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i n 

Of the CAPTURE : & 
Of certain A M E R I C A N ^ 

At tPeftmoreland^ 


.e£ the perilous £ s c a r e which they eftefied* bgr; 
furprizing Specimens of Policy aftdJHteroifau 

To which i* fubjoinfel, 

Some Account of the ReHgton, Go*ernrneȣ*r 
Cuftoms, and Manners of the Aborigines 

N«w.L<mdon i Printed by T, Gr*en, 1784- 

■^■M— 1 1— > l» llll 

3 *4-0 

ON hearing a particular Account of the Cap- 
ture of certain Americans at Weftmoreland on 
the Sufquehannah, and the furprizing Efcapc which 
they effe&ed, by rifing upon and vanquilhing the: 
Savage Captors, my Mind was fo ftruck with t 
nre Specimens of Entcrprize, Bravery, and Cond 
which were exhibited in thefe little Adventures, ths- 
I prefcndy projected the Publication thereof, though 
the Narmtion is worthy of an abler Pen. 

( 3 ) 

A Narrative, &c. 

THE favages who occafloned the following fcenet, were 
fent from the Britifh gtarifon at Niagara, fome time 
in the fore part of March, A. fX 17S0.. through a deep fnow, 
on a wretched bulking indian espjdition,agarnfta few bar- 
tering people which they hoped to find about Sufquehannah ; 
efpecially thofe who were making fugar in the wood* at 
that time of the year- 

The number of indians which fkulked about Weltmore- 
land at this time, was 16 : whether they all came from Ni- 
agara in company and feparated in the vic'nity, or were 
feparate parties from Niagara, I never could learn: but 
they appeared about Weltrnoreland in two parties of fix 
_and ten indians in different parts of the country * the party 
of 10 appeared the next day after the party of f:X. 
I will give a narrative of each in their turns. 

The party of ten indians, after lurking about the fettle- 
ment for fome time, firft made their appearance on Tuefday 
the 28th of March, at break of day, five miles below Ply- 
mouth fettlement, where fundry people were fcittered about 
miking maple fugar, which is known to be a profitable 
branch of bufinefs here as in many parts of America : the 
manufacturers frequently build a little hut near a maple 
grove, and continue boiling all night. In one of thefe huts 
was a Mr. Upfon, and Jonah Rogers, a lad 13 yearn of age, 
they wa:ched with the fugar boiling by turns ; and at daj*- 
breaking Upfon having finiftaei his watch, was reclined on 
the rloor a-fleep, and Jonah was up, and at this time a- 
mufing himfeif in fome trines 5 when to hisfurprize, a fa- 
vage fuddenly entered the hut. and immediately fired hii 
pie „j through the bowels of Upfon, and with his tomahawk 
fplit out his brains ; a fecond of thefe frightful femi-painted 
daemons immediately entered, and feiied Jonah by the arm. 
when the whole gang prefently ruthed into the hut, with 
their ihocking painted vifages and favage fhoutingg, upon 
the devoted Jonah, to whofe affrighted mini they ^ relented 



the urmoft horrors of inftant death, heigfetned by a glaring 
raprefentation of the infernal pit : they gave him to under- 
ftand by their jargon dialed, which he partly underftood, 
that he muft go with them \ which in his prefent view was 
but the more wretched alternative of inftant death. He had 
no way tQ vent his horror but by immoderate crying, which 
the favage« fupprefs'd by menaces of death ; he then fell to 
fupplicating then with all rus might, for liberty to go 
home j but thefe intreaties alfo the favages fupprefs'd by 
the fame threats as before : thus the lad, advanced far 
enough in life to anticipate the horrors of favage cruelty and 
captivity, yet too young to (hare the full fortitude of uian- 
l.ood,not fuffered to vent his horror by crying, nor daring 
to beg for relief from his inexorable mafters, and not a 
mortal with whom to confer p r condole, he was fix'd in a 
plethory ofgrjefand defpair, whjile the fa vages performed 
their deteftable cufiom* by taking off the fcalp of Mr. Up- 
fon. ' 

The fa vages next proceed dpwn the river, to a place 
called Fifhing-Creek ; where on Wednefday they furpiizttf 
and took Mefti. Pejer Pence, Mofes VanCampen,an# a lad 
named Mofes Van Campen, nephew to the former They 
continued lurking about until Friday, when they difcovered 
fome fiigar wo^ks where the kettles were boiling i they 
concluded that the people had hid theoifelves near by, 
whom they catch d by the following ftratagem: they obliged 
the prifoners to halloo, and callrhem out as if they all were 
friends ; this had the effe# propofed, and brought out a 
Mr. Pikej with his wife and child i the man they retained 
as a prifoner, but the woman and child they fpared, for the 
fake of gratifying a humour of painting them in the Indian 
juanner, which they performed, and then fent them home. 

