ePub 版

shells, was their principal ornament; among many tribes, this served also as money. Another way of adorning themselves was by means of colored earths, with which they painted their faces and bodies black, red, green, or white.1 Warriors were fond of wearing eagle feathers in their hair, one feather for each enemy killed in combat.

46. The Indian in War. The Indian's life was a continual struggle for existence. He chased enemies from the hunting-grounds of his own tribe; yet, when food was scarce, he boldly invaded the territory of other tribes, and this led to frequent wars, in which the weapons employed were chiefly bows and arrows and spears. He was so skillful a fighter that the white man often found him difficult to


Indian war parties would make rapid journeys for robbery, murder, and scalping.2 After quickly striking their blow against an enemy's camp or cabin, often in the dead of night, and gathering their prisoners and scalps, they would glide back again into the dark forest that hid them from sight.

In fighting, the Indian tried to do as much harm to the enemy as possible, yet at the same time to keep out of danger himself. He did not like to "fight in the open," where he was exposed to view. The greatest hero in the tribe was he who collected the most scalps, no matter by what treachery he obtained them. The warrior therefore skulked in the woods and grass as does a wild beast before springing on its prey, and often attacked defenseless women and children. Europeans called such conduct cowardly; the Indian, however, had no lack of courage, only it was shown in other


47. What the Indians taught the white men. The In

1 The color and shape of these markings meant many things; they showed to what tribe the savage belonged, some sorrow or joy that he felt, or his intention to go to war or to do some other great deed.

2 The young Indian was not allowed to call himself a warrior until he had cut from some fallen enemy a small, round piece of skin towards the top of the head, with the hair hanging to it. This was called the "scalp lock."

dians taught Europeans how to raise and use tobacco, which became a profitable crop in some of the English colonies. The maize that the Indians grew was at once adopted by the whites, who called it “Indian corn," to distinguish it from the cereals of the Old World. This has become one of the largest and most valuable of our North American crops. We owe, also, to the aborigines the common potato. The Indian showed the settler where to find in the forest edible roots, nuts, and fruits, how to gather and cook wild rice, and the way to prepare the hominy and parched corn that often kept white families from starving. The pale-face" hunter learned much from the savage about the habits of birds and wild animals, the paths through the wilderness, and the best methods of the chase. The Indian's birch-bark canoe became popular with the



conquerors, as did also his HOW THE INDIANS SIGNED THEIR


Each drew the animal or bird which had been selected as the emblem of his family. The name of the signer and the words "his mark were added by a clerk





[ocr errors]


Euchewas kunigua


mark: Bouemancutus


marke Gorninivanse

[ocr errors]







quickly built wigwams and shelter huts. The native "medicine man" taught the civilized pioneer several methods of healing, especially of the kind of wounds received while hunting or fighting.

48. Aid given to white settlers. Sometimes friendly natives would save a white village from attacks by war parties coming from a distance; often, pioneers were saved from starvation by gifts of food from the tribesmen; and the Indian frequently acted as guide to exploring parties. If the red man were treated well, he often befriended the white.

49. The pioneers' view of the Indians. When Europeans, especially the English, first came to America, they began to cut down the trees, to make farms, and to plant towns. This frightened off the game on which the Indians chiefly

lived; and it began to look as though the aborigines would soon have no food left. It was not long before the newcomers drove away the natives themselves and often acted with unnecessary cruelty toward them. This made the Indians angry; and at times they fought the intruders, hoping thus to regain their hunting-grounds. But, in the end, the white man always won.

Our pioneer forefathers lived at a time when even white men did not treat each other as kindly as they do now. They believed that the Indian was a cowardly, treacherous, wild man, and must, therefore, like the wild animals, stand aside for the stronger and better race. They thought that, by driving out the native inhabitants, they were doing a real service to civilization.1


1. Find several Indian names in your State.

2. Give several words in common use derived from the Indians.

3. In what respects does the white man's idea of honor in war differ from that of the savage?

4. What effect did contact with the white man have on the customs and mode of life of the Indian?

5. What did the white man learn from the Indian?

6. Name a common food, a plant used as a luxury, and a traveling vehicle first used by the Indians.

7. Find out how many Indians are now living in the United States and report to the class. How does this number compare with the number of Indians in the country in the sixteenth century?


