Antebellum: Joyful Times Before the Storm

– 15 May 2017 –

Barzillai “19th Century” Bozarth:

So often the memories of times before a great calamity are colored and distorted by romanticism and nostalgia. It is easy for one to remember golden years filled with prosperity and happiness, all the more heavenly in contrast to the horrors and deprivations that followed.

Yet, in cases where a nation was destroyed, its society uprooted and forcibly transformed, the years preceding such revolutionary changes unquestionably experienced more prosperity and stability and innocence than the bleak years that followed. This was true in the French and Russian revolutions, and it was true for the South in the American Civil War. The following letter demonstrates this fact.

In this letter, written sometime between the years 1850 and 1856, an unknown woman using the pseudonym “Kate Cunnyngham” describes her light-hearted experiences at a fox hunt in rural Tennessee. Several of her letters, which detailed her travels throughout the antebellum South, were compiled in the book The Sunny South, or The Southerner at Home: Embracing Five Years Experience of a Northern Governess in the Land of the Sugar and the Cotton, published in 1860.

Mr. —

Have you ever been fox hunting? If you have, you have seen very respectable, rough and tumble enjoyment ; if yon have not, there are yet before you certain experiences.

I have already spoken of the fine, broadly spread landscape, visible from the portico of Overton Park Lodge. In the late autumnal months when the crops are well gathered, and there is nothing to trample down in the fields, this wide landscape is converted into a vast fox hunting ground, full eleven miles across. By concert the neighboring planters open their fences with many a gap across the country, and so a clear ride of ten or twelve miles is left free to the adventurous huntsman or huntswoman.

Two evenings ago as I was about to mount my beautiful dapple mule, (don’t laugh at my mule, for it is the dearest little fellow with ears like velvet, and feet and fetlocks like an antelope’s, a special gift to me for its beauty and gentleness, from Colonel Peyton,) to pace down the avenue to the turnpike, I was surprised to see suddenly appear in sight a party of seven young gentlemen. They were riding at top speed, and in great glee, and all came dashing up toward the villa at that rapid rate the Tennesseean loves to ride.

“Ah, my boys,” cried the colonel, “who was about to ride out with me, removing his foot from the stirrup, while I hesitated whether to remain on the flight of steps or fly from such a battalion. “Don’t go, Miss Kate. They are only some of the young fox hunters come over to make preparations.”

And before I could escape—

“Miss Conyngham, gentlemen!”

The young men, who drew up their horses on seeing a lady, lifted their caps and hats, and I was struck with their general appearance; four of them being fine-looking, yet dressed in blue linsey woolsey, with boots pulled on over their pantaloons; and the other three in thick coats and caps, or broad felt hats slouched behind—a very common head covering in these parts and not unpicturesque.

Every young man was armed with a gun, and attended at least by two dogs, and beautiful creatures some of them were —not the young men, Mr. —, but the hounds.

“Well, colonel, we have come over to settle upon the day,” said one of the young gentlemen.

“That is right! I like to see the rising generation prompt to engage in such noble sports. I think that the day after to-morrow we will give Reynard our compliments in person. I will have my men ready, and if you will meet me at the edge of the wood, by the lion’s head cliff, at six in the morning, we will do our best for a day’s sport.”

“We’ll be there, colonel,” was the response; “and then we shall stand a chance of bringing down a deer or two,” added one of them. “I saw one on the ridge by the creek as I rode over.”

“No doubt we shall see plenty of sport. And you must accompany us, Miss Kate,” added the colonel turning to me, as I stood with the bridle of my mule in my hand, trying to check his restive movements, for the prancing horses of the young men fired his ambition to prance too.

After suffering myself to be urged a little by two of the young gentlemen, I consented to join the party, if other ladies did so. The cavalcade then escorted us to the gate of the main road, and the horsemen separated each to his own home; while the colonel and I took a forest road, that, after a league’s windings, came out near the villa. As we rode, the colonel entertained me with a great many anecdotes of hunting, from Bruin to the Hare. As we approached the mansion on our return, the avenue was temporarily blocked up by not less than fifty slaves of both sexes; for it was now twilight, and they had just completed their day’s work, and were wending their way to their village, or quartier.

The women carried hoes upon their shoulders, and trudged along, some dull, and with expressionless faces, others laughing and singing. The men, I remarked, were more cheerful than the women, and had more lively countenances. One and all were clad in their coarse white cloth, known as negro cloth— the men with straw hats and the women with handkerchiefs upon their heads. I have not yet seen a negro woman wear a bonnet on Sundays, it is only a gayer kerchief.

As we passed, they drew up on each side of the narrow road for us to pass—the men all taking off, or touching their hats, and replying with a smile to their master’s salutation of “Good evening, boys!” and the women—some of them, slightly nodding, but without the smile. One of them had a huge cotton basket upon her head.
“Peep into it,” said the colonel, as I rode by. I did so, and beheld four little cunning black babies!—they were nestled together, and quite naked. These babies had been taken by their mothers to the field, and while they were at work, were placed under the care of the girl who had them in charge.

I am already getting reconciled to slavery, since I find that it does not, in reality, exhibit the revolting horrors I was taught in the North to discover in it. There are many things to admire and to interest one in the social and domestic condition of the slaves, and I am almost ready to acknowledge that the African is happier in bondage than free! At least one thing is certain: nearly all the free negroes I have ever seen in the North were miserable creatures, poor, ragged, and often criminal. Here they are well clad, moral, nearly all religious, and the temptations that demoralize the free blacks in our northern cities are unknown to, and cannot approach them.

Even many former slaves looked back on their lives before the Civil War with nostalgia, to the point where their narratives are discounted today. In reality, most of them lived harder lives after the war.

As we drew near the front of the villa, my mule, not liking the shrill cry of a superb peacock, which conceived the idea of welcoming us with a song, and a resplendent unfolding of his prismatic-eyed tail, started to run with me at top speed. I am a tolerable rider, and as I could not fall far if I were thrown, the mule being so little and low, I did not feel half the alarm the colonel manifested for my safety, who began to ride after me; when finding his horse only gave fresh impetus to the speed of my mule, he drew rein, and called to a negro man to stop my career. But the mule was not to be stopped. Instead of taking the carriage-way, he bolted across the lawn, and made straight for the stable. To stop him was impossible. I found I might as well pull at a granite column as at his jaws. The door of his stable was open, and I saw that he would only stop at his crib. I measured the ground to spring to it, but the dreadful idea that my skirt might entangle with the horns of the saddle, deterred me. In another moment the stable was reached! The door was open. I threw myself forward, clasped neck and mane, and stooping low went safely in with him. The suddenness with which he stopped at his manger, tossed me into the rack, out of which I was taken unhurt, and with many a joke and laugh upon my mule race. But a mule race is not a fox hunt, you say! Bide a wee, sir.

Yours,

Kate.

Ingraham, J. H., “Letter VII.” The Sunny South, or the Southerner at Home, Embracing Five Years’ Experience of a Northern Governess in the Land of the Sugar and the Cotton, 56-60. Philadelphia: G. G. Evans, 1860.

Janus:

Cycles and seasons govern collective human behavior, whether they are irregular economic cycles from decade to decade, or the lifespan of a nation or civilization across the centuries. Likewise, some primeval force seems to take hold of a people once every human life-span or so, a force that drives a people to stand up and fight their enemies, to die if they have to, to declare that the time for compromise has reached its end because further concessions will ultimately destroy who they are as a people. Sometimes the people aim their wrath at enemies outside the gates, sometimes at the enemies within.

We are living in the cusp of such a time today. Traitors and parasites rule over the white nations of the West. They seek our displacement as a people at the very least, and they are setting the world stage for another fratricidal world war to cement their power. And the white people under their rule remain almost hopelessly confused and divided, ready to kill each other because the time for compromise has reached its limit. The lines are being drawn.

In perhaps months, or maybe a few years, the blood of thousands or millions will flow. And in the years after this season has passed, when whatever remains of the nations struggle to rebuild, the survivors will look back on today’s opulent, relatively peaceful, and carefree years as a golden age. And in many ways, in comparison to the future, maybe these years will actually be golden ones.

As we prepare ourselves for the battles to come, I recommend that we take the time to give thanks for our families and good friends, for the decent people that still exist out there, for good health and good hospitals, for our plentiful food and clean water, and every other joyous and fragile thing that we tend to take for granted. Let us appreciate them while we can.

May the Lord have mercy on us all.

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Christopher Columbus – Another White Hero Vilified by the Left

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– 10 October 2016 –

Patulcius:

Unless trends dramatically change in the next few years, official celebrations of Columbus Day around the world are coming to an end.

Via CNN:

Since Columbus Day 2015, at least 14 communities in the United States have passed measures designating the second Monday in October Indigenous Peoples Day.

The changes build on recent efforts to shift the day’s focus from the Italian explorer, beginning in big cities including Seattle, Minneapolis and Albuquerque, and spreading to counties and school districts.

“Indigenous Peoples Day represents a shift in consciousness,” said Dr. Leo Killsback, a citizen of the Northern Cheyenne Nation and assistant professor of American Indian Studies at Arizona State University.

“It acknowledges that indigenous peoples and their voices are important in today’s conversations.”

“Conversations.” There’s another word that the Left has hijacked and mangled. On the surface, it’s a mutual exchange of thoughts and ideas between multiple parties; but in the Left’s context, a “conversation” is their attempt to force one group of people to quietly accept self-righteous, condescending, and utterly self-destructive instruction.

Even in the Spain, where the monarchy sponsored Columbus’ voyage, people are rethinking his legacy.

A group of left-wing city council members in Barcelona called for the city to remove a 196-foot statue of Christopher Columbus in one of its most heavily trafficked intersections as part of a proposal to strike the October 12 national holiday and return it to a regular working day.

Council member María José Lecha González said public commemoration of Columbus glorifies colonialism and imperialism, and called the holiday a “mockery” of the genocide of the indigenous population.

fallen-columbus-statue

Formerly a monument to the man who discovered the Americas for Europe, now a monument to the ugly barbaric forces who will destroy what European peoples have built.

