ePub 版

reforms, and those surprising improvements, in the arts, in the sciences, in politics, in morals, in religion, and in civil and religious freedom, which far excel the former periods of the world's history. What was planned in the first period and created in the second, was organized and formed in the budding existence of the third period; and developed in the full and fragrant blossom of the fourth period. The fifteenth and sixteenth centuries were preĕminently the period of reform and discovery. It was that brilliant era in history, when modern enterprise, and modern learning discovered the New

World; and revealed the main springs of human culture; while Luther's reformation civilized and reformed both the Old and the New World.

After all these preliminary chapters in the world's history, follows the revolutionary period; which occupied the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries; commencing with the British Revolution in the reign of James II; and continuing through the American and French revolutions; which will ultimately revolutionize the habitable globe; and finally result in the world's freedom, and the jubilee of human liberty.

"Oh, Liberty! can man resign thee,
Once having felt thy glorious flame,
Can tyrants, bolts, and bars confine thee,
And thus thy noble spirit tame?

Twas long our country wept, bewailing,

The blood-stained sword our conq'rors wield:

But Freedom is our sword and shield,

And all their arts are unavailing;

To arms, to arms, ye brave!

The patriot sword unsheathe;

March on--march on-all hearts resolved on liberty or death!"

The nineteenth century will ever be distinguished as the period of progression. The first half of this century has witnessed a more rapid advancement in all that appertains to moral excellence and national glory, than all the previous history of the world. The progress of the arts and sciences, the universal spread of civil and religious freedom, the general diffusion of true religion, the progression of useful knowledge, the labors of the missionary and schoolmaster, and other kindred enterprises, stamp the genius of the nineteeth century, as the preëminent period in the world's history, for the rapid progression of man in every thing that is great and good.

Reasoning from cause to effect, and judging from a calm and careful observation of the signs of the times, the

philosopher, and every thoughtful observer, cannot avoid the conclusion, that a great crisis in the world's history is fast approaching, and not far distant. The glorious day may linger in its coming, until the close of the nineteenth, or the commencement of the twentieth century, or perhaps for centuries after; but, at the farthest, this interesting period cannot be more than two or three centuries distant, when the world shall be free, and the flag of civil and religious liberty shall float triumphantly over all the nations of the earth.

[blocks in formation]

tion, which all nations and individuals will enjoy in the millennium, will form the seventh great period in the world's history.

The last act in the world's drama will close with the final judgment; and form the concluding chapter in the history of earthly affairs.

With these general historical periods as our chart, we may form a reasonable estimate of their comparative importance; of the comparative advantages which we and our ancestors have enjoyed, and of the comparative responsibility of those, who have been the actors in the several successive periods of the world's drama.

Time had winged its rapid flight over nearly twenty-eight centuries; from the first settlement of my Indian ancestors in Paradise, to the commence ment of the American Revolution; in the last quarter of the eighteenth century, when our Indian tale commences. This revolution appears to be the greatest era in the world's previous history, the culminating period of human Liberty,--the harvest of all former revolutions for freedom. The age was marked by the most extraordinary actors. The men and women of the revolution were people of great nerve and rare courage.

The American revolution, its remarkable history, the distinguished characters it formed, and the valuable institutions it produced, form the principal themes of the fourth grand period in the history of the world; reaching, in its broad and mighty grasp, from the commencement of the fifteenth to the nineteenth century. The discovery of America by Columbus, the emigration of the Pilgrim Fathers,--the settlement of the colonies by the European emigrants, -the fall of the Otsgo nation,--the Indian wars during the early continental set

tlements, and the battles of the French war,- --were preliminary events to the American Revolution; and contributed their full share in forming that remarkable band of patriots; whose noble characters and eminent deeds, stamped the age in which they lived, as one of the most brilliant periods in the history of our race. The Boston tea-party, the battles of Lexington, Bunker Hill, and other sanguinary conflicts, were only the ordinary every-day efforts of a race; whose noble souls were inspired with the love of liberty; fearless of danger and of death, in the discharge of duty.

