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Stories of the far West

Material Information

Title:
Stories of the far West
Creator:
Mundell, Frank
Sunday School Union (England) ( Publisher )
Morrison and Gibb ( Printer )
Place of Publication:
London
Publisher:
Sunday School Union
Manufacturer:
Morrison and Gibb
Publication Date:
Language:
English
Edition:
2nd ed.
Physical Description:
159 p. : ill., ports. ; 19 cm.

Subjects

Subjects / Keywords:
Frontier and pioneer life -- Juvenile literature -- United States ( lcsh )
Explorers -- Juvenile literature ( lcsh )
Indians of North America -- Juvenile literature ( lcsh )
History -- Juvenile literature -- United States ( lcsh )
Bldn -- 1896
Genre:
non-fiction ( marcgt )
Spatial Coverage:
England -- London
Scotland -- Edinburgh
Target Audience:
juvenile ( marctarget )

Notes

General Note:
Date of publication from inscription.
Statement of Responsibility:
by Frank Mundell.

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Source Institution:
University of Florida
Holding Location:
University of Florida
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This item is presumed to be in the public domain. The University of Florida George A. Smathers Libraries respect the intellectual property rights of others and do not claim any copyright interest in this item. Users of this work have responsibility for determining copyright status prior to reusing, publishing or reproducing this item for purposes other than what is allowed by fair use or other copyright exemptions. Any reuse of this item in excess of fair use or other copyright exemptions may require permission of the copyright holder. The Smathers Libraries would like to learn more about this item and invite individuals or organizations to contact The Department of Special and Area Studies Collections (special@uflib.ufl.edu) with any additional information they can provide.
Resource Identifier:
026885726 ( ALEPH )
ALH5148 ( NOTIS )
233022971 ( OCLC )

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BY

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A HOPELESS RESISTANCE.
Frontispiece, See page 122,



STORIES

OF

Cre FAR Wiese

By FRANK MUNDELL

AUTHOR OF ‘‘STOR“ES OF NORTH POLE ADVENTURE” ETC,



SECOND EDITION

LONDON:
THE SUNDAY SCHOOL UNION
57 AND 59 LupcarTe Hitt, E.C.



PREFATORY NOTE

—+—

Tus book is not intended to be a history of the
discovery and settlement of America. Its purpose
is to present to the reader a series of pictures of life
and scenes in the Far West, and place on record a
few of the more prominent instances of the courage,
perseverance, and daring which have marked the
advance of civilisation from east to west of the great
continent.

F. M.

March 1896.





CHAP,
I.

Il.

III.

IV.

Vv.

VI.

VII.

VIII.

IX.

xX.

XI.

XII.

XIIL

CONTENTS

“10 THE WEST!”

THE RED MEN OF THE WEST

THE PARADISE OF THE WORLD
CAPTAIN JOHN SMITH

THE PRINCESS POCAHONTAS. :

THE PILGRIM FATHERS .

THE FOUNDER OF PENNSYLVANIA .
THE PIONEER OF KENTUCKY .

THE ADVENTURES OF PETER WILLIAMSON
THE GREAT FUR LAND . .

AN ADVENTURE WITH THE BLACKFEET
A ROMANCE OF INDIAN FRIENDSHIP .

A RACE FOR LIFE .

PAGE



8 ; CONTENTS

CHAP, PAGE
XIV. A FREE MAN OF THE FOREST . , ' A 127

XV. A BRAVE BOY : ‘ ‘ 136
XVI. BUFFALO BILL . : ' - : ; 143

XVII. A PLUCKY DEFENCE rs : ; 3 i 154



LIST OF ILLUSTRATIONS

—+—.

