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ing a change; the works of nature are truly beautiful, astonishing, and varied; she delights to terrify, please, and charm the heart of man.
By reason of the long continuance of the frost in the Glades (being subjected to it from September to June) they cannot raise corn.
This night we lodged at Mr. M'Dermot's in the Glades, where by reason of heavy rains and winds, we were detained till the first of July, when we departed from thence, and arrived the evening of the same day, at Greensburgh, which is thirty-one miles from Pittsburgh; yet on a straight line from thence, to the Alleghany river, it is called fifteen miles only. Greensburgh, so called, in honour of the late General Greene, is a neat pretty town. On the 2d, left Greensburgh, and arrived at Pittsburgh on the 3d of July. This town was formerly called Fort du Quesne, and on the 25th of November, 1758, was taken possession of by General Forbes, being abandoned by the French, and set fire to, the preceding night. The outlines of the fort, which was planned by Monsieur Contrecœur, are now to be seen; the fort received its name from him, June 13th, 1754. In June 1751, Monsieur de Villiers drove the English Ohio Company from the banks of this river, and Monsieur Contrecœur obliged Captain Trent to abandon the fort erected on the forks of the river Monongahela, on the 20th of May, 1754.
The town of Pittsburgh lies on a plain, running to a point. The Alleghany, which is a beautiful clear stream on its north, and the Monongahela, which is a muddy stream on its south, conjoining below where Fort du Quesne stood, form the parent of all rivers, the majestick Ohio. The hills on the Monongahela side, are very high, and extend down the river Ohio. These hills, or many of them, are filled with excellent coals, as well for the use of families as for mechanical purposes. I am informed that when the British were in possession of this part of the continent, one of these coal hills, took fire, and continued burning nearly eight years, when it was effectually extinguished by the crater on its side and top falling in.
On the back side of the town, from Grant's hill, so called, where his army was cut to pieces by the savages, you have a beautiful prospect of the town of Pittsburgh, and can behold with rapture the two rivers Alleghany and Monongahela, wafting along their separate streams, till they meet and join at the point of the town. On every side, hills covered with trees appear to add simplicity and beauty to the scene.
At the distance of about one hundred miles, up the Alleghany, there is said to be a small creek, whose waters empty into it, the virtues of which are deemed by the people of this country, as singularly beneficial, and an infallible cure for weakness in the stomach, for rheumatick pains, for sore breasts in women, bruises, &c. At some particular places in the creek, the water boils, or bubbles forth, (like the waters at Hell Gate, the entrance of New-York,) from which proceeds an oily substance, covering the top of the water; this oil is gathered by the country people, who bring it to Pittsburgh for sale; the natives are
also knowing to its virtues; they boil and then vend it. The inhabitants of Pittsburgh are so prepossessed in favour of this oil, that there is scarce a house in the town, or a single inhabitant, which does not possess a bottle of it, and is able to recount its many virtues and its many cures. Persons troubled with weakness, pains, &c. go to these waters and bathe.
I am informed that the virtues of these waters were first discovered some years ago, when the British troops crossed them, at which time the feet of the soldiery from a long and tedious march were bare and sore, and that in a short time after their crossing them, to their joy and surprise, they became perfectly well and healed.
Twelve miles from Pittsburgh lies Turtle Creek, at the head of which, General Braddock engaged a party of Indians, was repulsed, himself killed, and his army put to flight.
In this country, one is never at a loss for a subject to amuse an idle hour; rivers, lawns, fields, purling streams,extensive meadows,cataracts, mountains, vallies, natural curiosities, and the vestiges of ancient fortifications are ever presenting themselves to the view. I could find sufficient amusement during the remainder of my life, in this western world; in fact, I should be lost in a continued labyrinth of inexplicable ideas and suppositions.
