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We are well pleased, in publishing, to perpetuate in these pages, events such as are recorded in the paper from a new but welcome correspondent, entitled, “Captain Samuel Brady and Cornplanter, a Legend of the Alleghany River :'
Many of the wild legends of border strife and Indian barbarity that have been enacted along the shores of the Alleghany and Ohio, have never been rescued from the dim and fading remembrances of a past age. But occasionally a story of thrilling interest is snatched from the lingering records of the red man.
The story I am about to relate, I received from an old Indian pilot of the Alleghany. It was many years ago, when that stern old chief, CORNPLANTER, (whose remains now repose in silence and loneliness on the banks of that beauteous river he loved so well,) was in his glory. Ilis tribe roamed over the dense and unbroken forests along its banks, fearless, unmolested, and free.
His people were hostile to the whites, and never lost any opportunity to lie in ambush and seize the lonely voyager as he descended the river, and consign him to the stake and the torture. But the watchful, shrewd, and deadly foe of CoryPLANTER and the whole tawny race' was the indomitable and fearless Captain SAMUEL BRADY. This veteran pioneer and Indian hunter was one of those noble specimens of the hardy foresters who plunged fearlessly into the interminable forests that then overspread so large a portion of the Western States.
Like DANIEL Boon, LEWIS WETZEL, SIMON KENTON, and others, who made Indian hunting a pastime, his deadly hate of the Indian, and his burning passion for hunting them down, amounted to a monomania. This hatred was in consequence of the wrongs they had inflicted upon his family — his father, Captain JOHN BRADY, and his brother having fallen victims to the tomahawk and scalpingknife.
"The scene of the present story is at a place known to boatmen and raftmen as BRADY'S Bend,' and where now the noise and bustle of a new manufacturing town called the “Great Western' resounds along the shores, that then echoed only to the whoop of the savage, or the panther's scream.
'It is a bend in the river of nine miles in length, and is sometimes called the 'Nine-Mile Bend,' and is scarcely half a mile across the neck. Here in this bend CORNPLANTER, returned from some successful inroad upon the whites, had secured several prisoners, by tying them to as many trees, while his swarthy and hideously-painted followers were busy in making preparations for the faggot and the torture.
The stake was erected and the faggots prepared with all the coolness and refinement of Indian barbarity. It was a beautiful evening; the sun was just sinking behind the lofty hill upon the opposite shore. Calmness had thrown its oily wand upon the Alleghany's crystal tide, and it slept. The full, round moon, just bursting through the tree-tops behind them, sailed calmly through the distant blue, and cast its mellow beams upon the sleeping river, and danced upon its placid bosom.
"The melancholy note of the whip-poor-will from the adjoining thicket, fell sweetly upon the ear. The victims were unbound and led forth to the place of torture. At this moment, a voice, high up among the frowning rocks that loomed out from the thick hemlocks that crowned the hill opposite, hailed CORNPLANTER in the Indian tongue, informing him that he was an Indian warrior, just returned from the war-path with a goodly number of prisoners.'
Ho desired that the ceremonies of the torture might be suspended until he could ford the river and join them, when they would celebrate the occasion with unusual demonstrations of savage rejoicings. To this CORNPLANTER consented. The flames that had been kindled were extinguished, and the prisoners again bound to the trees.
'In the mean time, BRADY, for it was he who had deceived the wily Indian, with a body of men moved silently up the river to a place known as “TRUBY'S Ripple,' and there fording the river, drew his men up across the neck of the bend, and moved noiselessly down upon the savages. So cautious was his approach that the Indians were completely cut off from retreat before they became alarmed.
'BRADY's men hemmed them in from behind, while the Alleghany rolled in front. The first intimation to the savages of his approach was communicated by a deadly discharge from his unerring rifles. The Indians fought with desperation, but were overpowered; all were killed or taken prisoners save the chief, CORNPLANTER, who, on finding himself alone, plunged into the river, and swam for the other shore.
* Being a good swimmer, he remained several minutes under water, but as he rose for breath, he was greeted with a shower of bullets. In this way, alternately swimming under water as long as he could hold his breath, and then rising to the surface, he escaped unhurt, and reaching the other shore in safety, secreted himself behind a large standing rock.
* The prisoners were of course unbound, and all joined in the jollification and joy at the timely and unlooked-for release. The rock that shielded CORNPLANTER from BRADY's bullets was pointed out to me by the old Indian, in a recent trip down this river. It is known as "CORNPLANTER's Rock.' This old Indian gave me the story with a sad and dejected countenance, in broken English,
'Alas! how changed the scene! Where then the sheeny tide of the beauteous Alleghany parted only to the swift-skimming birchen canoe, and echoed to the wild voices that came out of the dense, dark forest, now is heard the shrill whistle of the steam-pipe, and the rushing of the mighty steamer. Where the tawny savage then reclined upon the shady banks, from his pursuit of the deer, the panther, and the bear, or rested from the war-path, is now the scene of life and activity.
