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PRINTED FOR RICHARD PHILLIPS, No. 6, BRIDGE-STREET;
By whom Communications (Post-paid) are thankfully received.
(Price Twelve Shillings half-bound.)
Printed by J. ADLARD, Duke-street, West-Smithfield.
FEBRUARY 1, 1808.
[1 of VOL. 25.
As long as thofe who write are ambitious of making Converts, and of giving to their Opinions a Maximum of "Influence and Celebrity, the most extensively circulated Mifcellany wih repay with the greatest Effect the * Curiosity of thofe who read either for Ampfement or Inftruction. JOHNSON.
Mangy; Chippawa nation. Kisses, of the Sun; Okia, of the Poutewatamy nation.
When I understood where they resided, I waited on them at their apartments, at Willis's boarding-house, in Barclay-street; and bad their permission, through their interpreter, to make a portrait of each, which I did at Mr. Tyler's tavern, at Greenwich, to which place they accompanied me in a coach. They were on their way to the seat of government, to intreat, on the part of their several nations, the performance of some obligations, which had been previously promised, but not fulfilled. Their places of residence, generally considered, were 1400 miles distant, north-west from the extremity of the Pennsylvania state. They were all robust well-built men, and the shortest was five feet ten inches in stature: they informed me that they travelled by the ap pearance of the moss on the trees, which on the north side of the bark is very visi ble, and often pendant, but on the south side is full. The Poutewatamy chief was to be the speaker of the party at the great tolk, as they phrased it; and I likewise found that he had his speech by heart, like many of our European orators. This chief was only 22 years of age, of a lofty and commanding demeanor; his eyes were full of animation and fire, yet attempered by an obliging spirit. I understood that he had been elevated to his dignities for his prowess in battle, when fighting against General Sinclair; MONTHLY MAG. No. 167.
he possessed exclusively a sort of coronet of red feathers, gathered from paroquets, the colour of which was singularly brilhant. I learned from their interpreter, that several of their wives, or squaws, were very beautiful, and that their conduct was friendly and tractable. When I had made a rough outline of the first portrait they surveyed it with great astonishment andwere extremely eager to have likenesses of each other, which, on obtaining, they laughed immoderately, and even danced with gladness. They explained the uses of the watch, insignifying, by gesture that at any hour, A. M. the sun was rising; and, at any hour, P.M. that the sun was declining. There being a severe frost at that time, I enquired if they were not cold, by going so bare and thinly clad, in various parts of their bodies; they answered this question, by asking me if my face was not cold, and, on my replying in the negative, they said they were all face! They smoked much, but ate and drank moderately. Each inade a bargain with me, while I drew them, that I would send a copy of his portrait to the seat of government, that they might take it to their own nation. Two of them wore long silver crosses, one on his bosom, and the other behind: they were of the Roman Catholic persuasion, and had been converted by some French priests: two of them wore a silver medal, with the head of his Britannic Majesty, on one side, and the arms of England on the other; and they likewise had a large oval piece of silver, with the arms of the United States, on one side, and General Washington and an Indian chief, in conference, on the other. These chiefs, or sachems, wished to bring their squaws with them, but the interpreter would not permit them. They live at their villages, or castles, or wig-wams, on bear's flesh, and venison, and buffaloes; the men bunt, and the women till the ground for their corn, which is all the agriculture they pursue, The Americans in the neighbourhood of Detroit trade with the Indians through the British lines, as the States will not al
low any trader to carry with him more than five gallons of New England rum, and even that must be presumed to be for his own use.
An old Indian chief, who was in the fatal expedition with the British army, under General Braddock, when he besieged Ticonderoga, and formed part of the detachment which General Washington saved, dined with the American Fabius, at Mount Vernon, in Virginia: after the repast, the savage hero indicated signs of disappointment, if not disgust. When the venerable general enquired, by the interpreter the cause of his chagrin, the savage stood erect, and told his illustrious host, that some years ago, when he was in the Indian castle, he, the savage, had offered him the embraces of his squaw and that he was wonderfully surprised that the general had not returned this instance of civility, by a similar of fer of Mrs. Washington. The general excused himself, by averring that it was not the custom of his country. As Mrs. Washington, who was present, under stood the tenor of the demand, she became much agitated with terror, which the Indian perceiving, he told her with manly dignity, that she had nothing to fear; as if the general had complied, he should only have walked up to her to signify his right to this sort of hospitable courtesey, and then bowing, have resigned her to her white chief.
The Indians kill their prey in the woods, at the distance of many miles from their villages, and, when they have shot a buck or buffalo, they return, and give an account of the affairs of the chace to their squaws, who harness a large dog to a rude sort of sleigh, or sledge, formed of the bark, or body of a tree, and find the prey, by the tracks on the grass: this they put into another sledge, which is fastened to their heads by a long rope, made of deer-skin and grass, and thus they draw it home..
A general officer, of the United States informed me, that some Mohawk chiefs being at Albany, a pedantic doctor, who dined with them at the same table, asked many impertinent questions, which at last irritated them so much that they request ed him, by their interpreter, to desist, and give the rest of the company some occasion to talk too. This gentleman informed me that they twist a bough around the neck, and, with the head enveloped in the leaves, crawl on their bellies to reconnoitre an enemy's camp. It appears that their fidelity is not to be relied on,
implicity, at least during war, as their notions of free agency are nearly unlimited. During the revolutionary contest, it was a common event to have a number of the Indians, appertaining to General Burgoyne's army, in the camp of General Gates, and vice versa.