Regardless of how Columbus treated the Indians he encountered (and it doesn’t seem that he treated them any worse than European peasants of that time), Columbus bravely crossed the Atlantic, discovered America for European civilization, and established an enduring European presence. We of European descent in the Americas owe our existence, our cultures, and our nations to the vision of this one man. Had some other explorer discovered America ten, fifty, or a hundred years later, today’s world would be radically different.

Those of native descent have no reason to celebrate Columbus. He ultimately brought the diseases that wiped so many of them out, and the settlers who displaced them. Today, some of these natives see the weakness of whites and are taking advantage.

But don’t imagine for a second that our capitulation to these groups will win their thanks and approval for very long. They don’t want dialogue and understanding, they will tear us down until we are a forgotten people, if we continue to let them. And these natives will live no better after our demise.

If we don’t defend our symbols and our history, then we have no future.

A good defense of Columbus can be found at the Catholic Education Resource Center:

In all of history, only the Europeans and the Polynesians of the south Pacific have been true discoverers, sailing for the explicit purpose of finding new lands, trading with their people, and colonizing them. And of all discoverers Christopher Columbus was the greatest, because he accomplished the most against the highest odds.

Before Columbus’ time all European voyages had followed coastlines, or crossed open seas to lands previously known or at least sighted by storm-driven ships. Only Columbus set off directly across a broad, unknown sea with no specific knowledge of how far it extended or what lay on the other side. To be sure, Columbus was convinced that he could reach Asia from Europe within the time during which the provisions he carried in his three ships would sustain his men. But he was wrong about that. If America had not existed — had not been in the way — Columbus would have had to turn back long before reaching his goal, or he and every man on his ships would have died.

[. . .]

When, after leaving the Canary Islands September 6, they had been out of sight of land for a full month — a longer voyage out of sight of land than any other in the history of the world up to that time — Columbus’ men became frightened and angry. During most of the voyage the wind, often strong, had blown from astern or nearly so. How were they ever going to get back, beating against it? Columbus knew that further north the prevailing winds blew from the west, and planned to go north to catch the westerlies before he returned. But his men knew nothing of world geography; all they knew was what they had seen, that in these strange and empty seas the winds almost always blew from the east or the northeast. On October 10 the men of the Santa Maria came to the verge of open mutiny.[6]

Columbus tells us in his Log how he answered them:

They [the crew] could stand it no longer. They grumbled and complained of the long voyage, and I reproached them for their lack of spirit, telling them that, for better or worse, they had to complete the enterprise on which the Catholic Sovereigns [Isabel and Fernando] had sent them. I cheered them on as best I could, telling them of all the honors and rewards they were about to receive. I also told the men that it was useless to complain, for I had started out to find the Indies and would continue until I had accomplished that mission, with the help of Our Lord.[7]

That last sentence summed up the heart and essence of the whole life and achievement of Christopher Columbus.

[. . .]

Upon the islands that he first discovered on the other side of the Atlantic, Columbus found native inhabitants, whom he called Indians, believing himself to be in “the Indies” of Asia. And here began the long and troubled story of Columbus’ interaction with the native Americans.

Before going into the historical details of that interaction, it is essential to clear away the fog of idealization and special pleading that now surrounds so much talk about the American Indians. First of all we have to understand the situation that existed in the world of the Indian of the Caribbean and mid- America when Columbus arrived.

It seems to be true, as is so often repeated today, that when Columbus found them, the Indians inhabiting the Bahama Islands, Cuba, Puerto Rico, and the great island the Spanish called Hispaniola (now divided between Haiti and the Dominican Republic) were a gentle, happy, attractive people living peacefully in good ecological balance with their surroundings. They were known as Taino, or Arawaks.[8]

But they were not destined to remain in their Eden-like situation for long, even if Columbus and the Spanish had not come. Advancing steadily northward from the long chain of Caribbean islands called the Antilles was one of the most ferocious people in recorded history, the Caribs. They were savage conquerors who practiced cannibalism, not as an occasional cultic ritual, but as a regular diet. Captured prisoners were immediately eaten. Conquered peoples were systematically devoured. On every island they seized, the Caribs soon exterminated every Taino. On no island did the two tribes coexist.[9]

Across the island-studded Caribbean Sea lay Mexico. Though politically and culturally advanced beyond most other Indian cultures — the Mexica had a large army, a well-developed governmental administration, a system of writing, and stone temples — their empire, which we call Aztec, carried out ritual human sacrifice on a scale far exceeding any recorded of any other people in the history of the world. The law of the Mexica empire required a thousand human sacrifices to the god Huitzilopochtli in every town with a temple, every year; there were 371 subject towns in the empire, and the majority had full-scale temples. There were many other sacrifices as well. The total number was at least 50,000 a year, probably much more. The early Mexican historian Ixtlilxochitl estimated that one out of every five children in Mexico was sacrificed. When in the year 1487 the immense new temple of Huitzilopochtli was dedicated in Tenochtitlan (now Mexico City), more than 80,000 men were sacrificed, at fifteen seconds per man, for four days and four nights of almost unimaginable horror.[10]

It must be emphasized that there is no serious dispute about these facts and figures. All reputable and informed historians of pre-Columbian Mexico[11] accept their essential accuracy, though some prefer not to talk about them. These facts of history totally dispose of the romantic fantasy of a hemisphere full of peaceful, nature-loving Indians who threatened no one until the cruel white man came.

That the conversion of the people he found was a central purpose of Christopher Columbus is made unmistakably clear by an entry in his log book written November 6, when he was exploring the coast of Cuba. It is addressed directly to Isabel and Fernando:

I have to say, Most Serene Princes, that if devout religious persons know the Indian language well, all these people would soon become Christians. Thus I pray to Our Lord that Your Highnesses will appoint persons of great diligence in order to bring to the Church such great numbers of peoples, and that they will convert these peoples. . . . And after your days, for we are all mortal, you will leave your realms in a very tranquil state, free from heresy and wickedness, and you will be well received before the Eternal Creator.[12]

Early 19th-Century Female Courage Compared to Ancient Female Courage

empress_eugenie_surrounded_by_her_ladies_in_waiting

– 13 September 2016 –

Barzillai “19th Century” Bozarth:

19th-century-barzillaiA respected reverend attempts to resolve a civilized dispute between a group of young ladies, a discussion taking place roughly two hundred years before the present.

The ladies cannot decide whether their courage should manifest itself in their dominion over their future husbands or in their willful submission to them. The reverend gives the proper answer, and then afterwards he presents a comparison between the ladies’ ideas of courage and the ideas of female courage that were exalted in the ancient Occidental world:

FEMALE COURAGE PROPERLY CONSIDERED.

The Rev. Mr. Sherlock being one day in company with a number of young ladies, the conversation happened to turn on the courage of their own sex. One observed, that Miss Lovelace had a resolution above being curbed by her guardians, and was determined to dress as she liked; while another gave it as her opinion, that it would be better for her to check her temper, and submit to the will of her guardians. “If ever I should be married” said one of the young ladies, “I think I shall have courage enough to make my husband do as I please.”—“You may be right, miss,” said another, “but I think, should I ever be married, I shall always consult my husband’s opinion, and readily submit to it, whenever reason seems to require it.”

The young ladies kept up this kind of conversation for some time; when, at last, finding their opinions were so different, they requested the reverend divine to give them his sentiments, wherein true female courage consisted.

“I have,” said Dr. Sherlock, “been listening to your conversation, and, as you have been pleased to appeal to me, I shall speak truth, without the least reserve. I hope you will attend to what I am going to say, and treasure it up in your minds.

“I consider true courage as one of the noblest ornaments of the fair sex, since it must be allowed, that, without a becoming resolution, many female accomplishments would be lost and sunk in obscurity, and that even virtue itself, unassisted by true courage, would soon dwindle to a shadow. I doubt not but that each of you amiable young ladies flatter yourselves with being possessed of this noble accomplishment; but permit me to tell you, that it is not every possessor of a pretty face who knows what it is. It is not Xantippe, but Lucretia, whom I call the woman of true courage.

female-courage

The young women demure so politely to the authority of the reverend. It is a romantic depiction that seems unimaginable to anyone today.

“Xantippe is the daughter of two noble personages, and the wife of a sensible and prudent man; the mother of a blooming offspring, and the sole mistress of a plentiful fortune, the produce of which her husband cannot receive without her order. Elated with the thoughts of her high birth, and sensible of the dependance her Husband has on her will, she subjects him to the most rigorous discipline, is cruelly severe to her children, and arbitrary and tyrannical over her servants. Insolent and disdainful in her behaviour to her equals, and haughty and arrogant inner demeanour to her superiors, her jealousy is equalled only by her ill nature : the most innocent freedom of her husband to a visitor is sufficient to give rise to the former : and the most trifling repartee is sure to occasion the latter. These are her qualities, which she is so far from endeavouring to amend, that she considers them as marks of true courage ; or, to speak in a more polite phrase, they make her pass for a woman of spirit!

“How opposite is the conduct of Lucretia!—Possessed of no other fortune than what good sense and a proper education give her, she passes through life with peace and serenity of mind. The will of her husband, the care of her children, and the due preservation of order and economy in her house, are her principal studies. Easy, good-natured, and affable to her equals, and humble, submissive, and obliging to her superiors; as no height of prosperity makes her forgetful of adversity, so no storms of angry fortune are able to disturb the calm within her breast, or deprive her of that hope with which true courage will always support those who possess it.

“True courage, rightly understood, and properly cultivated, will inspire the fair sex with the noblest sentiments of honour and generosity. It will elevate their minds above those mean and paltry methods, which too many of them put in practice, to captivate the hearts of the giddy and unthinking. It will raise in them a noble and emulative zeal for literary studies, which will rescue them from the odium that is too frequently, and too justly, cast on many of them, of being pretty, but silly, prattling creatures. It is true courage only that can raise in them such sentiments as shall preserve them the esteem and affection of all, when the bloom of youth shall be lost in the evening of life: when the lily and rose shall fade on their cheek, and the beautiful form of their persons can be no longer admired.