I may here obferve, that I don't remember to have heard 
an iuftance of thefe lavages offering to violate the chaftity 
of any of the fair fex who have fallen into tneir hands ; this 
is principally owing to a natural inappetancy in their ccrfti- 
fitions ; which circumfta nee, were it otheiwife, and were, 
they equally nefarious in this, as in their other violation of 
the laws of nature and humanity, it would render their de- 
predations, if poiftble, much more demoniack than they are* 
This is an inftance, among numberlefs, which an obferving 

( s ) 

mind may perceive, where the wife Creator of all. in his 
alignments of paflions, powers and properties, ha* balan- 
ced and foiled thofe matters in a imnner worthy of himfelf. 
The favages beins; now in pofrfuon of rive prifoners, vi •. 
Meflrs. Pence, Van Campen, Pike, joung Van dampen, i? 
years of age, and Jonah Rogers, 13 years old, together with 
a number of blankets, and a quantity of fugai and Indian 
meal, wbieh they had plundered in the fugar-huts, which 
was all the provinon they bad, they, without delay, thaped 
their courfe for Niagara They ufually marched about 15 
miles in a day. The lad Jonah ,after being joined bytheother 
prifoners. recovered his fpirits, and bein? fume what humor- 
ous, rendered himfelf a great favorite of the favages. The 
prifoners were mifer ably fcanted in ther allowance of pro- 
vifions, but Jonah grew bold and familiar, and had the ad^ 
drefstoget aimuch as he pleafed of any thing that the fi- 
vages had ; fome of which he ufually imparted fecretly to 
his fellow prifoners, who were half ttarved, and obliged to 
ftagger along with ail the baggage of the whole party, which 
was very heavy ♦, and what rendered their duty doubly bur- 
thenfome, the fnow was up to their knees every ftep they 
hod, and all the chance any of them had for their live?, wss 
from continuing this intolerable route, 300 miles, to Niagara, 
without any relief or refrefhment, excepting the hope of the 
Ravages taking venifon, or other game by the way 5 and to 
render their condition completely defperate, the indians, 
whofe (ay age tempers cannot be fufficientiy gorged, Amply* 
by the blood cf their ci£tims, but are greatly delightea in 
frequently reminding them of their approaching tortures, im- 
politicly informed the prifoners that they were to be kept 
alive for the purpofe of carrying the baggage, u.til they 
had marched well toward Niagara, and then they fhould fee* 
the tomahawk, and their fcilps, not themfelves, be carried 
into Niagara j which fentence, it was expected, would be 
put into execution, at leait on fome of them, efpeciully on 
Mr. Pike, of whom they were apprehenfue, on account of 
his having been a continental foldier. 

In thefe defperate circumitances, it i* erty to conceive, that 
people would be led to meditate, if pofiible, fome way of ef- 
cape ; to fave themfelves by flight, was impracticable as the* 
lavages were fleeter than themfches.^iii would purfue »■ rh 

( 6) 