About seven miles across the Monongahela, the ruins of an ancient fort are very plain to be seen and traced: Mr. Neville now owns the land, and has a beautiful farm there: This ancient work, from appearances, must have been built many hundred years ago, but who were the people at that time inhabiting this country? for what causes were they built? Here I am at a loss, yet I am not alone; still that can be no satisfaction to me; but on enquiries of this nature, the mind is not satisfied with mere conjecture; it requires more substantial food, the food of certainty; some will argue that these appearances are but the sports of nature: Yet, though she please with a thousand varied forms and shapes, I cannot bring myself to think with them. Is it reasonable to suppose that nature would indulge her vein of humour so far as to raise regular fortifications? Who had she to encounter, that rendered the expediency of the matter? No, Sir, they must, I think, be attributed to the workmanship of man, and to such men as were more acquainted with the rules of fortification than we find the aboriginals to possess; but who they were, from whence they came, at what period they arrived, or where they have passed to, I believe we must ever remain in ignorance.
I have been told that these ancient fortifications owe their origin to a number of Welsh emigrants, who came over to this country many years ago, by reason of the troubles which they at that time laboured under in their native clime; that they landed at or near New-Orleans, in the Spanish dominions, within the river Missisippi, who, as they advanced into the country, built these works in order to defend themselves against the fury and attacks of the aboriginals. I am not able to
judge of the truth or falsity of this assertion, not recollecting any emigration of this kind, nor do I know at what period it must have taken place, if it ever happened. To substantiate this story, I am further informed, that there is a nation of Indians, who reside near to the waters of the Missouri, which also empties into the Missisippi, who actually speak something near to the dialect of the Welsh people.
At Grave-Creek, so called, on the Ohio, which is ten miles below Wheelin settlement, there is an Indian mound, the base of which is about three hundred paces round, and rises in a conic form about one hundred feet; there are large trees growing on every part of it; some of which are remarkably large, and have stood the rude shock of
many an angry winter's blast. We measured a white-oak standing
near to its summit, which was more than eleven feet diameter. It is a beautiful tree, in full life and vegetation, and supposed, by General Butler, to be at least, three hundred years old. It has been conjectured, and I think with some degree of plausibility, that this mound was reared for the burying ground of the aboriginals, as from the curiosity incident to travellers into a new country, part of its summit has been dug into, and bones found, which upon investigation appear to be of the human kind.
Previous to our departure from Pittsburgh, I formed a slight acquaintance with a Mr. M- -, who, about five years ago, departed from Montreal with a company of about one hundred men under his direction, for the purpose of making a tour through the Indian country to collect furs, and to make such remarks on its soil, waters, lakes, mountains, manners and customs of its inhabitants as might daily come within his knowledge and observation.
He pursued his route from Montreal, entered the Indian country, and coasted about three hundred leagues along the banks of lake Superior; from whence he made his way to the Lake of the Woods, of which he took an actual survey, and found it to be thirty-six leagues in length; from thence to the lake Ounipique, of which he has also a description. The tribes of Indians which he passed through, were called the Maskego tribe, Shepeweyau, Cithinistinee, Great Belly Indians, Beaver Indians, Blood Indians, the Blackfeet tribe, the Snake Indians, Ossnobians, Shiveytoon tribe, Mandon tribe, Paunees, and several others, who in general were very pacifick and friendly towards him, and are great admirers of the best hunting horses, in which the country abounds. The horses prepared by them for hunters, have large holes cut above their natural nostrils, for which they give as a reason, that those prepared in this manner will keep their breath longer than the others which are not thus prepared: From experience knowledge is gained, and the long practice of this custom, consequent on these trials, must have convinced them of the truth and utility of the experiment; otherwise we can hardly suppose they would torture their best, horses in this manner, if some advantage was not derived from the measure.
In pursuing his route, he found no difficulty in obtaining a guide to accompany him from one nation to the other, until he came to the Shining Mountains, or Mountains of Bright Stones, where, in attempting to pass, he was frustrated by the hostile appearance of the Indians who inhabit that part of the country-the consequence of which was, he was disappointed in his intention and obiiged to turn his back upon them. Having collected a number of Indians he went forward again, with an intention to force his way over those mountains, if necessary and practicable, and to make his way to Cook's river, on the northwest coast of America, supposed by him to be about three hundred leagues from the mountains; but the inhabitants of the mountains again met him with their bows and arrows, and so superiour were they in numbers to his little force, that he was obliged to flee before them. Finding himself thus totally disappointed in the information he was in hopes to obtain, he was obliged to turn his back upon that part of the country for which his thirsting heart had long panted.