“I have now, young ladies, given you my opinion of what really ought to be considered as true courage in your sex; and I hope it will have some influence on your minds, as well as on your conduct in the commerce of this busy world. It is not at all surprising, that you young ladies should differ in your opinions on so delicate a question; since true courage is, in these times of refinement, considered in a very different light from what it was in the remote ages of antiquity. In order to amuse you, and perhaps instruct you, I shall beg your attention to a piece of ancient history: from which you will judge what were the barbarous ideas the ladies of antiquity had of true courage.

Mithridates, king of Pontus, proving unsuccessful in the war in which he was engaged against Lucullus, a Roman general, had shut up two of his wives (for the custom of that country allowed of a plurality,) and two of his sisters, whom he most loved, in that part of his kingdom which was the most remote from danger. At last, not being able to brook the apprehensions of their falling into the hands of the Romans, he sent orders to Bacchalides, an eunuch, to put them to death. The manner in which they received this order strongly marks the ideas the ladies of those times and regions had of true courage.

“Berenice and Monima were these unfortunate princesses. The first was born in the island of Chios, and the other in Miletus, a city of Ionia, towards the borders of Cairo, on the coast of the Aegean Sea. Monima was celebrated for the invincible resistance which she made to all the offers of Mithridates, who was most violently in love with her, and to which she never consented, till he had declared her queen, by calling her his wife, and sending her the royal diadem—a ceremony indispensable in the marriage of kings in that part of the world.

mithridates-vi-monime-diadem

Death Before Dishonor: Rather than suffer humiliation by the capture of his wives and sisters by the Romans, Mithridates VI of the defeated Kingdom of Pontus ordered each of them to die, and the courageous ancient women promptly obeyed.

“However, even then she consented with reluctance, and only to gratify the inclinations of her family, who were dazzled with the lustre of the crown and power of Mithridates, who was at that time victorious and loaded with glory. Monima abandoned herself to a perpetual melancholy, which the abject slavery in which Mithridates kept his wives, the distance she then was from Greece, whither she had no hopes of returning, and, perhaps too, a secret passion which she always disguised, rendered insurmountable.

“When Bacchalides had declared to them the fatal message, and that they were at liberty to choose what death appeared to them the most easy, Monima tore of the royal bandage which she always wore on her head, and, fixing it round her neck, endeavoured to strangle herself; but the bandage broke, and left her in a condition truly to be pitied. ‘Unfortunate diadem,’ said she, trampling it under her feet, ‘thou hast brought me to all my miseries! thou hast been witness of my slavery and wretchedness! Why wouldst thou not at last help me to put an end to them all?’— After having shewn these marks of her resentment, she snatched a dagger from the hand of Bacchalides, and sheathed it in her bosom.

“Berenice swallowed the dreadful potion with astonishing resolution, and obeyed, without murmuring, the frenzy of a barbarous lover.

“The king’s two sisters, Statira and Roxana, followed the example of Berenice. Roxana, after having a long time kept a profound silence, swallowed the fatal draught, and died without uttering a single word. As for Statira, after having shewn her grief for the king’s defeat, she highly praised his conduct, and ordered Bacchalides to thank him for thinking of her amidst the wreck of his affairs, and thereby securing her, by a timely death, from the shameful slavery of the Romans.”

Dr. Sherlock having now finished, the young ladies all rose and thanked him for the instruction he had been pleased to give them. They assured him, that they should in future endeavour to distinguish between the true courage of these modern times, and of those in which lived the wives and sisters of Mithridates.

Johnson, R., “Female Courage Properly Considered.” The Blossoms of Morality; Intended for the Amusement and Instruction of Young Ladies and Gentlemen, 136-144. London: J. Harris, 1828.

The Social Problems of 1905 America: Ominous Social Phenomena Associated With Want of Sunday Rest

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– 6 August 2016 –

Barzillai “19th Century” Bozarth:

19th-century-barzillaiThe following article attributes many of the social ills of the United States in 1905, such as they were, to a widespread lack of Sunday laws, otherwise called “blue” laws.

That the author of the article, Dr. Alexander Jackson, can demonstrate the degenerative state of America in the year 1905 should illustrate to those who today believe that the decline of the U.S. began in the 1950’s or 1960’s that they possess too narrow a perspective of history. Rather, civilization in the West in general has declined steadily at least since the time of the Enlightenment in the Eighteenth Century, not necessarily following a linear path, nor the same path in each stratum of every Western nation, but certainly following a reliable downward trend in the West overall.

Historically, Sunday laws in the United States have lacked consistency in their application, both geographically and in severity. Naturally the Puritan founders of New England, having rejected the feasts and holidays of the Anglican church, adopted the stern character of the Jewish Sabbath to what they called a Christian Sabbath. Over time, governments loosened the terms of these laws as the public held the Sabbath with less intensity. Then, at various times and places in Nineteenth Century America, moralists called for a return to the strictness of colonial New England’s Blue Laws, often meeting with success. State after state, particularly in the South, adopted some form of Sunday laws. Typically, such laws forbade the sale of liquor and prevented other forms of retail. Often they restricted the public activities of the citizenry. The stringency of such laws tended to ebb and flow in relation to periods of religious zeal and passivity, but the Christian apathy of today’s world has seen the slow erosion of Sunday laws to their lowest levels in our history, though they still do commonly exist.

Dr. Jackson’s notions concerning blue laws likely strike the present-day reader as absurd. Yet do the events of history not validate the societal concerns of Jackson and men like him? A mere fifteen years after this article, the Lost generation, after suffering in the trenches of the First World War, ushered in the decadence of the Roaring Twenties, with its speakeasies and flappers and raucous jazz music. The austerity of the Great Depression and the Second World War reversed some of these excesses, yet the supposed greatest generation of World War II, the most secular generation in the history of America up to that time, failed to instill in their children the moral integrity to preserve the fundamentals of their civilization. The decline of Christian moral standards has only accelerated since those spoiled children have grown to adulthood and now elderhood.

Had the moralists of the late Nineteenth and early Twentieth centuries won in their days, then they, at a minimum, could have delayed the spread of decadence that we see today, if not averting it altogether.

OMINOUS SOCIAL PHENOMENA OF TO-DAY ASSOCIATED WITH WANT OF SUNDAY REST.

Alexander Jackson, A. M., Ph. D.

There are several social phenomena of to-day that are ominous in the extreme. They have been frequently noticed in an incidental way; but they have not been carefully or scientifically examined, and what explanations have been suggested are superficial and unsatisfactory. Let us collate a few of these facts and then seek for an explanation of them:

I. The Facts:

(a) There is the vast increase of insanity. There has been no opportunity to arrange statistics, but the fact that insanity has increased at an appalling rate is not to be questioned. Probate Courts and superintendents of asylums have echoed the statement. It is only too true.

(b) There is the vast increase of crime. We have no statistics more recent than those collected in the census of 1890; but they show that crime had increased up to that time at an immensely greater rate than the population; and it will not be questioned that the increase since 1890 has been even greater than it was previously. In 1890, Arizona had more than four per cent of its population in jail; Montana and Nevada had more than three per cent; Colorado, California, Massachusetts, Texas, and the District of Columbia had more than two per cent; twenty-five other States had more than one per cent; while the remaining fourteen States had less than one per cent.

[. . .]

(c) There is the vast increase of accidents of a more or less disastrous character. According to Public Opinion, 57,500 lives are annually lost in the United States by accidents and injuries. ”The death rolls of the railroads, industry in general, and disastrous fires, show that killing human beings is a common incident of life in this country.” And the evil appears to be rapidly on the increase. Recently the Hungarian consul at Pittsburg took official notice of the frequent and large slaughter of his fellow countrymen in the mills and workshops of Pittsburg and neighborhood. The average losses in the mines of the United States are 1,500 killed and 3,600 injured. There were 64½ per cent more deaths of passengers in train accidents in 1904 than there were in 1903. It is said that the Interstate Commerce Commission has been moved to recommend the compulsory use of the block-signal system; but the nonuse of the block-signal system does not explain this appalling increase in killing passengers in railroad accidents. The real cause lies further back than the signal system.

WEB-train-wreck

“In 1897, the government of Belgium proceeded to reduce all freight trains until, at the present time, there are 2,227 less on Sunday than on other days. As a result of this cessation of freight traffic on Sunday there has been a reduction of 54 per cent in the accidents occasioned by the fault of railroad employees.”

(d) There is the vast increase in the amount of liquor consumed, although there never was a time when temperance sentiment was so widespread and so strong. Official reports of the United States Bureau of Statistics show that the use of whisky has steadily increased from 1.01 gallons per capita in 1896, to 1.48 gallons in 1904, a gain in nine years of over 46½ per cent. The consumption of wine for the same period shows an increase of 100 per cent; beer, 18 4/5; all alcoholic drinks combined, 21 4/5. Coffee shows a per capita gain of 44.88 per cent since 1896; tea about the same. This shows that the use of the milder stimulants, — wine, beer, coffee, and tea, — has not been able to check the increasing use of spirituous liquors. The total revenue of the United States Government in 1904 from spirituous and malt liquor licenses, etc., was $184,893474.

(e) There is the deluge of strong drugs and patent medicines, the consumption of which in such vast quantities is one of the most alarming factors in the problem of modern life. Many of these drugs are more dangerous than any liquor sold over the saloon counter; and many of the patent medicines have more alcohol than any alcoholic liquor.

(f) Then, there is the widespread degeneracy, which is more and more pressing itself upon the attention of thoughtful men. We have been told that it was with considerable difficulty enough young men could be had to pass the medical examinations to make up the little army necessary to fight Spain in Cuba. And yet our boys and young men were volunteering by the million. Our country was settled by the best blood of the best races; and the blending of these ought to have given us a race of young men and maidens the perfection of manly and womanly development. Instead, we have widespread degeneracy.

What does it all mean?

