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arrived with an intention of ascending the Missouri, on their way to the Pacific Ocean, by the same route that Lewis and Clarke had followed by descending the Columbia river. Becoming acquainted with the principals of this party, he accepted their invitation to accompany them; and in March 1811, they all proceeded on their journey.

One of the first of Mr. Bradbury's narratives relates to an Indian tribe, named the Osages, of whom the following account is given :

"I inquired of Dr. Murray concerning a practice which I had heard prevailed amongst the Osages, of rising before day to lament their dead. He informed me that such was really the custom, and that the loss of a horse or a dog was as powerful a stimulus to their lamentations as that of a relative or friend; and he assured me, that if I should be awake before day the following morning, I might certainly hear them. Accordingly, on the 9th, I heard before day that the howling had comnienced; and the better to escape observation, I wrapped a blanket round me, tied a black handkerchief on my head, and fastened on my belt, in which I stuck my tomahawk, and then walked into the village. The doors of the lodges were closed, but in the greater part of them the women were crying and howling in a tone that seemed to indicate excessive grief. On the outside of the village 1 heard the men who Dr. Murray had informed me always go out of the lodges to lament. I soon came within twenty paces of one, and could see him dis

tinctly, as it was moonlight: he also saw me and ceased, upon which I withdrew. I was more successful with another, whom I approached nearer unobserved. He rested his back against the stump of a tree, and continued for about twenty seconds to cry out in a loud and high tone of voice, when he suddenly lowered to a low muttering, mixed with sobs: in a few seconds he again raised to the former pitch. We breakfasted with the commandant, and afterwards walked out to view some improvements he had made in the fort. In our walk we observed what, on the first view appeared to be two squaws carrying a tub of water, suspended on a pole. Mr. Crooks desired me to notice them, which I did, and remarked that one of them had more the appearance of a man than of a woman. He assured me that it was a man, and that there were several others in the village, who, like the one we saw, were condemned for life to associate with the squaws, to wear the same dress, and do the same drudgery. I now learned, that when the Osages go to war, they keep a watchful eye over the young men who are then making their first essay in arms, and such as appear to possess the necessary qualifica tions are admitted to the rank of warriors, or, according to their own idiom, brave men. But if any exhibit evident proofs of cowardice, on the return of the party they are compelled to assume the dress and character of women, and their doom is fixed for life, as no opportunity is afterwards af forded them to retrieve their character. The men do not associate

with them, nor are they suffered to marry, or have any intercourse with the women: they may be treated with the greatest indignity by any warrior, as they are not suffered to resent it."

The pigeons of the country afford a curious narration-thus described:

"I proceeded to examine the neighbouring country, and soon discovered that pigeons were in the woods. I returned, and exchanged my rifle for a fowling piece, and in a few hours shot 271, when I desisted. I had an opportunity this day of observing the manner in which they feed; it affords a must singular spectacle, and is also an example of the rigid discipline maintained by gregarious animals. This species of pigeon associates in prodigious flocks: one of these flocks, when on the ground, will cover an area of several acres in extent, and are so close to each other that the ground can scarcely be seen. This phalanx moves through the woods with considerable celerity, picking up as it passes along every thing that will serve for food. It is evident that the foremost ranks must be the most successful, and that nothing will remain for the hindermost. That all may have an equal chance, the instant that any rank becomes the last, they rise and flying over the whole flock, alight exactly ahead of the foremost. They succeed each other with so much rapidity, that there is a continued stream of them in the air; and a side view of them exhibits the appearance of the segment of a large circle, moving through the woods. I observed that they ceased to look for food a con

siderable time before they become the last rank, but strictly adhere to their regulations, and never rise until there are none behind them."

