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An Indian Peace Medal'
With quotations from the original diaries of the Lewis and Clark
By CLARK WISSLER
SILVER peace medal of the Jefferson
medallion type, found in an Indian grave on the banks of the Clearwater River, Idaho, recalls one of the most interesting events in the exploration of this continent-the Lewis and Clark Expedition. The medal was discovered in 1899 by Mr. Lester S. Handsaker, an engineer engaged on the construction of the Northern Pacific Railroad. Inasmuch as the railroad follows almost the exact route of these early explorers, and the records show that they distributed many such medals among the Indian tribes that they encountered, it seems unmistakable that the one thus brought to light was carried on that famous expedition.
When Lewis and Clark made their memorable journey from the mouth of the Missouri to where the Columbia empties its waters into the Pacific Ocean, no more virgin country than that traversed could be imag. ined. Indians and wild animals were the sole occupants of the great territory afterward known as the Louisiana Purchase, but which, at the time the undertaking was conceived, was still the property of France. At the suggestion of Jefferson, Congress, in January, 1803, made an appropriation of $2500 to defray the expenses of an expedition, to be under the leadership of Captain Meriwether Lewis and his friend Captain William Clark, for the purpose of exploring the Missouri and Columbia rivers and their principal branches. With this small sum were purchased mathematical instruments, arms, camp equipage, medicines, provisions, and presents for Indians. The last item included articles of clothing, beads, paints, flags, knives, tomahawks, and medals.
An account of a council meeting with the chiefs at Fort Mandan, on the Missouri River six or eight miles below the mouth of the Knife River, where the expedition passed the winter of 1804-05, states: "We proceeded to distribute presents with great ceremony. One chief of each town was acknowledged by a gift of a flag, a medal with the likeness of the President of the United States, a uni
1 This medal was presented to the American Museum of Natural History in 1901 by Mr. Edward D. Adams, of New York City.
Philadelphia association composed chiefly of members of the Society of Friends. One of the first issued had on the obverse the raised head of King George II and on the reverse the sun, an Indian sitting at a camp fire, and a white man offering him a pipe of peace. After the Revolution such medals always bore the head of the President in office at the time of its manufacture. One struck in 1792, bearing the profile of George Washington, was presented to Red Jacket, Chief of the Iroquois and last of the Senecas, who never afterward was known to be without it.
The Jefferson medal, which differed in design from that issued by Washington, was made of bronze in three sizes. The smallest was also struck in silver and was furnished with a stem and ring for suspension. All sizes bore the same design: on the obverse a medallion bust, with the legend, “Thomas Jefferson, President of the U. S., A.D. 1801," and on the reverse clasped hands, pipe and battle ax crossed, and the legend, "Peace and Friendship." It was a silver medal of this type which was found by Mr. Handsaker in the Indian grave beside the Clearwater River in Idaho; it now forms a part of the collections of the American Museum of Natural History as a gift from Mr. Edward D. Adams of New York City. When discovered it was wrapped in many thicknesses of buf
Both Captain Lewis and Captain Clark kept full diaries of the events of each day while on the expedition. These original diaries have been published precisely as written with the quaint spelling and capitalization used by these explorers.1 On consulting them we find that in September, 1805, on their way to the Pacific, they met with Nez Percé Indians on the Clearwater near the spot where the medal was found. We cannot, of course, be sure that the medal in the Museum was given out here, but we do see by these diaries that the explorers gave out medals.
Under date of September 21, 1805, Clark wrote:
"... passed down the river 2 miles on a steep hill side at 11 oClock P.M. arrived at a camp of 5 squars a boy & 2 children those
1 Original Journals of the Lewis and Clark Expedition, 1804-1806, Vol. 3, pp. 81, 85 (New York, 1905).
This is a much greater act of hospitality than we have witnessed from any nation or tribe since we have passed the Rocky mountains. in short be it spoken to their immortal honor it is the only act which deserves the appellation of hospitallity which we have witnessed in this quarter. we informed these people that we were hungry and fatiegued at this moment, that when we had eaten and refreshed ourselves we would inform them who we were, from whence we had come and the objects of our resurches. a principal Cheif by name Ho-hâst-ill-pilp arrived with a party of fifty men mounted on eligant horses. he had come on a visit to us from his village which is situated about six miles distant near the river. we invited this man into our circle and smoked with him, his retinue continued on horseback at a little distance. after we had eaten a few roots we spoke to them as we had promised, and gave Tinnachemootoolt and Hohâstillpilp each a medal; the former one of the small size with the likeness of Mr. Jefferson and the latter one of the sewing [sowing] medals struck in the presidency of Washington. we explained to them the desighn and the importance of medals in the estimation of the whites as well as the red men who had been taught their value."2
It is interesting to note in this last entry the specific mention of a Jefferson medal as having been presented to one of these chiefs. As this region has always been the home of the Nez Percé, it is a fair assumption that the medal found was from the grave of one of this tribe. It is of course even possible that it was the grave of this particular individual, though we must not forget that many similar medals were distributed, as the preceding extracts from the diaries suggest.
