Page images

to the subject; that the committee appointed were required to report upon the inducements to a more complete scientific survey,—the plan and probable expense of conducting it; and that no appropriation has been made to compensate them for their services.

From the erficial reconnaissance which has been made, chiefly north of lat. 31°, and west of the Mississippi, the Committee concur in a recommendation for the appointment of a Geologist and Chemist, to prosecute the investigations in the north-western district, which alone, in their opinion, deserves much attention, in the present times of pecuniary difficulty. In this portion of the State, the Committee represent that “those things which are of the first necessity to an industrious people, are found in abundance,” and hence conclude, that, “ an empty treasury furnishes an argument for any enterprize, which, at a moderate cost, will bring them into requisition.” They seem, in their report, to have as strict a view to public economy, as the members of the present legislature, themselves ; and we sincerely hope, that their suggestions will meet legislative, as we perceive they do, executive approbation.

The report of Mr. Trastour is presented in the form of a large map of the district he traversed; finished in the most elegant manner of a professional engineer, and delineating the geographical and geological surface and stratification of the Washita region. We have not room for a detailed description, but it will be perceived that his observations for latitude and longitude differ, in many cases, essentially from those of Sir William Dunbar, made many years since, in 1804, if we mistake not, and adopted up to the present time. The delineation of Black River, which connects the Washita with Red River, has never before been correctly presented, the surveys having only recently been completed.

Accompanying the map is a short manuscript, in the French language, containing little else than an explanation of the map, and the result of some analysis. It is to be hoped that the report will be translated, and the map lithographed, for public distribution.

The report of Professor W. M. Carpenter, is chiefly devoted to the botany of Louisiana, and comprises, we learn, the result of several years' labor, as well as his observations under the present appointment. A Flora Louisianana, such as the industry and learning of Dr. Carpenter would warrant us in expecting, is thus added to the record of American science.

We find, in the pages of this report, devoted to geology, the same suggestion ventured, which seems quite demonstrated in the pages of the Doctor's colleague ; that the tertiary beds, in northern Louisiana, belong to the first periods of tertiary geology,—the eocene and miocene.

The report of Prof. Forshey, is almost wholly devoted to geological investigations; and if he has not undertaken more than his limited VOL. 1.-NO. 1.


time for observation would permit him to determine well, his remarks will prove very important in defining the geographical limits of the several formations. This part of the report is written with caution, and apparently with hesitation ; reserving the liberty to correct errors, in future. In an economical point of view, the developments here made, must prove of great value, particularly to agriculture ; for, we are told that the marls, in great variety and abundance, pervade the poorer districts, and are of easy access and application.

The report begins, as usual, with a synopsis of the science of geology, and a section of the earth's surface, to introduce the common reader to the subject. Then follows a description of the diluvial, tertiary, and secondary deposites, and an attempt to determine their boundaries; with a general view of all the valuable materials found in each, within the State. Next, we have special descriptions of the localities examined, taken from the notes made by the way: and the paper concludes with a review of the whole, and a summary of the reasons for a continuation of the enterprise.

In regard to Prof. F's politic rocks, and trilobites in the eocene tertiary, we have only to say, query?


The Life and Times of Red Jacket, or Sa-go-ye-wat-ha. By WILLIAM L. STONE, New York and London. Wiley and Putman, 1841. 8vo. pp. 484.

We no longer shudder at the fearful whoop of the red warrior. We are no longer exposed to the merciless savage, “thirsting for the blood of men, women and children.” In the progress of civilization, the Indian has been swept from the soil of his fathers, and the traces of this people, once in their own expressive language), as numerous as the leaves of the forest, are becoming every day more indistinct. Occasionally one crosses our path, but how unlike the noble race that met our fathers upon these shores, often extending to them the pipe of peace, and aiding them with whatever their unsophisticated kindness could supply, or when abused, insulted and wronged, exhibiting the fierce spirit of the warrior, the revengeful character, and unyielding courage of the untutored savage.

