Imágenes de páginas
[ocr errors]

tection of heaven, without doing our duty, and exerting ourselves as becomes men, is to mock the Deity. Wherefore had man his reason, if it were not to direct him? Wherefore his strength, if it be not his protection ? To banish folly and luxury, correct vice and immorality, and stand immovable in the freedom in which we are free indeed, is eminently the duty of each individual, at this day. When this is done, we may rationally hope for an answer to our prayers; for the whole counsel of God, and the invincible armor of the Almighty.

However righteous our cause, we cannot, in this period of the world, expect a miraculous salvation. Heaven will undoubtedly assist us, if we act like men ; but to expect protection from above, while we are enervated by luxury, and slothful in the exertion of those abilities with which we are endued, is an expectation vain and foolish. With the smiles of Heaven, virtue, unanimity, and firmness, will ensure success. While we have equity, justice and God on our side, tyranny, spiritual or temporal, shall never ride triumphant in a land inhabited by Englishmen.

Moore, Am. Eloquence (N. Y., 1864), I. 334-335 passim.


6. Frontiersmen and Indians

(about 1768)

(See note above, p. 247.)

THE European landworkers, when they came to settle in America, began trading with the Indians; obtained leave of the Indians to cultivate small tracts as settlements or dwellings. The Indians having no other idea of property, than what was conformable to their transient temporary dwelling-places, easily granted this. When they came to perceive the very different effect of settlements of land-workers creating a permanent property always extending itself, they became very uneasy; but yet, in the true spirit of justice and honour, abided by the effects of concessions which they had made, but which they would not have made, had they understood beforehand the force of them.

From this moment the politics of the Indians were fixed on, and confined to, two points. The guarding their dwelling lands and their hunts from the encroachments of the European settlers; and the perpetually labouring, to our utter shame, in vain, to establish some equitable and fixed regulations in the trade carried on between them and the Europeans.

The European encroachments, not only by the extent of their settlements, but by their presuming to build forts in the Indian dwelling lands, and in the territories of their hunts, without leave, or by collusion; and the impositions and frauds committed against the Indians in trading with them, has been the occasion of constant complaint from the Indians, and the invariable source of Indian hostilities: and yet even these might have been surmounted, were it not that we have constantly added an aggravation to this injustice, by claiming a DOMINION in consequence of a landed possession. Against this the free spirit of an Indian will revolt, to the last drop of his blood: This will be perpetual, unremitted cause of war to them against us. Against it, they have at all times, and upon all occasions protested, and they will never give it up. As long as we keep up this useless, faithless claim of dominion over them, so long shall we be embroiled in war with them.

The European power may perhaps finally extirpate them, but can never conquer them. The perpetually increasing generations of Europeans in America, may supply numbers that must, in the end, wear out these poor Indian inhabitants from their own country; but we shall pay dear, both in blood and treasure, in the mean while, for our horrid injustice. Our frontiers, from the nature of advancing settlements, dispersed along the branchings of the upper parts of our rivers, and scattered in the disunited vallies, amidst the mountains, must be always unguarded, and defenceless against the incursions of Indians. And were we able, under an Indian war, to advance our settlements yet farther, they would be advanced up to the very dens of those savages. A settler wholly intent

A upon labouring on the soil, cannot stand to his arms, nor defend himself against, nor seek his enemy: Environed with woods and swamps, he knows nothing of the country beyond his farm: The Indian knows every spot for ambush or defence. The farmer, driven from his little cultured lot into the woods, is lost: the Indian in the woods, is every where at home: every bush, every thicket, is a camp to the Indian, from whence, at the very moment when he is sure of his blow, he can rush upon his prey. The farmer's cow, or his horse, cannot go into the woods, where alone they must subsist: his wife and children, if they shut themselves up in their poor wretched loghouse, will be burnt in it: and the husbandman in the field will be shot down while his hand holds the plough. An European settler can make but momentary efforts of war, in hopes to gain some point, that he may by it obtain a series of security, under which to work his lands in peace: The Indian's whole life is a warfare, and his operations never discontinued. In short,

our frontier settlements must ever lie at the mercy of the savages: and a settler is the natural prey to an Indian, whose sole occupation is war and hunting. To countries circumstanced as our Colonies are, an Indian is the most dreadful of enemies. For, in a war with Indians, no force whatever can defend our frontiers from being a constant wretched scene of conflagrations, and of the most shocking murders. Whereas on the contrary, our temporary expeditions against these Indians, even if successful, can do these wanderers little harm. Every article of their property is portable, which they always carry with them-And it is no great matter of distress to an Indian to be driven from his dwelling ground, who finds a home in the first place that he sits down upon.

And of this formidable enemy, the numbers, by the latest accounts, are 23105 fighting men.

If we entertain an idea of conquest, in support of this ambitious folly of dominion, we must form such a series of magazines and entrepôts for stores, ammunition and provisions; we must maintain in constant employ such a numerous train of waggons for the roads, such multitudes of boats and vessels for the waters; we must establish such a train of fortified posts; we must support such a numerous army; we must form and execute such an enlarged and comprehensive system of command, as shall give us military

« AnteriorContinuar »