, the money for this purpose being freely subscribed
by business men and private citizens. But in St. Louis, as
in New Orleans, no one knows who finds the money to pay
for the preparation of the pageant, the rich and varied costumes, the exquisite invitations and souvenirs, and the
gorgeous balls. Readers of the "Pickwick Papers" will
remember that when certain members of the club proposed 220
to make a tour of the country, with a view to noting matters of special interest, it was unanimously resolved not to
limit the scope of the investigations, and to extend to the
investigators the privilege of paying their own expenses.
Very much the same rule prevails in regard to the Creole
carnivals and balls, and the adaptation of the idea in other
cities. The utmost secrecy is preserved, and it is considered bad form in the extreme to even hint at belonging to
any of the secret orders. The members subscribe all
expenses themselves without a moment's hesitation, and
there has never been such a thing seen as a list of the
amounts donated.
There are not lacking people who say that these celebrations are childish, and beneath the dignity of a business
community. The answer to criticisms of this kind is, that
no one being asked to contribute to the expense of the
revelries, or being even asked or allowed to purchase a
ticket of admission to the balls, any criticisms are very
much like looking a gift horse in the mouth. If it be
agreed that life is made up of something more than one
stern, continuous race for wealth, then it must be conceded
that these carnivals occupy a most important part in the
routine of life. The absolute unselfishness of the entire
work commends it to the approval of the most indifferent.
Those who raise the expense have to work so hard during
the parades and balls that they get comparatively little
pleasure from them, while they are also prevented by the
absolute secrecy which prevails from securing so much as
a word of thanks or congratulation from the outside public.
In this material age, there is a danger of celebrations
of this kind wearing themselves out. When they
do  so,  the   world will   be  the   poorer in  consequence. AMONG  THE   CREOLES.
New Orleans, to which we have referred as the great
home of the Creole carnival, is a city known the world
over by reputation. It is situated at the very mouth of
the great Mississippi River, and its history dates back to
the year 1542, when a gallant band of adventurers floated
down the river into the Gulf of Mexico. In 1682, La Salle
sailed down the river and took possession of the country
on both sides of it in the name of France. In the closing
days of the Seventeenth Century a French expedition
landed not far from New Orleans, which was founded in
1718, with a population of sixty-eight souls. Three years
later, the city, which now contains a population of more
than a quarter of a million, was made the capital of the
Territory of Louisiana, and it at once became a place of
considerable importance.
In 1764, it was ceded to Spain, and this resulted in the
people taking possession of New Orleans and resisting the
change in government. Five years later, the new Spanish
Governor arrived with ample troops, suppressed the rebellion, and executed its leaders from the Tlace d'Armes. In
1804, the territory of Orleans was established, and in
1814, a British army, 15,000 strong, advanced on the
city after which the Territory was named. A great
deal of confusion followed, but the city held its own, and
the invading army was repulsed.
During the Civil War New Orleans again saw active
campaigning. The occupancy of the city by General
Butler, and the stern measures he adopted to suppress the
loyalty even of the women of the town, has formed the
subject of much comment. There are many interesting
stories concerning this epoch in the city's history, which
are told with many variations to every one who sojourns MY NATIVE LAND.
for a while in the great port at the gate of the greatest
river in the world.
To-day, New Orleans is perhaps best known as the
second largest cotton mart in the wTorld, some 2,000,000
bales of the product of the Southern plantations being received and shipped out every year. More than 30,000,000
pounds of wool and 12,000,000 pounds of hides also pass
through the city every year, to say nothing of immense
quantities of bananas and costly transactions in sugar
and lumber.
Although New Orleans is really some little distance
from the ocean, the river at this point is more than
half a mile wide, and the great ships of all nations
are seen loading and unloading at its levee.
New Orleans naturally abounds in ancient landmarks
and memorials. The old Spanish Fort is one of the most
interesting among these. Warfare of the most bitter
character was seen again and again at this place. The
fortifications were kept up largely to afford protection
against raids from Mexican pirates and hostile Indians,
though they were often useful against more civilized foes.
It was at this port that Andrew Jackson prepared to
receive the British invaders. The magnificent use he made
of the fortifications should have given to the old place a
lasting standing and a permanent preservation. Some
forty years ago, however, the fort was purchased and
turned into a kind of country resort, and more lately it
has become the home of a recreation club.
Better preserved, and a most interesting connecting
link between the past and the present, is the world-
renowned French Market in New Orleans. A story is told
of a great novelist, who traveled several thousand miles in AMONG  THE   CREOLES.
order to find representatives of all nationalities grouped
together in one narrow space. For a work he had in contemplation he was anxious to select for his characters men
of all nationalities, whom chance or destiny had thrown
together. He spent several days in Paris, journeyed
throughout sunny Italy, got lost in some of the labyrinths
of the unexplored sections of London, and finally crossed
the Atlantic without having found the group of which he
was in search. Not even in the large cities of America
could he find his heart's desire, and it was not until he
strayed into the old French Market of New Orleans that
he found that for which he searched. He spent several
days, and even weeks, wandering through the peculiar
market, and making friends with the men of all nationalities who were working in different parts of it. He found
the Creole, full of anecdote, superstition and pride, even
when he was earning an occasional meal by helping to unload bananas, or to carry away the refuse from the fish
stores. The negro, in every phase of development, civilization and ignorance, could, and always can, be found
within the confines of the market. The amount of folk-lore
stored up in the brains covered by masses of unkempt wool
astounded the novelist, who distributed dollars, in return
for information received, so lavishly, that he began to be
looked upon after a while as a capitalist whose wealth had
driven him insane. Then, again, he met disappointed emigrants from nearly all the European countries, men, and
even women, who had crossed the Atlantic full of great
expectations, but who had found a good many thorns
among the looked-for roses.