We cannot forget, that there was a time when this child of nature, conscious of his bodily strength and courage, with a form unsurpassed by the most cunning works of Grecian sculpture, ranged master of the soil, amid the wilds of America. There, undisturbed, he struck, with unerring aim, the bounding stag; he fished in the great lakes ;a warrior, he fought with his enemies in a strife fearful to imagine. He worshipped the Great Spirit, not in a temple made with hands,


but in the midst of all-glorious nature. Beautiful, figurative, sublime eloquence was on his lips, a proud and haughty carriage characterized his movements. At the council fires, white-haired chiefs presided, and attentive warriors in silence heard the words of those, whom age, wisdom, or pr ess constituted their advisers. The burial-places of their tribe, were to them as hallowed ground, for when all was over, when the renowned chief had seen the end of life, they placed him there to repose, until in the happy hunting gronnds, pictured forth in the beautiful imagination of the native, he again resumed the chase, and entered upon a new and more glorious existence. Such was the Indian in his state of happy and untutored igno

But the white man came, and, behold! another picture. He introduced among them the arts of civilized life; he gave them fire water to drink, cheated them with his gewgaws and baubles, and debased them. Observing their hospitality and kindness towards the strangers, who had landed upon their shores, the encroaching, grasping white man, unsatisfied with what was given, would seize upon the whole. The Indian, at first generous, confiding, becomes suspicious, distrustful. Defrauded of his rights, of his inheritance, he turns upon his destroyer, and“ war to the knife” becomes his motto. We see no longer the curious, admiring savage, but rather the dark-browed, fierce and unrelenting avenger. He feels himself, at length, called upon to defend the soil of his fathers, his own land, from the encroachments of an unfeeling invader. His element had been freedom, without which he cannot live,—the enemy is at hand that would deprive him of it, and the first law of nature calls upon him to assert his claim to his birthright. If the result has proved the extermination of his race, still was the poor Indian in the right.

We rejoice that a more kindly spirit is awakened for this unfortunate people ;—that now, when almost stricken from the calendar of nations, there are among us those who would seek to preserve their memory from oblivion, to exhibit to us examples, in the Indian annals, of heroic self-devotion, of enthusiastic and daring bravery, of generosity, of fortitude, of a susceptibility to the kinder and softer emotions of humanity, and of many of those higher virtues which distinguished the men of the heroic ages of Greece. Their beautiful legends, figurative and poetic language, singular customs and eventful history are a rich mine from which Irving, Cooper, Sedgwick, Simms and others have gathered materials for some of their most entertaining fictions. The philosopher, historian and antiquarian are busy with the remains of this unfortunate people, and are constantly bringing to light facts that invest them with new and startling interest. The only tribute we can pay to misfortune, to past greatness, to heroic character, the Indian claims at the hands of Americans, and claiming will receive it ; and let it not be forgotten, that from this noble and heroic race, our fathers derived, in some degree, the stern spirit of independence, the unconquerable love of liberty, which led eventually to that republican characteristic, which has made the American people the guiding star of freedom to the civilized world.

The Life and Times of “the Last of the Senecas," we have read with interest and pleasure. Interspersed, as it is, with romantic legend and passages of stirring Indian eloquence, no one can peruse its pages, without the highest gratification. The style of our author is at once graceful and elegant, and the narrative is embellished with much philosophic and critical disquisition upon the character and destiny of this unhappy people.

We need offer no apology for the insertion of the following beautiful legend occurring in the first chapter :