2 Original Journals, Vol. 5, pp. 15-16.
"Billy the Boy Naturalist
N attractive little volume with a title
that will appeal to children has just appeared from the pen of Dr. William A. Murrill, assistant director of the New York Botanical Garden. When one delves into it, he finds that it is autobiographical, that Billy is Dr. Murrill himself when a boy, that it is "the true story of a naturalist's boyhood." But the story is not told in the usual biographical way,—instead the book consists of many short stories of boyhood experiences, arranged in four chronological groups, or chapters, as the author calls them. For the most part, the stories are unrelated to one another, that is, each one is complete in itself, being simply a record of an incident that had permanently impressed itself upon a normal boy's memory. To write these down and put them together in book form was a happy idea. It is so pleasing that one cannot help wondering why some one has not thought of doing this kind of thing before.
To think of an eminent botanist, a leading authority on fungi, turning aside to write this volume, reminds one of Charles Lutwidge Dodgson ("Lewis Carroll"), author of works on higher mathematics, when he wrote
Alice's Adventures in Wonderland, or of Robert W. Wood, professor of physics in Johns Hopkins University and author of works on optics, when he produced How to Tell the Birds from the Flowers. But the work under consideration differs from the above juvenile books in that it is really
Grown-ups, who were born and reared in the country, will read it because it will recall, as pleasant memories, identical or similar experiences which probably have not been thought of for years, such as "spelling bees" and playing prisoner's base at school, and "husking-bees" and sorghum-molasses making at home. Young people will enjoy these and the other incidents, such as catching a fish with a pin hook, exploits with a homemade bow and arrow, collecting butterflies, fighting fire on the mountain, and catching young rabbits at wheat-cutting time when they ran out as the field of standing grain got smaller and smaller.
These stories will make capital supplementary reading for use in the elementary grades in the public schools and also for use in the home. They combine good human nature with good natural history.-G. C. F.
1 Murrill, William Alphonso, Billy the Boy Naturalist, the true story of a naturalist's boyhood in Virginia just after the Civil War. Pp. i-xii, 1-252. Forty-three half-tone illustrations from photographs. Published by W. A. Murrill, Bronxwood Park, New York City, 1918.
"Adventures in Beaver Stream Camp"
APTAIN DUGMORE is well known as nature writer, photographer of African big game, and, more recently, for his services in the British Army. He has chosen the present tale, primarily one for boys, as a vehicle to present information about the Newfoundland caribou; and among a number of full-page illustrations are four of his photographs of these animals from life.
The narrative relates the experiences of two boys, castaways on the wild coast of Newfoundland, with only the simplest tools and, to begin with, a rudimentary knowledge of woodcraft. It tells how, when the necessity arises, they succeed in spending the winter in comparative comfort and safety, depending entirely on their own resources,
and with the caribou forming their principal meat supply. The story is full of wholesome adventure.
Civilized man, separated fortuitously from his environment, has often been known to perish from pure abstract mental helplessness, and a story of this nature has real educational value.
Stefánsson tells us how, by following the customs of the natives, he has been able to live in comfort in the Arctic under conditions where polar expeditions have perished. There is sound philosophy in the traditional reply of the Indian, when asked if he were lost: "Indian right here. Tepee lost"; or, in the closing words of Captain Dugmore's story: "You see, Mother,' Charlie added, 'we were not lost, only mislaid.'"-J. T. N.
1 Adventures in Beaver Stream Camp; Lost in the Northern Wilds," by Captain A. Radclyffe Dugmore. Doubleday, Page & Co., 1918.
Sight Conservation Classes in New
By FRANCES E. MOSCRIP
HE Board of Education of New York City is conducting classes for partly sighted pupils, known as "sight conservation" classes. This work was inaugurated in the winter of 1917 and has grown until the classes at present number nineteen in three of the boroughs of Greater New York. The centers are located in various elementary schools with registers ranging from ten to eighteen pupils each. The classrooms are selected with a view to even distribution and proper diffusion of light. Provision for ample blackboard space is made on account of the nature of the instruction given to the partly sighted pupils. To avoid undue fatigue and to facilitate the handling of large books, maps, and other objects, the desks and seats are placed on movable bases, and large tables and chairs are provided for the use of the pupils. The teachers assigned to these classes are those who have had experience in the regular grades and whose temperaments and special aptitudes are such as to enable them to develop handicapped children.