I. Perhaps you have heard a story, or legend, of the Indians that has never been printed. If so, tell it or write it.

2. Write a brief account of The Last of the Mohicans, or of any other of the "Leather Stocking Tales" by James Fenimore Cooper, or of Ramona, by Helen Hunt Jackson, or The Story of Old Fort Loudon, by Charles Egbert Craddock. Tell especially what you think of the description

1 Most of the Indian tribes are now forced by our Government to live in small districts set apart for them, called "reservations." While there are several such reservations east of the Mississippi River, the majority of them are in the region to the west of it.

of the Indian in the book you select, and the author's view of the Indian's relations with the whites.

3. Give an Indian's thoughts as he looks on the scene suggested in this stanza from Stevenson's poem The Displaced:·

[ocr errors]

As when the Indian to Dakota comes,
Or farthest Idaho, and, where he dwelt -
He with his clan, a humming city finds,
Thereon awhile amazed he stares.


1. Three groups of Indian tribes east of the Mississippi River. 2. Characteristics, religion, and mode of life of Indians.

3. The Indian in war.

4. The Indian's relation to the white man.

5. The pioneers' view of the Indians.


IN the fifteenth century the world was astir with new ideas. The discovery of gunpowder had revolutionized war, the invention of the printing-press was spreading knowledge abroad, the compass and the astrolabe made it safe to sail into unknown seas. Finally, in the closing years of that century, came the discovery of America, the land of opportunity.

The capture of Constantinople by the Turks threatened the trade routes over which the goods of Asia came to Europe. Men began, in consequence, to hope that a sea route to India might be found.

In 1492 Columbus, an Italian, believed that the world was round and that, by sailing west from Europe, one might reach Asia. Procuring aid with much difficulty from Spain, he set out with three ships upon the great unknown waters to prove his theory. He sailed west until he found an island of the Bahamas. Afterward he discovered Cuba and Haiti, and, on a later voyage, the continent of South America; but he believed them all to be outlying lands of India.

The countries of Europe began sending out explorers to these new lands. Before Columbus saw South America, the Cabots had discovered North America for England.

Americus Vespucius sailed along the coast of Brazil. Geographers gave his name, first to that country, then to the whole continent.

More than twenty years after Columbus first saw the New World, the Spaniard, Balboa, discovered, in 1513, the Pacific Ocean from a mountain top of the Isthmus of Panama. It began to be realized that America was not India, but men still thought of it as a barrier between Europe and Asia and continually searched for a passage through it.

In 1520 Magellan sailed through the straits that bear his name and on across the broad Pacific. Only one of his ships got back to Spain. For the first time men had sailed around the world. More than half a century later this feat was repeated by Sir Francis Drake, the English buccaneer.

Men did not guess that North America was three thousand miles from east to west, and they sought for a northwest passage through it. Cartier, the Frenchman, believed he had found it when he sailed up the St. Lawrence. Hudson, an Englishman, exploring on behalf of Holland, was searching for the Northwest Passage when he discovered, in 1609, the Hudson River.

The Spanish discovered the Mississippi. The French explored it from the Falls of St. Anthony to the Gulf of Mexico. To the French also we owe our first knowledge of Lake Champlain and the Great Lakes. The Spanish, on their part, made long journeys through what is now the southern and southwestern part of the United States.

The territory now occupied by the United States was once held by a population of some 200,000 Indians. These Indians had perfected the arts of forest warfare, were skillful hunters, and had made some progress in agriculture. In spite of their excessive cruelty, there was much that was attractive about their character. No doubt they were often treated with great injustice by the whites at a time when the world had little idea of any right but the rule of the strong. They were, however, unable to make use of the natural resources of this continent, as their white successors have done.



TEACHERS' LIST. Hart's American History by Contemporaries, vol. I, pp. 35-40, 60-64, 81-88, 125-144. Thwaites's Colonies, pp. 1–36. Fiske's United States, pp. 1-55. Channing's Student's United States, chap. I. Sparks's Expansion of American People, chaps. I, II. Fiske's Discovery of America, vol. I, chaps. III, V; vol. II, pp. 2-18, 180-210; and New France and New England, chaps. II, IV. Cheney's European Background of American History, chaps. II-V. Bourne's Spain in America, chaps. IV, V, VII, IX, XI.

« 上一頁繼續 »