Imágenes de páginas
PDF
EPUB

to blame-We forced them to it, when they refused.” After some farther conversation the Commandant declared the Missionaries to be acquitted of all the accusations brought against them.

Pipe expressed his satisfaction at the result, and on returning from the council-house, he asked some of the Delaware Chieftains who were present how they liked what he said. He observed, that he knew it was true, and added; “I never wished your teachers any harm, knowing that they love the Indians; but, I have all along been imposed on, and importuned to do what I did by those who do not love them; and now, when these were to speak, they hung their heads, leaving me to extricate myself, after telling our Father things they had dictated and persuaded me to tell him.' This declaration has decidedly the air of candor and truth; and the Captain's subsequent conduct was much more in accordance with the spirit of it than it had been before. He did not however distinguish himself particularly after the close of the war, and even the time of his death has not come within our knowledge, although we have reason to believe that he was living, and able to visit the City of Washington, as late as 1817.

N2

CHAPTER X.

State of several Southern tribes during the last cen

tury-The English send deputies to the CHEROKEES, in 1756--Their lives threatened, and saved by ATTAKULLAKULLA-Account of that Chieftain and his principles—The party opposed to him headed by OcconosTOTA—War with the Colonies in 1759 and two years following—Anecdotes of both these Chiefs--SALOUEH, FFTOE, and others-Several battles-Peace concluded -Attakullakulla visits Charleston-His subsequent career, and that of Occonostota--Remarks on their character.

Cotemporary with the individuals who have just been mentioned, were a number of noted chieftains among the more Southern tribes. Of them we may take this occasion to say, that the Chickásaws generally affected the English interest; and the Creeks, the French;—so that the friendship or the hostility of GREAT-MORTAR, the STANDING-TURKEY, the WOLFKING, and the other leading men among the latter tribe was nearly neutralized, as regarded the several civilized parties, by the counteraction of the former.

The Cherokees had been friendly to the English ever since the treaty of 1730; but, owing partly to the influence of the Mortar, and partly to the direct exertions of the French, they had now become wavering and divided in sentiment. In 1756, deputies were sent among them, to secure their aid against the French. A council was convened, and was likely to terminate favorably, when tidings suddenly came that a party of Cherokees, who had visited the French on the Ohio, were massacred by some of the Virginians on their return home. The Council was in an uproar, as much as an Indian Council could be,—the gravest political assembly on earth,—at once. Many cried aloud that vengeance should be taken on the persons

cause.

of the Deputies ; and it was not without a great exertion of influence, that they were at length rescued by ATTAKULLAKULLA, or the LITTLE-CARPENTER.

This is the earliest appearance of that renowned Chieftain in history, though he is said to have been already famous both among the Cherokees and the English, especially for his magnanimity, wisdom, and moderation. Nor has there ever been, upon the continent, a more faithful or useful friend to the English

We cannot better illustrate his career or his character than by comparing both with those of WhiteEyes ; and indeed, some of the incidents related of that chief, independently of other circumstances, make it highly probable, that a diplomatic and personal good understanding was constantly maintained between them.

Like White-Eyes, too, Attakullakulla was opposed by a war-party, the chief difference being that it was less formally organized, and that it generally operated in favor of the French. At the head of it was OcCONOSTOTA, or the GREAT-WARRIOR, a man whose extraordinary prowess procured him his title, and whose memory is to this day warmly cherished among his countrymen. Pursuing our comparison, he should remind us of Pipe; but the suggestion does him injustice. He was not only for war, but a warrior-in truth, a great warrior.' He fought, and bled, and led on, where the other appeared only in that capacity of bear-hunter with dogs, which White-Eyes imputed to him. He was sincere to enthusiasm in his principles, and frank and fearless almost to fool-hardiness in professing and pursuing them. He had as much talent as Pipe, and far more virtue.

“Oucannostota,” says a respectable authority of a date a little subsequent to that just mentioned," is returned again from the French fort with powder and ball, accompanied with some Frenchmen-how many I cannot learn.” And again, soon afterwards,—"Since Oucannostota returned from the French with the goods and ammunition, and has had those assurances

[ocr errors]

from the Creeks, he says, “What nation, or what people am I afraid of? I do not fear all the forces which the great King George can send against me among these mountains. And yet the Great-Warrior was not rash, as we shall soon learn from the sequel.

A strong excitement followed the provocation already mentioned ; and although the elder part of the nation remained calm, and Attakullakulla and Occonnostota were both against instant war, the French emissaries wrought so effectually on the younger warriors, that parties of them took the field, and the English frontiers became the scene of a horrid series of devastation and massacre. The Governor of South Carolina prepared for active hostilities, and the militia of the whole Province were summoned to meet at Congarees.

But no sooner did the Cherokees hear of this movement than they sent thirty-two of their chief men, among whom was the Great-Warrior, to settle all differences at Charleston. A conference ensued, the burthen of which however was assumed by the Governor alone ; for when,-after he had made a long speech of accusations, and concluded with saying that the Deputies must follow his troops, or he would not be answerable for their safety, -Occonnostota gravely rose to reply, the Governor interrupted him and forbade him to proceed. He was determined that nothing should prevent his military expedition ; and at all events "he would hear no talk in vindication of the Orator's countrymen, nor any proposals with regard to peace.”+

The Great-Warrior was indignant, and his companions were still more so than himself. It must be allowed, that the Governor's deportment on this occasion, independently of his treatment of the Deputies out of Council, was in the highest degree insulting. The Warrior felt it the more keenly, because he had * We refer to Charleston, (S. C.) papers. Ramsay's History of South Carolina.

been appointed to speak, and had prepared himself. The Cherokees were conscious, too, that the English had originally occasioned the war. The sacred respect attached in their view,-as it is in that of the Indians quite generally even now,—to the dignity of their orators, may be gathered from the well-authenticated anecdote of the Virginian Chieftain who was rashly interrupted in a Conference with the English by one of his own subjects. He split the offender's head with a tomahawk at a single blow, and then calmly proceeded with his speech.*

The Deputies were detained several days, at the end of which they accompanied the Governor and his troops to Congarees, where were collected fourteen hundred men. Accompanied, we say,—but not freely: they were even made prisoners, to prevent their escaping, (as two had already done,) and a Captain's guard was set over them. No longer, says the historian, could they conceal their resentment; sullen and gloomy countenances showed that they were stung to the heart. To make the matter worse, on reaching Fort Prince-George, on the borders of their own territory, they were all confined in a miserable hut, scarcely sufficient to accommodate a tenth part of their number.

But the troops becoming discontented and mutinous, the Governor dared not advance any farther against the enemy. He therefore sent for Attakullakulla, as being "esteemed the wisest man in the nation, and the most steady friend to the English.”+ The summons was promptly obeyed, and a conference took place on the 17th of December, (1759.) The Governor made a long speech as before, to the effect that the GREAT King would not suffer his people to be destroyed without satisfaction ; that he was determined to have it ; and that twenty-four Cherokee murderers, whom he named, must be given up in the outset, for which

* Beverly.

† Ramsay.

« AnteriorContinuar »