The Indian is not often seen now around the French
Market,  although he used to be  quite  a feature  of it. Some of the most exceptionally idle loungers, however,
show evidence of Indian blood in their veins, in the shape
of exceptionally high cheek-bones, and abnormally straight
and ungovernable hair.
Almost every known language is spoken here. There
is the purest French and the most atrocious patois. There
is polished English, which seems to indicate high education, and there is the most picturesque dialect variation
that could be desired by the most ardent devotee of the
everlasting dialect story. Spanish is of course spoken by
several of the market traders and workers, while Italian is
quite common. At times in the day, when trade is very
busy, the visitor may hear choice expletives in three or
four languages at one time. He may not be able to interpret the peculiar noises and stern rebukes administered to
idle help and truant boys, but he can generally guess
pretty accurately the scope and object of the little speeches
which are scattered around so freely.
If it be asked what special function the market fulfills,
the answer is that it is a kind of in quire-with in for everything. Many of the poorer people do all their trading
here. Fruit is a great staple, and on another page a
picture is given of one of the fruit stands of the old
market. The picture is reproduced from a photograph
taken on the spot by an artist of the National Company of
St. Louis, publishers of "Our Own Country," and it
shows well the peculiar construction of the market. The
fruit sections are probably the most attractive and
the least objectionable of the entire market, because here
cleanliness is indispensable. In the vegetable section,
which is also very large, there is not always quite so
much  care   displayed  or  so  much  cleanliness  enforced, AMONG  THE   CREOLES.
refuse being sometimes allowed to accumulate liberally.
Fish can be obtained in this market for an almost
nominal consideration, being sometimes almost given away.
Macaroni and other similar articles of diet form the staple
feature of the Italian store of trade, which is carried on
on the second floor of the market. The legitimate work
called for alone provides excuse for the presence of many
thousand people, who run hither and thither at certain
hours of the day as though time were the essence of the
contract, and no delay of any kind could be tolerated. As
soon, however, as the pressing needs of the moment are
satisfied, a period of luxurious idleness follows, and rest
seems to be the chief desideratum of the average habitue
or employe. The children, who are sitting around in
large numbers, vie with their elders in matters of idleness,
though they are occasionally aroused to a condition of
pernicious activity by the hope of securing donations or
compensation of some kind from newcomers and guests.
Structurally, the French Market is very well preserved.
There are evidences of antiquity and of the ravages of time
and weather on every side, but for all that the market
seems to have as its special mission the reminding of the
people that when our ancestors built, they built for ages,
and not entirely for the immediate present, as is too often
the case nowadays. The market also serves as a link
between the present and the past. It is only of late years
that the bazaar, which used to be so prominent a feature,
has fallen into insignificance. Formerly it retained the
importance of the extreme Orient, and afforded infinite fund
for reflection for the antiquarian and the lover of history.
The cemeteries of New Orleans are of exceptional
interest, and are visited every year by thousands of peo- 226
pie. Owing to the proximimity of the water mark to the
surface of the ground, the dead'are not buried as in other
cities, and the vaults are above instead of under ground.
They are well arranged, and the antiquity of the burial
grounds, and the historic memories connected with the
tablets, combine to make them of more than ordinary
interest. The local custom of suspending business on the
first day of November of each year for the purpose of
decorating graves in all the cemeteries, is also worthy of
more than a passing notice. Not only do people decorate
the last resting places of their friends and relatives on this
specially selected day, but even the graves of strangers are
cared for in a spirit of thankfulness that the angel of
death has not entered the family circle, and made inroads
into bonds of friendship.
A few years ago a young woman died on the cars just
as they were entering the world-renowned Creole city.
There was nothing on the body to aid identification, ancfc a
stranger's grave had to be provided. In the meantime the
friends and relatives of the missing girl had been making
every effort to locate her, no idea having occurred to them
that she was going South. A loving brother finally got
hold of a clew, which he followed up so successfully that
he at last solved the mystery. He arrived in New Orleans
on November 1st, and when taken out to the grave that had
been provided for the stranger who had died just outside
the gates, he was astounded to find several handsome
bouquets of flowers, with wreaths and crosses, lying upon
it. Such a sight could hardly have been met with in any
other city in the world, and too much can hardly be said
in praise of the sentiment which suggests and encourages
such disinterested kindness and thought. s^
The cemetery which occupies a site close to the great
battle-field, is always specially decorated, and crowds go
out in thousands to pay tribute to honored memories.
Close to this spot there is a monument to celebrate the
great battle during which General Pakingham was shot,
and at which General Jackson galloped excitedly up and
down the lines, and almost forced the men on to victory.
The monument has not received the care which it deserves.
More than half a century ago work was commenced on it,
and a great deal was accomplished. But after a year or
two of effort the project was abandoned for the time, and
it has never been renewed. In the long interval that has
ensued the roof has, in a large measure, disappeared, as
well as several of the steps leading up to the front.
Hundreds of people have cut their names in the stone
work, and the monument, which ought to be preserved in
perpetuity, looks so disreputable that little regret would
be caused were the entire fragment to be swept away by
some unusually heavy gust of wind.
