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Charles Montezuma

There always have existed among the North American Indians, and still exist, many examples of intellectual ability, of genius, of high moral feeling and as noble and pure patriotism as was ever found in any nation of people and as proof of this fact I relate the following: Some twenty-five years ago a photographer of Chicago, being in Arizona on a vacation trip, found and rescued from an Apache camp an abandoned Indian male infant of full blood. The photographer became possessed with a desire to take the boy home with him and adopt him. In spite of warnings that the child would prove a viper in his bosom, he carried out his intentions, and reared the boy, to whom the name of Charles Montezuma was given, as a member of his family. The young Apache grew up to being face and physique the very type of his tribe; but he was at the same time an excellent scholar and a perfect gentleman. He graduated at the Chicago High School with credit, and was very popular in his class, being gentle, polite, and industrious. A recent inquiry as to Montezuma’s career since the completion of his high school education developed the facts that he has selected surgery for a profession, and will graduate from the Chicago Medical College far above the average of his class; that he is liked by his classmates and has never manifested any desire to resume the barbarous habits of his relatives, or shown any savage traits what ever; that he supports himself, during his studies at the medical college, by filling prescriptions at a Chicago...

Chief Pontiac of the Ottawa’s

Immediately after the peace of 1763 all the French forts in the west as far as Green Bay were garrisoned with English troops; and the Indians now began to realize, but too late, what they had long apprehended the selfish designs of both French and English threatening destruction, if not utter annihilation, to their entire race. These apprehensions brought upon the theatre of Indian warfare, at that period of time, the most remarkable Indian in the annals of history, Pontiac, the chief of the Ottawa’s and the principal sachem of the Algonquin Confederacy. He was not only distinguished for his noble and manly form, commanding address and proud demeanor, but also for his lofty courage, winning manners and a pointed and vigorous eloquence, which won the respect and confidence of all Indians, and made him a marked example of that grandeur and sublimity of character so often found among his so greatly miscomprehended race. Pontiac had closely watched the slowly advancing power of the English, and their haughty and defiant encroachments upon the territories of his own people and his entire race. When he was informed of the approach of Major Rogers with a company of English soldiers into his country, the indignation of the forest hero was roused to its highest pitch; and at once he sent a messenger to Rogers, who met him on the 7th of November, 1763, with a request to halt until Pontiac, the chief of the Nation, should arrive, then on his way. As soon as Pontiac came up he boldly demanded of Rogers his business and why he had come with his soldiers...

The Meeting in 1811 of Tecumseh and Apushamatahah

The meeting in 1811, of Tecumseh, the mighty Shawnee, with Apushamatahah, the intrepid Choctaw. I will here give a true narrative of an incident in the life of the great and noble Choctaw chief, Apushamatahah, as related by Colonel John Pitchlynn, a white man of sterling integrity, and who acted for many years as interpreter to the Choctaws for the United States Government, and who was an eye-witness to the thrilling scene, a similar one, never before nor afterwards befell the lot of a white man to witness, except that of Sam Dale, the great scout of General Andrew Jackson, who witnessed a similar one that of Tecumseh in council assembled with the Muskogee’s, shortly afterwards of which I will speak in the history of that once powerful and war-like race of people. Colonel John Pitchlynn was adopted in early manhood by the Choctaws, and marrying among them, he at once became as one of their people; and was named by them “Chahtah It-ti-ka-na,” The Choctaws Friend; and long and well he proved himself worthy the title Conferred upon, and the trust confided in him. He had five sons by his Choctaw wife, Peter, Silas, Thomas, Jack and James, all of who prove to be men of talent, and exerted a moral influence among their people, except Jack, who was ruined by the white man s whiskey and his demoralizing examples and influences. I was personally acquainted with Peter. Silas and Jack, the former held, during a long and useful life, the highest positions in the political history of his Nation, well deserving the title given him by the...