II. The Explanation.

(a) The American people are living on high pressure. It is doubtful if any nation ever was so high-strung and so intense in all its life as ours. This being the case, on simple sociological grounds no country has ever had so much need of the old-fashioned, quiet, reverent Sabbath rest.

(b) But with us it has come to be that Sunday has about as much mental and nervous strain as any day of the week. There is no criticism of concerts, games, entertainments, excursions, social parties, etc., etc., as things bad in themselves. It is only that, when practiced on Sunday, the benefits from the quiet, reverent rest-day are lost to the people, and there is consequently a premature exhaustion of vitality and nervous and mental power. Even those who wish to keep the day in quiet are not allowed to do so by the intrusion of Sunday newspapers, Sunday traders, Sunday excursions, and Sunday sports. All this lands in nervous and mental exhaustion. The person is “run down,” and in the strain of business or social life a “bracer” is called for; or, if too conscientious to use liquor, he falls back on some drug or patent medicine which may be more dangerous than any alcoholic liquor. The time comes when the bankrupted brain and nervous system succumbs to some deadly disorder or collapses in insanity or nervous impotency.

(c) As showing the relation between a quiet and reverent Sabbath and law-and-order, I quote the following significant comment from the distinguished French statesman, Comte de Montalembert: “Men are surprised sometimes by the ease with which the immense city of London is kept in order by a garrison of three small battalions and two squadrons, while to control the capital of France, which is half the size, forty thousand troops of the line and sixty thousand national guards are necessary. But the stranger who arrives in London on a Sunday morning, when he sees everything of commerce suspended in that gigantic capital in obedience to God; when in the center of that colossal business he finds silence and repose scarcely interrupted by the bells which call to prayer, and the immense crowd on their way to church, — then his astonishment ceases. He understands that there is another curb for a Christian people besides that of bayonets, and that where the law of God is fulfilled with such solemn submissiveness, God Himself, if I dare use the words, charges Himself with the police arrangements.”

(d) As indicating a similar close relation between a quiet and reverent Sabbath and the morality of the people, the following may be quoted: The Registrar-General for Scotland tells us that there is four per cent of illegitimacy in London with all its badness; but thirty-two per cent in Milan; thirty-three per cent in Brussels; thirty-five per cent in Munich ; forty-eight per cent in Paris, and fifty-one per cent in Vienna, — or nearly one thousand per cent more illegitimacy in cities where the Sunday is spent in sport or work than in the greatest city in the world which honors the Sabbath to that extent that it will not allow the publication of a newspaper or collect or deliver mail on that day.

(e) The investigations of Messrs. Imbert and Mestre, two French scientists, have shown that accidents occur most frequently to workmen late in the afternoon, and are least frequent in the morning. This indicates that accidents are largely the result of the workmen being tired. Science also advises us that as nature demands sleep when the person is tired, a part of the mental faculties, or a section of the brain, may take a nap longer or shorter, as the case may be, while otherwise the man is apparently wide-awake. The part of the brain that has been most strained calls for and takes some of the needed rest. Thus the capacity of hearing sounds or of distinguishing colors may be asleep, while the man is otherwise awake. Many of the mistakes of railroaders, in the last analysis, may be thus explained.

[. . .]

Two reports from Europe strengthen our contention that lack of Sunday rest is a great cause of the calamitous accidents which have been so frequent. After the International Congress on Sunday Rest, which was held in Brussels in 1897, the government of Belgium proceeded to reduce all freight trains until, at the present time, there are 2,227 less on Sunday than on other days. As a result of this cessation of freight traffic on Sunday there has been a reduction of 54 per cent in the accidents occasioned by the fault of railroad employees. While in the United States one passenger in 2,316,648 is killed, there is only one passenger in 8,461,309 killed in Great Britain. English railways carry twice as many passengers annually as those of America, but only one-tenth as many of these passengers are killed or injured. In 1904, 10,000 people were killed on American railroads and 75,000 injured; but on English railroads there were only 1,150 killed and 6,785 injured. Sunday rest for railroad men in Belgium and England gives the railroads, the passengers, and the employees a larger immunity from calamitous accidents. If calamitous accidents would be reduced 54 per cent, the sooner our railroads adopt Sunday rest as a principle in railroading, the better. It would save more lives and property from accidents than all the mechanical devices that ever were invented.

(f) But there is still another principle involved. No fair-minded observer will question the great influence of the Christian Church in building up character and educating moral principle. This education is largely done through the public or private services on Sunday, Sunday-schools, Young People’s Societies, and other Christian agencies. In proportion as a man is conscientious in observing the Sabbath as the Lord’s Day, and attending the services in Church as meeting with God, will he be conscientious and reliable in ordinary life. The presence in church of persons who use it for dishonest purposes, no more impairs the truthfulness of this principle than does the forgery of a bank-note impair the worth of the standard currency. This being the case, it is a fair deduction that those who neither observe Sunday nor attend on the public Christian services of worship or work, must deteriorate in moral character. Universal experience corroborates this deduction. Those who are faithful in taking advantage of the means of grace, improve in character, other things being equal; and those who use Sunday the same as other days, and are never found in attendance on Church, deteriorate in moral character. A man who is not faithful to his Divine Maker can not long remain faithful to his fellow-man.

sunday_ban_off_prem_map_2013

Bans on Off-Premises Sunday Sales as of January 1, 2015: Some blue laws have managed to survive till the present day.

Back of all the ominous phenomena which is exciting the alarm of thoughtful men, is the wholesale degradation of the Sabbath. That may not be all the explanation, but no explanation will satisfy that leaves it out. The want of Sunday rest exhausts the vitality; stimulants are resorted to; the exhaustion becomes bankruptcy, and the man yields to physical or mental disease. His children, too, inherit impaired constitutions and distorted organisms. The want of Sunday rest also means the loss of regular Church privileges; and there is a corresponding loss of moral character. The man may not become openly vicious, but he is not as highly conscientious as he who has been regularly taught from Sabbath to Sabbath to recognize the constant presence of the All-seeing One. Then, too, the want of Sunday rest means such exhaustion as compels tired nature to steal snatches of needed rest for exhausted faculties or functions, and these impair the reliability of the operator. In fact, no man can be an efficient officer who does not honor the weekly Sabbath. We unhesitatingly insist that, in this matter of Sabbath observance, the man who is most faithful to his spiritual obligations will be found most efficient and faithful to the duties and responsibilities placed upon him by his fellows.

III. What Is to be Done About It?

That is the main question after all. Statesmen and political economists on the Continent have been so impressed by these and other considerations bearing in the same direction, that they have been trying to restore Sunday rest to their respective peoples, and this without respect to its religious relations. Eleven European countries have, within the last dozen years, placed laws on their statute-books with this object in view. Last year, the Government of Spain, acting under authority of a law passed by the Cortes, inaugurated a national plan for restoring Sunday as a rest-day to the people, and, curiously, in their first practical application of the law they forbade bull-fights and the publication and sale of newspapers on Sunday.

In many cases, public-spirited citizens have not waited for the Government to act. In Marseilles, France, the newspaper proprietors and editors came together, and after conference determined to try the experiment of having no Sunday issue of their newspapers. After three months’ trial, all parties were so satisfied with the situation that, on last May, they agreed to permanently discontinue the publication of Sunday newspapers, and to-day Marseilles has no Sunday newspaper.

Surely, surely our American business men are not all so lost to the principles of the higher manhood that they will continue a course which is so threatening to all that is best in the life of the nation! At least one large Insurance Company is planning to recognize these principles. It is arranging to place a question in the interrogatories of candidates for insurance, and if a man is found to be working regularly seven days a week, he will be refused insurance. There is no doubt that the time is coming when, from simple self-preservation, it will be insisted that every worker shall have one day of rest each week, and when the day will be so safe-guarded from mental and physical dissipation that it will afford real rest and refreshment to tired men.

Sunday Rest in the Twentieth Century, ed., Dr. Alexander Jackson, 63-71. Cleveland: The International Federation of Sunday Rest Associations of America, 1905.

Patulcius:

Patulcius-sqAlthough it would be useless to create stricter blue laws with the idea to improve the moral character of the rotten public, a secular case for such laws can be made on the basis of public rejuvenation and well-being.

Germany has some of the strictest shopping hour restrictions in the world. And not just on Sunday, but throughout the week. The country remains productive and fruitfully employed, yet the frantic rush of all-day shopping and consumption is avoided. Parents can spend time with their children; workers don’t have to slave away at all hours to earn a living. Certainly socialist Germany has several flaws, but the restrictions on work hours benefit the German people whether they believe in Christ or not.

When employers in a society run rampant with the hours they demand of their employees, families suffer. Individuals suffer. Japan is a fine example of a country where parents often spend very little time with one another or their children. As a result, their birthrate is disastrous and their stress rate can kill. A generation of young men and women don’t even know how to engage the opposite sex.

Even the concept of Work Life Balance, Left-wing though it may be in many respects, has some merit because of these reasons.

Clusivius:

Clusivius-sqThere is little point to pushing for stricter blue laws in today’s America. The population has grown so decadent that such laws would only enrage the people without improving their characters.

It makes little sense to impose restrictions on business hours or hours of employment even for secular reasons.

Personally, I prefer to shop, when I have to, during off-peak hours in order to avoid the crowds. (And so do you, Patulcius! Haw! Haw!) Restricted shopping hours would force more people to shop during available hours, increasing crowds.

Likewise, some people in today’s wretched economy depend on irregular hours to make their livings. How many people would lose their jobs if evening or third-shift work disappeared? Sure, some of them could help with increased demand during the allotted hours, but certainly not all.

I doubt the country would benefit enough from blue laws or ‘work life balance’ laws to justify the intrusion of more government in private business.

1828 Attack Ad Against Andrew Jackson

presidential-campaign-1828-granger

– 16 June 2016 –

Barzillai “19th Century” Bozarth:

19th-century-barzillaiIn America’s election of 1824, even though Andrew Jackson had won the greatest share of votes in a four-way race—in both the official electoral and the unofficial popular tally—the lack of a majority of electoral votes allowed the House of Representatives to appoint John Quincy Adams to the Presidency. After winning office, Adams duly appointed the Speaker of the House, Henry Clay, as Secretary of State, a position in those days that all but guaranteed him the presidency. This quickly grew to notoriety as the “Corrupt Bargain.”

