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deal of factitious colouring, in such a delineation as that given by Dr. Robertson. We are inclined to think that Volney has given by far the most sober and comprehensive representation of the savages, in the long and most interesting essay at the end of his Travels in America.-One or two of the very few particulars relating to them in the present volume, may be as curious as any thing else we could transcribe from it.


Captain Lewis, myself, and some of the men, went over to the Indian eamp, (a band of the Sioux; their lodges are about 80 in number, and contain about ten persons each, the greater part women and children. The women were employed in dressing buffaloe skins, for clothing for themselves, and for covering their lodges. They are the most friendly people I ever saw; but will pilfer if they have an opportunity. They are also very dirty the water they make use of is carried in the paunches of the animals they kill, just as they are emptied, without being cleaned.' About 15 days ago they had a battle with the Mahas, of whom they killed 75 men, and took 25 women prisoners, whom they have now with them. They promised to Capt. Lewis that they would send the prisoners back, and make peace. In the evening Capt. Clarke and some of the men went over, and the Indians made preparations for a dance. At dark it commenced. Their band of music, or orchestra, was composed of about 12 persons beating on a buffaloe hide, and shaking small bags that made a rattling noise. They had a large fire in the centre of their camp; on one side the women, about 80 in number, formed in a solid column round the fire, with sticks in their hands, and the scalps of the Mahas they had killed tied on them. They kept moving or jumping round the fire, rising and falling on both feet at once; keeping a continual noise, singing and yelling. In this manner they continued till ten o'clock at night, when we returned to the boat." P. 62,

These people, (a village of the Mandans) do not bury their dead, but place the body on a scaffold, wrapped in a buffaloe robe, where it lies exposed.' p. 83.

I went up with one of the men to the villages of the Mandans: they treated us friendly and gave us victuals. After we were done eating they presented a bowlful to a buffaloe head, saying, "eat that." Their superstitious credulity is so great, that they believe, by using the head well, the living buffaloe will come, and that they will get a supply of meat.' P. 98.

The winter residence of the travellers, close to the villages. of the Mandans, gave opportunity for minute observations and inquiries respecting the habits of the savages; but the party seem to have very much minded their own business. And indeed it was no inconsiderable business that they had on their hands, in first building a large strong fort, the construction and extent of which are described, in constantly scouring. the forests, even in the severest weather, for provisions, in trying to cut and remove the vessels out of the ice of the river, and in making canoes to prosecute their voyage, as the

principal boat was here to return down to the place where they had first set off, and in April did return, with thirteen men, leaving thirty one men and a woman, (the Indian wife of their French interpreter) to proceed on the expedition *.

A very summary statement is made of the general appearance of the country thus far, and of the quality of the soil, which is said to be excellent for the first six hundred miles, but afterwards, up to the distance of two thousand miles from the mouth of the river, to be of inferior quality, though generally deserving to be called good second-rate land.' In proceeding along, careful notice is taken of all the rivers that fall into the Missouri, with the breadth of each, and often some mention of the appearance of the country up their banks. The enumeration of this vast succession of tributary waters is enough to shew the grossness of the mistake, perhaps an error in printing, of making the Missouri itself no more than 875 yards broad not far from its mouth. Except in the case of such a narrow opening between walls of rock as would cause a tremendous rapid, (which is not alleged), this noble stream would flood the country in contempt of any such channel.

After remaining at their fort from the first of November, 1804, to the eighth of April, 1805, the party set off again in their small vessels, on a course of enterprise compared with which all they had hitherto experienced of difficulty and hazard was but mere amusement. The second stage may be reckoned from the Mandan fort to the mouth of the Columbia, a distance, in the winding course of the waters, of 2500 miles.› Reducing the irregularities of their movement to a straight line, it appears that they kept, through this whole progress, a direction very nearly due west; for the Mandan fort is placed in latitude 47 deg. 21 min.; when they had advanced near 700 miles further up the Missouri they were still in lat. 47; and the mouth of the Columbia was found to be in lat. 46 deg. 19 min.

For a good many hundred miles they proceeded just as well as before, with a bold free river, with a tolerable-looking country, except for the deficiency of wood in many parts, with a prodigious massacre of wild cattle, and with now and then an accident to a boat, which would have been very frightful, and very justly so, to a party of pleasure from London to Richmond, but seems to have occasioned a wonderfully small degree of alarm to these dexterous and fearless adventurers.

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*The reports despatched by the leaders of the expedition from this place, Fort Mandan, to the American President, were laid before Congress, Feb. 19, 1806, and, afterwards printed under the title of a Message from the President, &c. For a review of this interesting publication, see E. R. Vol. II. pp. 665-672.

They passed the tribe of Indians called Grossventers, but without seeing much of them, or caring to see; met with several enormous bears, one of which gave dangerous battle to six armed men; and saw what had recently been a burning mountain. They were several days in advancing through a dreary valley, formed by two lines of mountains absolutely destitute of alf vegetation, the most dismal country, our traveller thinks, that he had ever yet seen; they were partly repaid by the sight of some very singular precipices at the termination of it. A little further on, some of them met with one of those pleasant little adventures, which would now and then happen very opportunely to exhilarate their spirits.

In the evening we went towards the river to encamp, where one of the men having got down to a small point of the woods on the bank, before the rest of the party, was attacked by a huge he-bear, and his gun missed fire. We were about two hundred yards from him, but the bank there was so steep we could not get down to his assistance: we however fired at the animal from the place we stood, and he went off without injuring the man.' p. 136.

