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The Story of the South and West

(Copyright by Thos. E. Watson, 1911.)



AY I devote another chapter ashamed of the barbarous treatto the Red Men? They de- ment of such Indian chiefs as Mas

serve it. A more fascinat- sasoit, King Philip, Red Jacket, ing subject would be difficult to find. Logan, Osceola, and Corn Tassel. Thomas Jefferson came under the We couldn't help admiring Tecumspell of it, as did Fenimore Cooper. seh and Big Warrior and Pontiac. John Esten Cooke, Sam Houston They were great men, great soland hundreds of other Caucasian diers; and they were fighting for statesmen and authors.

wife and child and native land. Was there ever a robust Ameri- Deep down in our hearts, we believe can schoolboy who did not long for that our dealings with this native a bow-and-arrow? We used to run race has been one long record of the three words into one, you re- broken faith, ruthless disregard of member, and speak of the “bow- natural rights, and murder prompt'narrer."

ed by sordid motives. The Indians Was there ever a full-sexed lad have seldom violated a treaty; our who did not "thrill” over stories of Government has seldom observed Indian fights? Lord! how much one. The perfidious and shameless genuine pleasure we used to get out rape that was committed on Columof the dime-novels that told us of bia, when we robbed her of the Panthe blood-curdling adventures of ama Canal Zone, is an excellent ilthe white hunters and trappers of lustration of how we have wronged the West. We became intimately the Red Tribes. acquainted with “Prairie Pete," “Pawnee Bill," Kit Carson, Dan-. More than 200 years ago, Mr. iel Boone, and Big-Foot Wallace. Jefferson published his Notes on We followed “The Pathfinder," and Virginia, a work of which the world prieved with "The Last of the Mo- took little notice then, and of which hicans." Our sympathies were slight notice is taken now. Neverstrongly with these Children of the theless, it is much more valuable Forest, who kept the original white than those

those collected "Letters" settlers from starving; and whose which fill so many volumes. In the kindness was repaid by such cruel Notes,he devotes much space to ingratitude. We felt intensely the Virginia Indians; and after describing their customs, characteris- hunters and fishermen on the Attics, and form of government, he lantic coast. They hire negroes for gives a list of the tribes which were what work their women cannot do; not extinct at the time he was writ- and they never allow a negro to reing the book. (1786.)

main on the reservation at night. Of the Matta ponies, he said that They reject with scorn the proposal only three or four men were left, of black men to intermarry into the and that even these had “more neg

tribe; and they rarely permit one ro than Indian blood in them.” Ile of their women to wed a white man. adds this surprising detail: They Their laws are few and simple; pubhave lost their language.They

They lic profanity is forbidden; and slanhad sold off their land until they der is severely punished. had only 50 acres left.

They have lost their language, “The Pamunkies are reduced to

and speak English. There is about 10 or 12 men, tolerably pure school-house, where a white teacher from mixture with other colors.

gives every boy and girl an Eng

lish education. The older ones among them pre

(Poor things! I wonder why they serve their language, in a small de

don't have some Solomon Samson gree, which are the last vestiges on earth, so far as we know, of the

teach 'em Latin and Greek, and Powhatan language."

physiology and geometry and as

tronomy and algebra and other useHe proceeds to describe their lo

ful, practical, indispensable knowcation as being about 300 acres of

ledge.) land, on Pamunkey river, very fer

My dear friends, the Socialists, tile, and“ so encompassed by water will yell for joy when I state the that a gate shuts in the whole."

fact that the Pamunkies still adhere This means, of course, that they to the communal ownership of land. owned a bend in the river, which Their fathers bef

Their fathers before them had it, was so narrow, at the land outlet, they have it, and their children will that a gate could close the gap—the have it. Apparently, the system river almost running back into it

works as satisfactorily today as it self. (There are 800 acres in the

did in the time of Powhatan and bend, instead of 300.)

Pocahontas. Each man's farm is With pleasure you will learn that alloted to him by the head men of the Pamunkies still exist; and that the tribe; but the produce grown on their home is on the same river-bend it, is his own property. which Mr. Jefferson described, in Only the land is held in common; 1786. They now number about 125 personalty, of all kinds, belongs to men, women and children, of pure the individual. Indian blood. They live in comfort- Each male, 18 years old, and upable, modern cottages; the women wards, pays a dollar a year, toward and children make beautiful crops, defraying the cost of government. on the same soil that their ances- Twenty-five dollars a year is all it tors were cultivating when our fore

costs. Let us hope none of our town fathers first landed.

and city grafters will ever intrude The men of the tribe are the best

upon that idyllic situation!

Until recently, the chief held his ditions and numbers were anywhere office by inheritance; but, for some near equal. reason, the tribe changed this, and Their language lost, their anhe is now elected by ballot. Two cient style of dress abandoned, their candidates are put up, numbered tepees supplemented by the white “1” and “2." Number 1 is voted man's cottage, the Pamunkies yet for with grains of corn; number 2, preserve their traditions. At least with beans. The highest vote de

one of them, they celebrate every cides. They have not yet learned year--the rescue of Captain John how to stuff the ballot-box, or to Smith by Pocahontas. As the Pasphysic the returns.

sion play of the Danube illustrates The land is held under a state the crucifixion of Christ, so the pangrant; but the State very seldom tomine on the Pamunkey exhibits has to meddle with the tribe. They the old emperor, Powhatan; the keep the peace, maintain good or- warriors with their clubs; the capder, and bother nobody. Annually, tive prone upon the ground, with they present to the Governor of Vir- his head on the stone, and the Inginia a brace of duck, a wild turkey, dian maiden who is the angel of or a deer. This is done regularly deliverance. and ceremoniously—much as the If I could tell you when this anyearly banner, or peppercorn, is nual commemoration of the Smithpresented to the King of England Pocahontas story was first begun, by some Duke whose title reaches you would have a clearer conception back to feudal times, and feudal of its value to history. Unfortunatefiefs.

ly, it is not in my power to give Because slave traders stole some you the information. of their children, to sell to Southern

This may be as good place as planters, the Pamunkies took sides any, to discuss the story itself, for with the North during the Civil everyone is familiar with it, and War; and, as scouts, must have been few have rejected it. At the time of great service to the Union army. chapters 8 and 9 of this series were

It is said that there has been many written, the narrative of Captain a bloody fight, at the gate across the John Smith was not in my possessoutlet, when lawless white men ion. The historians seem to be sought to enter the reservation. unanimously of the opinion that the With desperate courage, the In- incident happened; but the very dians resisted the would-be robbers; reasoning which John Fiske and and, in each instance, the Red Men John Esten Cooke used in support drove the marauders away. By the of the tradition, aroused my doubts. bye, it is a historic fact that the This being so the original narrative typical savage of North America, of Smith himself became indispenthe Pequods, the Iroquois, the Hu- sable. Judge of my utter astonishron the Comanche, the Sioux, the ment at learning from this highest Creek and the Seminole-was a and best evidence that Smith's life splendid fighting man. Generally, was in no peril when he went before they whipped the whites, when con- Powhatan; that he was received as

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