Most of the people, however, denied the legitimacy of Adams, whose presidency produced one failure after another, and Jackson loyalists almost immediately sought to elect their beloved general again for the election of 1828. In one of the most bitterly fought presidential elections in history, Adams men attacked every aspect of Jackson’s life, from his violent temper and duel-fighting to the legitimacy of his marriage and the character of Jackson’s wife Rachel. They warned that a Jackson presidency would amount to a military dictatorship marked by personal feuds and irresponsible foreign policy.

The following campaign poem, published in the Truth’s Advocate and Monthly Anti-Jackson Expositor in June of 1828, covers each of these condemnations and dire warnings against Jackson in the form of the General’s farcical lamentations upon hearing in December of his hypothetical loss to Adams.

GROANINGS OF ONE A____W J_____N

TO BE HEARD DECEMBER, 1828

“Caesar ant nulles was his name,
Caesar non venit—”nullus came!”

Oh! lud I am dished—Oh sons! I’m undone,
clear-spaceI must give myself up to despair—
For Adams, that rascally turncoat has won,
clear-spaceAnd is still in the President’s chair.

In vain did I fight so, behind cotton bags,
clear-spaceWhich gained me such glorious renown—
In vain turned so pious—the curst Adams wags
clear-spaceSaid the world would not swallow it down.

They say I don’t know e’en our G’ography
clear-spaceclear-spacehere.
clear-spaceBut I know enough plenty for me;
I know Washington’s up in the District some-
clear-spaceclear-spacewhere,
clear-spaceAnd Kentuck I know a’nt Tennessee.

But a phoo! for your larning—for where is the
clear-spaceclear-spaceuse?
clear-spaceIf a man should go off on a tour,
There’s any black nigger, that’s walking the
clear-spaceclear-spacestreet,
clear-spaceCan tell him the way, I am sure.

I murder King’s English, they say—so I will—
clear-spaceFor it shows true American pride
I hate all your kings, and your Englishmen, too,
clear-spaceAnd every thing English beside.

Then a nice writing-man I have hired for my
clear-spaceclear-spaceuse,
clear-spaceTo hide the bad spelin I skrawl,
And them are as says how my grammar is bad,
clear-spaceDon’t know nothing about it at all.

Though spouting sometimes in the Senate, ’tis
clear-spaceclear-spacetrue,
clear-spaceI’ve stammer’d most sadly and blundered;
But if I’ve occasion to make a speech now,
clear-spaceVan Buren will write me a hundred.

“The three R’s—honest ‘Rithmatic, Reading
clear-spaceclear-spaceand ‘Riting,
clear-spaceI think, I can say, I’m no fool in—
Considering my time was so took up in fighting,
clear-spaceThat I only had three quarters schooling.

I hate Clay—I hate bargain—except as a bet
clear-spaceOn a game-cock, or horse at the races;
I like one of Clay’s acts, though—’tis so much
clear-spaceclear-spacelike me,
clear-spaceWhen he fought with slim John at ten paces,

And then about that Mrs. Robards affair—
clear-spaceThat, too, they’ve told Adams and Clay—
Had it never leaked out, I’ll make bold to de-
clear-spaceclear-spaceclare,
clear-space‘Twould not be known to this day.

Then poor Mrs. Gin’ral—I blush when it’s
clear-spaceclear-spacetold,
clear-spaceHow they laughed—(I can never forgive her)—
When she said that “she cotch’d a most wiolent
clear-spaceclear-spacecold,
clear-spaceFor the Gin’ral had kicked off the kiver.”

Though every objection I’ve answered enough,
clear-spaceStill the Adams men jabber and squall,
‘Bout militia men—marriages—morals & stuff,
clear-spaceAnd war—and the deuce knows what all.

Make me President once, and the scoundrels
clear-spaceclear-spaceshall feel—
clear-spaceWith my fist ‘gainst the wall would I jam
clear-spaceclear-spacee’m—
If they still made their jabber—by thunder and
clear-spaceclear-spacesteel
clear-spaceI’d shoot every rogue of ’em—d—n ’em”
clear-spaceclear-spaceclear-spaceclear-spaceclear-spaceclear-spaceclear-spaceclear-spaceTRASH.

Trash, Truth’s Advocate and Monthly Anti-Jackson Expositor, ed., An Association of Individuals, 235-236. Cincinnati: Lodge, L’hommedieu, and Hammond Printers, 1828.

“If Donald Trump is Nominated By the Cleveland Convention What Course Should Establishment Republicans Pursue?”

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– 5 March 2016 –

Barzillai “19th Century” Bozarth:

19th-century-barzillaiThe situation with the divided Republican Party today, where one group of politicians refuses to support their party’s front-runner and conspires to destroy him at every opportunity, shows a great similarity to the situation of the Democratic Party in 1860 that led ultimately to the Civil War.

The Democratic Party should have won the 1860 presidential election rather than lose to Lincoln and the Republicans. In those days the Democratic Party represented conservative forces throughout the United States, people who wished to preserve the status quo.  The new opposing party, the Republicans, having formed in 1854 out of the abolitionist remnants of the fallen Whig party, continued to pursue a relatively radical agenda that failed to appeal to a solid majority. The conservative Democrats should have easily defeated the radical Republicans.

However, the Democrats could not agree on a candidate. Southern Democrats refused to accept the front-runner, Stephen A. Douglas, because of his moderate stances on slavery in the territories. Unionist Democrats could not agree to the Southern “Fire-Eater” demands to add protections of slavery in the territories to the party platform, believing that such protections would ensure Democratic losses in the Northern states. For various reasons, many of them hidden from the public, neither side would compromise on what should have been a minor issue: the decisions of settlers to settle the question of slavery in their respective territories.

The following article, written in the Louisville Journal on April 20, 1860, demonstrates this stubborn and heated refusal of both sides to compromise on any issue:

The Southern Confederacy, a fire-eating paper that has nominated Alexander H. Stephens for the Presidency and Daniel S. Dickinson for the Vice-Presidency, and keeps their names flying at its mast-head, asks in staring head-lines, “IF STEPHEN A. DOUGLAS IS NOMINATED BY THE CHARLESTON CONVENTION, WHAT COURSE SHOULD THE SOUTHERN STATES PURSUE?” and answers the portentous question as follows:

The South has nothing to fear from a dissolution of the Union, but everything to gain. And whilst we desire its perpetuation upon a constitutional basis, still if it is to be held in tact simply for the purpose of subserving the fanatical interests of a piratical and sectional combination, we would prefer to see it torn into fragments and scattered to the four winds.  The South as a people neither asks nor expects anything but their constitutional rights.  This, if we mistake not, she is determined to have in the future at all hazards.  The nomination of Judge Douglas by the Charleston Convention—by the combined vote of the North, would in our estimation, be an overt act of sufficient importance to cause a dissolution.  For his nomination would be in the name of that party which can only give security to Southern interests.  When that party representing a meagre minority of doubtful proclivities so far forgets the rights of the slaveholding States as to thrust upon them a disguised hypocrite, let them reap as they have sown.  And should any Southern State prove in that convention particeps criminis to so foul a deed, we trust enough will be left whose escutcheons are untainted to retire from the plot house of treason and nominate a ticket that will rally to its standard every true Southron.  Let us have a ticket that is to the “manor born,” and one that will inaugurate Southern Independence in fact and in truth.  In these views we believe we are endorsed by nine-tenths of the Southern people.  Woe unto those at the South who have attempted to inveigle us into the support of the Arnold Douglas.  And woe be unto him from the South who casts a vote for our worst enemy.  It is deplorable indeed that even the name of Judge Douglas is mentioned in connection with the Charleston Convention.  It is significant of the awful fact that there are many amongst us who are ready to surrender the last vestige of hope—the last anchor of protection!

election1860-480

The stubbornness of Democrats in 1860 led to the division of the party in two and a victory for Lincoln. Had they not split, Lincoln would have lost the election, with the Civil War likely delayed or prevented.

Now, all this rumpus, be it observed, is kicked up by a paper whose avowed first choice for the Presidency stands squarely on the policy of Douglas, and whose avowed first choice for the Vice-Presidency stands squarely on both the doctrine and the policies of Douglas.  That is to say, Stephens assents to absolute non-intervention, and Dickinson subscribes to squatter-sovereignty.  And the Southern Confederacy must be perfectly aware of this.  So much for the sincerity of the most blazing of the fire-eating organs.  The Confederacy’s flourish about Douglas is mere gammon.  If Douglas should be nominated at Charleston, it would presently throw up its cap and bells and shout as loudly over the deed as our neighbor of the Democrat himself.  No doubt of it; and if it didn’t perhaps the result would be much the same.

We entreat the Charleston Convention to pay no regard to this sort of vaporing.  It signifies nothing.  The bark of the fire-eater is deafening but his bite is not in the least hurtful.  In fact, he seldom gets his own consent to bite at all.  His selfishness subdues him.  He is really the most tractable of animals.  Show him which side of his bread is buttered, and he will keep it uppermost, at the cost of every command of the decalogue.  Therefore, let the Charleston Convention proceed, un-awed by these empty fulminations.  Let Douglas be nominated by all means.  He is the best living embodiment of the instincts and tendencies of the Democracy, and we should like at this stage of our history to encounter that destructive and demoniacal spirit in its sharpest and most naked form.  We should like it above most things.  It would save a world of argument touching the character of our adversary if we could just point to the horns and the cloven foot in full view!  Douglas is on every account our first choice for the Charleston nomination.  We hope the Convention will steady its nerves and not take fright at the dramatic roaring of Snug the joiner.

So in those days we had a group of stubborn politicians who vowed, if their hated candidate for president won their party’s nomination, to potentially destroy their own political party, deliberately divide their party to ensure the victory of the opposition, and possibly drag their entire nation into civil war.