“ Connected with this sacred mount of Genundewah, and a wild precipice in its vicinity, which hangs beetling over the silver Canandaigua lake, called the Lover's Leap,' is an interesting story of love to distraction, and courage to death, on the part of a young Indian beauty, which may, perhaps, warrant a digression for its recital; more especially, as the American aboriginals have generally been accounted strangers to la belle passion. During the wars of the Senecas and Algonquins of the south, a chief of the latter was captured, and carried to Genundewah. The captive, though young in years, was famed for his prowess in the forest conflict; and nature had been bountiful to his person, in those gifts of strength and symmetry, which waken savage admiration. After a short debate, he was condemned to die, on the following day, by the slow torture of impalement. While he was lying in the ‘Cabin of Death,' a lodge devoted to the reception of condemned prisoners, the daughter of the Sachem brought him food; and, struck with his manly form, and heroic bearing, resolved to save him, or share his fate. Her bold enterprize was favored by the uncertain light of the gray dawn ; while the solitary sentinel, weary with his night-watch, and forgetful of his duty, was slumbering. Stealing with noiseless tread, to the side of the young captive, she cut the thongs wherewith his limbs were bound, and besought him, in breathless accents, to follow her. The fugitives descended the hill, by a wooded path, conducting to the lake : but, ere they had reached the water, an alarm whoop, wild and shrill, was heard issuing from the lips of the waking guard. They turned not, though thorny vines and fallen timber obstructed their way. At length they reached the smooth beach, and leaping into a canoe, (previously prepared by the brave and considerate damsel,) they plied the paddle vigorously, steering for the opposite shore. Vain were their efforts. On the wind came cries of rage, and the quick tramp of savage warriors, bounding over rock and glen, in fierce pursuit. The Algonquin, with the reckless daring of a young brave, sent back a yell of defiance; and soon after, the plash of oars was heard, and a dozen war canoes were cutting the billows, in their rear. The unfortunate lovers, on landing, took a trail, leading, in a western direction, over the hills. The Algonquin, weakened by unhealed wounds, followed his active guide, up the acclivity, with panting heart, and flagging pace; while his enemies, with the grim old Sachem at their head, drew nearer and nearer. At length, finding further attempts at flight, useless, she diverged from the trail, and conducted her lover to a table-crested rock, that projected over a ravine or gulf, one hundred and fifty feet in depth; the bottom of which was strewn with huge unshapen rocks, scattered in rude confusion. With hearts nerved to a high resolve, the hapless pair awaited the arrival of their yelling pursuers. Conspicuous by his eagle plume, towering form, and scowling brow, the daughter soon descried her inexorable sire, leaping from crag to crag, below her. He paused abruptly, when his fiery eye rested on the objects of his pursuit. Notching an arrow on the string of his tried and unerring bow, he raised his sinewy arms; but, ere the missile was sent, Wun-nut-hay, the beautiful, interposed her form, between her father and his victim. In wild appealing tones, she entreated her sire to spare the young chieftain ; assuring him, that they would leap together from the precipice, rather than be separated. The stern old man, deaf to her supplications, and disregarding her menace, ordered his followers to seize the fugitives. Warrior after warrior darted up the rock; but, on reaching the platform, at the moment when they were grasping to catch the young brave, the lovers, locked in fond embrace, flung themselves

From the steep rock, and perished.' “ The mangled bodies were buried in the bottom of the glen, beneath the shade of everlasting rocks; and two small hollows, resembling sunken graves, are, to this day, pointed out to the curious traveller as the burial place of the lovers.' It is a sweet, wild haunt; the sunbeam falls there, with a softened radiance; and a brook, near by, gives out a complaining murmur, as mourning for the dead.”

We intended to have given some slight sketch of the renowned Seneca chief, derived from the work before us ; but our notice has already occupied a large space. We must, therefore, refer our reader to the history itself, from which he will discover, that the assertion of Red Jacket,-I am an orator! I was born an orator !-was no vain boast.


La Déesse, an Elssler-atic Romance, by the Author of STRAWS."
New-York : Carvill & Co., 108 Broadway. 1841.

The author of “Straws” is, certainly, a person sui generis, at least as far as regards his poetic effusions. These are, most unquestionably, the offspring of a mind, original, versatile and profound. Yes, stare as you may, it is no less true that, in the productions of “Straws,” there is more than at first strikes the mind. Amid all his fanciful and ludicrous descriptions, under cover of strange and singular expressions, within metaphors unique and startling, though often sublime and beautiful, we can detect traces of sound, deep and thorough observation and reflection. We can discover philosophical truths, and metaphysical reasonings, clothed, it is true, in strange and fantastical garments, yet there they are; and many a starched critic, with the words of condemnation against the author in his mouth, will strive to father them as his

“ Straws” does sometimes, we must allow, commit offences against pure taste, and in this we cannot uphold him. We grant his muse not always chaste,—his expressions frequently offensive to 'ears polite ;' we cannot approve of all his sentiments. We must acknowledge his faults not a few, and yet, with all his faults, we love him still. We love the freshness and vigor of his thoughts. We love his noble and manly independence, in satirizing the conceited fopperies and


« ՆախորդըՇարունակել »