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the canoes were moored in the mouth of the Miamis River.
We have already seen that the fort erected at this place the year before had been plundered and thrown down by the deserters from Fort Crèveccur. A few men
were left here, but La Salle pursued his journey without delay to the Illinois, where he was surprised to find the great village burnt and desolate ; for he had heard nothing of the Iroquois war, or of the disasters that had befallen Tonty and his party. The hill upon which he had ordered a fort to be built stood bare and lonely, without any vestiges of human labor at its top; a proof that the Frenchmen had either been killed or dispersed. This aspect of things seems to have discouraged him from going down the river, till he could gain further intelligence. He returned to the Miamis River, and spent the winter in visiting the Indian tribes near Lake Michigan.
At a village of the Outtagamies he met with some of the vagrant Illinois, who told him the story of the war, and of the calamities their nation had suffered; but they could give no account of the Frenchmen. He was informed that nearly all the inhabitants of seventeen Illinois villages had crossed the Mississippi, and sought safety among the Osages. In the late
incursion, the Miamies had sided with the Iroquois, and it was the effort of La Salle to break the bond of this connection, and to unite in an alliance all the neighboring tribes in that region against so formidable an enemy, who had no good will for any of them, whose policy was to divide and conquer, and who, by sowing dissensions among them, designed only to subdue them all in detail, and then to plunder and destroy their towns. He sent a message likewise to the Illinois, advising them to commit no hostilities against the Miamies, but to join in this league of peace and self-defence. All parties listened with apparent acquiescence to his counsels; and, whatever may have been the result, it was evidently the most politic scheme he could adopt, for his future operations would be obstructed, perhaps defeated, by hostilities between the tribes through which he must pass.
It being impossible to execute his plan with the small force now under his command, it was necessary again to seek new recruits and resources in Canada. Towards the end of May, 1681, he left the Miamis River, and, after a prosperous voyage, entered the harbor of Mackinac about the middle of June. We need not describe the joy that was mutually felt, when Tonty and his companions here met their commander. They recounted to each other the strange events, disasters, and dangers, that had thronged around them since their separation ; and La Salle, in particular, set before them, in melancholy array, the dark catalogue of misfortunes and disappointments, which had assailed him at every step ; yet, says Father Zenobe, with all the calmness and indifference of a man who relates only ordinary occurrences, and with the same tone of firmness and self-reliance, of hope and confidence in the future, that he had expressed at the beginning of his enterprise. The experience, which he had so dearly bought, seemed only to impart a new impulse to his resolution and ardor.
As there was no occasion for delay at this place, they all embarked in a few days for Fort Frontenac
Hennepin's Voyage up the Mississippi. — His pretended Discovery of the Mouth of that River.
Grounds for disbelieving his Account. Sources whence he drew his Materials.
We will now interrupt the thread of our narrative to say a word of Father Hennepin, whom
we left with his two Frenchmen, Picard du Gay and Michel Ako, in a canoe at Fort Crèvecmur, departing on a voyage of discovery. His instructions from the Sieur de la Salle were, that he should ascend the Mississippi, and explore the sources of that river.
On the seventh day, he found himself at the mouth of the Illinois, and, after waiting a short time for the Mississippi to become clear of floating ice, he turned his course northward. No incident worthy of remark is related till the 11th of April, when he was somewhere in the vicinity of the Wisconsin, probably above the mouth of that river. Here he was surprised by the sudden appearance of a large body of natives, in thirty-three canoes, who came fiercely down upon him, and took him and his two men prisoners. They were treated rudely at first, and some of their goods were seized; but the calumet was smoked the next day, and from that time they appear to have met with as good usage as the savages were accustomed to bestow upon uninvited guests. They all returned up the river, and in nineteen days the grand cataract opened upon their sight, now seen for the first time by European eyes, and named by Hennepin, in honor of his patron saint, the Falls of St. Anthony. Proceeding thence by land about one hundred and eighty miles up the River St. Francis, which was likewise named by him in honor of the patron saint of his order, they came to the villages inhabited by these Indians, whom he calls the Issati and Nadouessioux, since known as the Sioux.
Many adventures are related as having happened during his residence with these wild tribes, showing their manners and habits of life. He speaks of himself and his comrades as being in captivity, but he does not inform us wherein their liberty was restrained. He was permitted to be absent for several weeks with one of his men, on a voyage down the river to the Wisconsin, and Picard was allowed to retain his sword, pistols, and powder. There is no evidence that they could not have gone away when they pleased, at least after the first few days of their captivity; no complaint that they were deprived of food or raiment, or compelled to endure greater hardships than the Indians themselves. They remained in the villages, and in wandering with the savages, about three months, when they were agreeably surprised by meeting a party of five Frenchmen, under the command of the Sieur du Luth, who had come into the country by the way of Lake Superior. Luth was a man of courage and enterprise, who had penetrated