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to constant and deep alternations of hope and fear; enjoying but little the present life, and having no certain hopes of a life to come, it is no wonder that cheerfulness and joy should seldom be depicted in their countenances. It is not surprising that they should have little fear of death. They scarcely regard it in any other light than as the end of a life void of attractions, and even of existence, which few of them firmly believe to be prolonged beyond the present stage of being. Their fortitude in the endurance of suffering, results from a physical insensibility, to which is added the effect of constant inculcation of it as a chief or only virtue. No ordinary stimulus can move them. But when they are excited, they have no moderation. Their rage, their fury in battle, their alternations of hope and despair exhibited in gaming, their brutal exhiliration in drunkenness, are truly horrible.

“ It is interesting to observe how manifestly the Indians, de. graded and ignorant as they are, show the traces of the moral law written on the hearts of all men. There are certain virtues which they hold as being of universal obligation, such as honour, constancy, generosity, forbearance, and regard for truth. They generally admit, under some form or modification, the being of a God and the immortality of the soul. Many of the tribes have forms of prayer which they use on extraordinary occasions, such as when starting on expeditions of hunting or war. They are exceedingly superstitious, and greatly under the influence of their prophets or “medicine men.” Every thing with them which is inexplicable is a “medicine.” Their prophets and jugglers have almost as much influence as their chiefs and warriors. Their ideas of a fu. ture world are of course dark and confused. Their Elysium is a great and beautiful country of prairie and forest, filled with wild beasts, which are hunted by the happy and good, that is, those who were brave on earth, and killed many of their enemies: whilst the cowardly and undistinguished sink into oblivion, not being able to pass with fearless hearts, the “narrow bridge.”

“ As to matrimony, it is well known that every man may marry as many wives as he can aintain. All the evils which naturally flow from polygamy are of course experienced. Jealousy among the wives, their quarrels and their brawls, are frequent occurrences in the harem of an Indian chief. Marriage is generally managed by the parents.

“ The vices of the Indians are such as might be expected among an uncivilized people, who are destitute of the power of Christianity. And it is greatly to be regretted, that their intercourse with the whites has been, generally, any thing else than beneficial to their morals. The most shameless abominations are committed by men, whom the Indians, in their ignorance, call Christians, only because they have a white complexion, and belong to a nation which professes to be Christian.

“ The more civilized Indians dress after the fashion of the white people. This is the case with the Cherokees, some of the Choctaws, and of the small tribes in Ohio and Indiana. Their clothes are coarse, but decent. The Cherokees, having made considerable progress in the arts—having farms on which they raise grain and cotton, and possessing looms and mills, and blacksmith shops, and horses and cattle, &c. not only dress comfortably, but many of them have respectable cottages and houses. But the uncivilized tribes wear a calico jacket, and over that a blanket or buffalo skin wrapped around them, and have moccasins and leggings. But in summer, their youth especially, go without the last named garments. When they can afford it, the squaws of the partially civilized tribes, wear blue broad-cloth petticoats.

“Their laws have the nature of universal custom, and are like a spell in their influence over the Indians; so much so, that if any Indian knows that he has committed an offence for which he must die, (according to their custom) he seldom embraces the opportunity of escape, but will return home to die, and dies as if there was an irresistible fatality which prevented him from doing otherwise. This is an inexplicable circumstance, excepting upon the principle that public opinion is every thing; and an Indian considers that he might as well die, as live under the conviction that he deserves, in the opinion of all, to die. This consciousness is intolerable. This fact, of itself, demonstrates how low their conceptions of death are !

“I think that no man who has any correct moral sentiments, or any just idea of what constitutes true human happiness, can avoid feeling a deep sympathy for these poor benighted children of the wood. Is not their condition a miserable one? Are they not, in some degree, intelligent, and of course accountable beings? And what can be done to raise them from their degradation and misery? The answer, to my mind, is plain—that is, instruct them in the principles of Christianity, and the arts of civilized life. Especially begin with the young. Almost all the tribes are will.' ing to have their children thus instructed. And our government, as well as the Christian community, ought to arise, and give to every tribe these great blessings. They can be made Christians, and civilized men. They have minds, and vigorous ones too. They are not more barbarous than our ancestors once were. The Gospel of Jesus Christ can influence their hearts, and raise their thoughts, and their despairing eyes, towards heaven.

“ I have indeed met with men, some of whom have been among the Indians, and know something of them, and some who have not, who have professed to believe that there is no need of send