And today we likewise have a group of hysterical, uncompromising politicians who vow, if their hated candidate for president wins the nomination, to potentially destroy their party entirely, divide their party ticket to ensure victory for the other party, and to possibly deepen divisions within the country that ultimately lead to civil war.

The parallels to the present time don’t bode well for the near future of the United States.

Louisville Journal XXX, No. 116 (1860): 2

Pontiac’s Rebellion: Slaughter and Survival at Fort Michilimackinac in 1763

fort-michilimackinac-pontiac's-rebellion-1763

– 23 September 2015 –

Barzillai “19th Century” Bozarth:

19th-century-barzillaiIn North America, nearly all fighting in the French and Indian War, known in Europe as the Seven Years’ War, had ceased by 1760 with British General Amhurst’s capture of the last French stronghold in Montreal.  Having achieved hegemony in the American theater, Amhurst treated the Indians with contempt, no longer seeing any need to offer tributes to their chiefs to maintain their goodwill.  Several incensed tribal chiefs conspired with Pontiac and ultimately attacked twelve British wilderness forts in what is known as Pontiac’s Rebellion.  Pontiac hoped to restore the power of the French in North America in order to keep the whites divided.  The Indians captured eight of the twelve English forts from May 7 to June 19, 1763, including the northern outpost of Fort Michilimackinac on June 2.

The French established Fort Michilimackinac in roughly 1715 to facilitate the fur trade with the Indians at the strategic Staits of Mackinac. With the fall of the French, the English occupied the fort and trading post in 1761, maintaining a force of thirty-five.  Meanwhile, the French-Canadian population of about three hundred still lived in or near the fort.  Along with the English soldiers, several English fur traders, having displaced the French, took up the fur trade.  These traders included 23-year-old Alexander Henry, who arrived at Michilimackinac in 1761.  Miraculously Henry survived the 1863 massacre of English at the fort, facing imminent death several times, and he published his experiences in 1809, at the age of seventy, in Travels and Adventures in Canada and the Indian Territories, between the years 1760 and 1776, excerpted below:

When I reached Michilimackinac, I found several other traders, who had arrived before me, from different parts of the country, and who, in general, declared the dispositions of the Indians to be hostile to the English, and even apprehended some attack. M. Laurent Ducharme distinctly informed Major Etherington, that a plan was absolutely conceived, for destroying him, his garrison and all the English in the upper country; but, the commandant, believing this and other reports to be without foundation, proceeding only from idle or ill-disposed persons, and of a tendency to do mischief, expressed much displeasure against M. Ducharme, and threatened to send the next person, who should bring a story of the same kind, a prisoner, to Détroit.

The garrison, at this time, consisted of ninety privates, two subalterns and the commandant; and the English merchants, at the fort, were four in number. Thus strong, few entertained anxiety concerning the Indians, who had no weapons but small arms.

Meanwhile, the Indians, from every quarter, were daily assembling, in unusual numbers, but with every appearance of friendship, frequenting the fort, and disposing of their peltries, in such a manner as to dissipate almost every one’s fears. For myself, on one occasion, I took the liberty of observing to Major Etherington, that in my judgement, no confidence ought to be placed in them, and that I was informed no less than four hundred lay around the fort.

In return, the major only rallied me, on my timidity; and it is to be confessed, that if this officer neglected admonition, on his part, so did I, on mine.

indians-at-fort-michilimackinac

Shortly after my first arrival at Michilimackinac, in the preceding year, a Chipeway, named Wa’wa’tam’, began to come often to my house, betraying, in his demeanour, strong marks of personal regard. After this had continued for some time, he came, on a certain day, bringing with him his whole family, and, at the same time, a large present, consisting of skins, sugar and dried meat. Having laid these in a heap, he commenced a speech, in which he informed me, that some years before, he had observed a fast, devoting himself, according to the custom of his nation, to solitude, and to the mortification of his body, in the hope to obtain, from the Great Spirit, protection through all his days; that on this occasion, he had dreamed of adopting an Englishman, as his son, brother and friend; that from the moment in which he first beheld me, he had recognised me as the person whom the Great Spirit had been pleased to point out to him for a brother; and that he hoped that I would not refuse his present; and that he should forever regard me as one of his family.

I could do no otherwise than accept the present, and declare my willingness to have so good a man, as this appeared to be, for my friend and brother. I offered a present in return for that which I had received, which Wawatam accepted, and then, thanking me for the favour which he said that I had rendered him, he left me, and soon after set out on his winter’s hunt.

Twelve months had now elapsed, since the occurrence of this incident, and I had almost forgotten the person of my brother, when, on the second day of June, Wawatam came again to my house, in a temper of mind visibly melancholy and thoughtful. He told me, that he had just returned from his wintering-ground, and I asked after his health; but, without answering my question, he went on to say, that he was very sorry to find me returned from the Sault; that he had intended to go to that place himself, immediately after his arrival at Michilimackinac; and that he wished me to go there, along with him and his family, the next morning. To all this, he joined an inquiry; whether or not the commandant had heard bad news, adding, that, during the winter, he had himself been frequently disturbed with the noise of evil birds; and further suggesting, that there were numerous Indians near the fort, many of whom had never shown themselves within it.—Wawatam was about forty-five years of age, of an excellent character among his nation, and a chief.

Referring much of what I heard to the peculiarities of the Indian character, I did not pay all the attention, which they will be found to have deserved, to the entreaties and remarks of my visitor. I answered that I could not think of going to the Sault, so soon as the next morning, but would follow him there, after the arrival of my clerks. Finding himself unable to prevail with me, he withdrew, for that day; but, early the next morning, he came again, bringing with him his wife, and a present of dried meat. At this interview, after stating that he had several packs of beaver, for which he intended to deal with me, he expressed, a second time, his apprehensions, from the numerous Indians who were round the fort, and earnestly pressed me to consent to an immediate departure for the Sault.—As a reason for this particular request, he assured me that all the Indians proposed to come in a body, that day, to the fort, to demand liquor of the commandant, and that he wished me to be gone, before they should grow intoxicated.

I had made, at the period to which I am now referring, so much progress in the language in which Wawatam addressed me, as to be able to hold an ordinary conversation in it; but, the Indian manner of speech is so extravagantly figurative, that it is only for a very perfect master to follow and comprehend it entirely. Had I been further advanced in this respect, I think that I should have gathered so much information, from this my friendly monitor, as would have put me into possession of the design of the enemy, and enabled me to save as well others as myself; as it was, it unfortunately happened, that I turned a deaf ear to every thing, leaving Wawatam and his wife, after long and patient, but ineffectual efforts, to depart alone, with dejected countenances, and not before they had each let fall some tears.

In the course of the same day, I observed that the Indians came in great numbers into the fort, purchasing tomahawks, (small axes, of one pound weight,) and frequently desiring to see silver arm-bands, and other valuable ornaments, of which I had a large quantity for sale. These ornaments, however, they in no instance purchased; but, after turning them over, left them, saying, that they would call again the next day.

Their motive, as it afterward appeared, was no other than the very artful one of discovering, by requesting to see them, the particular places of their deposit, so that they might lay their hands on them in the moment of pillage with the greater certainty and dispatch.

At night, I turned in my mind the visits of Wawatam; but, though they were calculated to excite uneasiness, nothing induced me to believe that serious mischief was at hand. The next day, being the fourth of June, was the king’s birth-day.

*   *   *

The morning was sultry. A Chipeway came to tell me that his nation was going to play at bag’gat’iway, with the Sacs or Saäkies, another Indian nation, for a high wager. He invited me to witness the sport, adding that the commandant was to be there, and would bet on the side of the Chipeways.

In consequence of this information, I went to the commandant, and expostulated with him a little, representing that the Indians might possibly have some sinister end in view; but, the commandant only smiled at my suspicions.

Baggatiway, called, by the Canadians, le jeu de la crosse, is played with a bat and ball. The bat is about four feet in length, curved, and terminating in a sort of racket. Two posts are planted in the ground, at a considerable distance from each other, as a mile, or more. Each party has its post, and the game consists in throwing the ball up to the post of the adversary. The ball, at the beginning, is placed in the middle of the course, and each party endeavours as well to throw the ball out of the direction of its own post, as into that of the adversary’s.

I did not go myself to see the match which was now to be played without the fort, because, there being a canoe prepared to depart, on the following day, for Montréal, I employed myself in writing letters to my friends; and even when a fellow-trader, Mr. Tracy, happened to call upon me, saying that another canoe had just arrived from Détroit, and proposing that I should go with him to the beach, to inquire the news, it so happened that I still remained, to finish my letters; promising to follow Mr. Tracy, in the course of a few minutes. Mr. Tracy had not gone more than twenty paces from my door, when I heard an Indian war-cry, and a noise of general confusion.

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Oddly enough, performers reenact the massacre at Fort Michilimackinac every year.

Going instantly to my window, I saw a crowd of Indians, within the fort, furiously cutting down and scalping every Englishman they found. In particular, I witnessed the fate of Lieutenant Jemette.

I had, in the room in which I was, a fowling-piece, loaded with swanshot. This I immediately seized, and held it for a few minutes, waiting to hear the drum beat to arms. In this dreadful interval, I saw several of my countrymen fall, and more than one struggling between the knees of an Indian, who, holding him in this manner, scalped him, while yet living.

At length, disappointed in the hope of seeing resistance made to the enemy, and sensible, of course, that no effort, of my own unassisted arm, could avail against four hundred Indians, I thought only of seeking shelter.

Amid the slaughter which was raging, I observed many of the Canadian inhabitants of the fort, calmly looking on, neither opposing the Indians, nor suffering injury; and, from this circumstance, I conceived a hope of finding security in their houses.

Between the yard-door of my own house, and that of M. Langlade, my next neighbour, there was only a low fence, over which I easily climbed. At my entrance, I found the whole family at the windows, gazing at the scene of blood before them. I addressed myself immediately to M. Langlade, begging that he would put me into some place of safety, until the heat of the affair should be over; an act of charity by which he might perhaps preserve me from the general massacre; but, while I uttered my petition, M. Langlade, who had looked for a moment at me, turned again to the window, shrugging his shoulders, and intimating, that he could do nothing for me:—“Que voudriez-vous que j’en ferais?”