* The tall old forest has receded from before the advance of civilization, and given place to farms, beautiful villas, and bustling towns. The Indian too has passed away; but a few, and they but miserable decaying relics of what they once were, are now occasionally seen, the descendants of the proud race that once could call these hills, and groves, and rivers all their own. Alas! in the language of the poet:
"CMEFTAINS and their tribes have perished,
Like the thickets where they grew.''
Passing away!- passing away!'... Our neighbor, Colonel S- , tells a capital story of a certain wag in Erie, (Penn.,) a jolly publican, who contributes a good deal to the life of that pleasant but sometimes very obstinate borough. One morning, a travelling phrenologist arrived at his inn, and took lodgings. The next day in the village paper appeared an advertisement, stating that Professor B - had arrived in Erie, and would make, 'for a consideration,' examination of the heads of the citizens, and accom
pany the same with accurate, reliable charts of character. For three or four days the calls were sparse; but on the fifth day, there was a rush of five or six to the apartments of the Professor. One morning, a countryman entered the inn where the phrenologist had his rooms, and said to our landlord aforesaid: 'Is this the place where the phrenologist 'holds out,' who can tell a man's ka-racter by the bumps onto his skull?' 'Yes,' answered BONIFACE, with a reserved and dignified manner. "Wal, I want my potatotrap looked into a little. Where is the man?' 'I am the man,' said the landlord. “Oh! — you be, eh? Wal, put in : feel o' my lumps, and gin us a map. What 's the swindle?' • There is no swindle, Sir: phrenology is a science, Sir — a liberal science.' 'Oh! yes — ’xpect so; but what 's the price for feelin' a feller's head?' "One dollar, with a chart.' Wal, go it: what do I du? - lie down, or sit up? Does it hurt?' 'Not in the least, Sir: take your seat in that chair. There were four or five morning-loungers in the tavern, who checked a laugh, as the countryman took his seat, having first, as requested, removed his coat, vest, and neck-cloth. The wag of a landlord ran his hands through the hair of the patient' for a moment, and then said to his bar-tender: Mr. FLIPKINS, take a sheet of paper, draw four lines down its whole length, and put down my figures under the heads I mention to you.' It was done. “Have you got it?' 'Yes : all right.'
Very well:' and the landlord went on with his examination, which was rougher, perhaps, than there was any necessity for: “Put down Philo-progenitiveness sixty.' Down, Sir.' Very well: Reverence, two.' •Booked, Sir.' 'Combativeness, two hundred !' “What's that?' said the victim.
No matter, Sir: you 'll see it on the chart. Caution, one : Credulity, four hundred!' •What's that last lump?' asked the patient. “Never mind, now: you 'll understand it by-and-by. And now, (to the bar-keeper) Mr. FLIPKINS, you've put these in separate columns, as usual ?' 'Yes, Sir.' *Very well: add 'em up!' 'Add 'em u-u-p-p!!' exclaimed the phrenological subject :' “is that the way you do?' 'Of C-O-U-f-8-e! How else could we get your balance of mind — of intellect?' 'Wal, go ahead!' “How does it DABOLL, Mr. FLIPKINS ?' The three columns are equal -- they foot up precisely the same!' The landlord looked solemnly and sympathisingly toward his subject : 'It is very strange,' said he, “but it is 80. Phrenology never lies. You have no predominant character, Sir: you have no intellectual status : you do n't know any thing, Sir. Excuse me, Sir; but I must state the truth, whether you take a chart or not : but, Sir, if there is any truth in phrenology, you are a d-d fool! Under the circumstances, Sir, I can scarcely expect you to desire to keep the chart which you have contracted for: that is a matter of small consequence, as it will be a valuable illustration of a unique species, which I can use in my lectures hereafter. I authenticate all my lectures, Sir, with real name and residence. The charge of deception, in science, is one which was never brought against me, Sir, and never will be, Sir — never!' 'Oh! never mind; give us the map,' said the subject; "here's the swindle, for it is a swindle; but I'd rather pay it than to have you goin' round the country makin' a fool of me everywhere else, as you have here — you blasted philoprogenitive humbug, you!' With this explosion, the subject retired. ... The subjoined correspondence speaks for itself. The reader will perceive how impossible it is for PEPPER to be any thing but ‘himself alone. Even his unstudied prose, thrown off as it were
at a heat,' is scarcely inferior to his immortal poetry. The letter which ensues was written at one sitting, with his left arm into a slyng:
Dayton, Ohio, May 5th, 1855. * MR. 'K. N. PEPPER ': DEAR SIR: Relying upon the generosity of one whom it has not been my good fortune to see, I have taken the liberty to write you. If you cannot pardon my presumption, Sir, please be so kind as to let me down as easily as may be consistent with your sense of insulted dignity.