The declaration of independence, the organization of a national government, founded on republican principles, were events never before witnessed by men or angels. The world had never before seen three millions of intelligent people, of the first rank and the noblest blood, rising up as one man, like a giant in his full strength; and' severing the national ties that bound them to their fatherland, like flaxen bands at the touch of fire,--declared themselves free and independent of all the tyrants, who then governed the numerous nations of the earth.

Men, women, and children, gray hairs and youth, husbands and wives, brothers and sisters, friends and lovers, all unitedly made common cause of American independence; and mingled their blood in common carnage, for the achievement of their liberty. They loved liberty,--they resolved to be free,—and they were free. They fought

[blocks in formation]

"1. Hail Columbia! happy land!

Hail ye heroes, heaven-born band;

Who fought and bled in Freedom's cause;
And when the storm of war was gone,

Enjoyed the peace your valor won!

Let independence be your boast,
Ever mindful what it cost;
Ever grateful for the prize,
Let its altar reach the skies.
Firm, united let us be,
Rallying round our Liberty;
As a band of brothers joined,
Peace and safety we shall find.

2. Immortal patriots, rise once more!
Defend your rights, defend your shore;
Let no rude foe with impious hand,
Invade the shrine where sacred l'es,
Of toil and blood the well earne prize;
While off'ring peace sincere and just,
In heaven we place a manly trust
That truth and justice may prevail,
And every scheme of bondage fail.
Firm, united let us be,

Rallying round our Liberty;
As a band of brothers joined,
Peace and safety we shall find.

3. Sound, sound the trump of fame,

Let WASHINGTON's great name,

Ring through the world with loud applause;

Let every clime to Freedom dear,

Listen with a joyful ear;

With equal skill, with steady power,

He governs in the fearful hour

Of horrid war, or guides with ease,

The happier times of honest peace.
Firm, united let us be,
Rallying round our Liberty;
As a band of brothers joined,
Peace and safety we shall find,

4. Behold the chief, who now commands,
Once more to serve his country, stands,
The rock on which the storm will beat--
But armed in virtue, firm and true,
His hopes are fixed on heav'n and you;
When Hope was sinking in dismay,
When gloom obscured Columbia's day,
His steady mind, from changes free,
Firm, united let us be,
Rallying round our Liberty;
As a band of brothers joined,
Peace and safety we shall find."

The twenty-second day of February, seventeen hundred and thirty-two, was a day of unusual importance to the world, and of peculiar interest to me.

At sunrise of that fair and auspicious day, George Washington was born, in Westmoreland county, of Virginia, and afterwards became the father and

saviour of his country. On the same day, at sunset, I was born in the Spirit Cave of Paradise; and afterwards became the chief of the Indian forces; and the partner of Washington's battles and victories, in the French war and American revolution.

My acquaintance with the American hero commenced in infancy, and continued intimately until his death. My father, for nearly a century, was the high chief of the fragments of the Otsgo nations, who, for a long time, were known as the six nations, called the Senecas, Cayugas, Onondagas, Oneidas, Mohawks, and Tuscaroras. These nations, who were the remnants of the old Otsgo nation, at a very early day, after the discovery of America by Columbus, had formed a national confederacy for their mutual defense against the Western Indians;— the descendants of the northern colony of savages, who finally overrun and destroyed the Otsgo nation.

My father and mother, who were intimately acquainted with the parents of George Washington, visited a band of patriots, convened at the Washington mansion, in Virginia, a few months after my birth; where a council was held concerning the colonies, and their protection from Indian depredations. My father, ever friendly to the pale faces, controlled the Indians under his command, as the Otsgo chief, while Brant, the Indian chief of the hostile savages, and his predecessors, arrayed all his forces against us. During this visit with the Washington family, little George and myself were the lions of the party; and, as a matter of curiosity, the embryo general and chief, as they called us, were rocked in the same cradle, he at the head and I at his feet.