This was a moment for despair; but, the next, a Pani woman, a slave of M. Langlade’s, beckoned to me to follow her. She brought me to a door, which she opened, desiring me to enter, and telling me that it led to the garret, where I must go and conceal myself. I joyfully obeyed her directions; and she, having followed me up to the garret-door, locked it after me, and with great presence of mind took away the key.

This shelter obtained, if shelter I could hope to find it, I was naturally anxious to know what might still be passing without. Through an aperture, which afforded me a view of the area of the fort, I beheld, in shapes the foulest and most terrible, the ferocious triumphs of barbarian conquerors. The dead were scalped and mangled; the dying were writhing and shrieking, under the unsatiated knife and tomahawk; and, from the bodies of some, ripped open, their butchers were drinking the blood, scooped up in the hollow of joined hands, and quaffed amid shouts of rage and victory. I was shaken, not only with horror, but with fear. The sufferings which I witnessed, I seemed on the point of experiencing. No long time elapsed, before every one being destroyed, who could be found, there was a general cry, of “All is finished!” At the same instant, I heard some of the Indians enter the house in which I was.

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Fort Michilimackinac is largely restored as a historical tourist attraction in Michigan’s Colonial Michilimackinac State Park.

The garret was separated from the room below, only by a layer of single boards, at once the flooring of the one and the ceiling of the other. I could therefore hear every thing that passed; and, the Indians no sooner came in, than they inquired, whether or not any Englishman were in the house? M. Langlade replied, that “He could not say—he did not know of any;”—answers in which he did not exceed the truth; for the Pani woman had not only hidden me by stealth, but kept my secret, and her own. M. Langlade was therefore, as I presume, as far from a wish to destroy me, as he was careless about saving me, when he added to these answers, that “They might examine for themselves, and would soon be satisfied, as to the object of their question.” Saying this, he brought them to the garret-door.

The state of my mind will be imagined. Arrived at the door, some delay was occasioned by the absence of the key; and a few moments were thus allowed me, in which to look around for a hiding-place. In one corner of the garret was a heap of those vessels of birch-bark, used in maple-sugar making, as I have recently described.

The door was unlocked, and opening, and the Indians ascending the stairs, before I had completely crept into a small opening, which presented itself, at one end of the heap. An instant after, four Indians entered the room, all armed with tomahawks, and all besmeared with blood, upon every part of their bodies.

The die appeared to be cast. I could scarcely breathe; but I thought that the throbbing of my heart occasioned a noise loud enough to betray me.

The Indians walked in every direction about the garret, and one of them approached me so closely that at a particular moment, had he put forth his hand, he must have touched me. Still, I remained undiscovered; a circumstance to which the dark colour of my clothes, and the want of light, in a room which had no window, and in the corner in which I was, must have contributed. In a word, after taking several turns in the room, during which they told M. Langlade how many they had killed, and how many scalps they had taken, they returned down stairs, and I, with sensations not to be expressed, heard the door, which was the barrier between me and my fate, locked for the second time.

There was a feather-bed on the floor; and, on this, exhausted as I was, by the agitation of my mind, I threw myself down and fell asleep. In this state I remained till the dusk of the evening, when I was awakened by a second opening of the door. The person, that now entered, was M. Langlade’s wife, who was much surprised at finding me, but advised me not to be uneasy, observing, that the Indians had killed most of the English, but that she hoped I might myself escape.—A shower of rain having begun to fall, she had come to stop a hole in the roof. On her going away, I begged her to send me a little water, to drink; which she did.

As night was now advancing, I continued to lie on the bed, ruminating on my condition, but unable to discover a resource, from which I could hope for life. A flight, to Détroit, had no probable chance of success. The distance, from Michilimackinac, was four hundred miles; I was without provisions; and the whole length of the road lay through Indian countries, countries of an enemy in arms, where the first man whom I should meet would kill me. To stay where I was, threatened nearly the same issue. As before, fatigue of mind, and not tranquility, suspended my cares, and procured me further sleep.

*   *   *

The game of baggatiway, as from the description above will have been perceived, is necessarily attended with much violence and noise. In the ardour of contest, the ball, as has been suggested, if it cannot be thrown to the goal desired, is struck in any direction by which it can be diverted from that designed by the adversary. At such a moment, therefore, nothing could be less liable to excite premature alarm, than that the ball should be tossed over the pickets of the fort, nor that having fallen there, it should be followed, on the instant, by all engaged in the game, as well the one party as the other, all eager, all struggling, all shouting, all in the unrestrained pursuit of a rude athletic exercise.

Nothing could be less fitted to excite premature alarm—nothing, therefore, could be more happily devised, under the circumstances, than a stratagem like this; and this was, in fact, the stratagem which the Indians had employed, by which they had obtained possession of the fort, and by which they had been enabled to slaughter and subdue its garrison, and such of its other inhabitants as they pleased. To be still more certain of success, they had prevailed upon as many as they could, by a pretext the least liable to suspicion, to come voluntarily without the pickets; and particularly the commandant and garrison themselves.

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The respite which sleep afforded me, during the night, was put an end to by the return of morning. I was again on the rack of apprehension. At sunrise, I heard the family stirring; and, presently after, Indian voices, informing M. Langlade that they had not found my hapless self among the dead, and that they supposed me to be somewhere concealed. M. Langlade appeared, from what followed, to be, by this time, acquainted with the place of my retreat, of which, no doubt, he had been informed by his wife.

The poor woman, as soon as the Indians mentioned me declared to her husband, in the French tongue, that he should no longer keep me in his house, but deliver me up to my pursuers; giving as a reason for this measure, that should the Indians discover his instrumentality in my concealment, they might revenge it on her children, and that it was better that I should die, than they. M. Langlade resisted, at first, this sentence of his wife’s; but soon suffered her to prevail, informing the Indians that he had been told I was in his house, that I had come there without his knowledge, and that he would put me into their hands. This was no sooner expressed than he began to ascend the stairs, the Indians following upon his heels.

I now resigned myself to the fate with which I was menaced; and regarding every attempt at concealment as vain, I arose from the bed, and
presented myself full in view, to the Indians who were entering the room. They were all in a state of intoxication, and entirely naked, except about the middle. One of them, named Wenniway, whom I had previously known, and who was upward of six feet in height, had his entire face and body covered with charcoal and grease, only that a white spot, of two inches in diameter, encircled either eye. This man, walking up to me, seized me, with one hand, by the collar of the coat, while in the other he held a large carving-knife, as if to plunge it into my breast; his eyes, meanwhile, where fixed steadfastly on mine. At length, after some seconds, of the most anxious suspense, he dropped his arm, saying, “I won’t kill you!”—To this he added, that he had been frequently engaged in wars against the English, and had brought away many scalps; that, on a certain occasion, he had lost a brother, whose name was Musinigon, and that I should be called after him.

A reprieve, upon any terms, placed me among the living, and gave me back the sustaining voice of hope; but Wenniway ordered me down stairs, and there informing me that I was to be taken to his cabin, where, and indeed every where else, the Indians were all mad with liquor, death again was threatened, and not as possible only, but as certain. I mentioned my fears on this subject to M. Langlade, begging him to represent the danger to my master. M. Langlade, in this instance, did not withhold his compassion, and Wenniway immediately consented that I should remain where I was, until he found another opportunity to take me away.

Thus far secure, I re-ascended my garret-stairs, in order to place myself, the furthest possible, out of the reach of insult from drunken Indians; but, I had not remained there more than an hour, when I was called to the room below, in which was an Indian, who said that I must go with him out of the fort, Wenniway having sent him to fetch me. This man, as well as Wenniway himself, I had seen before. In the preceding year, I had allowed him to take goods on credit, for which he was still in my debt; and some short time previous to the surprise of the fort he had said, upon my upbraiding him with want of honesty, that “He would pay me before long!”—This speech now came fresh into my memory, and led me to suspect that the fellow had formed a design against my life. I communicated the suspicion to M. Langlade; but he gave for answer, that “I was not now my own master, and must do as I was ordered.”

fort-michilimackinac

The Indian, on his part, directed, that before I left the house, I should undress myself, declaring that my coat and shirt would become him better than they did me. His pleasure, in this respect, being complied with, no other alternative was left me than either to go out naked, or to put on the clothes of the Indian, which he freely gave me in exchange. His motive, for thus stripping me of my own apparel, was no other, as I afterward learned, than this, that it might not be stained with blood when he should kill me.

I was now told to proceed; and my driver followed me close, until I had passed the gate of the fort, when I turned toward the spot where I knew the Indians to be encamped. This, however, did not suit the purpose of my enemy, who seized me by the arm, and drew me violently, in the opposite direction, to the distance of fifty yards, above the fort. Here, finding that I was approaching the bushes and sand-hills, I determined to proceed no further, but told the Indian that I believed he meant to murder me, and that if so, he might as well strike where I was, as at any greater distance. He replied, with coolness, that my suspicions were just, and that he meant to pay me, in this manner, for my goods. At the same time, he produced a knife, and held me in a position to receive the intended blow. Both this, and that which followed, were necessarily the affair of a moment. By some effort, too sudden and too little dependent on thought, to be explained or remembered, I was enabled to arrest his arm, and give him a sudden push, by which I turned him from me, and released myself from his grasp. This was no sooner done, than I ran toward the fort, with all the swiftness in my power, the Indian following me, and I expecting every moment to feel his knife.—I succeeded in my flight; and, on entering the fort, I saw Wenniway, standing in the midst of the area, and to him I hastened for protection.

Wenniway desired the Indian to desist; but the latter pursued me round him, making several strokes at me with his knife, and foaming at the
mouth, with rage at the repeated failure of his purpose. At length, Wenniway drew near to M. Langlade’s house; and, the door being open, I ran into it. The Indian followed me; but, on my entering the house, he voluntarily abandoned the pursuit.