'I have seen, read, and laughed at your inimitable ‘Pomes' in the KNICKERBOCKER, and more than that, I came near killing myself from over-exertion in laughing at the oddities and originalities of your last greatest work, Weelbarer.' The fact of my having suffered in the cause, must bear strongly in my favor. But to the object of my letter.
'I judge from the preface to ' Weelbarer,' as well as from the fact that none of your genius is exhibited in the pages of the last number of the KNICKERBOCKER, that you intend discontinuing your efforts. Now do please be so kind as to write a few more of those pomes' before you ‘di.' I am but a young jour. printer, and do n't pretend to be an individual of much importance; or at least, if I am intended for a great man, the discovery has not yet become general; yet in spite of all this, I may venture to advance an opinion, and my opinion in regard to this matter is, that such productions as yours will run some time yet. Try it any how, just to oblige me: for who knows what the result may be ?
There are several upstarts, who, without the genius to invent a style, have been copying yours, and trying to steal your thunder. One of these is a resident of our sister city, Cincinnati. Push them off the track. If it is to be travelled at all, travel it yourself. You can make the best time, decidedly.
'I am almost astonished at myself: here I have been writing two pages of impudence to the immortal . K. N. PEPPER,' (I wonder what in the deuce his real name is ? But that's none of my business, of course.) But you have too much sense to be offended at me for doing it. I won't apologize again.
"The Shanghais are crowing most lustily, and I must get to bed. I am going to church to-morrow. So, PEPPER, good night! Please do n't die, though. "Yours admiringly,
JNO. E. VOUGIIT. "To · K. N. Pepper,' Esq.
North-Demosthenes 4 Corners, May the 15, 55. Mr. JXO C. VOUGIT, esgr: DERE SIR: i reseve a leter frum you datid march the 5 wich i wos Plese with. Mr. CLARK cent it 2 me ware i am staink to mi fren mr. PODDS. you rite a nexilen han, wich compairs faverbly with mine. your langig is good: wot you otto practis onto is stile, wich is rayther hard to git, ADISONS is Terry good onct in a wiles, but not fur a steddy stile. as a ninstans ov wot i caul a pirfic stile, their is the grate genus Mr. JOIN LANDIS, wich perhaps you no. their is troo elekens! and his Genus fur Paint is ekal to POWERS fur sculp. mi fren Pond hes contractid a good stile, wich yung men otto taik notis ov.
'i no that varis riters as hesent got no Genus air pertendin fur to proffisy into mi naim, but thaym poor creeters: wot air thayr felinks wen compaired to a troo Pote? nothink. thay doant fele no Fire or Genus becos thay aint got no fire to fele, wich acouns fur there coolnes. Genus recuirs a man as hes suferd & hes got a felink hart boath of wich is mi cais.
'you will se in the Jewn KNICKERBOCKER that your feres air not realize. i their adres the Moon wile she is absen in a e klips. you will se allso that the chansis wos agin mi livin a grait wile & ov coars ov ritink. but in consekens ov mi dere fren Pond their is no tellink wen the afair wil cum of.
the dr. ses i musent rite oanli a litle to onct wile ime a gittin wel so ile her to stop pirty cuic. you say somethink about mi uther naim wich i dident no as i had. wen i get 1 ile write.
'frum your leter i shood thinc as you must be a fine yung man, i shood be hapy to see you if you cum est. ask Mr. CLARK ware i am: hele alus no.
'n b. ef mi leter is sober thinc how bad i mus fele after goink throo ol i her: frum yours trooly,
K. N. PEPPER.
PEPPER, we learn, is rapidly recovering. ... Our variorum 'friend - Meister Karl' has, in the following, “taken a leaf out of the book' of our departed friend and correspondent, Jonn SANDERSON, author of The American in Paris,' touching whom Mr. Irving once said to us that he “exhibited superfluous wit enough to set up any six modern humorists; 'adding, we remember, that although his papers in the KNICKERBOCKER were never too long, they were sometimes, he thought, a little too broad. We are assuming that the reader remembers the 'AMERICAN's description of the 'home-feeling which came over his mind and his heart upon seeing, on his first arrival in Paris, certain gowns and petticoats in a clothes-closet opening into a passageway to his apartment:
A CLOTHES-LINE in yonder garden
Goes wandering among the trees,
Are kicking the evening breeze;
Whose nature I cannot define,
About on that same old line.
And a very fly young lady
At the parlor-window sews;
You'd find she'd fit into them hose.'
Fore-shortened below ibe breast;
Out yonder, just make up the rest.
So dream-like she seems," so gentle,
You'd think her too good for earth:
Is banishing vulgar mirth
What a flourish that muslin throws,
Those stockings go off at the toes!