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print of the moccason in the sand, told the rest; and the agonized Smith, accompanied by a few of his best woodsmen, pursued “ the spoil encumbered foe.” The track once discovered, they kept it with that unerring sagacity so peculiar to our hunters. The bended grass, the disentangled briars, and the compressed shrub, afforded the only, but to them the certain indications of the route of the enemy. When they had sufficiently ascertained the general course of the retreat of the Indians, Smith quitted the trace, assuring his companions that they would fall in with them at the pass of a certain stream ahead, for which he now struck a direct course, thus gaining on the foe, who had taken the most difficult paths. Arrived at the stream, they traced its course until they discovered the water newly thrown upon the rocks. Smith, leaving his party, now crept forward upon his hands and feet, until he discovered one of the savages seated by a fire, and with a deliberate aim shot him through the heart. The women rushed towards their deliverer, and recognizing Smith, clung to him in the transports of newly awakened joy and gratitude, while a second Indian sprang towards him with his tomahawk. Smith, disengaging himself from the ladies, aimed a blow at his antagonist with his rifle, which the savage avoided by springing aside, but at the same moment, the latter received a mortal wound from another hand. The other, and only remaining Indian, fell in attempting to escape. Smith, with his interesting charge, returned in triumph to the fort, where his gallantry, no doubt, was repaid by the sweetest of all rewards.
THE CHARACTER OF THE PIONEERS.
Among the pioneers, were many substantial farm
a class that differed from that of which we have spoken, only in being more industrious and provident. They were of the same stock; equally accustomed to the rude scenes of border life-brothers of the same family; but like Jacob and Esau, one was devoted to the vicissitudes of sylvan sport, the other to the sober employments of domestic industry. They came together to the wilderness, the one to possess the soil, the other to wander through the forest in search of game. Alike in appearance and manners, and each occasionally adopting the character of the other, a stranger would have been unable to recognize any distinction between them; but in a few years, the hunter moved forward to a more newly discovered country, while the farmer remained to clear away the forest and raise abundant crops upon its virgin soil. In a few years more, the farmer attests the force of nature and the purity of his descent, by sighing for newer lands; and selling his farm to a later emigrant, he takes his flocks and herds, his children and servants, and follows the hunter to the farther wilderness. The reader, however, is not to suppose that either of these classes are always in motion. They remain for years in one spot, forming the mass of the settled population, and giving a tone to the institutions of the country; and at each
remove, a few are left behind, who cling permanently to the soil, and bequeath their landed possessions to their posterity.
The pioneers brought little other property, than such as they could pack upon the backs of horses. A few implements of husbandry, and such cooking utensils as were indispensable; the rifle, the ax, and a few mechanics tools; with some horses, cattle, and hogs, constituted the wealth of the emigrant. Their first abode, as we have already stated, was in camps and stations; but their permanent habitation was the primitive log cabin, still so common throughout the whole western country; and those who have never witnessed the erection of such buildings, would be surprised to behold the simplicity of their mechanism, and the rapidity with which they are put together. The ax and the auger, are often the only tools used in their construction; but usually the frow, the drawing-knife, the broad-ax, and the crosscutsaw, are added. The architecture of the body of the house, is sufficiently obvious; but it is curious to notice the ingenuity with which the wooden fireplace and chimney are protected from the action of the fire by a lining of clay -- to see a smooth floor formed of the plane surfaces of hewed logs, and a door made of boards split from the log, hastily smoothed with the drawing-knife, united firmly together with wooden *pins, hung upon wooden hinges, and fastened with a wooden latch. Not a nail, nor any particle of metal, enters into the composition of the building-all is wood from top to bottom; all is done by the woods man, without the aid of any mechanic. These priş ni
tive dwellings are by no means so wretched as their name and their rude workmanship would seem to imply. They still constitute the usual dwelling of the farmers in new settlements; and I have often found them roomy, tight, and comfortable. If one cabin is not sufficient, another, and another, is added, until the whole family is accommodated; and thus the homestead of a respectable farmer, often resembles a little village.
The dexterity of the backwoodsman in the use of the ax, is also remarkable; yet it ceases to be so regarded, when we reflect on the variety of uses to which this implement is applied, and that it in fact enters into almost all the occupations of the pioneer. In clearing lands, building houses, making fences, providing fuel, the ax 'is used; in tilling his fields, the farmer is continually interrupted to cut away the trees that have fallen in his enclosures and the roots that impede his plough; the path of the surveyor is cleared by the ax, and his lines and corners marked by this implement; roads are opened and bridges made with the ax; the first court-houses and jails, are fashioned of logs, with the same tool; in labor or hunting, in traveling by land or water, the ax is ever the companion of the backwoodsman.
With the first emigration, there are no mechanics; and for many years after, but few are found in the new settlements. The farmer, therefore, makes almost every thing that he uses. Besides clearing land, building houses, and making fences, he stocks his own plough, mends his wagon, makes his ex-yokes and harness, and learns to supply nearly
all his wants from the forest. The tables, bedsteads, and seats in his house, are of his own rude workmanship. At first, the dressed skins of wild animals, furnish the materials for making moccasons; but the farmers soon begin to tan their own leather and make their own shoes; and there are thousands soattered over the west, who continue, to this day, to make all the shoes that are worn in their families. They universally raise cotton, and often cultivate, also, hemap and flax; the spinning-wheel and the loom, are common articles of furniture; and the whole farming and hunting population, are clad in fabrics of household manufacture. The traveler, accustomed to different modes of life, is struck with the crude and uncomfortable appearance of every thing about this people — the rudeness of their habitations, the carelessness of their agriculture, the unsightly coarseness of all their implements and furniture, the unambitious homeliness of all their goods and chattels, except the ax, the rifle, and the horse — these being invariably, the best and handsomest which their means enable them to procure. But he is mistaken in supposing them to be indolent and improvident; and is little aware how much ingenuity and toil have been exerted in procuring the few comforts which they possess, in a country without arts, mechanics, money, or commercial intercourse.
The backwoodsman has many substantial enjoyments. After the fatigue of his journey, and a short season of privation and danger, he finds himself surrounded with plenty. His cattle, hogs, and poultry, supply his table with meat; the forest abounds in