More than 1,500 soldiers were buried in the Chal-
mette Cemetery after the battle referred to. Since the war
it has been well nigh forgotten, but several duels and
affaires d'honneur have been settled on the historic spot. CHAPTER Xm.
A Trip to Chinatown, San Francisco—A House with a History—
Narrow Alleys and Secret Doors—Opium Smoking and its Effects—
The Highbinders—Celestial Theatricals—Chinese Festivals—The
Brighter Side of a Great City—A Mammoth Hotel and Beautiful
f PHINATOWN, San Francisco, is such a remarkable
^■^ place, and contrasts so strangely with the wealth
and civilization of the great city on the Pacific Coast, of
which it is a part, that its peculiarities cannot be ignored
in a sketch of the most remarkable features of our native
land. Writers and artists have for years made this blot
on San Francisco's splendor the subject for sarcasm and
cartoon, and, indeed, it is difficult to handle the subject
without a considerable amount of severity. Californians
are often blamed for their harshness towards the Chinese,
and the way in which they have clamored from time to
time for more stringent exclusion laws. It takes a trip to
Chinatown to make it clear to the average mortal why this
feeling is so general in San Francisco, and why it extends
throughout the entire Pacific Slope.
There are about 25,000 Chinese in and around
San Francisco. A small proportion of these have abandoned the worst features of their race, and make
themselves comparatively useful as domestic servants. In
order to retain their positions they have to assimilate themselves more or less  to the manners and customs of the
country, and they are only objectionable in certain respects.
But the one-time dwellers in the Celestial Empire, who
make their homes in Chinatown, have very few redeeming
qualities, and most of them seem to have no tangible
excuse whatever for living.
They adhere to all the vices and uncivilized habits ot
their forefathers, and very frequently add to them equally
objectionable vices of so-called civilization. At one time
all the streets in Chinatown were little more than elongated
ash pits and garbage receptacles. The public outcry at
length became so vigorous that the strong hand of the law
was brought to bear, and now the principal through streets
are kept fairly clean. The side streets and alleys are,
however, still in a deplorable condition, and no American
or European could possibly live many days in such filth
without being stricken with a terrible disease. The
Mongolians, however, seem to thrive under conditions
which are fatal to civilized humanity. They live to quite
the average age, and the children seem to be very healthy,
if not conspicuously happy.
Chinatown covers an area of about eight large squares,
in the very heart of San Francisco. Again and again
attempts have been made to get rid of the drawback and
nuisance. But the "Melica Man" has allowed himself to
be outwitted by the "Heathen Chinee," who has secured
property rights which cannot be overcome without a measure of confiscation, which would appear to be scarcely
constitutional. The area is probably one of the most
densely populated in the world. The Chinese seem to
sleep everywhere and anywhere, and the houses are overcrowded to an extent which passes all belief. It is known
as an actual fact, that in rooms twelve feet square as many 30
as twelve human beings sleep and eat, and even cook what
passes with them for food. The houses themselves are so
horrible in their condition, and have been so remodeled
from time to time, to meet Celestial ideas and fall in with
notions which, are but a relic of barbarism, that not even a
colored man of the most degraded type can be persuaded
to live permanently in a house which has ever been occupied by an unregenerated denizen of Chinatown.
At the entrance to this peculiar, and, indeed, disreputable quarter, there is a house with a peculiar history. It
was built more than a quarter of a century ago, by a
wealthy banker, who selected the site because of the admirable view that could be obtained from it of the leading
features of the city. He spared no expense in its erection,
and when it was completed he was able to gaze from the
upper windows upon some of the most beautiful scenery
in the world. For a while the banker lived in the most
magnificent style, and earned for himself a reputation as
a prince of entertainers. He spent thousands of dollars on
entertainments, and appeared to have everything that a
human being could desire. His end was a tragic one, and
it has never been ascertained for certain whether he died
by his own hand, or by the hand of one of his alleged
friends or avowed foes. The house which was once his
great pride is now occupied by the Chinese Consul.
It is still, by far, the finest house in the Chinese
quarter. The moment it is passed the sight-seeker or
slummer finds himself in the midst of a horrible collection
of Oriental filth and squalor. There are a number of
stores which excite his contempt the moment his eyes light
upon them. They are chiefly devoted to the retailing of
such food as the occupants of Chinatown delight in, and THE HEATHEN CHINEE.
over many of them the Chinese national emblem can be
seen flying. Fish are on sale in large numbers, and as
they are kept until sold, regardless of their condition, the
effluvia of some of the fish markets can be very easily
imagined. Vegetables also form a very large proportion
of the daily bills of fare, and these add materially to the
malodorous condition of the neighborhood. The streets
are all of them very narrow, and there are also a number
of exceptionally narrow and complicated passages and
alleys, which have been the scenes of crimes innumerable
in days gone by.
Some of these alleys are but three or four feet wide,
and, owing to their almost countless turns and angles, they
afford an easy means for the escape of a fugitive who is
being hunted by the police, or by one of those blood-thirsty
Chinese societies of which the Highbinders is a type. One
writer who has investigated the matter very thoroughly,
tells us that most of the houses have secret doors leading
from one to the other in such a manner that if a fugitive
should determine to make his escape, he can always do so
hy means of these secret doors, and the underground passages to which they lead.