The account of a famous chief, named Blackbird, or Oiseau Noir, presents a remarkable example of a man doomed by nature to act the part of a tyrant.—

"This chief, called by the French Oiseau Noir, ruled over the Mahas with a sway the most despotic : he had managed in such a manner as to inspire them with the belief that he was possessed of supernatural powers; in council no chief durst oppose him-in war it was death to disobey. It is related of him at St. Louis, that a trader from that town arrived at the Mahas with an assortment of Indian goods; he applied to Blackbird for liberty to trade, who ordered that he should first bring all his goods into his lodge, and the order was obeyed; Blackbird commanded that all the packages should be opened in his presence, and from them he selected what goods he thought proper, amounting to nearly the fourth part of the whole; he caused them to be placed in a part of the lodge distinct from the rest, and addressed the trader to this effect-'Now, my son, the goods which I have chosen are mine, and those in your possession are your own. Don't cry, my son, my people shall trade with you for your goods at your own price. He then spoke to his herald, who ascended to the top of the lodge, and commanded in the name of the chief, that the Mahas should bring all their beaver, bear, otter, muskrat, and other skins to his lodge, and not on any account 2 H 2


to dispute the terms of exchange with the trader, who declared on his return to St. Louis, that it was the most profitable voyage he had ever made. Mr. Tellier, a gentleman of respectability who resided near St. Louis, and who had been formerly Indian agent there, informed me that Blackbird obtained this influence over his nation by the means of arsenic, a quantity of that article having been sold to him by a trader, who instructed him in the use of it. If afterwards any of his nation dared to oppose him in his arbitrary measures, he prophesied their death within a certain period, and took good care that his predictions should be verified. He died about the time that Louisiana was added to the United States; having previously made choice of a cave for his sepulchre, on the top of a hill near the Missouri, about eighteen miles below the Maha village; by his order his body was placed on the back of his favourite horse, which was driven into the cave, the mouth closed up with stones, and a large heap was afterwards raised on the summit of the hill."

An interview with a tribe of Indians is the subject of the following narrative :—

"Before breakfast this morning we discovered two Indians on a bluff on the north-east side of the river: we stopped opposite to them to breakfast, during which they frequently harangued us in a loud tone of voice. After we had breakfasted, Mr. Hunt went over the river to speak to them, and took with him Dorion, the interpreter. We noticed, that when he landed, one of the Indians went away, and for a short time disappeared from

our sight, but immediately reappeared on horseback, and went at full speed over the bluffs. Mr. Hunt informed us on his return, that these Indians belonged to the Sioux nations; that three tribes were encamped about a league from us, and had 280 lodges. They were the Yangtons Ahnah, the Tetons Bois Brulé, and the Tetons Min-na-kine-azzo. The Indian informed Mr. Hunt that they had been waiting for us eleven days, with a decided intention of opposing our progress, as they would suffer no one to trade with the Ricaras, Mandans, and Minaterees, being at war with those nations. It is usual to reckon two warriors to each lodge, we therefore found that we had to oppose near six hundred savages, with the character of whom we were well acquainted; and it had also been stated by the Indian that they were in daily expectation of being joined by two other tribes, Tetons Okandandas and Tetons Sahone. We proceeded up the river, and passed along an island, which, for about half an hour, intercepted our view of the north-east side of the river. On reaching the upper point we had a view of the bluffs, and saw the Indians pouring down in great numbers, some on horseback, and others on foot. They soon took possession of a point a little above us, and ranged themselves along the bank of the river. By the help of our glasses we could perceive that they were all armed and painted for war. Their arms consisted chiefly of bows and arrows, but a few had short carbines: they were also provided with round shields. We had an ample sufficiency of arms



for the whole party, which now consisted of sixty men; and besides our small arms, we had a swivel, and two howitzers. Any attempt to avoid the Indians would have been abortive, inasmuch as a boat, in ascending the Missouri, can only effect it by going along the edges of the river, it being wholly impossible to stem the middle current; and as the banks are in many places high and perpendicular, we must inevitably be in their power frequently, as they might several times in the course of a day shower a volley of arrows upon us, and retire unseen. alternative, therefore, was, as we supposed, either to fight them or return. The former was immediately decided on, and we landed nearly opposite to the main body. Our first care was to put all the arms in complete order: afterwards the swivel and the howitzers were loaded with powder only, and fired to impress them with an idea that we were well prepared. They were then heavily loaded, and with as many bullets as it was supposed they would bear, after which we crossed the river. When we arrived within about one hundred yards of them, the boats were stationed, and all seized their arms. The Indians now seemed to be in confusion, and when we rose up to fire, they spread their buffaloe robes before them, and moved them from side to side. Our interpreter called out, and desired us not to fire, as the action indicated, on their part, a wish to avoid an engagement, and to come to a parley. We accordingly desisted, and saw about fourteen of the chiefs separate themselves from the crowd who

