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want of assistance (which, if it be true, is only owing to want of humanity among themselves), and then they boast of having received ten times the favours and presents from his predecessor. It is remarkable that those are most lavish in their praises, who have never either deserved or received any favours from him. In time, however, this language also ceases, and they are perfectly reconciled to the man whom they would willingly have made a fool, and say, ' he is no child, and not to be deceived by them.'
They differ so much from the rest of mankind, that harsh, uncourteous usage seems to agree better with the generality of them, particularly the lower class, than mild treatment; for if the least respect be shown them, it makes them intolerably insolent; and though some of their leaders may be exempt from this imputation, yet there are but few even of them who have sense enough to set a proper value on the favours and indulgencies which are granted to them while they remain at the Company's factories, or elsewhere within their territories. Experience has convinced me, that by keeping a Northern Indian at a distance, he may be made serviceable both to himself and the Company; but by giving him the least indulgence at the factory, he will grow indolent, inactive, and troublesome, and only contrive methods to tax the generosity of an European.'—(Pp. 308, 309.)
Aged parents are treated not only with entire neglect, but also with contempt by their children, and it is calculated that at least one-half of the aged of both sexes are left to starve, and do perish of cold or want. The Bishop of Montreal thus pourtrays the appearance of the Indians whom he saw en route to the Red River : ‘Their actual condition presents a most degrading picture of humanity. Some of them came up to us in dirty blankets, or dirtier dresses of worn and tattered hareskins; others were totally naked, except the waist-cloth; their heads, with scarcely an exception, protected only by an enormous mass of long black hair ; others, in the encampments, who appeared to be persons of some distinction, and whose attire was in better order, were tricked out more like bedlamites than rational beings; a silly and indiscri
minating passion for ornament prompting them to turn to this account whatever frippery they can become possessed of; so that the thimbles, for example, which they procure from the Company, are seen dangling at the end of long thin braids of hair which hang from the men's foreheads : some have feathers stuck into their hair, and these, perhaps, bent into an imitation of horns, with others appended to resemble the ears of an animal: many have their faces painted, all the lower part of the visage being made perfectly black, and the eyes encircled with bright vermillion: but it would be impossible to describe the varieties of their costume, or their fantastic decorations; and there they sit, or rather squat, smoking and basking in the sun the livelong day, sunk in an indolence from which nothing seems to rouse them but the excitement of war or the chase. Every species of labour and drudgery, in the meantime, is thrown entirely upon the women; and if an Indian travels on foot with his family, all the load which is to be carried, is consigned to the back of his wife or wives, for he does not always content himself with one. We were particularly struck with the appearance of one savage, who, squatting, with his whole figure in a heap, upon the point of a projecting rock which overhung the river, perfectly naked and perfectly motionless, staring down upon us out of the hair which buried his head and covered his shoulders, looked like some hideous idol of the East.'—(Journal, pp. 35–37.)
In reference to the character of the Indians, the Bishop says, 'their passion for liquor is well known, but it is a great blessing that the Hudson's Bay Company have adopted measures to withhold from them this devastating curse.' 'Some of them are practised thieves; they appear very generally to be inveterate gamblers, and will strip themselves of every article they possess, in the unsuccessful pursuit of this passion.' 'Europeans, in some points of view, have done them unspeakable mischief; but, as matters are now conducted, their condition is ameliorated by their partial assimilation to the whites. Those who are attached to the forts are far more comfortable in their appearance than others.'
The Bishop adverts to the 'scenes of blood and treachery
from hereditary and cherished feuds; the trophies of the scalping knife; the exposure of infants ; the abandonment of helpless objects, when found burthensome, to perish in the wilds. And his Lordship adds his valuable testimony, that the influence of the Hudson's Bay Company has been exerted, no doubt successfully, to a certain extent, to check some of these practices, and more decisively, I believe, for the discontinuance of certain horrid barbarities exercised upon the widows of Indian warriors, as an established custom, and upon captive slaves at the will of their masters.'—(Pp. 136, 137.)
Captain Franklin says that the ‘Stone Indians are grossly and habitually treacherous, generally at war with the neighbouring tribes, and never fail to take the scalps of their prisoners as trophies. They abuse the rights of hospitality by waylaying and plundering the very guest who had been apparently received with kindness, and just departed from their tents.—(Quarterly Review, No. lvi., p. 379.)
Mr. Greenhow says, that ‘Missionaries of various Christian sects have long been labouring with little profit, as it would appear from all accounts. The Roman Catholics appear to content themselves with administering baptism, and whole tribes submit at once to the rite.'
