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the graves: the number of horses sacrificed is proportioned to the wealth of the individual. Besides the horse-skins, buffalo and deer robes, leather shirts, blankets, pieces of blue, green, and scarlet cloth, strips of calico, mocasins, provisions, warlike weapons, &c., are placed in and about the cemetery; all of which they imagine will be more or less necessary for the deceased in the world of spirits. As their lands are much infested by wolves, which destroy the foals, they cannot rear horses in such numbers as the Nez Percés, from whom they are obliged to purchase them annually. They never kill any for their own use, but felt no repugnance to eat the flesh at our place.'—vol i. pp. 199—201.
The breaking out of the war between England and America rendered it impossible for the “Pacific Fur Company” to send out fresh supplies to its servants: negotiations were accordingly concluded by which the furs which they had collected, and such of their officers as wished to remain in the country, were transferred to . the North-West establishment; our author was among the latter, and continued to assist the “North-Westers” in carrying on the trade with the interior. In consequence of the difficulties which the war interposed in the way of their attaining regular supplies, they were occasionally reduced to severe privations; to horse-flesh they had already been accustomed, but we now find our author very contentedly sitting down to dine upon the flesh of dogs. This, however, is far from being an uncommon article of food in the back settlements of America. The animal is multiplied, fed, and specially reserved for the purpose. It is said to resemble mutton a little in taste, but not so much so as the flesh of the horse resembles that of the ox. The Flat-heads, amongst whom the author spent some time, are much less civilized than the Spokans. He describes a horrible scene which he witnessed in their country upon one occasion, when they put to death some war-prisoners in a most cruel manner. The tortures which they inflicted upon their female captives were still more atrocious than those, to which they subjected the stronger sex, and it is painful to say that the female Flat-heads were more active than the men in increasing the agonies of these unhappy victims. Their peculiar enemies were the Black-feet, although they were not distinguished as to the colour of their feet from other Indians. When renonstrated with upon their barbarous proceedings, they answered that ‘it was the course adopted by all red warriors; and that they could not think of giving up the gratification of their revenge to the foolish and womanish feelings of white men.” With the exception, however, of this blot upon their national character, they are represented by the author as having fewer failings than any of the tribes he had ever met with.
“They are honest in their dealings, brave in the field, quiet and amenable to their chiefs, fond of cleanliness, and decided enemies to falsehood of every description. The women are excellent wives and mothers, and their character for fidelity is so well established, that we never heard an VOL. III. NO. IV. L L
instance of one of them proving unfaithful to her husband. They are also free from the vice of backbiting, so common among the lower tribes; and laziness is a stranger among them. Both sexes are comparatively very fair, and their complexions are a shade lighter than the palest new copper after being freshly rubbed. They are remarkably well made, rather slender and never corpulent. The dress of the men consists solely of a long leggings called mittasses by the Canadians, which reach from the ancles to the hips, and are fastened by strings to a leathern belt round the waist, and a shirt of dressed deer-skin, with loose hanging sleeves, which falls down to their knees. The outside seams of the leggings and shirt sleeves have fringes of leather. The women are covered by a loose robe of the same material reaching from the neck to the feet, and ornamented with fringes, beads, hawk-bells, and thimbles. The dresses of both are regularly cleaned with pipe-clay, which abound in parts of the country; and every individual has two or three changes. They have no permanent covering for the head, but in wet or stormy weather shelter it by part of a buffalo robe, which completely answers all the purposes of a surtout. The principal chief of the tribe is hereditary; but from their constant wars, they have adopted the wise and salutary custom of electing, as their leader in battle, that warrior in whom the greatest portion of wisdom, strength, and bravery are combined. The election takes place every year; and it sometimes occurs that the general in one campaign becomes a private in the next. This “ warchief,” as they term him, has no authority whatever when at home, and is as equally amenable as any of the tribe to the hereditary chief; but when the warriors set out on their hunting excursions to the buffalo