The stores, workshops and other apartments are generally exceedingly small, and the proverbial economy of
the Chinaman is proved by the fact that every square foot
of floor space and ground is put to some practical use, and
one finds cobblers, barbers, fortune-tellers and a multitude
of small tradesmen carrying on a business in a jog, or
niche in the wall, not as large as an ordinary bootblack's stand. Along the narrow sidewalks are seen many
of these curbstone merchants. Some have their goods
displayed in glass show-cases, ranged along the wall, where 232
are exhibited queer-looking fancy articles of Chinese workmanship, of a cheap grade, all sorts of inexpensive ornaments for women and children's wear, curiously fashioned
from ivory, bone, beads, glass and brass, water and opium
pipes galore.
The opium pipe is something so unlike any European
conception of a pipe that it is difficult to describe it. It
consists of a large bamboo tube or cylinder, with a bowl
about midway between the extremities. The bowl is sometimes a very small brass plate, and sometimes an earthen
cup-shaped contrivance, with the tap closed or decked
over, having only a tiny hole in the center. Into this
little aperture the opium, in a semi-liquid state, after being
well melted in a lamp flame, is thrust by means of a fine
wire or needle. The drug is inserted in infinitesimal quantities. It is said that all the Chinese smoke opium,
although all do not indulge to excess. Some seem to be
able to use the drug without its gaining the mastery over
There are more than a hundred opium dens in the Chinese quarters. These places are used for no other purpose
whatever at any time. If it were the Chinese alone who
frequented them, but little would be thought of it. Hundreds of white people, men, women and the youth of both
sexes, have, however, become victims to this loathsome
habit. So completely enslaved are they, that there is no
escape from the tyrant. For all the poverty and untold
misery this has brought upon these unfortunates, the
Chinese are responsible. Vices cluster around Chinese
social life, and nearly every house has its opium-smoking
apartment, or rooms where the lottery or some kind of
gambling is carried on. *l
The Prettiest Chinese Woman in America.  THE HEATHEN CHINEE.
The residents of Chinatown have a government of their
own, with its social and economic regulations, and its
police and penal department, and they even inflict the
death penalty, but in such a secret way that the outside
world seldom hears of these acts of high authority. This
social and commercial policy is controlled by six companies,
to one of which every Chinaman in the country owes
allegiance and is tributary. These companies severally
represent different provinces in the Chinese Empire, and
upon every arrival of a steamer from that country, and
before the passengers are landed, the Chinese portion of
them are visited by an official of the six companies, who
ascertains what province each arriving coolie is from. That
decides as to which company he will belong.
Every Chinaman who comes is assured of his return to
China, or, if he is so unfortunate as to die while in exile,
that his bones will be sent home. This very important
matter is one of the duties of the six companies. This
comforting assurance, however, is not shared in by the
women, whom, excepting those who are the wives of men
of the better class, are brought over by a vile class of
traders, and sold as chattels, or slaves, having no relation
to the six companies.
There is in the Chinese quarters a ghastly underground
place, where the bones of the departed are conveyed, after
they have remained a certain time in the ground. Here
they are scraped, cleaned and packed, preparatory to their
last journey back to the fatherland, and their final resting
place. Among the Chinese residents of San Francisco
there are comparatively few of those of the higher class.
The difference between them and the masses is very pronounced, and they appreciate the difference to the fullest 236
extent. They are educated, well-bred gentlemen. The
coolie and lower class are an ignorant, repulsive and
ill-mannered people. They seem to be mere brutes, and
not a gleam of intelligence is apparent in their dull,
expressionless faces.
The "Highbinders" are bound together by solemn
obligations, and are the instruments used by other Chinamen to avenge their real or fancied wrongs. The High-
hinders are organized into lodges or tongs, which are
engaged in constant feuds with each other. They wage
open warfare, and so deadly is their mutual hatred, that
the war ceases only when the last individual who has come
under the ban of a rival tong has been sacrificed. These
feuds resemble the vendettas in some of the Southern
States of Europe, and they defy all efforts of the police to
suppress them. Murders are, consequently, frequent, but
it is next to impossible to identify the murderers, and if a
Chinaman is arrested on suspicion, or even almost positive
evidence of guilt, the trial uniformly ends in a failure to
The theatres are, to the visitor, probably the most
interesting feature of the Chinese quarters. A few years
ago there were several of these playhouses, but the number
is now reduced to two. The charge of admission is 25
cents or 50 cents.
The white people who, out of curiosity, attend a performance, generally pay more, and are given more comfortable seats upon the stage. The stage is a primitive
affair. It boasts of no curtain, footlights or scenery of
any kind.
When, during the progress of a play, a man is killed,
he lies upon the stage until the scene is ended, and then THE HEATHEN CHINEE.
gets up and walks off. Sometimes an attendant will bring
in and place under his head a small wooden pillow, so that
the dead man may rest more comfortably. After an
actor has been beheaded, he has been known to pickup
the false head and apostrophize it while making his exit
from the stage. The orchestra is at the back of the stage.
It usually consists of one or two ear-splitting flageolets and
a system of gongs and tom-toms, which keep up an infernal din during the entire performance.
Chinese plays are usually historical, and vary in length
from a few hours to several months. The costumes are
gorgeous after the Chinese ideas of splendor. No females
are allowed on the stage at all, young men with falsetto
voices invariably impersonating the women.
The restaurants of Chinatown are a very unsatisfactory
feature of the unsavory quarter. Many of the laborers
board at them, and the smaller ones are nothing in the
world but miserable little chop-houses, badly ventilated
and exceedingly objectionable, and, indeed, injurious to
health and good morals. There are larger restaurants,
which are more expensively equipped. Shakespeare's
advice as to neatness without gaudiness is not followed.
