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offices, those of governour of his native state, and of vice president of the United States. While he lived, his virtue, wisdom, and valour, were the pride, the ornament and security of his country; and when he died, he left an illustrious example of a well-spent life, worthy of all imitation. This monument is affectionately dedicated by his children.” I have copied the whole of this inscription, because it is concise, neat and appropriate, and because I do not recollect to have seen it noticed. The virtues and services of such a distinguished patriot cannot be too often called to mind, especially by the citizens of a state, to which he was a public benefactor.
Near the grave of George Clinton commences a range of monuments, which extends for some rods towards the south, erected to the memory of members of congress, who died at Washington. These memorials are placed in an exact line, and are of the same height, composed of the same materials, uniform in their structure, and uninterrupted in the series, except by a marble pyramid in honour of Capt. Hugh George Campbell, of SouthCarolina. They are built of free-stone painted white, and consist of short, square, and plain pillars, with a cone at top, and resting on a broad pedestal, which rises by two steps. On one face of the pillar is an inscription, similar throughout, with the exception of names and dates. I shall give that of Mr. Pinkney as a sample, because he is among the most distinguished in this assemblage of the dead, and because it is a perfect contrast to the epitaphs proposed by several persons soon after his death. In plain black letters, you find the following brief inscription: "In memory of the Hcn. William Pinkney, a senator in the congress of the United States from the state of Maryland, died Feb. 25th, 1822, aged 58 years." Here sleep the remains, and such is the epitaph of the man, on whose eloquence courts and senates have hung with admiration and delight. By his side and near him, sleep the ashes of Mr. Trimble, of Ohio--Mr. Burrill, of Rhode-Island-Mr. Malbone, of the same state, and Mr. Tracy, of Connecticut, members of the senate, together with Samuel A. Otis, former se
cretary of that body: also, Mr. Smilie, of Pennsylvania -Mr. Dawson, of Virginia-Mr. Slocumb, of NorthCarolina--Mr. Hazard, of Rhode-Island--Mr. Walker, of Kentucky-Mr. Mumford, of North Carolina-Mr. Sandford, of the same state--Mr. Brigham, of Massachusetts --Mr. Darby, of New-Jersey, and Mr. Blount, of NorthCarolina, members of the house of representatives, making an aggregate in both branches, of seventeen. It is somewhat remarkable, that so large a state as that of New-York, has no other representative in this congress of the dead, than George Clinton, while the small state of Rhode-Island has three or four. In the monuments and tomb-stones of other persons interred here, there is is nothing very peculiar or striking, if you except the marble slab over the remains of Tobias Lear, which "his desolate widow and mourning son erected to mark the place of his abode in the city of silence," and a plain tomb-stone to the memory of Mr. Machen; with the classical and beautiful expression of filial affection,
"Heu! genitorem, omnis curæ casusque levamen,
IX. THE INDIANS.
[National Republican. Cincinnati.]
THERE are many traits of the Indian character highly interesting to the philosopher and christian. Their unconquerable attachment to the pristine modes and habits of life, which counteracts every effort towards civilization, furnishes to the philosopher, a problem too profound for solution. Their simple and unadorned religion, the same in all ages, and free from the disguise of hypocrisy, which they have received by tradition from their ancestors, leads the mind to a conclusion, that they possess an unwritten revelation from God, intended for their benefit, which ought to induce us to pause before we undertake to convert them to a more refined and less explicit faith. The religion of the Indian appears to be fitted for that state and condition in which his Maker has been pleased to place him. He believes in one Supreme Being, with all the mighty attributes which we ascribe to God; whom he denomin
ates the Great and Good Spirit, and worships in a devout manner, and from whom he invokes blessings on himself and friends, and curses on his enemies. Our Maker has left none of his intelligent creatures without a witness of himself. Long before the human mind is capable of a course of metaphysical reasoning upon the connection which exists between cause and effect, a sense of Deity is inscribed upon it. It is a revelation which the Deity has made of himself to man, and which becomes more clear and intelligible, according to the manner and degree in which it is improved. In the Indian, whose mind has never been illumined by the light of science, it appears weak and obscure. Those moral and political improvements, which are the pride and boast of man in polished society, and which result from mental accomplishments, the savage views with a jealous sense of conscious inferiority. Neither his reason, nor his invention appears to have been exercised for the high and noble purposes of human excellence; and while he pertinaciously adheres to traditional prejudices and passions, he improves upon those ideas, only, which he has received through the senses.