plains, he assumes the supreme command, which he exercises with despotic sway until their return. He carries a long whip with a thick handle decorated with scalps and feathers, and generally appoints two active warriors as aidesde-camp. On their advance towards the enemy, he always takes the lead; and on their return he brings up the rear. Great regularity is preserved during the march; and I have been informed by Mr. M'Donald, who accompanied some of these war parties to the field of action, that if any of the tribe fell out of the ranks, or committed any other breach of discipline, he instantly received a flagellation from the whip of the chieftain. He always acted with the most perfect impartiality, and would punish one of his subalterns for disobedience of orders with equal severity as any other offender. Custom, however, joined to a sense of public duty, had reconciled them to these arbitrary acts of power, which they never complained of or attempted to resent. After the conclusion of the campaign, on their arrival on their own lands, his authority ceases; when the peace chief calls all the tribe together, and they proceed to a new election. There is no canvassing, caballing, or intriguing; and should the last leader be superseded, he retires from office with apparent indifference, and without betraying any symptoms of discontent. The fighting chief at this period had been five times re-elected. He was about thirty-five years of age, and had killed twenty of the Black-feet in various battles, the scalps of whom were suspended in triumphal pride from a pole at the door of his lodge. His wife had been captured by the enemy the year before, and her loss made a deep impression on him. He was highly respected by all the warriors for his superior wisdom and bravery; a consciousness of which, joined to the length of time he had been accustomed to command, imparted to his manners a degree of dignity which we never remarked in any other Indian. He would not take a second wife; and when the recollection of the one he had lost came across his mind, he retired into the deepest solitude of the woods to indulge his sorrow, where some of the tribe informed us they 9ften found him calling on her spirit to appear, and invoking vengeance on her conquerors. When these bursts of grief subsided, his countenance assumed a tinge of stern melancholy, strongly indicating the mingled emotions of sorrow and unmitigated hatred of the Black-feet.”—vol. 1. pp. 239 —243.
The Flat-heads are subject to very few diseases, for some of which they have extraordinary remedies, such as are not to be found, we apprehend, in any European Materia Medica. Ordinary fractures they cure by tight bandages and pieces of wood tied like staves round the part, until the bones grow together again. The author gives a curious account of a process by means of which he was effectually relieved from an acute rheumatism, by which his shoulders and knees were affected.
“An old Indian proposed to relieve me, provided I consented to follow the mode of cure practised by him in similar cases on the young warriors of the tribe. On enquiring the method he intended to pursue, he replied that it merely consisted in getting up early every morning for some weeks, and plunging into the river, and to leave the rest to him. This was a most chilling proposition, for the river was firmly frozen, and an opening to be made in the ice preparatory to each immersion. I asked him, “Would it not answer equally well to have the water brought to my bed-room 7” But he shook his head, and replied, he was surprised to see a young white chief, who ought to be wise, should ask so foolish a question. On reflecting, however, that rheumatism was a stranger among Indians, while numbers of our people were martyrs to it, and, above all, that I was upwards of three thousand miles from any professional assistance, I determined to adopt the disagreeable expedient, and commenced operations the following morning. The Indian first broke a hole in the ice sufficiently large to admit us both, upon which he made a signal that all was ready. Enveloped in a large buffalo robe, I proceeded to the spot, and throwing off my covering, we both jumped into the frigid orifice together. He immediately commenced rubbing my shoulders, back, and loins: my hair in the mean time became ornamented with icicles; and while the lower joints were undergoing their friction, my face, neck, and shoulders were incased in a thin covering of ice. On getting released, I rolled a blanket about me, and ran back to the bed-room, in which I had previously ordered a good fire, and in a few minutes I experienced a warm glow all over my body. Chilling and disagreeable as these matinal ablutions were, yet, as I found them so beneficial, I continued them for twenty-five days, at the expiration of which my physician was pleased to say that no more were necessary, and that I had done my duty like a wise man. I was never after troubled with a rheumatic pain l'—vol. i. pp. 249–251.