Perhaps we may as well, while we are about it, even give one or two more of the same mirthful sort of incidents and situations, from other parts of the book.

Another hunter went up the river to look for elk. When he had gone about three miles he was attacked by three brown bears, that were near devouring him; bus he made his escape by running down a steep bank into the water. In this adventure he fell, injured his gun, and hurt one of his hands; therefore returned to camp. p. 146.

In the evening, the man who had started to go to the other end of the portage, returned without being there. A white bear met him at Willow creek that so frightened his horse that he threw him off among the feet of the animal; but he fortunately, (being too near to shoot) had sufficient presence of mind to hit the bear on the head with his gun; and the stroke so stunned it, that it gave him time to get up a tree close by, before it could seize him. The blow, however, broke the gun, and rendered it useless; and the bear watched him about three hours, and then went away. When he came down he caught his horse about two miles distant, and returned to camp. These bears are very numerous in this part of the country, and very dangerous, as they will attack a man every opportunity. p. 246.

As to the degree of credit due to these and other curious. particulars, we shall, once for all, express our entire assurance of Mr. Gass's veracity: his narrative has throughout the strongest marks of being a plain honest account of matters of fact.

When they had proceeded up the Missouri about 2400 miles, they arrived at a point where it divides, or forks', as the traveller generally expresses it, into two branches, the less of

which was so large, and had such an appearance, as to cause a doubt which of them should be considered as the river. Here they gave an admirable proof that they were the right men for their undertaking, by sending two distinct parties to examine both the branches at the same time, and extending the examination more than 60 miles up the smaller and northern branch, which, though navigable to a still greater distance, they concluded not to take for continuing their expedition. At the point of this confluence they drew their principal boat on land, and covered it with brush,' and buried in the earth, in boxes which they made for the purpose, a large quantity of baggage and stores. They then set forward, on the southern branch, which was still a river of almost 400 yards wide. Though it was midsummer, and the latitude but 47° 24', they saw before then mountains on which snow still rested. Advancing a few days, they came to a part of the river where, in the space of seventeen miles, it falls 362 feet, in a number of distinct perpendicular cataracts, the first 98 feet, the second 19, the third 47, the fourth 26, with a number of smaller pitches,' as the journalist calls them, and rapid water between. It might be supposed impossible, quite impossible, to get past such a place as this without some minuteness of description, and some expressions of delight and amazement. But no; our author retains all the wonted command of both his feelings and his pen. Very few hours were wasted by the band in observing, and very few lines are wasted by Mr. Gass in celebrating, so grand a spectacle, To be sure, he might tell us that it may be all very proper and very fine for persons who are sitting at their ease and wondering at the deficiency of his taste for the sublime, to be talking about grand spectacles; but that these cataracts furnished very different employment to him and his companions, from that of indulging their taste, and filling their journals with rhapsodies of astonishment. This delightful place afforded them the gratification of unloading their boat and canoes, bringing them on land, and dragging both the lading and the canoes, on a kind of small waggons which they had to make for the purpose, over eighteen miles of a wild country without a road or track. While the greater part of the number were completing this portage, and several were out day and night hunting, another party were making a large boat, the iron frame of which they had brought with them. This was done at the place where the were to embark again on the river above the fails, and the vessel was to be the substitute for their principal boat, which they were obliged to leave at the place of their landing below the falls. After the labour of several weeks, this vessel was finished, drawn into the river


and found to be not water proof, for want of tar or pitch. It was therefore to be taken all in pieces, and deposited under ground. Timber of the proper size for canoes was found twenty miles higher up, several were made, and, after the delay and severe labour of about a month, the expedition went forward again.

They soon advanced into the passes of the great chain of mountains called the Rock Mountains, from their chiefly consisting of masses of bare rocks, some of them to the height of 1000 or 1200 feet. There are some interstices where the adventurers found wood, game, and quantities of fine currants. They had to encounter some difficult rapids, They were a number of days among these dreary passes, though they contrived to advance sometimes as much as 20 miles a day. Soon after emerging, they came to a point where the river separates into three branches, of nearly equal size. As before, they spared no exertions in exploring each of the rivers; and after a research of several days, they chose the middle stream, which leads almost directly to the west. By favour of the Missouri they had now advanced nearly 3000 miles; and here they were, seized with an odd revolutionary fit, and ungratefully decreed the deposal of this grand monarch of streams, who was supplanted and succeeded by a whimsical oligarchy, under the names of Madison, Gallatin, Philosophy, Wisdom, Philanthropy, and, at the head of them, Jefferson, the name they imposed on the branch on which they decided to follow up their discoveries, and which in all reason and loyalty ought to have been still called the Missouri. Ten days brought them to the head of this river, 'and therefore brought their voyage to a conclusion. They were now to seek for the great Columbia river, or some of its waters. And our author says, that it is not more than a mile from the head spring of the Missouri, (he seems here to repent of having lent himself to the late disloyal proceeding) to the head of one of the branches of the Columbia.' they were to go in quest of some navigable stream; ; and a laborious march of 40 miles brought them on the banks of the Sho-sho-ne, a river of 70 yards wide, which they knew must fall into the Columbia. Some miserable half-starved natives, however, gave them a very unfavourable account of the current of this river; and a division of the band ascertained, by a difficult journey they made down one of its banks, that it was altogether impracticable for navigation; and also that it would be impossible to travel forward down its banks. On this mortifying discovery, they had to make up their minds to what proved one of the most painful and me lancholy journies that any company of mortals ever per


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