Unaided by any other light than that which he has received from the Father of lights, the Indian penetrates the dark curtain which separates time and eternity, and believes in the immortality of the soul, and the resurrection of the body, not only of all mankind, but of all animated nature, and a state of future existence, of endless duration. It is, therefore, their general custom to bury with the dead their bows, arrows, spears, &c. that they may be prepared to commence their course in another state. Man is seldom degraded so low, but that he hopes and believes that death will not prove the extinction of his being. Is this a sentiment resulting from our fears or our passions? Or rather, is it not the inspiration of the Almighty which gives us this understanding, and which has been imparted to all the children of men? A firm belief in the immortality of the soul, with a devout sense of a general superintending power, essentially supreme, constitutes the fundamental article of the Indian faith. His reason, though never employed in high
intellectual attainments and exertions, is less corrupted and perverted while he roams in his native forests than in an unrestricted intercourse with civilized man. The moral sense, or conscience, makes part of our constitution, and its dictates are never more clear and certain, than when called forth by the genuine and undisguised voice of nature. We are, therefore, never more unjust in our denunciations than when we assert, “that both those sentiments,--the existence of a God, and a state of future existence,--are nothing more, in the rude and uncultivated savage, than the dictates of nature; that without a priest, a temple, sacrifice or altar, the Indian is sunk under the thickest gloom of ignorance and moral despondency." He beholds in the rising sun the manifestation of divine goodness, and pursues the chase with a fearless and unshaken confidence, in the protection of that great and good Spirit, whose watchful care is over all his works. Let us not, then, attribute his views of an omniscient and omnipresent Being, to the effect of a sullen pride of independence; and his moral sense of right and wrong, to a heartless insensibility. Deprived, by the peculiarities of his situation, of those offices of kindness and tenderness, which soften the heart, and sweeten the intercourse of life, in a civilized state, we should consider him a being doomed to suffer the evils of the strongest and most vigorous passions, without the consolation of those divine and human virtues, which dissipate our cares and alleviate our sor
It is now two hundred years since attempts have been made and unceasingly persevered in, by the pious and benevolent, to civilize and christianize the North-American savage, until millions of those unfortunate beings, including many entire tribes, have become extinct. The few, who remain within the precincts of civilized society, stand as human monuments of Gothic grandeur, fearful and tremulous amidst the revolutions of time. Neither the pride of rank, the allurements of honours, nor the hopes of distinction, can afford to the Indian a ray of comfort, or the prospect of better days. He contemplates the past, as the returnless seasons of happi
ness and joy, and rushes to the wilderness as a refuge from the blandishments of art, and the pomp and show of polished society, to seek, in his native solitudes, the cheerless gloom of ruin and desolation.
If it had been the intention of heaven, that this race of human beings should embrace Christianity, would the unremitting efforts of two centuries, to accomplish that object, have proved unsuccessful? A savage christian is as great an absurdity in theology, as a civilized savage is in politics. Have we not attempted that which has not been provided for in the dispensation of Providence? This is a question of no inconsiderable importance, and its investigation may induce us to look upon the Indian as equally under the protection of heaven, possessing a divine revelation, simple, yet pure,--a devout worshipper of the same God,--and animated with as bright hopes of immortality.
X. THE BEAVER HUNTER.
Not many moons since, I gave the world a brief but authentic account of Michael Shuckwell. Having subsequently become acquainted with several new items of his "life and opinions," I now hasten to record them. With that candour that only emanates from the polar regions, the land of my nativity, I deem it proper to aver, once for all, that the character here described is a living member of the human family, and not the offspring of imagination.
It was my peculiar good fortune, not many days since, to obtain an interview with this hero of the frontier. He arrived at this village at 12 o'clock, when "the noisy children just let loose from school" were ready to grace his triumphant entry. He brought with him from his forest haunts a pet bear, that accompanied him in the double capacity of companion and servant. This animal has been so trained, as to serve with great sagacity as a packhorse, and Mike Shuck, in his advanced age, is no longer forced to bear the oppressive burthen of his traps, beaver, &c.