Cold weather coming on, he built huts for himself and party in the Ossnobian country, and near to the source of a large river, called the Ossnobian river, where they tarried during the continuance of the cold season, and until some time in the warmer months. Previous to his departure from Montreal, he had supplied himself with several kinds of seeds, and before his huts he laid out a small garden, which the natives observing, called them slaves for digging up the ground, nothing of that kind being done by them, they living wholly on animal food. Bread is unknown to them, to some he gave some remnants of hard bread, which they chewed and spit out again, calling it rotten wood.
When his onions, &c. were somewhat advanced in their growth, he was often surprised to find them pulled up; determining therefore to know from what cause it proceeded, he directed his men to keep watch, who found that the Indian children, induced by motives of curiosity, came with sticks, thrust them through the pales of his fence to ascertain and satisfy themselves what the things of the white men were, and in what manner they grew, &c.
The natives of this country have no fixed, or permanent place of abode, but live wholly in tents made of buffalo and other hides, and with which they travel from one place to another like the Arabs; and so soon as the feed for their horses is expended, they remove their tents to another fertile spot, and so on continually, scarcely ever returning to the same spots again.
Mr. M is a young man, fond of enterprise, and well calculated for adventure, and to make such remarks as may give both light and information to the United States respecting their extensive possessions, and with which they are but imperfectly acquainted. Did government think proper to avail itself of the services of this young gentleman, he would most joyfully attend to its wishes, and pursue such routes as it should point out to him.
From the Little to the Great Miami, taking in the meanders of the Ohio, are twenty-seven miles; but on a straight line, only twenty. These lands, extending back from the Ohio to the northern boundary of the lands owned by the Ohio Company, comprehend the purchase of Judge Symmes, and at the time when the sale was made to him, were supposed to contain, by Hutchins's map, about two millions of acres ; but on actual survey made by Judge Symmes, since that period, are found to contain only two hundred and seventy thousand acres.
Mr. Hutchins's map in this particular is erroneous, from his not being fully acquainted with the country and the course of many of its rivers. He made no allowance for the approximation of the two Miamies; but supposed they kept the same courses through the country. The country has since been explored, and at the distance of thirty miles from the Ohio, the Miamies approximate each other within eight miles and a half.
The Great Miami is one of the most beautiful streams of water in the western territory. At its highest state, it is so clear and transparent, that a pin may very plainly be seen at its bottom. And indeed most of the waters, which run from the north, have that transparency, and the bottoms are generally gravelly; whilst those running from the south are generally very turbid and the bottoms muddy.
On the evening of the 26th (Sept.) one of the Indian Chiefs died at Fort Washington; the next day he was carried from hence and decently buried; a few of the squaws and children following him to the grave, where, after being let down, his wife in a short speech, reproached him for leaving her, but wished him to make out as well as he could, and that she would do the same. I attended the nailing his coffin, when his wife put on one side of him, his scalping-knife, tobacco-pouch, shotbag, &c. previous to which she bound his head with a handkerchief and put on his leggings and moggasins, &c. He was of the Omie tribe.
Many of the prisoners are of the Kichapac and Miami tribes-among the young women are two very handsome girls, one of which is a Weau, and the other a Miami; and by their dress, and dignity of deportment, and modest behaviour, discover themselves to be of the highest grade of Indians. The outside garment is a blue cloth shroud; their calico shirts are decorated, from the neck down to the middle of the waist, before and behind, with silver rings or broaches; a large cross of silver hangs from their necks, accompanied with many lesser ones; their kotai's, or petticoats, are of blue shrouding, ornamented with beads, &c. their leggings are of red broadcloth, highly ornamented with beads; their moggasins are much more beautiful than any other's present; their hair, which is long and of a jet black, is combed smooth, and is very neatly put up behind in a piece of calico, tied with a piece of ribbon.
* This journal contains an account of the battle of the 4th of November, and many particulars relative to the Indians, the army, &c. which we hope the writer will allow to be published at some future day.