Preserved so often, and so unexpectedly, as it had now been my lot to be, I returned to my garret with a strong inclination to believe, that through the will of an overruling power, no Indian enemy could do me hurt; but, new trials, as I believed, were at hand, when, at ten o’clock in the evening, I was roused from sleep, and once more desired to descend the stairs. Not less, however, to my satisfaction than surprise, I was summoned only to meet Major Etherington, Mr. Bostwick and Lieutenant Lesslie, who were in the room below.

These gentlemen had been taken prisoners, while looking at the game, without the fort, and immediately stripped of all their clothes. They were now sent into the fort, under the charge of Canadians, because, the Indians having resolved on getting drunk, the chiefs were apprehensive that they would be murdered, if they continued in the camp.——Lieutenant Jemette and seventy soldiers had been killed; and but twenty Englishmen, including soldiers, were still alive. These were all within the fort, together with nearly three hundred Canadians.

These being our numbers, myself and others proposed to Major Etherington, to make an effort for regaining possession of the fort, and maintaining it against the Indians. The Jesuit missionary was consulted on the project; but he discouraged us, by his representations, not only of the merciless treatment which we must expect from the Indians, should they regain their superiority, but of the little dependence which was to be placed upon our Canadian auxiliaries. Thus, the fort and prisoners remained in the hands of the Indians, though, through the whole night, the prisoners and whites were in actual possession, and they were without the gates.

That whole night, or the greater part of it, was passed in mutual condolence; and my fellow-prisoners shared my garret. In the morning, being again called down, I found my master, Wenniway, and was desired to follow him. He led me to a small house, within the fort, where, in a narrow room, and almost dark, I found Mr. Ezekiel Solomons, an Englishman from Détroit, and a soldier, all prisoners. With these, I remained in painful suspense, as to the scene that was next to present itself, till ten o’clock, in the forenoon, when an Indian arrived, and presently marched us to the lakeside, where a canoe appeared ready for departure, and in which we found that we were to embark.

Our voyage, full of doubt as it was, would have commenced immediately, but that one of the Indians, who was to be of the party, was absent.

His arrival was to be waited for; and this occasioned a very long delay, during which we were exposed to a keen north-east wind. An old shirt was all that covered me; I suffered much from the cold; and, in this extremity, M. Langlade coming down to the beach, I asked him for a blanket, promising, if I lived, to pay him for it, at any price he pleased: but, the answer I received was this, that he could let me have no blanket, unless there were some one to be security for the payment. For myself, he observed, I had no longer any property in that country.—I had no more to say to M. Langlade; but, presently seeing another Canadian, named John Cuchoise, I addressed to him a similar request, and was not refused. Naked as I was, and rigorous as was the weather, but for the blanket, I must have perished.—At noon, our party was all collected, the prisoners all embarked, and we steered for the Isles du Castor, in Lake Michigan.

*   *   *

The soldier, who was our companion in misfortune, was made fast to a bar of the canoe, by a rope tied round his neck, as is the manner of the Indians, in transporting their prisoners. The rest were left unconfined; but a paddle was put into each of our hands, and we were made to use it. The Indians in the canoe were seven in number; the prisoners four. I had left, as it will be recollected, Major Etherington, Lieutenant Lesslie and Mr. Bostwick, at M. Langlade’s, and was now joined in misery with Mr. Ezekiel Solomons, the soldier, and the Englishman who had newly arrived from Détroit. This was on the sixth day of June. The fort was taken on the fourth; I surrendered myself to Wenniway on the fifth; and this was the third day of our distress.

We were bound, as I have said, for the Isles du Castor, which lie in the mouth of Lake Michigan; and we should have crossed the lake, but that a thick fog came on, on account of which the Indians deemed it safer to keep the shore close under their lee. We therefore approached the lands of the Otawas, and their village of L’Arbre Croche, already mentioned as lying about twenty miles to the westward of Michilimackinac, on the opposite side of the tongue of land on which the fort is built.

Every half hour, the Indians gave their war-whoops, one for every prisoner in their canoe. This is a general custom, by the aid of which all other Indians, within hearing, are apprized of the number of prisoners they are carrying.

In this manner, we reached Wagoshense, a long point, stretching westward into the lake, and which the Otawas make a carrying-place, to avoid going round it. It is distant eighteen miles from Michilimackinac. After the Indians had made their war-whoop, as before, an Otawa appeared upon the beach, who made signs that we should land. In consequence, we approached. The Otawa asked the news, and kept the Chipeways in further conversation, till we were within a few yards of the land, and in shallow water. At this moment, a hundred men rushed upon us, from among the bushes, and dragged all the prisoners out of the canoes, amid a terrifying shout.

We now believed that our last sufferings were approaching; but, no sooner were we fairly on shore, and on our legs, than the chiefs of the party advanced, and gave each of us their hands, telling us that they were our friends, and Otawas, whom the Chipeways had insulted, by destroying the English without consulting with them on the affair. They added, that what they had done was for the purpose of saving our lives, the Chipeways having been carrying us to the Isles du Castor only to kill and devour us.

The reader’s imagination is here distracted by the variety of our fortunes, and he may well paint to himself the state of mind of those who sustained them; who were the sport, or the victims, of a series of events, more like dreams than realities, more like fiction than truth! It was not long before we were embarked again, in the canoes of the Otawas, who, the same evening, relanded us at Michilimackinac, where they marched us into the fort, in view of the Chipeways, confounded at beholding the Otawas espouse a side opposite to their own.

The Otawas, who had accompanied us in sufficient numbers, took possession of the fort. We, who had changed masters, but were still prisoners, were lodged in the house of the commandant, and strictly guarded.

Early the next morning, a general council was held, in which the Chipeways complained much of the conduct of the Otawas, in robbing them of their prisoners; alleging that all the Indians, the Otawas alone excepted, were at war with the English; that Pontiac had taken Détroit; that the king of France had awoke, and repossessed himself of Quebec and Montréal; and that the English were meeting destruction, not only at Michilimackinac, but in every other part of the world. From all this they inferred, that it became the Otawas to restore the prisoners, and to join in the war; and the speech was followed by large presents, being part of the plunder of the fort, and which was previously heaped in the centre of the room.—The Indians rarely make their answers till the day after they have heard the arguments offered. They did not depart from their custom on this occasion; and the council therefore adjourned.

We, the prisoners, whose fate was thus in controversy, were unacquainted, at the time, with this transaction; and therefore enjoyed a night of tolerable tranquillity, not in the least suspecting the reverse which was preparing for us. Which of the arguments of the Chipeways, or whether or not all were deemed valid by the Otawas, I cannot say; but, the council was resumed at an early hour in the morning, and, after several speeches had been made in it, the prisoners were sent for, and returned to the Chipeways.

The Otawas, who now gave us into the hands of the Chipeways, had themselves declared, that the latter designed no other than to kill us, and make broth of us. The Chipeways, as soon as we were restored to them, marched us to a village of their own, situate[d] on the point which is below the fort, and put us into a lodge, already the prison of fourteen soldiers, tied two and two, with each a rope about his neck, and made fast to a pole which might be called the supporter of the building.

I was left untied; but I passed a night sleepless and full of wretchedness. My bed was the bare ground, and I was again reduced to an old shirt, as my entire apparel; the blanket which I had received, through the generosity of M. Cuchoise, having been taken from me among the Otawas, when they seized upon myself and the others, at Wagoshense. I was, besides, in want of food, having for two days ate nothing.

I confess that in the canoe, with the Chipeways, I was offered bread— but, bread, with what accompaniment!—They had a loaf, which they cut with the same knives that they had employed in the massacre—knives still covered with blood. The blood, they moistened with spittle, and rubbing it on the bread, offered this for food to their prisoners, telling them to eat the blood of their countrymen.

Such was my situation, on the morning of the seventh of June, in the year one thousand seven hundred and sixty-three; but, a few hours produced an event which gave still a new colour to my lot. Toward noon, when the great war-chief, in company with Wenniway, was seated at the opposite end of the lodge, my friend and brother, Wawatam, suddenly came in. During the four days preceding, I had often wondered what had become of him. In passing by, he gave me his hand, but went immediately toward the great chief, by the side of whom and Wenniway, he sat himself down. The most uninterrupted silence prevailed; each smoked his pipe; and this done, Wawatam arose, and left the lodge, saying, to me, as he passed, “Take courage!”

Henry, Alexander, Travels and Adventures in Canada and the Indian Territories, Between the years 1760 and 1776, In Two Parts, 71-99. New York: I. Riley, 1809.

Patulcius:

Patulcius-sqEven though the situation at Michilimackinac in 1763 was entirely different from today’s European migrant crisis, there are some parallels that are worthwhile to observe.  Both were situations where potential enemies acting like friends were foolishly allowed inside the gates:

  • The military leaders at Fort Michilimackinac ignored the warnings of traders that the Indians were planning an attack, and they even threatened to punish those who continued to warn against the Indians’ good intentions.  Similarly, the leaders of European countries ignore the dangers of the foreign invasion, threatening prison for those who might incite hatred against the ‘refugees’ and ‘immigrants’.
  • At Michilimackinac, the Indians swarmed the fort for an reason that was acceptable to all English authorities—the lacrosse game—taking advantage of the whites’ interest in sports and trade. In Europe, the migrants are arriving in large numbers to take advantage of whites’ suicidal liberalism.
  • At the fort, the French-Canadians cooperated with the Indians in their slaughter, refusing to offer much help to the English.  In the case of today’s Europe, the visible foreign minorities who have lived in Europe for decades will cooperate with the invaders, surprising the European natives who had believed these people were assimilating.
  • At Michilimackinac, a few Indians, like Wawatam, disagreed with their brethren, yet they nonetheless remembered their loyalties and did little or nothing to stop the slaughter.  Likewise, those much-hailed moderate Muslims will remember whose side their loyalties lie when the time arrives for bloody conflict, and they will quietly step aside in favor of their fellow Muslims.

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