It is too much the habit to invest savages with all the better traits of humanity, and to say that they are injured by civilization, when in fact savages are more ferocious to each other than are the wild beasts of the forest. The Rev. S. Parker says, in his Journal, at p. 27—'I passed to-day a place which presented a very mournful scene, where two years ago thirty Nez. Percé young men, who were killed by the Blackfeet, had been buried. They were all active young men, going out upon some expedition, the nature of which I could not learn. They had gone but a little way from the village which encamped here, when, passing through a very narrow defile on a small stream of water, walled up on both sides with perpendicular rocks, the Blackfeet Indians, who had waylaid them, attacked them from before and behind, and killed all but one, who mounted a horse belonging to the Blackfeet, and forced his way through the opposing enemy. After the Blackfeet Indians had retired from the place of
slaughter, the Nez Percés brought away the dead bodies and buried them in this place. According to their mode, they buried with them their clothes, blankets, and buffalo robes, in graves only about three feet deep, putting five or six bodies in a grave. Some time after this the Blackfeet Indians came and dug them up, and made plunder of their blankets and whatever they thought worth taking. The Nez Percés some time afterwards came this way, and collected their bones and buried them again. The graves in which they were first buried were open when we passed, and fragments of garments were lying about. Here my Indians halted, and mourned in silence over their slaughtered sons and brothers.' The ‘Blackfeet' tribe are found in different posts of the Hudson's Bay Company's territories, and require to be carefully watched.
The aborigines of the North-West Archipelago,' are universally described as daring and ferocious in the extreme, but possessing greater self-command, by which they conceal their intentions until prepared to act. The history of the fur trade in the North Pacific presents innumerable instances of their cruelty and treachery towards foreigners visiting their coasts, and many vessels have been taken by them, and all on board murdered in an instant, without the previous occurrence of anything calculated to excite suspicion.' Mr. Greenhow adds, there are many reasons for believing that these people are cannibals, though it seems probable they only eat the bodies of their enemies killed in war.'—(Geography of Oregon,pp. 32, 33.)
The Ballabollas at Fort McLoughlin, some of whose canoes, cut out of a single tree, are 60 feet long, by 63 broad and 4] deep, and carry an hundred men, had a deadly feud with the Hydra tribe of Queen Charlotte's Island, when Sir G. Simpson was on the coast in 1842. The Ballabollas, to the number of 300, went in their canoes, and butchered all the inhabitants of a village of the Hydas, except a man and a woman, who were carried off as living trophies.
The Londonderry Sentinel of 23rd September, 1848, contains an article from the Journal du Havre, which gives a detailed account of the “ Massacre of an entire community of Protestant Missionaries who have been settled in Columbia for more than ten years, by an
Indian tribe termed the Cayouses. The Rev. Dr. Whiteman and his wife were among the first victims. Dysentery had carried off several of the Indians, and the Indians supposed that the Whites had destroyed them in order to obtain sole possession of the country. It is mentioned in the above statement that Mr. Abernethy, the Governor of Columbia, had, with the concurrence of the Oregon Legislative Council, authorised a levy of 500 volunteers to punish the Cayouses. The information concludes with the following passage : Vengeance is less an object than to prevent this sad example being followed by the neighbouring tribes, among whom the Society of Missionaries have founded numerous establishments without gaining the sympathy of the people, or bringing about a reform sufficiently deep-rooted to prevent cause for continually fearing a return to the ferocity of savage life. We are assured that the Hudson's Bay Company has, on its part, sent a considerable reinforcement to Walla-Walla. The question is, whether they will arrive soon enough to prevent the recurrence of such a misfortune.'
Slavery exists extensively among the Indians of the Oregon and in New Caledonia, but the establishment of the Company's forts is effecting a considerable change, by introducing commercial operations; and, by facilitating traffic, one of the best guarantees for peace is established even among savages.
It may afford some idea of the difficulty which a British wellorganized association must have in dealing with the Indians, and how impossible it would be for isolated traders to carry on traffic in those regions when the state of slavery is known, by which the master is brutalized even more than the unhappy victim of his avarice and cruelty. Sir G. Simpson, in describing the tribes on the northwest coast, among the Hudson's Bay Company's forts, furnishes the following harrowing account of the condition of their slaves :
These thralls are just as much the property of their masters as so many dogs, with this difference against them, that a man of cruelty and ferocity enjoys a more exquisite pleasure in tasking, or starving, or torturing, or killing, a fellow creature, than in treating any one of the lower animals in a similar way. Even in the most inclement