were on the summit of the bank, and descend to the edge of the river, where they sat down on the sand, forming themselves into a portion of a circle, in the centre of which we could see preparations making to kindle a fire, evidently with a design to smoke the calumet with us, and signs were made, inviting us to land. Mr. Hunt requested that Messrs. Crooks, M'Kenzie, Miller, and M'Clellan, would attend him in his boat, and I accompanied Mr. M'Kenzie. The object was to consider whether it was advisable to place so much confidence in so ferocious and faithless a set, as to accept the invitation. It did not require much deliberation, as we found ourselves under the necessity of either fighting or treating with them; it was therefore determined to hazard the experiment of going ashore. The party who remained in the boats were ordered to continue in readiness to fire on the Indians instantly, in case of treachery, and Messrs. Hunt, M'Kenzie, Crooks, Miller, and M'Clellan, with the interpreter and myself, went ashore. We found the chiefs sitting where they had first placed themselves, as motionless as statues; and without any hesitation or delay, we sat down on the sand, in such a manner as to complete the cir cle. When we were all seated, the pipe was brought by an Indian, who seemed to act as priest on this occasion; he stepped within the circle, and lighted the pipe: The head was inade of a red stone, known by mineralogists under the term of killas, and is often found to accompany copper ore; it is procured on the river St. Peters, one of the principal branches of


the Mississippi. The stem of the pipe was at least six feet in length, and highly decorated with tufts of horse hair, dyed red. After the pipe was lighted, he held it up towards the sun, and afterwards pointed it towards the sky, in dif. ferent directions. He then handed it to the great chief, who smoked a few whiffs, and taking the head of the pipe in his hand, commenced by applying the other end to the lips of Mr. Hunt, and afterwards did the same to every one in the circle. When this ceremony was ended, Mr. Hunt rose, and made a speech in French, translated as he proceeded into the Sioux language by Dorion. The purport of the speech was to state, that the object of our voyage up the Missouri was not to trade; that several of our brothers had gone to the great salt lake in the west, whom we had not seen for eleven moons. That we had come from the great salt lake in the east, on our way to see our brothers, for whom we had been crying ever since they left us and our lives were now become so miserable for the want of our brothers, that we would rather die than not go to them, and would kill every man that should oppose our passage. That we had heard of their design to prevent our passage up the river, but we did not wish to believe it, as we were determined to persist, and were, as they might see, well prepared to effect our purpose; but as a proof of our pacific intentions, we had brought them a present of tobacco and corn. About fifteen carottes of tobacco, and as many bags of corn, were now brought from the boat, and laid in a heap

near the great chief, who then rose and commenced a speech, which was repeated in French by Dorion. He commenced by stating that they were at war with the Ricaras, Mandans, and Gros Ventres or Minaterees, and the injury it would be to them if these nations were furnished with arms and ammunition; but as they found we were only going to our brothers, they would not attempt to stop us. That he also had brothers, at a great distance northward, whom he had not seen for a great many moons, and for whom he also had been crying. He professed himself satisfied with our present, and advised us to encamp on the other side of the river, for fear his young men should be troublesome. When the speech was ended, we all rose, shook hands, and returned to the boats. During this conference, I had an opportunity of noticing these Indians, a great number of whom were assembled on the bank above us, and observed that they are in stature considerably below the Osages, Mahas, and Poncars, and much less robust. They are also much more deficient in clothing and ornaments, a considerable number being entirely naked, but all armed."

The return of a war party of Indians is related in the following

manner :

"It had been a custom with us to keep a guard round our camp during the night since our arrival at the Aricaras. Four of the party were stationed for this purpose until midnight, and were then relieved by four others, who remained on guard until morning. On the morning of the 10th, at


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