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RIFLE, AXE, AND SADDLE-BAGS.
THE SYMBOLS OF EARLY WESTERN CHARACTER AND
MAN has been defined to be "a tool-using animal.” implements may be taken as the gauge of his power, and the measure of his explorations and conquests in the domain of nature. Ofttimes has it happened that the sublimest results have been achieved by the simplest instrumentalities. With the weak things of this world and the things that are not, hath God brought to nought the things that are, and the things that are mighty. And this further rule holds good-in order to have work well done, your tools must be suited to those who are to handle them. Apollo's lyre is for the poet; for the husbandman, the handles of the plough. Each after his kind fulfils a noble mission, as he goes upon his proper
Amid the evolutions of Providence, and the developments of history, the period had arrived when a great task was to be wrought. That magnificent territory, named the Valley of the Mississippi, sweeping away from
the foot of the Apalachian chain for thousands of miles, until its undulations are abruptly terminated beneath the gigantic shadows of the Rocky Mountains-that illimitable prairie ocean, dotted with innumerable isles of primeval forest, and with noble groves of later birth— was to be wrung from the grasp of barbarians—was to be reclaimed from the ownership of the wild beast, and made the seat of the greatest empire of Christian civilisation.
The object was a lofty one, worthy the prowess and ambition of any race. Spain had tried to achieve it, but Ponce de Leon-typifying Castilian romance—found in the attempt only a death-wound, and his flower-land of immortality refused him even a grave. Hernando de Soto representing its chivalry-with steel-clad warriors and doughty men-at-arms, with silken pennons and braided scarfs, with lance, and mace, and battle-axe, with bloodhounds to hunt the natives, and manacles to enslave them, with cards for gambling and consecrated oil for extreme unction, sought to subdue the land and to possess it. Leaving a trail of tears, fire, and blood from Tampa Bay to south-western Missouri, he reared, upon a noble bluff of the Mississippi, in the northern corner of what is now the State of Arkansas, the first cross ever planted within the limits of this Republic, and there performed the ceremony of the Mass, sixty years before the French ascended the St. Lawrence River, and eighty years before the Pil grims landed at Plymouth Rock. Perishing of the wilderness, his body is committed to the custody of th yellow waves of his own "Rio Grande "— their roar h requiem, their depths his mausoleum. Never did a prouder armament than his set sail from Spain-a thousand brave men and true. Three hundred beggared adventurers alone returned to Mexico, with tidings that
= broke the heart of Donna Isabella, De Soto's noble wife. And the land of the future is none the richer for chi
valry, save by a spray of amaranth and a sprig of cypress, of from the graves of a gallant knight and a true-hearted - lady.
0 Jesuitism and feudalism next sought to achieve the d. conquest. A hundred and thirty years after the burial of De Soto, the saintly Marquette reaches the Upper Mississippi, through the outlet of the "river of skycoloured water," and names it the River of the Conception. Seven years later, La Salle traversed the liquid highway to the Gulf, and called it the River Colbert. The priest strove to convert the savages and win them to the true faith. The commercial soldier sought, by the erection of a line of posts from Niagara to the Balize, to render the land tributary to the crown of the Grand Monarch. The Jesuit sleeps at Mackinaw, the trader in the plains of Texas. The ambition of the latter was as futile as the pious zeal of the former. Neither for a fief of the See of Rome, nor for a province of the empire of the lilies, had the land been held in reserve by the God of the nations. It was kept in store for a grander race than that from which Robert Cavalier de la Salle had sprung. for the empire of a simpler and mightier faith than that preached by the holy and intrepid James Marquette. The sons of men who won their liberties at Runnymede; of
en who had learned to read the open English Bible by the light which God's Spirit had kindled in their hearts;
men who had renounced lands and home for faith and edom dearer than life, were to become the winners of this soil. Glorious conscripts were they, sublime in their lowliness, fit for the great task. Hard fought was their attle, and long; ours are the fruits of their victory. Theirs was the march in the desert; the goodliness of
the triumph they saw only as in Pisgah's vision; we dwell in the peace and plenty of the promised land.
What the might of Castilian valour, the unconquerable devotion of Jesuit zeal, the indomitable will of feudal power were unable to accomplish, was wrought out by a few simple men with a few homely tools-tools, be it observed, suited to their hands. The implements are symbolic of the men and of their period-the Rifle, Axe, and Saddle-bags. They typify the hunter, the pioneer farmer, and the early travelling preacher.
On a fine spring morning, in the year 1769, a humble hunter crossed the threshold of his log cabin, on the head waters of the Yadkin River, in the province of North Carolina. The brutal Governor Tryon, with his myrmidons, had been laying waste the country, and violating the rights of the colonists. Population, with its westward instinct, had been pressing into the neighbourhood, until the eye of the hunter, as he stood in his door-yard, could note the hour of breakfast by the smoke from a score of chimneys. He was neither morbid nor misanthropic; yet, disgusted by the licence of sheriffs and the tricks of lawyers, "cabined, cribbed, confined," by the neighbourhood of settlers, longing for the freedom of the forest and of the unbroken prairie, his ear had welcomed the tale of his friend, John Finley, who, two years before, had visited a region called by the savages, "the dark and bloody ground." Glowing, indeed, was the story which the trader told of the goodliness of the land; of its beautiful streams, clear as crystal; of its glorious woods, where the wind was the only feller; of its plains which a share had never furrowed, covered with sward freshly green as emerald, decked with flowers of countless hues and ceaseless fragrance; of salt licks visited by herds of buffalo which no man could number—thronged by bear and deer—a region