« AnteriorContinuar »
wont to hang the raw hides of those beasts which they take in hunting.
33. It was not long, however, before it was so ordered by kind Providence, that I should be relieved in a good measure from those horrid imaginations; for as I was walking one day upon the ice, observing a smoke at some distance upon the land, it must proceed, thought I, from the fire of some Indian hut; and who knows but some one of my poor children may be there.
34. My curiosity, thus excited, led me to the place, and there I found my son Caleb, a little boy between two and three years old, whom I had lately buried, in sentiment at least; or rather imagined to have been deprived of life, and perhaps also denied a decent grave.
35. I found himn likewise in tolerable health and circum. stances, under the protectioa of a fond Indian mother, and moreover had the happiness of lodging with him in my arms one joyful night. Again we shifted our quarters, and when we had travelled eight or ten miles upon the snow and ice, came to a place where the Indians manufactured sugar, which they extracted from the maple trees.
36. Here an Indian came to visit us, whom I knew, and who could speak English. He asked me why I did not go to see my son Squire. I replied that I had lately been inforined that he was dead. He assured me that he was yet alive, and but two or three miles off, on the opposite side of the lake.
37. At my request, le gave me the best directions he could to the place of his abode. I resolved to embrace the first opportunity that offered of endeavouring to search it out. While I was busy in contemplating this affair, the Indians obtained a little bread, of which they gave me a small share.
38. I did not taste a morsel of it myself, but saved it all for my poor child, if I should be so lucky as to find hiin. At length, having obtained of my keepers leave to be absent for one day, I set off early in the morning, and steering, as well as I could, according to the directions which the friendly Indian had given me, I quickly found the place, which he had so accurately inarked out.
39. ( heheld, as I drew nigh, my little son without the camp; but he looked, thought I, like a starved and mangy
puppy, that had been wallowing in the ashes. I took him in my arms, and he spoke to me these words, in the Indian tongue; “Mother, are you come ?"
40. I took him into the wigwam with me, and observing a number of Indian children in it, I distributed all the bread which I had reserved for my own child, among them all; otherwise I should have given great offence.
41. My little boy appeared to be very fond of his new mother, kept as near me as possible while I staid; and when I told him I must go, he lell as though he had been knockeddown with a club.
42. But having recommended him to the care of Him who made him, when the day was far spent, and the time would permit me to stay no longer, I departed, you may well suppose, with a heavy load at my heart. The tidings I had received of the death of my youngest child had, a little before, been confirmed to me beyond a doubt; but I could not mourn so heartily for the deceased, as for the living child.
43. When the winter broke up, we removed to St. John's; and through the ensuing suinmer, our principal residence was at no great distance from the fort at that place. In the mean time, however, my sister's husband having been out with a scouting party to some of the English settlements, had a drunken frolick at the fort, when he returned.
44. His wife, who never got drunk, but had often experienced the ill effects of her husband's intemperance, fearing what the consequence inigkat prove, if he should come home in a morose and turbulent humour, to avoid his inso. lence, proposed that we should both retire, and keep out of the reach of it, until the storm abated.
45. We absconded accordingly, but so it happened, that I returned and ventured into his presence, before his wife had presumed to come nigh him. I found him in his wigwam, and in a surly mood; and not being able to revenge upon his wife, because she was not at home, he laid hold of me, and hurried me to the fort; and, for a trifling consideration, sold me to a French gentleman, whose name was Saccapee.
6. It is an ill wind certainly that blows nobody any good. I had been with the Indians a year lacking fourteen
days; and, if not for my sister, yet for me it was a lucky circumstance indeed, which thus at last, in an unexpected moment, snatched me out of their cruel hands, and placed me beyond the reach of their insolent power.
47. After my Indian master had disposed of me in the manner related above, and the moment of sober reflection had arrived, perceiving that the man who bought me had taken the advantage of him in an unguarded hour, his resentment began to kindle, and his indignation rose so high, that he threatened to kill me if he should meet me alone: or, if he could not revenge himself thus, that he would set fire to the fort.
48. I was therefore secreted in an upper chamber, and the fort carefully guarded, until his wrath had time to cool. My service in the family to which I was advanced, was perfect freedom, in comparison with what it liad been among the barbarous Indians.