fire arms, with fatal efTe& on the fugitive* j the only chance 
was to r.fe by night, did r in and attack the favages : but if 
weconfijer that the prifoners had their hands carefully fe- 
cured behind them both night and day, and carefully depri- 
ved of any utentil that might be ufed to feperate their li- 
gatures ; and that the enemy were a&iveand watchful, and 
more than double in number to thofe who were able to aiHil 
in fuch anenterprize j and that the crueleft death that fa- 
vages could infti£t, would be pra£Hced on them, in cafe their 
plot mould be difcovered, or fnifcarry ; I fay, if we confider 
thefe things, we may form fome idea of the bravery, or ra- 
ther defperation which infpired fuch an attempt. Some one 
of them firit oroje&ed the enterprize, and when they had , 
opportunity of conference on the march, the propofal wat 
made to the reft, who all concurred on the firft motion, with* 
out the leaft reluctance or helitation in any one of them j.and 
on the next Friday after they be^an their march, they refoi- 
ved to put the planinto execution the enfuing night. They 
faithfully promife eich other by all the ties of honour and 
common calamity, to ftand by each other, and abide the com- 
bat, if fate fo leqaired, even to the fpendin^ their laft dropt 
of blood. Their pbn exprefaly agreed on, was as follows : 
e/.ch one was to watch his opportunity, if polfible, to poifefg 
feimfeif of fome inftrument, wherewith to feparate the cords 
which tied his hinds behind him, and if any one mould be 
fo fortunate as to fecure an inflrument, he was. at night, 
when the indians were well aflsep, to cut himfelf loofe, and 
then liberate the others himfelf, or reach the inftrunaent 
to his neareft fellow, as he ihould judge fafert, and fo to be 
handed, ifpomble, until all were loofe; this done, each 
one was, with the titmott addreft, dexterity and ftillref«, to 
fecure fuch arms and ammunition, as were moft contiguous 
to him, and nimbly repair therewith to a certain fpot of 
rendezvous, about two rods diftant from where they couched 
by the fide of a fire ; when, if leifure mould permit, they 1 
werefuther to confolton the particular mode of attack, and 
to to each man his duty, or in whatever ftage of the 
plot after they were loofe, the favages might take the alarm, 
each man was to catch fome weapon, and without giving the 
favages a moment's time to recover from their confternationj 
weie to attack them with all fury, and at once put the mat- 


fer to a final ifTue. But when night came on, no ore had 
been able to fecure any kind of tool, wherewith to cut him- 
felf loofe 5 they however, when the fa rages were a fleep, 
ftruggled and ftrove to get their hands at liberty, but all 
in vain. The night palled without effecting any thing, and 
happily without exciting theleaft fufpicion. 

On Saturday it was agreed at all events to bring matters 
to a crifis the enfuing night ; they all as one declared (hey 
would march no farther toward Niagara. By Saturday night 
they had marched 75 miles ; their lodging was as follows j 
after erettlng a fire, they fpread down their blankets, of 
which they now had fuch a plenty as to afford them a com- 
fortable bed and covering. One circumftance worthy of 
notice in this place is, that the favages were fo infefted with 
lice, that they could not fleep qiietly with their cloathson, 
and this being a cold night, they ftript ofTeven their fhirts, 
and expofed them on fome bufhes to freeze, in order to thin 
the lice ; whence it happened, that when they turned out in 
the alarm at midnight, they were Mark naked. • Pike had 
obferved that theindian whom he was taught to call hie 
*^tter, when he went to fleep, laid his knife^ under his body, 
which he pofleiTed himfelfof by the following art: pretending 
a great fondnefs for hisfaid mafter, he begged the favour of 
fleeping at night by his fide, and had the dexterity when the 
Indians were afleep, to exfracl the knife unperceived where- 
with he foon cut himfelf loofe. Mr. Pence lik ewife being al- 
lowed a knife at fupper time, inftead of returning it, drop'd 
and covered it in a certain place by the couch ; and when the 
Indians demanded his knife, he pretended that it had been 
furrendered up, and fo it patted over ; and when the favage* 
were gfleep, he refumed his knife, and cut himfelf loofe ; and 
by means of thefe two knives, all the prifoners were foon at 
liberty, excepting Jonah, whcm it was thought beft not to 
awake ; everyone, as foon as poflible, got 'hold of fome 
kind of weapon, expecting every moment the fa rages would 
be upon their legs, give the yell of war, and ccmrrence .1 
violent attack, with the inequality of 10 to 4 ; but frill they 
lept. One grand objetl w;.s fecuring the fire arms: thoie 
were all fet againft a tree at the head of the couch, and were 
presently removed to a place appointed, about two rods d'd- 
tant, by the fide of a tree, Some ammunition they likewise. 


