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vent misapprehension, we ought here to specify those qualifications with which we wish this assertion to be understood. That the Indians are absolutely unsusceptible of civilization, we by no means admit;—inasmuch as history furnishes us with numberless examples of nations which were once in a little less hopeless condition of barbarism than the aborigines of this country,--but which, nevertheless, have ascended to the highest stages of refinement. Even the Athenians, not long prior to the time of Thucydides, were distinguished by a frivolity of taste and manners.. The golden grasshoppers with which they adorned the hair, and the kind of tunic with which they covered their bodies, are indications of barbarism not less unequivocal than the present costume of our own aborigines. But the progression of attic refinement was gradual; and, moreover, owed its final completion--not to the influence of foreign education—but to their own intrinsic disposition to civilization. To Cadmus, indeed, they were infinitely indebted:—for perhaps there is no one instrument of melioration which is more extensive and permanent in its effects, thau the single art of securing our thoughts in visible expressions. Were our Indians in possession of an alphabet, and left to the undisturbed enjoyment of their own territory, we are extravagant enough to believe that they would eventually make some approaches towards a state of civilization. These approaches, however, must be made by almost imperceptible steps,and we may add, that there is no royal road to civilization.
But this is not the manner in which our aborigines have been attempted to be reclaimed from barbarism. They were called upon to take one bold stride from the savage to the civilized state. They could not advance by a slow progression; and they were utterly incapable of going over the ground in any other way.
Had nobody but a Cadmus landed among them, they might ere now have been in some of the advanced stages of improvement:—but as it is, we can hardly find a sin gle Indian who lives and moves like civilized men.
NOTICE OF CAPTAIN M. LEWIS.
The portrait of captain Lewis, given in the present number, is taken from a drawing of that officer belonging to his fellow traveller, governor Clark, who considers it an excellent likeness, and prizes it highly. The gentleman who lent it to us remained here but a short time, and was obliged to take it with him: to which circumstance it is owing that our engraving from it is not executed in so good a style as we could have wished. But that engraving is a faithful copy of the original, which is believed to be the only likeness of captain Lewis now extant. The ornaments worn by him when in the costume of an Indian warrior, (as represented in the picture) are preserved in the Philadelphia museum.
Conformably to our usual plan, we accompany the portrait with a biographical sketch, drawn as briefly as possible, as the subject of it is already so generally known: it is taken from the life of captain Lewis, written by Mr. Jefferson, and prefixed to the interesting history of the expedition to the Pacific Ocean, under the command of captains Lewis and Clark. The passages marked with inverted commas are given in Mr. Jefferson's own words.
MERIWETHER Lewis, late governor of Louisiana, was born on the 18th of August, 1774, near Charlottesville, in Virginia, of one of the distinguished families of that state. Having lost his father at an early age, he continued some years under the care of a tender mother, and was remarkable even in his childhood for enterprise, boldness, and discretion. At thirteen he was put to the Latin school, and continued at that until eighteen, when he returned to his mother, and entered on the care of his farm; having been left by his father with a competency. “ His talent for observation, which had led him to an accurate knowledge of the plants and animals of his own country, would have distinguished him as a farmer; but at the age of twenty, yielding to the ardour of youth, and a passion for more dazzling pursuits, he en
gaged as a volunteer in the body of militia which were called out by general Washington, on occasion of the discontents produced by the excise taxes in the western parts of the United States; and from that situation he was removed to the regular service as a lieutenant in the line. At twenty-three he was promoted to a captaincy; and, always attracting the first attention where punctuality and fidelity were requisite, he was appointed paymaster to his regiment.”
“In 1803, the act for establishing trading houses with the Indian tribes being about to expire, some modifications of it were recommended to congress by a confidential message of January 18th, and an extension of its views to the Indians on the Missouri. In order to prepare the way, the message proposed the sending an exploring party to trace the Missouri to its source, to cross the highlands, and follow the best water-communication which offered itself from thence to the Pacific ocean. Congress approved the proposition, and voted a sum of money for carrying it into execution. Captain Lewis, who had then been near two years with me as private secretary, immediately renewed his solicitations to have the direction of the party. I had now had opportunities of knowing him intimately. Of courage undaunted, possessing a firmness and perseverance of purpose which nothing but impossibilities could divert from its direction; careful as a father of those committed to his charge, yet steady in the maintenance of order and discipline; intimate with the Indian character, customs, and principles; habituated to the hunting life; guarded, by exact observation of the vegetables and animals of his own country, against losing time in the description of objects already possessed; honest, disinterested, liberal, of sound understanding, and a fidelity to truth so scrupulous, that whatever he should report would be as certain as if seen by ourselves; with all these qualifications, as if selected and implanted by nature in one body for this express purpose, I could have no hesitation in confiding the enterprise to him. To fill up the measure desired, he wanted nothing but a greater familiarity with the technical language of the natural sciences, and readiness in the astronomical observations necessary for the geography of his route. To acquire these he repaired immediately to Philadelphia, and placed himself un