Mr. Hallam, who is the father of the American stage, informed me, that several years since he was playing a tragedy, in the town of Alexandria, when several Indians of both sexes were in the boxes, and, in their simple way, thought the fiction of the scene was a genuine effusion of passion. It occurred in the course of the representation that two persons were theatrically murdered; and Mr. Henry, the actor, was going to stab a third victim, when a feinale Indian suddenly stood up, and made signs to stop the performance: her explanation for this interruption was, that they had already slain enough to satisfy her desire, and that she did not wish them to proceed any further: wildly imagining, that the whole affair was sanguinary, and that the heroes of the buskin were thus immolated to gratify the prejudices of her tribe, as a public compliment to their warlike character.'
Having a great desire to see an Indian squaw, I took an opportunity, while at Philadelphia, to indulge my curiosity. I was introduced by a medical gentleman and the interpreter. The lady was the wife of a chief of high character, belonging to one of the Six Nations: we found her sitting, and in the act of spinning, which she performed by means of a thin stick pierced with pins, at the lower extremity of which was a potatoe, which worked as a necessary weight in the operation. She was making garters for her husband, and I could not but admire her dexterity, and the effectual manner in which she conducted her rude machinery; she was rather tall than otherwise, and habited with the most rigorous delicacy; she had a short, white jacket,and a blue petticoat. Her hair, which was of a raven hue, appeared nearly as thick in texture as a horse's mane; it was combed neatly, and separated with such precision on her forehead, that it seemed as if an equal proportion of hair decorated, each side: her complexion was of a copper cast, but somewhat lighter. I asked her as many questions as decent manners would allow, to all of which she gave prompt and keen replies. I observed that it was not in the force of flattery to make her forget the dignity of modesty. She had the mien of a Juno, and I am persuaded,
persuaded, when indignant, that she could make ber displeasure awfully impressive. Her natural najesty of action was nearly equal to that of the best-bred women I ever saw; she had confidence, without boldness; and reserve without mauvaise-honte. During our conversation the chief entered the room, and, when I had complimented him on his good taste in the choice of his lady, he laughed heartily. He was an athletic man, and approached nearer in his muscular proportion to the Torso and Farnese Hercules, than any man that I recollect to have beheld. It is true, that my knowledge of the Indian character is very linited; yet so far as I may be admitted to form a judgment, I think them, naturally considered, as the most acute, agile, and graceful people that I have ever known.
For the Monthly Magazine.
OBSERVATIONS on ARRESTS on MESNE
PROCESS, for small DEBTS, &c.
The pressure of the times may constrain many to run in debt, without any reasonable prospect of payment; but whatever may occasion insolvency, the means of payment are not increased by the practice of arrests for small debts; it will, therefore, excite no surprize that the poor debtor cannot escape imprison,
It has been stated by respectable authority, that arrests, even for small debts, were useful, as a stimulus to a settlement of the action, and, by preventing much expensive litigation; thus the evils, though great, are supposed productive of more than an equal counterbalance of good; but the evils are certain, while the proposed advantages are doubtful, and the speculation against all experience: the number of actions settled, is less, and the executions more, in bailable actions, than in actions not bailable; a clear proof, that an arrest (particularly for small debts) cannot be the prevailing motive to a compromise of the action, much to in event of
Trecent det of luvolvency, are al- insolvency; and in that case, the process is
ready crowded with debtors on mesne process, for sums under 301. About fourfifths of the debtors sent to prison are for debts under 201. and in this class there are now many in Newgate.
With respect to a further restriction of the law of arrests, on mesne process, we are not, upon a question so important, left without a guide; our ancestors, seventy-five years ago, restrained the law of arrests, on process from the superior courts at Westminster, by preventing them, for sums under ten pounds.*
By this law, many thousand debtors have been saved from imprisonment; and if revised, it might be the means of avoiding the necessity of again enlarging the prisons, or of passing more frequent acts of insolvency; as money decreased in value, the benefits inter-led by this law gradually diminished, and we may remember, that about twenty or thirty years ago, Newgate, the King's-Bench, the Fleet, and other prisons, were considerably enlarged; but their future dimensions must depend upon the length of time, in which it shall please the wisdom of parliament to keep this law stationary, and the increase of poverty and population, or, upon a more speedy recurrence to acts of insolvency, to Inake room for a fresh assortment of pri
12 Geo. 1, c. 29.
severe, the speculation must fail, no stimu lus being able to work an impossibility; in the case of disability, arising from poverty, the man arrested, destitute of money and friends, cannot find bail; the fruit of the arrest, is therefore fruitless imprisonment.
If ten pounds, seventy years ago, was equal to thirty pounds, compared with the value of money, at this day, the letter of the statute may remain, while the benevolent intentions, founded in the wisdom of the legislature, may be defeated; to shew the policy of a further restriction proportioned to a decrease in the value of money since that period, suppose the laws in restraint of arrests under ten pounds repealed, the number of prisoners would be increased, by embracing a still larger class of poor debtors, and prisons would soon overflow.
By a statute passed in the present reign in restraint of such arrests in the inferior courts", perhaps more than 200,000 arrests have been prevented within the last twenty years; but it never has been contended that by such law, the credit and commerce of the country has been in the least impaires on the contrary, during this period, has risen to the highest pitch of prosperity.
Every creditor shares in the speculation of an arrest (though the chance of suc cess is thereby evidently diminished,
19 Geo. III.