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      The military organization of the Iroquois was exceedingly lxiv imperfect and derived all its efficiency from their civil union and their personal prowess. There were two hereditary war-chiefs, both belonging to the Senecas; but, except on occasions of unusual importance, it does not appear that they took a very active part in the conduct of wars. The Iroquois lived in a state of chronic warfare with nearly all the surrounding tribes, except a few from whom they exacted tribute. Any man of sufficient personal credit might raise a war-party when he chose. He proclaimed his purpose through the village, sang his war-songs, struck his hatchet into the war-post, and danced the war-dance. Any who chose joined him; and the party usually took up their march at once, with a little parched-corn-meal and maple-sugar as their sole provision. On great occasions, there was concert of action,the various parties meeting at a rendezvous, and pursuing the march together. The leaders of war-parties, like the orators, belonged, in nearly all cases, to the class of subordinate chiefs. The Iroquois had a discipline suited to the dark and tangled forests where they fought. Here they were a terrible foe: in an open country, against a trained European force, they were, despite their ferocious valor, far less formidable.


      This man was one of the utterly ruined idlers, of whom there were so many in Athens. As a youth he had been attractive, gay, haughty, and extravagant, but all that was left of the magnificent Lysiteles was a decrepit old man of sixty who, with age, had red, rheumy eyes. The jester Meidias asserted that Hermes had changed his eyes to two fountains, which wept for his lost fortune day and night. On the whole Lysiteles was accustomed to be made the butt of jests. Some dissolute young fellows had once dragged him in to a dinner at the house of ?gidion, a well-known hetaera from Corinth. After the banquet the question was asked.


      Besides the Saut Ste. Marie and Michilimackinac, both noted fishing-places, there was another spot, no less famous for game and fish, and therefore a favorite resort of Indians. This was the head of the Green Bay of Lake Michigan.[30] Here and in adjacent districts several distinct tribes had made their abode. The Menomonies were on the river which bears their name; the Pottawattamies and Winnebagoes were [Pg 43] near the borders of the bay; the Sacs, on Fox River; the Mascoutins, Miamis, and Kickapoos, on the same river, above Lake Winnebago; and the Outagamies, or Foxes, on a tributary of it flowing from the north. Green Bay was manifestly suited for a mission; and, as early as the autumn of 1669, Father Claude Allouez was sent thither to found one. After nearly perishing by the way, he set out to explore the destined field of his labors, and went as far as the town of the Mascoutins. Early in the autumn of 1670, having been joined by Dablon, Superior of the missions on the Upper Lakes, he made another journey, but not until the two fathers had held a council with the congregated tribes at St. Fran?ois Xavier; for so they named their mission of Green Bay. Here, as they harangued their naked audience, their gravity was put to the proof; for a band of warriors, anxious to do them honor, walked incessantly up and down, aping the movements of the soldiers on guard before the governor's tent at Montreal. "We could hardly keep from laughing," writes Dablon, "though, we were discoursing on very important subjects; namely, the mysteries of our religion, and the things necessary to escaping from eternal fire."[31]This is far from being the only instance in which the temporal power lends aid to the spiritual. Among other cases, the following is worth mentioning: Louis Gaboury, an inhabitant of the island of Orleans, charged with eating meat in Lent without asking leave of the priest, was condemned by the local judge to be tied three hours to a stake in public, and then led to the door of the chapel, there on his knees, with head bare and hands clasped, to ask pardon of God and the king. The culprit appealed to the council, which revoked the sentence and imposed only a fine. *

      First, year after year came a riotous invasion of coureurs de bois, and then a garrison followed to crown the mischief. Discipline was very weak at these advanced posts, and, to eke out their pay, the soldiers were allowed to trade; brandy, whether permitted or interdicted, being the chief article of barter. Father Etienne Carheil was driven almost to despair; and he wrote to the intendant, his fast friend and former pupil, the long letter already mentioned. Our missions, he says, are reduced to such extremity that we can no longer maintain them against the infinity of disorder, brutality, violence, injustice, impiety, impurity, insolence, scorn, and insult, which the deplorable and infamous traffic in brandy has spread universally among the Indians of these parts.... In the despair in which we are plunged, nothing remains for us but to abandon them to the brandy sellers as a domain of drunkenness and debauchery.

      all your conduct, says Colbert to the intendant Bouteroue, Liv. IV. Le vice a oblig la plupart de chercher ce pays


      [25] The following is an extract, given by Margry, from a letter of the aged Madeleine Cavelier, dated 21 Fvrier, 1756, and addressed to her nephew, M. Le Baillif, who had applied for the papers in behalf of the minister, Silhouette: "J'ay cherch une occasion s?re pour vous anvoy les papiers de M. de la Salle. Il y a des cartes que j'ay jointe ces papiers, qui doivent prouver que, en 1675, M. de Lasalle avet dja fet deux voyages en ces decouverte, puisqu'il y avet une carte, que je vous envoye, par laquelle il est fait mention de l'androit auquel M. de Lasalle aborda prs le fleuve de Mississipi; un autre androit qu'il nomme le fleuve Colbert; en un autre il prans possession de ce pais au nom du roy et fait planter une crois."[30] The Baye des Puants of the early writers; or, more correctly, La Baye des Eaux Puantes. The Winnebago Indians, living near it, were called Les Puans, apparently for no other reason than because some portion of the bay was said to have an odor like the sea.

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      The Iroquois termination in onoor onon, as the French write itsimply means people.

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      [5] This story is told by La Potherie, I. 299, and, more briefly, by Perrot, 107. La Potherie, writing more than half a century after the time in question, represents the Iroquois as habitually in awe of the Algonquins. In this all the contemporary writers contradict him. I free my slave Manes and, as I have no relatives, I give him for his property my house in the Street of the Potters, with the garden belonging to it, on condition that he always takes care of the tomb.

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      La Motte and Hennepin, with sixteen men, went on board the little vessel of ten tons, which lay at Fort Frontenac. The friar's two brethren, Buisset and Ribourde, threw their arms about his neck as they bade him farewell; while his Indian proselytes, learning whither he was bound, stood with their hands pressed upon their mouths, in amazement at the perils which awaited their ghostly instructor. La Salle, with the rest of the party, was to follow as soon as he could finish his preparations. It was a boisterous and gusty day, the eighteenth of November. The sails were spread; the shore receded,the stone walls of the fort, the huge cross that the friar had reared, the wigwams, the settlers' cabins, the group of staring Indians on the strand. The lake was rough; and the men, crowded in so small a craft, grew nervous and uneasy. They hugged the northern shore, to escape the fury of the wind, which blew savagely from the northeast; while the long gray sweep of naked forests on their right betokened that winter was fast closing in. On the twenty-sixth, they reached the neighborhood of the Indian town of [Pg 138] Taiaiagon,[116] not far from Toronto, and ran their vessel, for safety, into the mouth of a river,probably the Humber,where the ice closed about her, and they were forced to cut her out with axes. On the fifth of December, they attempted to cross to the mouth of the Niagara; but darkness overtook them, and they spent a comfortless night, tossing on the troubled lake, five or six miles from shore. In the morning, they entered the mouth of the Niagara, and landed on the point at its eastern side, where now stand the historic ramparts of Fort Niagara. Here they found a small village of Senecas, attracted hither by the fisheries, who gazed with curious eyes at the vessel, and listened in wonder as the voyagers sang Te Deum in gratitude for their safe arrival.


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