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among others; to recall, if but for a brief moment, the name of a half-forgotten hero — interesting to Kansas people as the first intelligent American explorer of their State — is the object of this address.

Zebulon Montgomery Pike was born a long time ago, as is evidenced by his name. I suppose it is forty years, at least, since any father or mother in this country has called a son by the Old-Testament name of “Zebulon.” He was, in fact, born in Lamberton, New Jersey, April 27th, 1779. He was born amid the scenes of Washington's brilliant victory over the Hessians, (for Lamberton is now a part of Trenton,) and but three years after that event. When Washington received his famous ovation at Trenton, in 1788, it is possible that the baby Pike was held in arms to see the hero pass under a triumphal arch, while the youthful beauty of New Jersey strewed his way with flowers. If ever a man was born a soldier, Pike was.

His father was an officer in the Revolutionary army, and was retained or recommissioned in the regular army after the close of the war. Of the boyhood of our hero, little has been preserved. He was, however, we know, a bright, courageous, studious boy, and when but little more than a boy was commissioned an ensign in his father's company of infantry. He was born, we may say, on a battlefield. His first serious work in life was to assume the duties of an officer in the army of his country; in that service he lived, and in that service he died.

While Pike’s narratives are spiritedly written, and in good English, they betray no evidence of very great literary attainments. He was, however, for the young army officer of his time, well educated. He early acquired a knowledge of Latin, French and Spanish and mathematical attainments certainly sufficient for the purposes of a military explorer.

One day in April, 1803, Mr. Barbé Marbois, at that time at the head of the French treasury department, took a walk in a garden in Paris. Mr. Livingston, who was dining with Mr. Monroe, asked him (Marbois) to come into the house. After coffee, the French secretary of the treasury asked Mr. Livingston to step into another room a moment. The two gentlemen had a conversation. It was one of several such. Sometimes they were at St. Cloud; sometimes Talleyrand was a party; sometimes the First Consul, Bonaparte: and the result of these various chats was, that on the 30th of April, 1803, was definitely settled the greatest land trade on record. So big was it, that the American Government did not know, nor did it realize for years afterward, how much land it had bought, or really where it was located. That accurate scholar, Senator Ingalls, says we bought Louisiana at the rate of a hundred acres for a cent. As we paid, in principal and interest, before we got through, $23,500,000, those who are quick at figures may be able to form some idea of the extent of the purchase. We bought it in good time. The English were ready to take New Orleans, and, during the closing days of the Spanish occupancy, we ourselves were about ready to take it by force. Not three weeks before the First Consul signed the treaty of cession, Talleyrand told Mr. Livingston that Louisiana was not theirs to cede. Mr. Livingston smilingly responded, that he (Mr. L.) knew a great deal better. Talleyrand still persisting, Mr. Livingston, still smiling, I suppose, remarked, that he was pleased to learn that Louisiana still belonged to Spain, as in that event we should take possession of it anyhow. This is supposed to have accelerated matters considerably. At any rate, we got Louisiana for money, and without a fight; hence the Nebraska bill, hence Kansas, and the State Historical Society, and other things too numerous to mention.

But what had we got? That was the question. The Spaniard, unfortunately for mankind, was not cleaned off the face of this continent. He fell back into Mexico. And where and what was Mexico ? The Mexican war was waged, more than forty years afterward, to find out. You can imagine how uncertain things were in 1806. We scarcely knew where the Pacific ocean was, and Lewis and Clarke were sent to find out. They discovered Nebraska, Dakota and Oregon. We owned the Mississippi river, and we knew where the lower end of it was; but we had no official knowledge of its source. And this brings our friend Pike on the scene of action.

At the time Pike was selected to explore the sources of the Mississippi, he was twenty-six years old. He had no commissioned officer associated with him, and the official labor and responsibility of the expedition fell on him alone. He had under his command one sergeant, two corporals and seventeen privates. He left St. Louis, August 9th, 1805, in a keel-boat seventy feet long. It was a slavish trip, although the country was not entirely a wilderness. The French for years had known all about the river. The amusement of the voyage was fishing; their diet, I judge, principally catfish and whisky. There were American traders among the Sacs and other Indians. Pike says they were great rascals. I presume it is not profitable to stop and argue the point. Pike was kind to the Indians, and always gave them all the whisky he could spare. He was very popular with them, I


think. The party were going north, and it kept constantly getting colder. The powder fell into the river, and had to be fished out. In undertaking to dry it in pots, an explosion occurred. Lieut. Pike remarks "that it had nearly blown up a tent, and two or three men with it.” Poor Pike—he was yet to experience a greater and more fatal explosion. The party went on-north all the time. The river froze up, and then they dragged their outfit on the ice. They reached the Sioux country, and spent much time with that deeply-interesting people. One of the chiefs was called The-Wind-that-Walks. I judge from the name that he was a great politician.

Pike spent the winter among the frozen lakes, the snowy prairies and hemlock swamps of the far North, and collected a vast amount of information about the country and the numerous Indians who inhabited it. In reading his narrative, you find tribes spoken of as numerous and powerful, that have now faded, not only from the face of the earth, but from the memory of man.

After this toilsome trip, it would seem that our young officer ought to have been allowed to rest awhile in comfortable quarters at St. Louis, to which place he returned, April 30, 1806. But it is doubtful if Pike wished to rest; in fact, it is almost certain that he did not.

The military officer in charge of the Western country at that time was General James Wilkinson, a restless, bombastic, fussy old gentleman, with a rare faculty for getting into difficulties. As an officer in the Revolutionary army, he was concerned in the Conway cabal, a plot to supplant Washington, and place in his stead General Gates, an officer who afterwards got beautifully thrashed by the British at Camden. He turned up in the army, after being for awhile a merchant at Lexington, Kentucky, in 1791; received Louisiana from the French in 1803, and contrived to get mixed up in the Burr business to such an extent that nobody knows to this day, I believe, which side he was on. He was investigated, court-martialed, and acquitted; went into the war of 1812; served on the Canada frontier; was a conspicuous failure; was court-martialed again, and again acquitted; and finally, there being no opportunity in those days to enter the lecture field, he wrote his memoirs, and retired to the City of Mexico, where he died.

General James Wilkinson in his day was probably the subject of more uncomplimentary remarks than any man of his caliber in the country, and I deem it no more than justice to say for him, that, with all his faults, he was the steadfast friend of Zebulon M. Pike.

It was in obedience to General Wilkinson's orders that Pike started on his second expedition - the tour to Kansas. Pike left Belle Fontaine, a little town near the mouth of the Missouri, July 15, 1806. He had with him a party of Osages who had been redeemed om captivity among the Pottawatomies. His instructions were to take these back to their friends on the headwaters of the Osage river, on the border of what is now Kansas; then to push on to the Pawnee republic, on the upper Republican river, on the way interviewing the Kaws; then to go south to the Arkansas and Red rivers and try to find the Comanches. On arriving at the Arkansas, Lieut. Wilkinson (a son of the General) and a party were to be detached and sent down that stream to Fort Adams, on the Mississippi, while Pike was to make his way to the Red river and descend it to Natchitoches, Louisiana.

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