( 8 ) 

fecured. with which they even had leifure to prime fheif 
pieces, which the indians, previous to their lying down, had 
cautioufly unprimeJ. Thus in the fpace of a few lucky mo- 
ments, thefe four men, with the moft cautious dexterity, de* 
prived 10 favages, not only of their firearms, but nearly of 
all their tomahawks, removed them to the fpot afligned, and 
after a hafty, but very wife and prudent confutation, it was 
rcfohed that two men fhould ftand by the guns, and fire 
upon the favages as they arofe up, and during the conflict ; 
the other two men took each a tomahawk, and with undaunt- 
ed bravery, advanced to the couch where the 10 intlianslay, 
In order to commence the attack, one on each fide ofths 
couch \ they uncovered the indians heads, and with an uner- 
ring blow, each ftruck his tomahawk into the brains of art 
indian, killing both in an inftant ; the other 8 indians fcirang 
up the fame moment, and at once perceived that their arms 
were not only taken from them, but fatally turned againft 
themfelves, and moved by that cowardly qualm which natu- 
jally rifesin bofoms that delight in cruelty, they fcampered 
off as quick as they arofe, without giving the two men time 
to give a fecond ^low. The two men who ftood by the gun* j , 
faluted the indians-as they a^rofe, and purfued them as they 
hed with the fame falutaticn, as far as their naked precipita-^ 
tion would permit \ they forely wounded fome, which ap* 
pea red from a profufion of blood which they fprinkled on the 
fnow as they fled : the fnow at this time had a hard cruft, yet 
not fo ftrong but that.they broke through almoft every aep j 
thithad a fad opperation on their naked fhins, which their 
prefent trouble and hafte weuld not permit them to take any 
care of : fome fmall defence for their legs in this race would 
have afforded them no fmall comfort, as they were obhged 
to abandon them to the cruft, which mangled them moft p^ 
tifully. which appeared the next morning by numberleis frag- 
ments of rlelb and foin, which they left by their tracks, many 
of which were a« big as dollars. Jonah being afteep with 
the indians, ft a r ted in furprize and confufion, and run oil 
with them a few rods, but recollecting the plan to w™^ 
had been privy, he leaped back to the company; Pike huv 
mourouily gave him a cuff oh the ear, faying, what you rataaij 
you wis going to run off with the indians ? They were 
all captured with their deliverance and vi&ory, which wat 
\ every 


ivery way com- lent, equal or even fuperior to the utmoft 
flret°h of their f :r»cy and fond wilhes. Their jov was mix* 
ed with a'*onifbment at fo rare and iurprizing an event} 
whxh fo dizzied tUeir imaginations, that the) could fcarcely 
be!»eve ai d realize f fts. lb ^-ported by the mllant teltimonyr 
of all their fenfe3. How great and fudden was their chanwe 
of circumMancea ! From the feierei* fuf'erings, and the raofl 
ill boding a, prehenfions i f extremeft woe under favage cap- 
tivity, by a bold and manly execution of a wife concerted 
plan. they, in the fp*ce of a few minutes, vanqi'ifhed the 
whole party of lavages, fo fuperior in nnmber thit they 
deemed it reed left to keep a guard ; polfels d themfelves of 
their efteOs, and completely regained their liberty. 

It was pr itficed in antient times, even by heathen writers* 
in cafes of fignal deliverance, to afcribe 'he efficiency thereof 
to the power of Deity ; and it would be unpardonable in an 
American^ at a day ofilich ftriking itianifeftations of divine 
pauonage, not to afcribe to the aiifpicious providence of 
Deity, not only the more general and important fpecimen* 
of aid, but every fubordrcate inftance, and in fpecial (he 
prefent. Who can conceive, that men without fpecial alfift- 
ance, could a rife in the night ; in fuch an attempt a^aintt 
fuch fuperior numbers ofmdinns, who are alert and vigi- 
lant, and ever jealous in the extreme, ciit themfelves loofei 
fecure ihe arms and perform all the neceifary tranfa£tions» 
moving about on the fnow, crumping around the : r ears, with~ 
but a routing thefe infernal dogs ; and then, tti t they uSoull 
lnftantly vamquiih them, without a conflict, when 'hey could 
but know, that naked anddeftitute. they mud inevitably a -id 
miserably freeze and ftarve, fhort of reaching any relief which 
pro ed in fa£t to be their awful fate, their giulty ronfcie,* cei 
lufficiently remonftratin^ againft turning about afid 
ting to the mercy of their vi£ors. They piob-bly fei their 
faces toward Niagara, 230 miles diftanr. without arms, or a 
fcrap of cloathing or food, and hve never beet) heard of 
iince, which occafic ed great mournings at Niagara, as fome 
prifoners inform. It is probable that the operation of fa- 
mine and froft, landed thofe wrexhes, one aftei another, ori 
a bed of fnow, where they left the world, literallv as na- ed 
as they cine into it. Their horrid fa?e had ii fallen to the 
ihare even of wild beafts, oujht to have move 1 companion iri 
fc?ery huaaaH« bieaft ; but when we. confider how richly 
& B tbo£s 