The Illinois Indians – Indian Wars

Some years ago there was deposited in the Archives of the “Historical Society” of Chicago a record in reference to the history of the Illinois Indians, a portion of which is interesting as connected with this matter. It was deposited by Judge Caton, who became a citizen of Chicago thirty-nine years ago, when the whole country was occupied as the hunting grounds of the Pottowattomie tribe. Their chief, Shabboni, died in 1849, the only remnant of this once powerful tribe. Of him it could be truth-fully said he was the last of his race. Comparatively not long since the surrounding country was mainly occupied by the Illinois tribe, an important people, ranging from the Wabash River to the Mississippi, and from the Ohio to Lake Superior. They lived mostly in Northern Illinois, centering in La Salle County. Then near Utica stood the largest town ever constructed by Northern Indians, and their great cemeteries attest the extent of the populous hordes of Indians who roamed the forests and prairies at will. La Salle, the Pioneer, discovered them before the great Iroquois Confederation had reached them, after their battle-fields had strewn their victims all along from the Atlantic Coast to the Wabash and from the lakes, and even north of them to the Alleghanies and the Ohio. The Iroquois or Six Nations, with a great slaughter, defeated this hitherto invincible people, laid waste their great city, and scattered them in broken bands over their wide domain. They never recovered from this blow. For a century they struggled, but were finally exterminated by the Pottowattomies and Ottawas at Starved Rock, on the Illinois...

War Between the Colonies and The Western Indians – From 1763 To 1765

A struggle began in 1760, in which the English had to contend with a more powerful Indian enemy than any they had yet encountered. Pontiac, a chief renowned both in America and Europe, as a brave and skillful warrior, and a far-sighted and active ruler, was at the head of all the Indian tribes on the great lakes. Among these were the Ottawas, Miamis, Chippewas, Wyandott, Pottawatomie, Winnebago, Shawanese, Ottagamie, and Mississagas. After the capture of Quebec, in 1760, Major Rodgers was sent into the country of Pontiac to drive the French from it. Apprised of his approach, Pontiac sent ambassadors to inform him that their chief was not far off, and desired him to halt until he could see him “with his own eyes.” When Pontiac met the English officer, he demanded to know the business which had brought him into his country, and how he dared to enter it without his permission. The major told him he had no designs against the Indians, but only wished to expel the French; and at the same time, he delivered him several belts of wampum. Pontiac replied, “I stand in the path you travel until tomorrow morning,” and gave the major a belt. This communication was understood to mean, that the intruder was not to march further without his leave. Next day, the English detachment was plentifully supplied with provisions by the Indians, and Pontiac giving the commander the pipe of peace, assured him that he might pass through his country unmolested, and that he would protect him and his party. As an earnest of his friendship, he sent one...

Pontiac’s War

Early in the eighteenth century the French had commenced extending their influence among the tribes who inhabited the country bordering on the great western lakes. Always more successful than the other European settlers in conciliating the affections of the savages among whom they lived, they had obtained the hearty good will of nations little known to the English. The cordial familiarity of the race, and the terms of easy equality upon which they were content to share the rude huts of the Indians, ingratiated them more readily with their hosts, than a course of English reserve and formality could have done. The most marked instances of the contrast between the two great parties of colonists may be seen in the different measure of success met with in their respective religious operations. While the stern doctrines of New England divines, as a general rule, were neglected or contemned by their rude hearers, the Jesuits met with signal success in acquiring a spiritual influence over the aborigines. Whether it was owing to the more attractive form in which they promulgated their creed and worship, or whether it was due to their personal readiness to adapt themselves to the habits, and to sympathize with the feelings of their proselytes, certain it is that they maintained a strong hold upon the affections, and a powerful influence over the conduct of their adopted brethren. Adair, writing with natural prejudice, says that, “instead of reforming the Indians, the monks and friars corrupted their morals: for in the place of inculcating love, peace, and good-will to their red pupils, as became messengers of the divine, author...

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