There is always a profusion of color in decoration, but
there is never anything like symmetry or beauty.
There are an immense number of joss-houses in Chinatown. Each company has one of its own.. Others belong
to the societies, tongs and to private parties. The
appointments of these temples are gorgeous in their way.
One has recently been opened on Waverly Place, which far
surpasses all the others in the grandeur of its sacred equipments and decoration. The idols, bronzes, carvings, bells,
banners and the paraphernalia of the temple are said to 238
have cost about $20,000, and represents the highest degree
of Chinese art. In front of the throne in each of these
temples, where the principal god is seated, burns a sacred
flame that is never extinguished. In a cabinet at the right
of the entrance is a small image called "the doorkeeper,"
who sees that no harm befalls the temple of those who
The temple doors are always open, and those who are
religiously inclined can come in at any hour of the day.
Prayers are written or printed on red or blue paper.
These are lighted and deposited in a sort of furnace with
an opening near the top, and as the smoke ascends the
bell near by is sounded to attract the attention of the
gods. The women have a favorite method of telling their
fortunes. They kneel before the altar, holding in either
hand a small wooden block, about five inches long, which
resembles a split banana. These they raise to their closed
eyes, bow the head and drop. If they fall in a certain
position, it is an indication that the wish or prayer will be
granted. If they fall in an unfavorable position, they continue the effort until the blocks fall as desired. When
business is dull and times hard with the Chinaman, they
attribute it to the displeasure of their gods. They tr-y to
propitiate the offended deity by burning incense sticks,
and offering fruits and other things which have no Christian equivalent, and which are supposed to be grateful to
the divine palate.
The Chinese observe a great many holidays. The most
important are those of the New Year. This is a movable
feast, and occurs between the 21st of January and the 19th
of February. The New Year must fall on the first new moon
after the sun has entered Aquarius.    It is customary at THE HEATHEN CHINEE.
this time to have all business straightened out, and all debts
contracted during the year paid. Unless this is done, they
will have no credit during the year, and consequently a
great effort is made to pay their creditors. There are
some, however, who have been unfortunate and have laid
by nothing for this day of settlement, and knowing wrell
that there are a number of those troublesome little bills
that are liable to be presented at any time, they keep themselves out of sight until the sun has risen upon the New
They then reappear in their accustomed haunts, feeling
safe for a few days at least, for while the merry-making
is going on there is no danger of being confronted with a
dun. All gloomy subjects are tabooed, and everybody
devotes himself to getting all the enjoyment he possibly
can out of this festal day. To some this is the only holiday
in the whole year, and they are obliged to return to their
labors the following day. Others will celebrate three or
four days, and so on up the scale. The rich and the
independent keep it up for fully two weeks, and begin to
settle down to everyday life about the sixteenth day.
The night preceding New Year's day is spent in religious
ceremonies at the temples or at home. Out of doors the
air is filled with the smoke and roar of exploding firecrackers. But when the clock has tolled the death of the
old and announced the birth of the New Year, one would
think that Pandemonium was let loose. Unless one has
heard it, no idea can be formed as to what this unearthly
noise really is. We are told it is to frighten away evil
spirits, to invoke the favor of the gods, to bid, as they
fondly hope, a final farewell to ill-luck; and, again, simply
because they are happy, and when in this frame of mind, 2-10
they love to manifest their joy in noisy demonstrations.
A certain time in the early morning is spent in worship at
the shrines at home and in the temples. They place before
their sacred images, offerings of tea, wine, rice, fruits and
flowers. The Chinese lily is in full bloom at this season,
and it occupies a conspicuous place in the joss-houses. It
is for sale on every street corner.
The day is spent in feasting, pleasure seeking, and in
making New Year's calls. The Chinamen are always
greatly pleased to receive calls from white men with whom
they have business dealings, and they exhibit their cards
with much pride. They are very punctilious and even
rival the Frenchmen in politeness, and it is considered an
offense if any of their proffered hospitalities are declined.
But while Chinatown is the most extraordinary feature
of San Francisco, and is visited by tourists who naturally
look upon it somewhat in the light of forbidden and hence
exceptionally attractive fruit, it is not by any means the
most interesting or most important feature of one of the
finest cities in the world. San Francisco is the metropolis
of the Pacific Slope. It occupies the point of a long
peninsula between the bay and the ocean, and so unique is
its site that it includes some magnificent hills and peaks.
The history of San Francisco bristles with border and gold
mine stories and tales of the early troubles of pioneers.
Whole pages could be written concerning the adventures of
the early days of this remarkable city. The time was
when a few frame buildings constituted the entire town.
The rush of speculators following discovery after discovery
of gold, converted the quiet little port into a scene of
turmoil and disturbance.
Every ship brought with it. a cargo  of more or less THE HEATHEN CHINEE.
desperate men, who had come from various points of the
compass determined to obtain a lion's share of the gold
which they had been told could be had for the taking.
The value of commodities went up like sky-rockets. The
man who had a few spare mules and wagons, on hand was
able to realize ten times the price that was tendered for
them before the boom. Many men who were thus situated
did not consider it advisable to throw away their chances
. by accepting grave risks in search of gold, and many who
stayed at home and supplied the wants of those who went
up country realized handsome competences, and in some
cases small fortunes.