( io ) 

thofe irionfters mfrrited (Heir fate by the moft improVokea* 
r;eediefi,and voluntary hoftilrties, profecuted With the mt'il 
wanton ftretches of inhumanity and guilt, it moderates the 
pang of fympathy, and conftrains the minds of the compsf- 
fionate, in fome rrjeafnre, to acqtrefce in the providential 
exercifeof thofe punitrimenti, wlych humane nature couLi 
riot bare to infii& ort the moft accummuhted guiir. 

Our people fpent the remaining part of the night very 
agreeably by the fire fide, without any fe^i of the vanquifhec! 
favages* The booty which the indians left, was more than 
they could bring home, vhich determined them to make a 
raft of timber on the Sufquehannah. in order to transport 
themfelves, with their effects down the river j but this unw 
luckily run aground, by which means they loft all their 
yrovifions and booty, excepting their fire aims, with * h ch 
they trade the beft of their way home, having 75 miles to 
Ineafure back, without any provisions but what they could 
catch by the way* They travelled until Monday, when they 
killed a raccoon, and on Tuefiay found the carcafe of a 
dear, lately kill'd i with which refreshment* they reached 
the Certlemenfs on Thurfday. At their unex etted return, 
with the account of their br l!"ant exploits, as we may well 
ju'fee, they were heartily congratulated^ 

Having faid thus much of the ten favages, t proceed to a 
tale of the fix. Thefe made their appearance on Monday the 
lfth of March, near a place called Kingfton, within the li- 
mits of WeHmcrelandf where they foon kidnapped Thomai 
Bennit, witk his fon, 12 years old, and a Mr. H2fnu;ond, and 
without delay, fet out for Niagara. The treatment they r*e»- 
ceived from the favages- was rough and menacing, efpeci- 
ally Bennet, with whom they had long be^ri acquainted, and 
afwhofe houfe they had been entertained ; fueh is the per- 
Sdioifsnattxreof thefe wretches, like the immortal Arnold, 
and his brethren, that hoftihtiea, and inhumanity exercifed 
•n an old acquaintance, efieeially a friendly one, but ferveai 
more highly to feafon their taiie for inhumanity and lavage 
friumph. Inthort, as to fifuation and profpecls, theTe peo« 
pie were fimilar to thofe who were prifoners to 1 he other 
paity of iniians, w hie If I need not repeat; they were re- 
duced to the fame defperatc alternative, which naturally in 
thefe brave men, produced a fi mular refolirion. On Tuef- 
tfay ikey agreed to attack, the Ax i-ndians the eiifuihg night, 


( " ) 

with the inequality of two to ilx, they placing no dependence 
on the hoy. They were toendeivour, in couching down a- 
nigh*", to p'ace themfelves a9 favourably 38 they could, and 
to take the beft observation, an to where the indians placed 
their weapon?, when they went to jleep, and by all mean*, 
each was to pofTeft himfelf of a tomahawk, and watching each 
the other's motion, Bennit was to gi^e the fignal, when both 
were to arife in an inftant, and addrefs themfeke* to the In- 
dians with their tomahawks, in the true fa vage tafte. They 
had the addrefs to prepare, and provide rhemfelve* a* wa> 
propofed, and juftas they were about to fix their choice on a 
f>rai moment, to arife in the defperare attempt, it fo happen* 
ed that one of the indians began to Kir, and lift up his head* 
and presently raifed up his body* and fat by the fire fide, 
putting the fuel in order : Eennit iletermining fHll to purfue 
the plan, and not let it die thus in embryo, be.^an to ftretch 
himfelf as if juft awakeJ from Deep, and entered into fomc 
fmall conversion with the indian, in order to arnufe him ; 
he prefently arofe, and ftood on his fees turning himfelf by 
the fire, and watching a favourable moment to put into exe- 
cution the daring plan, which greatly fwelj'd ani heaved in 
their anxious bofoms. Hammond lay as if afleep. tho* ready, 
and waiting; the fignal to fpring and feco.nd the blow of hi* 
fellow. Bennit began leifijrely to r^new hi# requeit for lir 
berty to return home : promifi ng, that if he might go home, he 
would fivp.'y them in a friendly manner wi-h proviiiong, 
whenever they ihould apply * at this the indian turned up his 
face, pointing npward with his finder, and in token of con- 
tempt, cries out with indian accent, pee; at this i nil ant, 
Bennit took his tomahawk, and wuh a viojent blow buried it 
in the brains of the indian ; Hammond fprang at the fame 
time, and with a lucky blow killed another ; the other four 
indiars immediately a rote, and turn'd to run, when Ham- 
mond, by a fecond blowi wounded a third deeply between 
his moulders ; Bennit's weapon was fo fattened in the indi- 
an's Ikull, that he cqmH npt extract if for a facond blow but 
catched up a long indian fpear which was at hand , and bef zr. 
they were out of reach, he pufhed it quite through fhe»runk 
of a fourth indian's body, who ran cif with the fame in his 
body, as did likewife he that receive J a wciind from Ham- 
mond, with the two found indians, never prefuming to con- 
flsnd \ though had they dared to face the aKailants, and put 