The need for sight conservation classes sprang from observation of pupils with some sight in the classes for the blind, who rebelled against finger reading and persistently used their impaired vision to read the embossed print, and from the existence of numbers of children in regular grades who were unable, because of short-sightedness and other eye defects, to keep up with their classes. Our classes are operated much the same way as are the classes for myopes in London, which have been conducted for a number of years.
The purpose of these classes is twofold, the hygienic care of the child and his educational development. A clinic under the supervision of the Board of Health, authorized by the Board of Education, is conducted for the refraction and treatment of the eyes of the pupils and candidates of the special
classes, and for the control of abnormal physical conditions arising from eye trouble or its cause.
The character of the instruction given to these pupils does not impose eyestrain. Their oral lessons are received in the regular grades with the normally sighted children, and such of the written work as is feasible is done in the regular grades. Most of the written work is done in large type in the special classroom, and for short periods of time. The blackboards are utilized for this purpose. Masses of figures are not given either for reading or writing. The reading lessons are conducted by special teachers by means of charts and clear type readers. The notes in the various subjects are prepared by the special teacher in print or script more than double the size of the ordinary print of textbooks. Manual work involving little or no use of the eyes, such as knitting, chair caning, basketry, cooking, and the larger forms of carpentry, is given to pupils of sight conservation classes. Typewriting by the touch system is also taught.
The sight conservation classes are making possible lives of usefulness and enjoyment for those who, handicapped by poor sight, are unable to receive their education in the
regular way. The classes are also placing emphasis upon the improvement of general educational methods and the necessity of properly lighted schoolrooms. The special attention given to the care of the eyes, and to the development of thought, initiative, and pleasing personality, will fit the pupils of these special classes for responsible positions in salesmanship, insurance, social service, and various lines of farming. Occupations like these present no risk to eyesight. The investment in work of this nature is more than justified in the saving to the state on its work in connection with its care of dependents.
ATTENTION is called to the change in title of this magazine from AMERICAN MUSEUM JOURNAL to the old, honorable, and historical name NATURAL HISTORY. A change has been contemplated for two years or more, partly to avoid confusion with other publications known as "Museum Journals" and partly because the magazine for these years has not restricted itself to a consideration of the American Museum's work and interests. As expressed many times by the Editor in letters to contributors, the magazine would like to feel that it stands as a medium of expression between authoritative science in America and the people, a place for publication of readable articles on the results of the scientific research and thought of the nation for people who are not technically trained. These people have neither time nor desire to pore over technical, unreadable articles, but nevertheless are intelligently, practically, and often profoundly interested. NATURAL HISTORY Would like to stand for the highest type of authoritative natural history, expressed by the investigators themselves, by explorers, by the accurate observers in laboratory or field. In addition it desires to interpret the technical publications of our scientific thinkers, if not by popular articles by the same authors, then through reviews by other well-known scientific thinkers, these "reviews" being, as suggested, readable discussions of the given subject apropos of the technical work. It would also of course report phases of the educational work being accomplished by the scientific departments of the United States Government and by the various scientific institutions of the country, especially those of the museum type.
There has been so much shallow, inaccurate, "popular" science, nature study, and natural history, written by persons untrained in science and with distorted imaginations, that a prejudice still remains in the minds of some scientists against putting their observations and conclusions, even when of great value for the layman, into readable form. But the time of such suspicion and condemnation against the mere form of expression of an idea is well-nigh past, and the greatest scientific men of the country are daily proving their willingness and desire to
write in a way to be understood not only by the trained, technical man, but also by the man with no knowledge of the shorthand of the scientific vocabulary.
We need especially to have a knowledge of nature and science today. The day of necessity has come for conservation of the world's natural resources and preservation of animals fast becoming extinct; there is seen approaching the time of conscious control of evolution; and just ordinary culture demands in the present decade knowledge of science in addition to what it has always demanded in literature, music, and art. And these reasons do not take account of the added joy in life that comes from a knowledge of nature. We people of today need to know the book of the earth, to study it as a Bible, feeling the divinity in it. NATURAL HISTORY hopes to meet this need in part.
WE welcome the good news that the Royal Museum of Natural History in Brussels escaped unscathed the ravages of the Germans. There has been sent to Nature an extract from a letter recently written by Louis Dollo, professor of palæontology in the University and Conservateur of the Royal Museum, reporting "that everything is well here, that our Museum is intact, that absolutely nothing is lost, and that we are safe!"
THE seventy-first meeting of the American Association for the Advancement of Science was held at Baltimore in December. Of the four hundred or more addresses, many were concerned with problems connected with the war, but the program as a whole showed a quick adaptation to the broader problems of reconstruction now confronting the country. That the experiences of the last two years have left a marked effect on American scientists was particularly brought out in the paper by Dr. George E. Hale on "The National Research Council," in which he discussed the past results and the future possibilities of the Council as a permanent body.
FOLLOWING the inauguration of national scientific organizations such as our National Research Council, there has been under way the organization of an international body