That there was a good deal of lawlessness and violence
is not to be wondered at. It has been said that for every
bona fide miner there was at least one hanger-on or camp
follower, who had no intention of doing any digging or
washing, but who was smart enough to realize that a veritable thief's paradise would be built up by the hard
workers. Sometimes these men went to the trouble of
digging tunnels under the ground and into the tents of
successful miners, frequently passing through rich deposits
of gold on the way. At other times they waylaid wagons
and coaches coming into San Francisco from the mining
camps. History tells us of the fights which ensued, and
we have all heard of the successful miners who were
murdered while asleep at half-way houses, and the result
of their hard toil turned to base uses and vicious purposes.
In San Francisco itself robbery and violence could not
be suppressed. We have all heard of the way in which
the decent element finally got together, formed special
laws and executed offenders in short order. No one of
course approves lynch law in the abstract, but when the 242
circumstances of the case are taken into consideration, it
is difficult to condemn very severely the men who made it
possible for San Francisco to become a great and honored
The population of San Francisco to-day is about a third
of a million. A greater portion of its growth has been during
the last quarter of a century, and- it was the first city in
this country to lay cable conduits and adopt a system of
cable cars. For several years it had practically a monopoly
in this mode of street transportation, and, although electricity has since provided an even more convenient motive
power, San Francisco will always be entitled to credit for
the admirable missionary work it did in this direction. At
the present time, almost every portion of the city and its
beautiful parks can be reached easily by a system of
transportation as comfortable and rapid as it is inexpensive.
Among the wonders of San Francisco must be mentioned the Palace Hotel, a structure of immense magnitude
and probably two or three times as large as the average
Eastern man imagines.. The site of the hotel covers a space
of more than an acre and a half, and several million dollars
were spent on this structure. Everything is magnificent,
expansive, huge and massive. The building itself is seven
stories high, and in its center, forming what may be described as the grandest enclosed court in the world, is a
circular space 144 feet across and roofed in with glass at a
great height. Carriages are driven into this enclosure,
and, in the nearest approach to severe weather known in
San Francisco, guests can alight practically indoors.
There are nearly 800 bed-rooms, all of them large and
lofty, and the general style of architecture is more than
massive.    The  foundation  walls  are   12 feet thick,   and THE HEATHEN CHINEE.
31,000,000 brick were used above them. The skeleton of
wrought iron bands, upon which the brick and stone work
is constructed, weighs more than 3,000 tons. Four artesian
wells supply pure water to the house, which is not only
one of the largest hotels in the world, but also one of the
most complete and independent in its arrangements.
A pleasant ride of nearly four miles in length brings
the rider to Golden Gate Park. The Golden Gate, from'
which the park takes its name, is one of the world's
beauty spots, and here some of the most exquisite sunsets
ever witnessed can be seen. The Gate is the entrance from
the Pacific Ocean to San Francisco Bay, which varies in
width from ten to fifteen miles. At the Gate the width is
suddenly reduced to less than a mile, and hence at ebb and
flow the current is very swift* * Near the Gate sea lions can
be seen gamboling in the surf, and the waves can be
observed striking on the rocks and boulders, and sending
up spray of foamy whiteness to a height of a hundred feet.
Golden Gate Park is like everything else on the Pacific
Coast, immense and wonderful. It is not the largest park
in the world, but it ranks amongst the most extensive. Its
acreage exceeds a thousand, and it is difficult to appreciate
the fact that the richly cultivated ground through which
the tourist is driven has been reclaimed from the ocean,
and was but once little more than a succession of sand bars
and dunes.
When the reader goes to San Francisco, as we hope he
will go some day, if he has not already visited it, he will
be told within a few minutes of his entering the city, that
he has at least reached what may be fairly termed God's
country. Of the glorious climate of California he will
hear much at every step, and before he has been in the city MY NATIVE LAND.
many days, he will wonder how he is to get out of it alive
if he is to see but a fraction of the wonderful sights to
which his attention is called.
California is frequently ^spoken of as the Golden State.
The name California was given to the territory comprising the State and Lower California as long ago as
1510, when a Spanish novelist, either in fancy or prophecy,
wrote concerning "the great land of California, where an
abundance of gold and precious stones are found." In
1848, California proper was ceded to the United States,
and in the same year the discovery of gold at Colomo put
a stop to the peace and quiet which had prevailed on the
fertile plains, the unexplored mountains and the attractive
valleys. Shortly after, a hundred thousand men rushed
into the State, and for the first few years as many as a
hundred thousand miners were kept steadily at work.
It was in 1856 that the famous Vigilance Committee was
formed. In the month of May of that year murderers
were taken from jail and executed, the result being that
the Governor declared San Francisco to be in a state of
insurrection. The Vigilance Committee gained almost
sovereign power, and before it disbanded in August, it had
a parade in which over 5,000 armed, disciplined men took
Pal't« ifiP
Two years later, the overland mail commenced its
journeys and the celebrated pony express followed in 1860.
Railroads followed soon after, and instead of being a practically unknown country, several weeks' journey from the
old established cities, the lightning express has brought
the Pacific so near to the Atlantic that time and space,
seem to have been almost annihilated. CHAPTER XIV.
First Importation of Negro Slaves into America—The Original Abolitionists—A Colored Enthusiast and a Coward—Origin of the word
"Secession"—John Brown's Fanaticism—Uncle Tom's Cabin—
Faithful unto Death—George Augustus Sala on the Negro who
Lingered too long in the Mill Pond.
