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Slover, John. Stories of the Indians During the Revolution: With a Brief Sketch of the Customs of the Sauxes and Foxes . New York: Published for the Proprietor, 1836. [format: book], [genre: narrative; history]. Permission: Northern Illinois University
Persistent link to this document: http://lincoln.lib.niu.edu/file.php?file=sauxes.html


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-- 18 --

put an end to it by ordering the dance to cease, and then explained to me the honors which they had just paid me. "When we wish to know if an enterprise we meditate will be happy, we place in a rivulet a small wheel slightly supported on two stones. -- If the wheel turns during three suns without being thrown down, the augury is favorable; but if the current carries it away, and throws it upon the bank, it is a certain proof that our project is not approved by the Great Spirit, unless, however, a stranger comes to replace the little wheel before the end of the third day. You are this stranger who has restored our manitou and our hopes, and this is your title to be thus celebrated among us." In pronouncing these last words, an ironical smile played on her lips, which caused me to doubt her faith in the manitou. "You do not appear to be very much convinced," said I to her, "of the efficacy of the service which I have rendered you in raising the manitou?" She silently shook her head. Then raising her eyes, "I have been taught," said she, "to place my confidence higher. All my hopes are in the God I have been taught to believe in -- the God of the Christians."

I had at first been much astonished to hear an Indian woman speak French so well, and I was not less so in learning that she was a christian: Mary peceived it, and to put an end to my surprise, she related to me her history, while her husband and those who were to accompany her to Kaskaskia, hastily took their supper of maize, cooked in milk. She informed me that her father, who was a chief of one of the nations who inhabited the shores of the great lakes of the north, had formerly fought with a hundred of his followers under the orders of Lafayette, when the latter commanded an army on the frontiers -- that he had acquired much glory, and gained the friendship of the Americans. A long time after, that is, about twenty years ago, he left the shores of the great lakes with some of his warriors, his wife and daughter; and after having marched a long time, he established himself on the shores of the river Illinois.

"I was very young then, but have not yet, however, forgotten the horrible sufferings we endured during this long journey, made in a rigorous winter, across a country peopled by nations with whom we were unacquainted. They were such that my poor mother, who nearly always carried me on her shoulders, already well loaded with baggage, died under them some days after our arrival. My father placed me under the care of another woman who also emigrated with us, and occupied himself in securing the tranquil possession of the lands on which we had come to establish ourselves, by forming alliances with our new neighbors. The Kickapoos were those who received us best, and we soon considered ourselves as forming a part of their nation. The year following, my father was chosen by them, with some from among themselves, to go and regulate some affairs of the nation with the agent of the United States, residing here at Kaskaskia. He wished that I should be of the company; for although the Kickspoos had shown themselves


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Slover, John. Stories of the Indians During the Revolution: With a Brief Sketch of the Customs of the Sauxes and Foxes . New York: Published for the Proprietor, 1836. [format: book], [genre: narrative; history]. Permission: Northern Illinois University
Persistent link to this document: http://lincoln.lib.niu.edu/file.php?file=sauxes.html
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