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entertained that the metal abounds there, and would probably
be found to be accompanied by tin. From the mouth of the
Ontonagonto the Fond du lac are one hundred and seventy miles,
making the whole length on the American shore five hundred
miles. The Canadian is estimated at twelve hundred, and the
whole circumference at seventeen hundred miles, and its me-
dium depth, according to Darby, nine hundred feet. It has
several large and well wooded islands. The most interesting
of these is the Island of Yellow sands, about which the Indians
have many fine fanciful tales,

that its shores are covered with a heavy shining yellow sand,
which is gold, but the guardian spirit of the island will not per-
mit
any
of it to be carried away.

To enforce his commands he
has drawn together upon it, myriads of eagles, hawks, and other
birds of
prey, who by their cries warn him of any

intrusions

upon the domain, and assist with their claws and beaks to expel the enemy. He has also called from the depths of the lake, large serpents of the most hideous forms, who lie thickly coiled upon the golden sands and hiss defiance to the steps of the invader,--that an attempt was once made by some of their nation to

carry quantity of the glittering sand, when a gigantic spirit strode on the water, and in a voice of thunder commanded them to bring it back.'

As this lake is still so rarely visited, and so little is known about it

, which is entitled to credit, we give an extract from Mr Schoolcraft's general remarks upon it.

The southern coast receives thirty tributary rivers, some of which exceed an hundred and fifty miles in length. Of these the Ontonagan, Montreal, Mauvaise, Bois Brulé, and St Louis are the largest, and communicate with the waters of the Mississippi. The coast is sandy from Point Iroquois to the pictured rocks; then rocky to the foot of the Fond du lac with occasional plains of sand, and then sạndy and without hills to the head of the lake. The forest trees are white and yellow pine, hemlock, spruce, birch, poplar and oak, with a mixture of elm, maple, and ash, upon the banks of the rivers.

The coast is very elevated, in some places mountainous, generally sterile and dangerous to navigate. " It is subject to storms and sudden transitions of temperature and to fogs and mists, which are often so dense as to obscure objects at a short distance. It has a warm atmosphere during the summer, the mean heat for June being 66°, and for July 64o.

The mean temperature of the water 61°. The winter is long and frightful.'

In regard to the geological formation, we learn from him, that a secondary sandstone forms the whole southern coast, through which the granite on which it rests occasionally ap

of this rivera estimated by Einations

, as!

[blocks in formation]

pears, and that prase chalcedony, cornelian, jasper, opal, agate sardonyx, zeolith, and serpentine, all silicious except the las two, with iron, lead, and copper, are the ooly simple mineral imbedded in it. This we do not consider as indicative of a very attractive field for geological investigations and mineral discovery,' as our author does; indeed it would be difficult to find a spot which promises less.

Beyond lake Superior the narrative becomes totally barren of interest, but its dulness is no fault of the author, it is wholly chargeable to the country where he travels, which was very aptly called by La Hontan, the fag end of the world.' After proceeding a short distance up the St Louis river, the company divided, a part still continuing to follow its course, and a part striking straight across to Sandy lake. Mr Schoolcraft accompanied the latter, which was composed of Lieut. Mackay, Mr Dotey, Mr Trowbridge, Mr Chase, eight soldiers, two Indian guides, and an interpreter. Four miles of ponds and marshes, in which the mud was half leg deep, succeeded by as many more of open, dry, sandy, barrens; terminating in a thick forest of hemlock and spruce, and a regular alternation again of swamps, mud, bog, windfalls, and stagnant water, in the whole course of which, not a dry spot to rest upon could be found, were among the agrémens of the journey, which became peculiarly interesting, when they found that the guides were ignorant of the way and were leading them they knew not whither. This circumstance gave rise to an incident, which must have more than compensated for the anxiety occasioned by losing their way, and as it serves to explain the manner in which the Indians communicate intelligence to their friends, during their marches through the trackless forests, and as also to show an uniformity of customs among the different nations, we extract the account of it.

• To leave a memorial of our journey for the information of such of their tribe, as should happen to fall upon their track, our Indian guides traced out with their knives upon birch bark, the following hieroglyphics-Lieut Mackay, with a sword to signify that he was an officer-Mr Dotey, with a book, they having understood that he was an attorney; myself

with a hammer, I being called by them Paw-gwa-be-caw-a-ga, the destroyer of rocks to these were added a tortoise and a prairie ben, to denote that these have been killed-three smokes, that our encampment consisted of three firesm-eight muskets, that this was the number armed--three hacks upon a pole leaning NW., that we were go

ing three days NW.-the figure of a white man with a tongue near his mouth (like the Azteck hierolyphics) that he was an interpret

er, &c.

[blocks in formation]

This told the whole story of how many, who, when and what. At Sandy lake they were joined by Gov. Cass and the rest of the party. Dr Wolcott who had been with them was requested by Mr Schoolcraft to take note of the geological character of the country through which he passed, which he did, and his observations upon it are given, but they are still more meagre and vague, than those with which we are favored by our author. All we learn from them is, that the vertical strata of slate which had been observed soon after leaving lake Superior continued but a short distance, and were succeeded by hornblende rocks, which extended as far as Sandy lake ; but these hornblende rocks, he says, were not in situ, and he does not inform us what the formation is through which the St Louis and the Savannah rivers flow, facts very important to be known, as these rivers rise in the ridge, which separates the waters of the Mississippi from those of lake Superior.