Another process is adopted by the Flat-heads for a chronic
rheumatism of some standing. The skeleton of a hut is constructed
about four and a half feet high, and three broad, in the shape of a
beehive. This is well covered with deer skins. Some stones are
then made red hot, and the patient being placed inside the hut in a state of nudity, the stones are thrown in and water poured on them ; the entrance is then quickly closed, and in this substitute for a vapour bath the patient is confined until he is almost suffocated. A copious perspiration is thus produced, and the operation is repeated until the pains are removed. The religious creed of the Flat-heads does not differ from that of the Indians in general. They believe in the existence of a Good and an Evil Spirit; good men are, after death, to inhabit a region in which summer is to smile for ever, and the bad are to be condemned to mountains covered with snow; but after shivering and starving in those comfortless abodes for a certain season, they are to mingle with the happy occupants of the Elysian Fields. Their code of ethics consists of honesty, bravery, love of truth, attention to parents, obedience to their chiefs, and affection for their wives and children. They have a traditional belief that the beavers are a fallen race of Indians, who, in consequence of offences which they committed against the Great Spirit, were condemned to their present shape, from which they are to be relieved after their offences shall have been expiated by a due length of suffering. They say that the beavers have not lost the human gift of speech, and that ‘they have heard them talk with each other, and seen them sitting in council on an offending member.’ As one of those eccentric adventures which sometimes occur in life, we may notice among the fresh arrivals which increased the party of our fur-collectors, the “amiable and accomplished” Miss Jane Barnes. This lady had been a bar-maid at an hotel in Portsmouth, where several additional officers of the company stopped before setting out for America: one of the gentlemen prevailed upon her to accompany him on the voyage, and from being in the rank of a serving woman, she felt herself, upon her appearance among the Flat-heads, suddenly raised to the rank almost of an idol. ‘The Indians daily thronged in numbers to our fort, for the mere purpose of gazing on, and admiring the fair beauty, every article of whose dress was examined with the most minute scrutiny. She had rather an extravagant wardrobe, and each day exhibited her in a new dress, which she always managed in a manner to display her figure to the best advantage. One day her head, decorated with feathers and flowers, produced the greatest surprise; the next, her hair, braided and unconcealed by any covering, excited equal wonder and admiration. The young women felt almost afraid to approach her, and the old were highly gratified at being permitted to touch her person. Some of the chiefs having learned that her protector intended to send her home, thought to prevent such a measure by making proposals of marriage. One of them in particular, the son of Comcourly, the principal chief of the Chinooks, came to the fort attired in his richest dress, his face fancifully bedaubed with red paint, and his body redolent of whale oil. He was young, and had four native wives. He told her, that if she would become his wife, he would send one hundred sea-otters to her relations; that he would never ask her to carry wood, draw water, dig for roots, or hunt for provisions; that he would make her mistress over his other wives, and permit her to sit at her ease from morning to night, and wear her own clothes; that she should always have abundance of fat salmon, anchovies, and elk, and be allowed to smoke as many pipes of tobacco during the day as she thought proper; together with many other flattering inducements, the tithe of which would have shaken the constancy of a score of the chastest brown vestals that ever flourished among the lower tribes of the Columbia. “These tempting offers, however, had no charms for Jane. Her long voyage had not yet eradicated certain Anglican predilections respecting mankind, which she had contracted in the country of her birth, and among which she did not include a flat head, a half-naked body, or a copper-coloured skin, besmeared with whale oil. * Her native inamorato made several other ineffectual proposals; but finding her inflexible, he declared he would never more come near the fort while she remained there. We shortly afterwards learned that he had concerted a plan with some daring young men of his tribe to carry her off while she was walking on the beach, (her general custom every evening while the gentlemen were at dinner.) a practice which, after this information, she was obliged to discontinue. * Mr. Mac at first intended to have brought her with him across the continent to Montreal; but on learning the impracticability of her performing such an arduous journey, he abandoned that idea, and made arrangements with the captain for her return to England, by way of Canton. A few words more, and I shall have done with Miss Barnes. On the arrival of the vessel at Canton she became an object of curiosity and admiration among the inhabitants of the “Celestial Empire.” An English gentelman of great wealth, connected with the East India Company, offered her a splendid establishment. It was infinitely superior to any of the proposals made by the Chinook nobility, and far beyond any thing she could ever expect in England: it was therefore prudently accepted, and the last account I heard of her stated that she was then enjoying all the luxuries of eastern magnificence.”—vol. i. pp. 287–290. The author strongly recommends that a number of Missionaries should undertake the task of reclaiming the Flat-heads, as well as the other Indian tribes, from their savage habits, and instruct them in the truths of Christianity. If his advice were likely to be followed by any of the British Missionaries, especially such men as those who infest the islands of the Pacific, we should protest against it, feeling that the Indians could gain nothing from such instructors, either by way of precept or example. But we entertain no apprehension upon that score. Mr. Cox may depend upon it that there is too much matter in his work to deter the British evangelists from making any such attempt. The occasional resort, from stern necessity, to horse-flesh and the flesh of dogs, would of itself be quite enough to keep those gentlemen at home. What would Mrs. Ellis, or Mrs. Stewart, for instance, say to a dog-chop, or to a horse-steak 2 No, no—the Missionaries will take very good care not to expose their precious persons among the Cathlamabs, the Clatsops, or the Chinooks, until the climate