the matter to the iflue of bodily ftrength, they might hare 
had moie than an equal chance 5 but properties of fuch op- 
pofite natures as braveryand cruelty, cannot exift in the feuio 
pjreaft. Our people from being prifoners tofavages. fiiddeh? 
]y became prifoners of rapture and amazement, at fuch an 
extraordinary deliverance, and vi£tqry. They fecure ! he 
armband without deliy returned home tc their ap;l tiding 
friends, ft appears by fome after difcoveries, that the Indi- 
ans fkulVed about in the dark, until they perceived that our 
people had left the ground, when rheycameto the place, and 
picked up fome provilions and clqafhing, hid heir de^' ? be- 
tween fome logs, in which point the india ns are very a fii Ul- 
cus, and marched for Niagara The two lavages who efi 
eaped unhurt af this time, were all th at reaoheJ ^i gara, 
out of i6j to report the forrowfui fate to their (name efs em-: 

To this narrative, it may not be wholly impertinent tofub- 
join a few hims concerning the religion, government, cuf- 
toins and manners of the aborigines of this country. 

As to religon, thefe aborigines, though they are perhaps 
the moft rude and illiterate of all the humane race, >efe 
the principles of natural religion are not wholly extingnimed 
in them ; and indeed, tho } fome authors have arrmfrd the 
world with tales of whole nations of atheifts, more abfurd to. 
2 man of thought, than the idea of na'ions of ideots and pig- 
mies ; yet I appeal to the common fenfe of mankind, whe- 
ther the grard 'ending ideas of an all-wife, ajl-ruiing Beings 
thedeathlf' nature of mind, and a future reckoning would' 
not naturally 2rife in ;he mind of e< ery thinking man, with 
an irrefiftabie conclufion, tho* he were diverted ofa31 the par- 
tialities of education. Thefe animals, though they trample 
on the rights of humanity, and the diOates of nature, yet 
feem to have f me confufed ideas of thefe leading points, as 
J have teen informed. They addrefa the Supreme Bejng un- 
der the title of the Great Man, and frequently pronounce 
mandates, prefages and oracles, which they pretend to re- 
ceive from him, on many occafions, and more efpecially at 
their powows, a kind of beaitly raafquerade or frolic. There 
is a notion prevails among them, that when one is fhin in 
battle, if the enemy get his body, he will fare worfe for it 
?ifter his de^efe, and for this reafon they will hazard their 
Jive* $0$$ io bring oil the bodies of the fl^in, than in almoin 


( IjS ) 

any other attempt-- A rotable inftance of this kind, we had a few 
years paii, in an aOion at Weftmoreland : it is afferte !, by all 
converfar.t among the indians. that at their funeral* jhey prac- 
tice burying bottle* of rum tomahawks, and fuch things as the 
dece^fed were moft fond of, with them in their graves. Such 
rude cuftrms, confonant to the ignorance of fivages, difcovers 
an auent to thofe natural principles of leligion. Thofe who be- 
lieve there is a God, and after a natural death, that the> ihall 
furvive in his prefence and dominion, rannot fupprefs the idea of 
retribution. Ii is fa : d that among thefe favages when one com- 
mits any abomnable crimes, which are (hocking in their v'ew, 
they treat him with abhorrence, and fuppofe that the vengeance 
pf heaven will furely overtake him* 