Being unusually large and strong children of our age, having seen only

the first six moons of our life, the homely cradle, which was made of an old square chest, resting on rough rockers, which an old negro hewed out of a board with his hatchet, was quite too short for us; and, of course, had a much more democratic appearance than the rich cradles of modern babies. My legs, which were longer and stronger than George's, occasionally disturbed the equanimity of the young hero, by kicks against the general's short ribs. Our common nurse, however, soon compromised our difficulties; and succeeded in restoring peace by her sharp looks and rough slaps; concluding with her charming lullaby, which hushed us both to sleep.

My fond mother, whose anxiety was ever upon the alert for her young chief, fearing that the luxuries of George's cradle might make a feeble constitution for me, daily lashed me to her pappoose-board, and placed me by her side, standing against the wall. During the sunny days of infancy, while our fathers were anxiously and eloquently discussing the affairs of state, our mothers occasionally amused themselves and the company with our infantile feats, by suspending us by the heels in the air, at their arms' length; tossing us up and catching us in the fall; and other exercises, as a test of our courage; while the least signs of fear or uneasiness on our part, branded us as cowards. My large and athletic mother, who stood in her moccasins full seven feet, and well proportioned, was then considered the handsomest Indian woman in America. She frequently officiated as the common nurse of us both; for the reason that her broad and deep-swelling bosom furnished our favorite nourishment more abundantly and of richer quality than George's pale-faced mother. There, while enjoying our de

licious repast, at the opposite breasts of my mother, we were frequently so nearly in contact, that my red face, black hair, and black eyes, contrasted with George's pale face and flaxen locks, excited the mirth and curiosity of the company; and sometimes awak ened surprise in our infantile counte nances, as our parents imagined.

To these innocent days of infancy, the more happy days of boyhood soon followed; where, at intervals of a few months, we met at the old Washington mansion; under similar circumstances. My earliest recollections of George Washington, commenced at the age of five years; and continued through life. From the age of seven to fourteen, George and myself were educated together in the same schools. After this, I followed him in all his military expeditions; and fought in all his battles. At the age of twenty, my father died, and I succeeded him as the Otsgo chief; and continued in the office until the close of the revolution; when I was appointed Mountain Chief, and have held the office ever since.

Although I am now living over one hundred and twenty years since my birth; and more than three quarters of a century, since the exciting events of the revolution occurred, yet these scenes are as vivid in my memory, and the prominent actors, who were long my bosom friends, are as dear to my heart, and as fresh in my recollection as ever. Though I have lived to bury them all; still my memory lingers over their virtues and noble deeds as fondly as if they were here.

"While o'er these scenes my memory wakes,

And fondly broods with miser care, Time but the impression stronger makes,

As streams their channels deeper wear."

The influence of the Revolution, in

forming the eminent characters of its heroes and heroines, has ever been felt, and seen, in the subsequent history of the country; and, by me, has been carefully noticed. And, while we cheerfully pay due homage to the great spirits of that interesting period, we must not overlook the source of their power, the inspiration which guided them,- --as founded in their ardent love of liberty; and cherished by the private and public opinion, which pervaded the mass of the people, in those trying times. Public confidence gave statesmen their influence, armed heroes for victory; and secured the independence of our country. Others, and many distinguished foreigners, may claim a share in the triumphs of freedom; but, it must never be forgotten, that the unfading laurels which wreathed their brows, had their root in the hearts of a people, panting for liberty; and were nourished with their life blood. "They who would be free, must strike the first blow."

It is no exaggeration to say, that the battles of the revolution could never have been fought; and the victory could never have been won; without the aid of the fair sex; who freely shed their blood, and expended their treasures,-in sustaining the heroes who led the armies to victory. These patriotic mothers cherished the embryo of freedom,-nursed it in infancy,-educated it in childhood,-guided it in youth, and developed its full growth in the manhood of its years. They talked and sung of the people's rights, and their numerous wrongs, from morn till noon, from noon till eve, and from eve till midnight; until their eloquence inspired their sons, their daughters, their husbands, their neighbors, and finally three millions of people, with an unconquerable and undying love of liberty. Their prayers

« 上一頁繼續 »