Sandy lake communicates with the Mississippi by a short outlet, and is therefore to be considered as one of its sources. North of it there are various other lakes, which send their tributary waters to form this mighty river, but it is difficult to say from which of them those drops proceed, which flow the farthest before they reach the ocean. Pike, on arriving at Sangsue lake, says, ' I will not attempt to describe my feelings, on the accomplishment of my voyage, for this is the main source of the Mississippi.' This may be ; but it is not the most distant point, from which it springs, La Beesh and Turtle lakes being a degree north of it, neither of which was visited by Pike or by our travellers. And how it is possible that men, who were possessed of a spirit of enterprise sufficient to carry them through all the toils and dangers of such expeditions, should turn back with their chief object unaccomplished, we are totally unable to conceive. Persons sent to explore the sources of a river should follow it till they reach the point, where they could hold all its water in the hollow of the hand. Objects of curiosity are not wanting in this quarter to occupy attention for days. A thorough search there would probably find out a spot as remarkable as the one on the Grison Alps, where a person may drink, without changing place, of water which flows into the Mediterranean, the Rhine, and New Series, No. 11.

31

y found that :

leading the rise to an inch or the ansje res to explain ? telligence skless forestai

ong the dites

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lake Superior, signified a great lake, and we find it afterward applied to an inconsiderable tributary to the Mississippi, which enters it a little above the falls of St Anthony.

From Sandy lake the party followed the course of the Mississippi to the point where it receives the Ouisconsing. A greater part of this route is comparatively well known, we shall therefore detain our readers no longer with this part of the narrative, than to give them the following extract.

• In passing through lake Pepin, our interpreter pointed out to us a high precipice, on the east shore of the lake, from which an Indian girl, of the Sioux nation, had, many years ago, precipitated herself in a fit of disappointed love. She had given her heart, it appears, to a young chief of her own tribe, who was very

much attached to her, but the alliance was opposed by her parents

, who wished her to marry an old chief renowned for his wisdom and his influence in the nation. As the union was insisted upon and no other way appearing to avoid it, she determined to sacrifice her life in preference to a violation of her former vow, and while the preparations for the marriage feast were going forward, left her father's cabin without exciting suspicion, and before she could be overtaken, threw herself from an awful precipice and was in. stantly dashed to a thousand pieces. The name of this noble minded Indian girl was Oola Ita.'

A few leagues below the confluence of the Ouisconsing with the Mississippi on the other side is the district of country called Dubuque's mines, which abound with the sulphuret of lead. The right of working these mines was ceded by the Fox Indians some years ago to Mr Dubuque, who carried on the process of mining to great profit, the ore being very near the surface, and consequently obtained without much labor. His grant was for life only, and when he died, the mines reverted to the Indians, who have since worked them and sold the ore to the traders in the vicinity. The abundance of this metal in the alluvion of the great básin of the Mississippi forms its most remarkable geological character. It is without a parallel in the extent to which it spreads and for the manner in which its veins or rather beds lay themselves bare on the surface of the rock, in which it is found. A particular account of the several districts on the Missouri, in which this metal has been observed, and of the manner in which it is mined and smelted, is contained in a former work of our author, entitled a View of the lead mines of Missouri, &c.

tipped with black, which is a characteristic of the Lepus Timidus, or common hare of Europe. We have noted this circumstance, as the distinctions between the animals of the genus Lepus in this country and in other parts of the world have never been well defined Approaching within four leagues of Michilimackinac,' says our author, we perceived ourselves opposite the foot of the island of Bois Blanc, which takes its names from the Liriodendron tulipifera, [what right have the botanists thus to bid defiance to the rules of grammar,] by which it is in a great part covered,' and which is a strong indication of the superior mildness of the climate near the lakes: the island is in lat. 451. Passing round this island, proceeds Mr Schoolcraft, Michilimackinac first burst upon the view. Nothing can present a more picturesque or refreshing spectacle to the traveller, wearied with the lifeless monotony of a canoe voyage through lake Huron, than the first sight of this island, which rises from the watery horizon in lofty bluffs, imprinting a rugged outline along the sky, and capped with two fortresses, on which the American standard is seen conspicuously displayed. A compact town stretches along the narrow plain below the hills, and a beautiful harbor chequered with American vessels at anchor, and Indian canoes rapidly shooting across the water in every direction. There is no previous elevation of coast to prepare us for encountering the view of an island elevated more than three hundred feet above the water and towering into broken peaks, which would even present attractions to the eye of the solitary traveller, among the romantic and sublime scenes of the wilderness of Arkansaw. We should exceed our limits were we to make a longer stop at this picturesque spot, but we recommend Mr Schoolcraft's whole account of it to the attention of our readers. Like Detroit, it, that is, old Mackinaw, which is three leagues distant from the present, has been the theatre of many interesting events in the early history of the wilder

It was there that in 1671 Marquette began the first European settlement northwest of fort Frontenac on lake Ontario, and ever since it has been the seat of the most considerable fur trade in those parts. It is memorable also for the bloody massacre of the garrison by the Indians in 1763, and for the gallant assault which was made upon it by Col. Croghan during the late war. Mr Schoolcraft considers the island upon which the modern Mackinaw is built, as peculiar in its

ness.

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