ing the Gospel to the Indians—that they are happier and better off without it. With regard to the latter class—those who have never been among the Indians—they are deceived by the misre. presentations of others, or by their own dreams of the simplicity and happiness of what they consider the “natural state of man.' As they know nothing about the matter, it is not worth while to lose a moment in refuting their romantic and absurd ideas. But as to the former class, viz. those who have been much with the Indians, and who yet believe they are better off without civilization and Christianity, I have a word or two to say. I have uniformly found that this class, which is composed of men who are universally ignorant of the true nature of the Christian religion, may be divided into three subdivisions. 1. Those who think that the fact, that the poor Indians prefer their own state to that of civilization, is conclusive proof that they are really in a better condition than they would be, if civilized. These gentlemen would be opposed, of course, to every effort to enlighten mankind in any way. They must believe that the world is at present, except. ing a few political evils, doing about as well as can be desired. They have no standard at all of excellence in human condition. Knowledge, and science, and the arts, and literature, and taste and refinement, and the innumerable blessings of civilized life, are nothing at all in the estimation of these gentlemen. And to instruct any ignorant person, (who is contented with his ignorance) is to do him an injury, to make him less happy, although it may be the means of elevating him in the scale of human dignity, and affording him increasing and refined pleasure commensurate with his expanding faculties and enlarged desires! 2. Those who know that increased knowledge and advantages bring with them increased accountability, and having a morbid sensibility on that subject, as it affects their own case-being conscious that they do not live up to their advantages—they think that ignorance is a happy state of total or comparative exemption fronı responsibility. These men do not consider that increased light brings with it not only increased responsibility, but also increased ability, if we are not wanting to ourselves, of meeting, happily, that responsibility. 3. Those who have been guilty of living in an unlawful manner among the Indians--who have indulged in sensual lusts, or who have defrauded the ignorant Indians in dealing; and who, as is commonly the case with abandoned men, try to persuade themselves that all others are as bad as themselves-it should be no subject of marvel that such men think the Indians are as virtuous and as happy, if not more so, than the whites; and verily, they are probably better than such white Christians as these men! I have no doubt that the Indians are really more virtuous, or rather less vile and abominable in their lives, than the mass of white men



who go among them to trade with them, and who too often rejoice to find, that they are beyond the Sabbath, and beyond the inspection and surveillance of that hundred-eyed Argus-public opinion. Some of these men dread the instruction and Christianization of the Indians, because it would pour a flood of light upon their dark deeds, and break up forever their unrighteous traffic.

“But I rejoice that the subject of civilizing the Indians, is arousing the attention of the Christian public.

Missionaries are labouring with much success among the Cherokees, Choctaws, and Chickasaws--and their efforts among the Osages, Creeks, and some other tribes are not without encouraging success: and as the government is now about to try the experiment of collecting several tribes on the west of Arkansas Territory and the State of Missouri, what benevolent heart does not wish, that there may be one day, a happy community of civilized Indians, sharing in all the blessings of our government ?"

The next fourteen chapters contain a geographical, statistical, and historical description of the Various States and territories which lie in the Valley. We find under each of these, an outline of its constitution and government; its soil, productions, facilities for commerce, cities and towns; education in colleges and schools, public lands, besides historical notices and general remarks upon various topies of interest. Of these chapters, we can only say that they are among the most interesting in the book, and we recommend them to the perusal of every one who thinks of looking to the West as a home. The closing chapters of the volume contain an account of the steamboats of the western rivers; advice to emigrants, and notices of the routes to be travelled; and a full account of the religious sects and literary institutions. On this last subject, we are happy to find that there are in the Valley of the Mississippi, not far from thirty colleges, many of which are well endowed, and in successful operation; five or six theological seminaries, and many other institutions of a lower grade, for the education of youth.

Of the religious denominations of the west, the author gives us as satisfactory an account as could be expected, from the known difficulty of obtaining information of this kind. The general distribution which he has made of the population, according to their profession or supposed preference, assigns 800,000 to the Methodist church, 700,000 to the Baptist, 550,000 to the Presbyterian, 500,000 to the Papal, 50,000 to the Episcopal, 100,000 to the Cumberland Presbyterian, and 100,000 to various other smaller sects, leaving about a million and a half who may be safely reckoned to be under no religious influence whatever.

With the efforts made to advance the cause of true religion in the Valley of the Mississippi, our readers are acquainted, but let them bear in mind the facts above stated, that more than one half of its growing population is either uninfluenced by the Gospel, or deluded by false and fatal views spread abroad by errorists almost without number; and can they think that all has been done that should be, for the exertion of a pure moral influence over that region?

We would not willingly join in giving undue prominence to any particular field of effort, nor obscure the claims of others or of other nations upon our churches, but we cannot refrain from calling, again and again, the attention of American Christians to the scene presented to their eye beyond the mountains.

There lies a country vast in extent, of almost unexampled fertility, of delightful climate, of abundant mineral resources, of peculiar facilities for commerce, opening the fairest prospects of success to adventurers of every clime, already peopled with upwards of four millions, and increasing hourly and rapidly. There, beyond all reasonable doubt, will be, twenty years hence, a population of fifteen millions, with cities, rivalling in size and beauty, New York, and Philadelphia, and Baltimore, with literary institutions of their own; with a public sentiment of their own, and with manufactures and a commerce of their own; there will be, before twenty years, the balance of power in our confederacy; and there a moral influence of incalculable extent.

And now, who can forbear inquiring with deep concern, “ what is to be the character of these coming generations?" Shall they grow up in beauty and order before the eye? Shall knowledge, and patriotism, and piety, adorn and elevate them; and as they advance in physical strength, shall they make a corresponding progress in every thing pure and lovely in the sight of God and man? And as from every stream that rolls along their vallies, the earth shall pour forth its exuberance to the astonishment of the world, shall sacred influence, springing from every city, and town, and hamlet, unite in spreading their benign effects throughout the earth? Shall the God of heaven be honoured, and thousands and millions

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