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reason for eternally using the word commence instead of begin. There are two or three Italian scraps, which have each an error, and there are one or two other mistakes, which we also suppose to be errors of the press; such as placing the Passaic falls in Rhode Island, (p. 275.) Is there not moreover an error librarii in the following sentence? The town was first called by the whites Tremont or Trimount, from the predominance of three conspicuous hills; afterwards called Boston, from a clergyman of that name, much respected by some of the first settlers, and who was expected to become their pastor, but he never came over.'
To conclude, this work, though local in its design and subjects, is enlarged and patriotic in its spirit. We hope it will not be long, before no comparisons between the East, and the South, and the West, shall be made, with less intelligence and forbearance, than those before us. All we want is to know each other better. We have now before us a letter from a gentleman, who crossed the Alleghany mountains, little more than thirty years ago, in which he complains of his • discoveries' being misrepresented; and which, though he seems to have descended the Ohio no farther than Louisville, appears to have excited, as well it might, the attention due to a voyage far beyond the extreme point of civilization.*· · He might now pass to the Mississippi and discover' nothing onhis way but cultivation, wealth, and plenty, fertile fields, and plantations, inhabited by free and intelligent men ;
And hills all rich with blossomed trees,
And fields which promise corn and wine,
And scattered cities crowning these.
He would find one of these towns, in its growth of twenty years, a third part as large as Boston, and three others' a fifth, though it is neither the habit nor the policy of the inhabitants to settle in large cities. He would find the population of one of these young states, greater than that of Massachusetts, and another nearly double. Or, if he travelled on the great watery turnpike of the west, he would descend it, together with an immense amount of produce and population, on its natural railways, and meet its thousands of tons of steam navigation returning with the conveniences aud luxuries, which this produce had purchased. He would find the
* Memoirs of the American Academy, vol. ii. part 1.
Indian population extinct, and an individual of their nation a spectacle in the streets; and in its place an enlightened society, with the vigour and spirit of youth, and the habits of hardihood and intelligence, which belong to the nature of the enterprise they have just achieved. And lastly, he would see in the spirit of emigration, so universally extended, the means provided by nature to assimilate and unite these spreading bands of citizens into one national character.
ART. VII.-A Discourse or the Religion of the Indian Tribes of North America; delivered before the New York Historical Society, December 20, 1819. By Samuel Farmer Jarvis, D. D. A. A. S. 8vo, pp. 64. [With Notes and Illustrations. pp. 46.] New York, 1820.
THE history and character of the Indian tribes of North America, which have for some time been a subject of no inconsiderable curiosity and interest with the learned of Europe, have not till lately attracted much notice among ourselves. The very circumstance of our living so near to them, that we could at any moment make such inquiries as should be wished on any point relating to them, has, no doubt, contributed much to our neglect of this part of the history of ourTM continent. While Europeans, who from their remoteness cannot, if we may use the expression, without difficulty obtain specimens of this portion of the human race to complete their collections, have long esteemed the American Indian as one of their most curious subjects of investigation. Just as we remember some years ago to have seen among the curiosities of an European museum an article, which would have excited but little interest in an American, though it is in itself not among the least curious productions of nature,we mean, that common plant of our continent, the indian corn. But as the Indian nations are now fast vanishing, and consequently the individuals of them come less frequently under our observation, we. also, as well as our European brethren, are beginning to take a more lively interest than ever, in the study of their character and history.
bhe immediate impulse has been given at the present time
by the important and interesting publications of Mr. Duponceau and Mr. Heckewelder, of which we gave an account in
a former volume.* On that occasion we expressed very fully our opinion of the great value of those works, which we had no doubt would be received by the learned of Europe, partic-" ularly the Germans, with the utmost avidity; and we are happy to find by one of our own valuable periodical publications, devoted to the literature of Germany, that the high opinion we had formed of those works is confirmed by the judgment of distinguished literary journals in that country.f While, however, we remark that the immediate impulse has been given to the study of Indian affairs, by the invaluable works abovementioned we are not unmindful of what is due to our own Massachusetts Historical Society, which has for many years past been steadily, though unostentatiously, rendering essential services to this, as well as other parts of the... history of America; services, which deserve the greater praise, as the society began its labours at a time when there was so little zeal in literary pursuits of any kind, and so few inducements either of profit or fame to engage in them. This society may justly boast of having taken the lead in the study of American history, and under the inauspicious circumstances which we have just mentioned; and it was in emulation of the ⚫ honourable: example of the Massachusetts Society, though without aiming to be rivals' of it, as our brethren of New York have respectfully assured the public, that the foundation was laid, fifteen years ago, for the society, to whom the discourse now before us was addressed.‡
The author of this discourse is the learned and respectable clergyman, who has been invited to take charge of the Episcopal society in Boston, for whose use the new stone church is now building; and, though we judge of him from the present publication alone, and without any personal acquaintance
* North American Review, vol. ix pp. 155 and 179.