Thefe people are as wholly deftitufp of any kind of govern- 
ment, as any of the human fpecies cnn be. There is no kind of 
animals whkh herd together, but have feme kind of govern- 
ment ; among cattle, rank is determined by bodily ftrength and 
activity ; each one knows hisfuperiqra ?n 1 inferiors , and when 
a Granger is added to the flock, the firft bufjnefs is to determine 
rank which is ordinarily done without murh firing : this 
falutary regulation, fuited to their natures produces general 
tranquility. Geefe that pnfs and repafa our c r u^try,fprng and 
*autumn, for change of clmate, flying |ri regular v edges w th a 
certain ot e a* head to direct their way, have a kind of inftincl- 
ive policy in aligning the time and place of rendezvous, a*d ap- 
pointing an expert leader; fo thefe fa v a re?, when they hear the 
din of war., if there are white people inhumane enough to en- 
courage them toijuilk, fun rize, kill and captivate the unwary 
ot defencelefs which are their only exploit?, they repair to their 
f'andard, and appointor acknowledge certain leaders, whom they 
obey only in proportion to their naturil talents, to awe, influ- 
ence and command ihem. : thefe are what they commonly (tile 
head warriors i« befides which, efpecially in Jrrrcs of peace^ 
there are thofe whom they fiile great men ; and rf one of thefe 
becomes eminent above the reft, and fo continue for a number cf 
years, perhaps he obtains the title of fachem. Thefe great men 
are fuch to whom nature ha^ b^en fo me what more liberal in the 
beftowment of fenfe and nability, who have diHinguifhed them- 
(elves on divers occ^fionsi, or have a commanding addrefs and 
deportment ; by fuch means they of courfe obtain what I would 
call a natural authority; this kind of authority obvio idly obtain* 
among all mankind, by an irrefutable law oi nature : confpi* 


( 14 ) 

sxeelieRce commands obfcquious deference. I am well infor* 
med thefe great men have co .fiderable .we over the re«t, who 
pay a very confideraMe deference to their opinion and advice 
when they are under their infpetlion, and free from ftrong drink 
and paflions, 

But Ieaft we fliould form too refj enable an idea of thefe 
great men. we may confider that they are drunk as often as 
they have cider, mm. or other fpirits, and are frequently gorlry 
of as grofs enormities as the reft. Thefe are the moft confiftent 
ideas I can form from the fmall information I havehadyand he 
few observations I have mnde concerning rulers and authority 
among the indians, though I am willing to fubmit to the opinion 
of any w&o may be otherwife and better informed, I th ; nk I 
hue reprefented them with as much dignity in thefe mtters, 
a* the fpecimena of their government will pofli b !y fjp>x> ft. It 
it univerfally acknowledged that there i$ no authority among 
them that pretends to inrM any kind of punilhme. t on thofe who 
commit any kind of crimes : if this be fo, it is furBcie t to my 
purpofe, and without any comment, proves the eflentiais of Go- 
vernment and authority to be wholly warning. Murder is no 
very uncommon crime am -ing them » they frequently eorge 
their unhallowed palfions by mauling ani Rabin 3 the object of 
them to death ; and herein the fear of punifhment does not 
much excite the caution^ of doing it by night, or in a fotitary 
place, but whenever their paffions and malice impels ; the per- 
petrator expe&s perhaps to be called by fome an ugly fellow for 
a whtle> but is apprehenfive of no puoifamerit, unlefs fome rela- 
tive or friend of the (lain has bravery enough to avenge his 
death*, I was fome years pail at an indian fettlement, and fiw a 
Tecent'grave where a murdered indian had a few days before 
heen buried j the murderer was about among the others, and 
though this was in the chief town of that tribe or nation, yet nq 
other notice was taken of the matter, than that the more lteudy 
people viewed the murderer as a wrench, whom the vengeance 
of heaven would fome time overtake. If no avenger a rofe in 
that cafe, as I doubt whether any did, I conclude the odium de-> 
clined with time, adding one to their numberjefs ftigmas of na- 
tional guilt. It ia common for a relative or friend in fuch a 
cafe, to avenge the murder and fometimes the avenger meets the 
vengeance of a third, and fo on until feveralfiil. I fubmit to 
common fenfe the idea of a fovercign or fachem f rending over 
fuch a tribe. 