49. My new master and mistress were both as kind and generous towards me as I could reasonably expect. I seldom asked a favour of either of them, but it was readily granted. In consequence of which, I had it in my power, in many instances, to administer aid and refreshment to the poor prisoners of my own nation, who were brought into St. John's, during my abode in the family of the above mentioned benevolent and hospitable Saccapee.
50. Yet even in this family such trials awaited me as I had little reason to expect; but stood in veed of a large stock of prudence to enable me to encounter them. In this I was greatly assisted by the governour, and Col. Schuyler, *who was then a prisoner.
51. I was moreover under unspeakable obligations to the governour on another account. I had received intelligence from my daughter Mary, the purport of which was, that there was a prospect of her being shortly married to a young Indian of the tribe of St. Francois, with which tribe slie had continued from the beginning of her captivity. These were heavy tidings, and added greatly to the poignancy of my other afflictions.
52. However, not long after I had heard this melancholy news, an opportunity presented of acquainting that humane and generous gentleman, the commander in chief. and my illustrious benefactor, with this affair also ; who, in compassion for my sufferings, and to mitigate my sorrows, issued his orders in good time, and had my daughter taken away from the Indians, and conveyed to the same nunnery where her sister was then lodged, with his express injunction, that they should both of thein together be well looked after, and carefully educated, as his adopted children.
53. In this school of superstition and bigotry they continued while the war in those days between France and Great Britain lasted. At the conclusion of which war, the governour went hoine to France, took
my eldest daughter along with him, and married her there to a French genıleman, whose name is Cron Lewis.
54. He was at Boston with the fleet under Count de Estaing, (1778) and one of his clerks. My other daughter still continuing in the nunnery, a considerable time bad elapsed after my return from captivity, when I made a journey to Canada, resolving to use my best endeavours not to return without her.
55. I arrived just in time to prevent her being sent to France. She was to have gone in the next vessel that sailed for that place, and I found it extreinely difficult to prevail with her to quit the nunnery and go home with me.
56. Yea, she absolutely refused; and all the persuasions and arguments I could use with her were to no effect, until after I had been to the governour, and obtained a letter from him to the superintendent of the nuns, in which he threatened, if my daughter should not be delivered immediately into my hands, or could not be prevailed with to submit to my parental authority, that he would send a band of soldiers to assist me in bringing her away.
57. But so extremely bigoted was she to the customs and religion of the place, that after all she left it with the greatest reluctance, and the most bitter lamentations, which she continued as we passed the streets, and wholly refused to be comforted. My good friend, Major Small, whom we met with on the way, tried all he could to console her; and was so very kind and obliging as to bear us company, and carry my daughter behind him on horseback.
58. But I have run on a little before my story; for I have not yet informed you of the means and inanner of my own redemption ; to the accomplishing of which, the recovery of my daughter just mentioned, and the ransoming of some of my other children, several gentlemen of note contributed not a little ; to whose goodness, therefore, I am greatly indebted, and sincerely hope I shall never be so ungrateful as to forget it.
59. Col. Schuyler, in particular, was so very kind and generous as to advance 2700 livres to procure a ransom for myself and three of my children. He accompanied and conducted us from Montreal 10 Albany, and entertained us in the most friendly and hospitable manner a considerable time, at his own house, and I believe entirely at his own expense.
EXTRACT FROM THE SPEECH OF MR. Pitt IN THE BRITISH
PARLIAMENT, JANUARY 20, 1775.
I RISE with astonislıment to see these papers brought to your table at so late a period of this business; papers, to tell us what ? Why, what all the world knew before; that the Americans, irritated by repeated injuries, and stripped of their inborr rights and dearest privileges, have resisted, and entered into associations for the preservation of their common liberties.
2. Had the early situation of the people of Boston been attended to, things would not have come to this. But the infant coinplaints of Boston were literally treated like the capricious squalls of a child, who, it was said, did not know whether it was aggrieved or not.
3. But full well I knew, at that time, that this child, if not redressed, would soon assume the courage and voice of
Full well I knew, that the sons of ancestors, born under the same free constitution, and once breathing, the same liberal air as Englishmen, would resist upon the same principles, and on the same occasions.
4. What lia's government done? They have sent an armed force, consisting of seventeen thousand men, to dragoon