See the German Correspondent of May 23, published in English at New York, under the superintendance of the Rev. Mr. Schaffer, whose learning and talents are well known, and to whom we have already alluded as the editor of the Deutscher Freund. The number of this journal, we have here referred to, contains notices of many American publications, with extracts from different reviews of Mr. Duponceau and Mr. Heckewelder's works, published in the Leipsic monthly journal, entitled Amerika dargestellt durch sich selbst, (or, America, represented by itself,) and the Allegemeine Literatur Zeitung, (or, General Literary Intelligencer.) We observe also that a German translation of Mr. Heckewelder's book by Prof. Schultz, of Göttingen, is already announced.
+ Address of the New York Historical Society to the public, 1805.
with him we feel no small degree of satisfaction in being able to congratulate our friends in the metropolis upon the acquisition of a divine, whose general learning promises to reflect honour upon our country, and to cooperate with his professional knowledge in promoting just views of the sacred volume which he is ordained to intepret.
The subject of Dr. Jarvis' Discourse, as already appears from the title above quoted, is the Religion of the indian tribes; but as the investigation of this is intimately connected with the origin of those tribes, the author is natura ly led to consider the opinions of several writers on that point also, and to examine briefly the proofs of the affinity of the Indians to the other inhabitants of the globe. He accordingly considers the religion, the manners and customs, and the languages of the Indians, as compared with those of the Eastern continent; and as the languages of different people afford the most satisfactory means of tracing their common origin, Dr. Jarvis has, with a diligence and zeal worthy of the greatest praise, devoted a considerable portion of his notes to the subject of the Indian languages. We shall briefly consider each part of his work by itself.
After noticing the great difficulties attending an inquiry into the religion of the Indians, on account of their extreme reserve on that subject, Dr Jarvis refutes the unfounded opinion of Volney and many other writers, who have asserted, that the Indians have no religion; and in his notes the author particularly cites Hearne and Colden, the former of whom says in the most decided terms: Religion has not yet begun to dawn among the Northern Indians; I never found any of them that had the least idea of futurity.' Colden speaks with more hesitation; observing, that they have no kind of public worship, and I am told they have no radical word to express God, but a compound word, signifying the Preserver, Sustainer, or Master of the universe; neither could I ever learn what sentiments they have of a future existence.'
If Hearne had been giving an opinion upon any point that was directly to affect the interests of the Hudson's Bay Company, (for whom. if we rightly remember, he undertook his travels,) such a palpably unfounded statement might, perhaps, be traced to some other cause than simple ignorance of facts for, unless we are misinformed, much of the colouring, if not New Series, No. 3.
the design, of his publication was, at the time, attributed to a desire of promoting the interests of that company, rather than to the liberal and disinterested intention of adding to our stock of knowledge. Colden, undoubtedly, makes his statement upon the best information he could then obtain from other persons; but he was evidently misinformed; and Dr. Jarvis very properly opposes to the opinions of these writers the testimony of Charlevoix, Adair, Mackenzie, and Heckewelder, the latter of whom, by an acquaintance with the Indians as their missionary for forty years and a thorough knowledge of that wide spread dialect, the Delaware language, is probably better qualified to give an opinion on this point than any man who has ever written upon the subject. This truly venerable missionary says of them- Habitual devotion to the Great First Cause and a strong feeling of gratitude for the benefits which he confers, is one of the prominent traits which characterize the mind of the untutored Indian."
He believes it to be his duty to adore and worship his Creator and Benefactor,' &c. Historical Account, p. 84. -To the testimony here adduced by Dr. Jarvis, might have been added, if he had thought it worth while to swell the list of authorities, several of our New England historians, from the first settlement of the country.
Gookin (in 1674) says- Some, for their God, adore the sun; others, the moon; some, the earth; others, the fire, and like vanities. Yet, generally, they acknowledge one great supreme doer of good; and him they call Woonand or Mannitt; another, that is, the great doer of evil or mischief; and him they call Mattand, which is the devil, &c.'* Roger Williams says He that questions whether God made the world, the Indians will teach him. I must acknowledge, I have received in my converse with them many confirmations of those, two great points, Heb. xi. 6. viz. 1. That God is. 2. That he is a rewarder of all them that diligently seek him..... If they receive any good in hunting, fishing, harvest, &c. they acknowledge God in it.' To these old accounts we will
* Mass. Hist. Collections, vol. i. p. 154.
Williams' Key into the Language of America (chap. xxi) published at London in 1643, and republished in Mass. Histor. Collect. vols. 3 and 5. Williams also, in speaking of their opinions of a future state, observesthat at the south-west,' as they say, is the Court of their great God Cautantowit; at the south-west are their forefathers soules; to the southwest they goe themselves when they dye.' Preface to his Key.
Among the many curious old books, relative to our country, the follow