Theft and robbery among therp sre ven'al crimes, which tf 
ders their fin 11 property very precarious, and difcour ages the 
ncq^ifition of more, were they difptfe ' to It. 

As to mairiage> it is attended with fome fma 11 ceremony a- 
inoig them; but an indian whenever he pleafes, turns orTone 
Wife and ta es" another : it is a little extraordinary for a roaH 
ihd woman to live together during life. It is faid that if their 
wives happen to be too familiar with another indian, the husband 
is -pt enough to refent it, but not fo if with a white debauchee. 

There i* in the v ; cinity of fome, if not all indian town*, & 
hoiife conftrufiej, c -lied the wnman houfe, to which their wo- 
men periodic illy refort \ to this the males never prefume to ap- 
proach, but if their bufinefs c*lls thtm that way, they ibun it by 
a circuito-ts w.«.lk j if the mnles have occaficn to carry them any 
neceffaries, they leave th* fame at a certain diftance, where, 
when they are gone, the women ^o and fet~h it ; this cuftom 
refembles one obferved by the ancient Jews. The manner of 
burying their de»d, is tofeit the body on the furface of the 
earth, with the trunk ere£h and placing in his arms fuch thin** 
as ufed to delight him in his life, and which they fuppofe will 
b* ufefnl to him i"> future they co^er him with a pile of earth « 
Ihefs ; iles a«e f metimes rl tteo" down by fome means or othei, 
and leave ihe bones and funeal treafure abo\e groun !# 

The indisms ar euniverf ally intern pe *te in drinking \ both 
males and females never fail of intoxicating themfehes when* 
ever they have the means. They are a aoH lazy, indolent ge~ 
aeration, efj-ecially the mates, who by their greater then ith, 
and total want of delicacy oblige the fquaws to perform all 'he 
mo laborious an 4 fati-iirg employments ; thefe, ufe ha* 
taught to carry the molt : ere, ible burthens, when they trr.vei 
to and fro, and on all occafions, while the mMes walk in their 
*jomp.<ny without offering to p'*tti>' : e ofth'- burthen. 

A gentleman, of veracity who ha.H retried confirlerabry among 
theuj informe-l me, that he : c er obferved any of the males to 
attempt any domeftic labour, but at one particular time, when 
the fqunws were much involved in bufinefs, the) propofed an 
entertainment, and invited the men to alTemble 3nd hoe a field 
of corn for them, which they accordingly did, atid then parcook, 
of the repait which the fquaws had provided, which was a pig 
•ooked win fome indian corn and beans,, the ftelh was ca:;ccl 
into as mm parts as there wcreguetts, of which my informant 
vy fpeciai imitation wa s »ae, each was prefer h his Ihar^ 


( *5 ) 

©k fleli fixed on a ftiarpened ftick, and were told if any chafe 1<J 
refrefh themfelves with the fauce, and carry the rleftv home, 
they were at liberty fo to doj ace rdingly fome eat their allow- 
ance on the fpof, and o: hers bore theirs home. 

The indians by way of ornament, pafs a knife quite around 
the circumference of their ears, Separating an annular liece of 
cartilage, near half a ninth in width, which they curioufly wind 
With wampum, but this is preferiH^ broken by foaie accident in 
their fylvan walks, and the ftr ps are left | eiiduloiis. They like- 
wife paint one half of their (aces with a deep red, which gives 
them a very frightful appearance. What little cloaihin^ they 
wear, is made either of the ikina of wild beafts 3 of. fame co.jrfe 
cloth when they can get it. The women Wear a kind of petti- 
coat reaching precisely to their knees, and the men fomething of 
fmall widih fattened about their loins, and both fexes a blanket, 
which is their chief garment, thrown over the whole \ if they 
happen t;> get a linen mirt, it is full mounted with ruffles of the 
fame.ieldoin fattened at the collar or wriftbands, and never put 
art for warning, until it is worn to rags. 

f I N I 


'6 )- *7o '. 


73 i \ /.J/> 



Deacidified using the Bookkeeper process 
Neutralizing agent: Magnesium Oxide 
Treatment Date: Dec. 2003 



1 1 1 Thomson Park Dnve 
Cranberry Township. PA 1 6066 

'^rp- ^ 


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