/ T HE American negro is such a distinct character that
^■^ he cannot be overlooked in a work of this nature.
Some people think he is wholly bad, and that although he
occasionally assumes a virtue, he is but playing a part, and
jDlaying it but indifferently well at that. Others place him
on a lofty pedestal, and magnify him into a hero and a
But the Afro-American, commonly called a " nigger"
in the South, is.neither the one nor the other. He is often
as worthless as the "white trash" he so scornfully despises, and he is often all that the most exacting could
expect, when his surroundings and disadvantages are taken
into consideration. Physiologists tell us that man is very
largely what others make him, many going so far as to say
that character and disposition are three parts hereditary
and one part environment. If this is so, a good deal of
allowance should be made. It is less than 300 years since
the first negroes were brought over to this country, and it
is but little more than thirty years since slavery was
abolished. Hence, from both the standpoints of descent
and environment, the negro is at a great disadvantage, and
he should hardly be judged by the common standard.
(245) 24G
It was in the year 1619 that a Dutch ship landed a
cargo of negroes from Guinea, but that was not really the
first case of slavery in this country. Prior to that time
paupers and criminals from the old world had voluntarily
sold themselves into a species of subjection, in preference
to starvation and detention in their own land; but this
landing in 1619 seems to have really introduced the colored
man into the labor world and market of America.
We need not trace the history of the negro as a slave
at any length. That he was occasionally abused goes without saying, but that his condition was approximately as
bad as a majority of writers have attempted to prove is
not so certain. It was the policy of the slave owner to get
as much work out of his staff as he possibly could. He
knew from experience that the powers of human endurance
were necessarily limited, and that a man could not work
satisfactorily when he was sick or hungry. Hence, even on
the supposition that all slave owners were without feeling,
it is obvious that self-interest must have impelled them to
keep the negro in gpod health, and to prevent him from
losing strength from hardship and want.
On some plantations the lot of the slave was a hard
one, but on others there was very little complaining or
cause for complaint. Thousands of slaves were better off
by far than they have been subsequent to liberation, and it
is a fact that speaks volumes for the much discussed and
criticized slaveholders, that numbers of emancipated
slaves refused to accept their freedom, while many more,
who went away delighted at the removal of withstraint,
came back of their own option very soon after, and begged
to be allowed to resume the old relations.
The average negro obeys, literally obeys, the divine in- EMANCIPATION—Before and After.        247
struction to take no thought for the morrow. If he has a
good dinner in the oven he is apt to forget for the time
being that there is such a meal as supper, and he certainly
does not give even a passing thought to the fact that if he
has no breakfast in the morning he will be "powerfu'
hungry." This indifference as to the future robbed
slavery of much of its hardship, and although every one
condemns the idea in the abstract, there*are many humane
men and women who do not think the colored man suffered half as much as has so often and so emphatically
been stated.
Abolition was advocated with much earnestness for
many years prior to Lincoln's famous emancipation proclamation. The agitation first took tangible shape during the
administration of General Jackson, a man who received
more hero worship than has fallen to the lot of any of his
successors. To a zealous, if perhaps bigoted, Quaker belongs the credit of having started the work, by founding a
newspaper, which he called the "Genius of Universal Emancipation." William Lloyd Garrison, subsequently with
* 'The Liberator," was connected with this journal, and in the
first issue he announced as his programme, war to the death
against slavery in every form. "I will not equivocate; I
will not excuse; I will not retreat a single inch, and I will
be heard," was the announcement with which he opened
the campaign, which he subsequently carried on with more
conspicuous vigor than success.
Garrison handled the question of the relation between
the white and colored people of the country without
gloves, and his very outspoken language occasionally got
him into trouble. The people who supported him were
known as Abolitionists, a name which even at that early MY NATIVE LAND.
date conjured up hard feeling, and divided household
against household, and family against family. Among
these Garrison was regarded as a hero, and to some extent
as a martyr, while the bitterness of his invective earned for
him the title of fanatic and crank from the thousands who
disagreed with him, and who thought he was advocating
legislation in advance of public sentiment.
The debates of the days of which we are speaking were
full of interest. Many of the arguments advanced teemed
With force. The Abolitionists denounced the Republic for
inconsistency, in declaring that all men were equal, and
then keeping 3,000,000 colored people in enforced subjection. In reply the Bible was freely quoted in defense
of slavery, and the fight was taken up by ministers
of religion with much zeal. It was not, by any means, a
sectional question at that time. While the slaves were
owned by Southern planters and landed proprietors, they
were purchased and kept on borrowed capital, and many
of the men in the North, who were supposed to sympathize
with the Abolitionists, were as much interested in the perpetuation of slavery as those who actually owned the slaves
In the year 1831, a negro named Turner, supported by
six desperate and misguided fellow countrymen, started
out on what they regarded as a practical crusade against
slavery. Turner professed to have seen visions such as
inspired Joan of Arc, and he proceeded to fulfill what he
regarded as his divine mission, in a very fanatical manner.
First, the white man who owned Turner was murdered,
and then the band proceeded to kill off all white men in
sight or within convenient reach. Within two days nearly
fifty white men were destroyed by those avenging angels, EMANCIPATION—Before and After.
as they were called, and then the insurrection or crusade
was terminated by the organizing of a handful of white
men who did not propose to bo sacrificed as had been their
Turner's bravery was great when there was no resistance, but he recognized that discretion was the better part
of valor the moment organized resistance was offered.
Taking to the woods, he left his followers to shift for
themselves. For more than a week he lived on what he
could find in the wheat fields, and then, coming in contact
with an armed white man, he speedily surrendered. A
week later he was hanged, and seventeen other colored
men suffered a like penalty for connection with the conspiracy. The murderous outbreak had other dire results
for the negro, and caused many innocent men to be suspected and punished.
A year later, Garrison started the New England Anti-
Slavery Society, which was followed by many similar
organizations. So intense did the feeling become that
President Jackson thought it advisable to recommend
legislation excluding Abolition literature from the mails.
o ©
The measure was finally defeated, but in the Southern
States, particularly, a great deal of mail was searched and
even condemned. Rewards were offered in some of the
slave-holding States for the apprehension of some of the
leading Abolitionists, and feeling ran very high, every
outbreak being laid at the doors of the men who were
preaching the new gospel of equal rights, regardless of
Mobs frequently took a hand in the proceedings, and
several men were attacked and arrested on very flimsy
pretexts.   In 1836, the Pennsylvania Hall, in Philadelphia, 250
was burned, because it had been dedicated by an anti-
slavery meeting. So bitter did the feeling become that
every attempt to open schools for colored children was
followed by disturbance, the teachers being driven away
and the books destroyed. Numerous petitions on the subject were sent to Congress, and there was an uproar in the
House when it was proposed to refer a petition for the
abolition of slavery in the District of Columbia to a committee. The Southern Congressmen withdrew from the
House as a formal protest, and the word "secession,"
which was subsequently to acquire such a much more significant meaning, was first applied to this action on their
A compromise, however, was effected, and the seceding
members took their seats on the following day. Feeling,
however, ran very high. Some people returned fugitive
slaves to their owners, while others established what was
then known as the underground railway. This was a combination between Abolitionists in various parts, and
involved the feeding and housing of slaves, who were
passed on from house to house and helped on their road to
Canada. Much excitement was caused in 1841 by the ship
* 'Creole," which sailed from Richmond with a cargo of 135
slaves from the Virginia plantation. Near the Bahama
Islands one of the slaves named Washington, as by the
way a good many thousand slaves were named from time
to time, headed a rebellion. The slaves succeeded in overpowering the crew and in confining the captain and the white
passengers. They forced the captain to take the boat to
New Providence, where all except the actual members of
the rebelling crowd were declared free.
Joshua Giddings, of Ohio, offered a resolution in the Y eilowstone Falls.  EMANCIPATION—Before and After.        253
House of Representatives claiming that every man who
had been a slave in the United States was free the moment
he crossed the boundary of some other country. The way
in which this resolution was received led to the resignation
of Mr. Giddings. He offered himself for re-election, and
was sent back to Congress by an enormous majority. As
Ohio had been very bitter in its anti-negro demonstrations,
the vote was regarded as very significant. The Supreme
Court decided differently from the people, and a ruling
was handed down to the effect that fugitive slaves were
liable to re-capture. The court held that the law as to
slavery was paramount in free as well as slave States, and
that every law-abiding citizen must recognize these rights
and not interfere with them. Feeling became very intense
after this, and for a time it threatened to extend far beyond
rational limits. In the church the controversy waxed
warm, and in more than one instance division as well as
dissension arose.
In 1858, a new phase was given to the controversy by
John Brown. Every one has heard of this remarkable
man, who was regarded by some as a martyr, and by others
as a dangerous crank. As one writer very aptly puts it,
John Brown was both the one and the other. That his
intentions were in the main good, few doubt, but his methods were open to the gravest censure, and according to
some deep thinkers he was, in a large degree, responsible
for the bitter feeling which made war between the North
and the South inevitable. Probably this is giving undue
importance to this much-discussed enthusiast, who regarded himself as a divine messenger sent to liberate the
slaves and punish the slave-holders.
He conceived the idea of rallying all the colored people 254
around him in the impregnable mountains of Virginia, and
having drafted a constitution, he proceeded to unfurl his
flag and call out his supporters. In October, 1859, he
took possession of the United States Armory at Harper's
Ferry, interfered with the running of trains, and practically held the town with a force of some eighteen men,
of whom four were colored. Colonel Robert E. Lee
quickly came on the scene with a detachment of troops and
(Irove the Brown following into an engine-house. They
declined to surrender, and thirteen were either killed or
mortally wounded. Two of Brown's sons were among
those who fell, and the leader himself was captured. He
treated his trial with the utmost indifference, and went to
the scaffold erect and apparently unconcerned. His body
was taken to his old home in New York State, where it was
Abraham Lincoln must not be included in the list of
enthusiastic Abolitionists, although he eventually freed the
slaves. In speeches made prior to the war he expressed
the opinion that in slave States general emancipation would
be ill-advised, and although his election was looked upon as
dangerous to slave-holders' interests, the fear seems to have
been prophetic in a large measure. It was not until the
war had lasted far longer than originally anticipated that
Lincoln definitely threatened to liberate the colored slaves.
That threat he carried into execution on January 1st, 1863,
when 3,000,000 slaves became free. The cause of the
Confederacy had not yet become the " lost cause," and
the leaders on the Southern side were inclined to ridicule
the decree, and to regard it rather as a " bluff " than anything of a serious order. But it was emancipation in fact as
well as in deed, as the colored orator never tired of explaining. EMANCIPATION—Before and After.
Such in outline is the history of