PAGE
A HOPELESS RESISTANCE i ; F . Frontispiece
AN INDIAN ENCAMPMENT ; : : : : 17
SIR WALTER RALEIGH 5 i i ; 25
CAPTAIN JOHN SMITH . 5 : ‘ ‘ 34

POCAHONTAS PLEADING FOR THE LIFE OF CAPTAIN JOHN
SMITH : ; ‘ ‘ : . ; 39
ARRIVAL OF THE ‘‘MAYFLOWER” AT NEW PLYMOUTH a 51
PLYMOUTH ROCK MONUMENT . 57

SOME OF THE RELICS BROUGHT OVER IN THE ‘‘MAY-
FLOWER” . . : : . : 5 60
LANDING STORES FROM THE SHIPS . - i ‘i 65
WILLIAM PENN , 5 é ‘ - é 68
DEFENDING THE FORT A : , . : 81
AN INDIAN HORSE THIEF : 3 A 3 R180
TRACKING THE FUGITIVE , , 4 , : 93
A CRITICAL MOMENT . ' , : r , 99
STARTING FOR THE HUNTING-GROUNDS , . 6 103
ON THE LOOK-oUT ; ' , 5 " , 109
A FOREST SKIRMISH . x ce " a ame loll
“THE INDIAN FELL, AND THE HORSE GALLOPED ON” nea



Rouse, brothers, rouse! we've far to travel,
Free as the winds we love to roam ;

Far through the prairie, far through the forest
Over the mountains, we'll find a home.

We cannot breathe in crowded cities,
Strangers we to the ways of trade;
Longing to feel the grass beneath us,
To wield the hatchet and ply the spade,

Fair elbow-room for men to thrive in,
Wide elbow-room for work or play ;

If cities follow, tracing our footsteps,
Ever to westward shall point our way !

Rude though our life, it suits our spirit,
And new-born States in the coming years
Shall own us founders of a nation,
And bless the hardy pioneers.

10



SOR EES

OF

iE eA Ro We Sa



beyond question.

CHAPTER I.

“TO THE WEST!”

A cHO discovered America? This

question has been often asked
and variously answered, especially
during the last few years. No
one grudges the honour given
to Columbus for his discovery,
which at any rate has the
advantage of being well authenti-
cated, and the date of which is
The fact, however, remains, that

the hardy Norsemen landed on the western shores of
the Atlantic five hundred years before the Genoese
captain made his famous voyage towards the setting

sun. Nor must we forget that the Chinese lay
UW :



12 STORIES OF THE FAR WEST

claim to a prior discovery, and this contention has
received some support from the fact that many traces
of civilisation in Peru have been found to resemble
that of the Celestial Empire.

It was not, however, until after Columbus had
made known the existence of the Western continent
to the people of Europe, that the stream of emigration
began to flow from the Old World to the New. It
was indeed a revelation to the inhabitants of the
crowded cities on this side of the Atlantic, to learn
that only three thousand miles away there lay a
mighty country, of marvellous fertility and fabulous
wealth.

True, the newly-discovered region was not without
inhabitants, but the savage races who claimed the
forest and the prairie as their hunting-grounds, were
unable to turn to account the natural riches with
which they were surrounded. The Indian was
' satisfied to follow in the footsteps of his father, and
no progress marked the centuries. The forests
remained unfelled; the marshes were undrained; the
prairies and the plains saw no cities rising out of
their broad expanse; harbours of unsurpassed
capacity were unvisited by ships; and mighty rivers
ran through vast solitudes from their sources to the
sea, carrying on their bosoms no fleets laden with the
produce of a country able to supply the wants of
millions of the human race.

The first visitors from the Old World were very



“TO THE WEST!” 13

different from the emigrants who, during the last
two hundred years, have founded a great empire in
the West. They consisted largely of men in search
of gold or glory, who carried their lives in their
hands, and many of whom, failing in their object,
fell victims to their own recklessness, and were
buried in unknown graves. The story of adventure
and exploration, and the marvellous growth of cities
unequalled in any other quarter of the globe, has a
fascination peculiarly its own.

Only a generation ago, Mackay wrote his famous

song—

“To the West ! to the West !
To the land of the free,
Where the mighty Missouri
Rolls down to the sea ;
Where a man is a man, if he’s willing to toil,
And the humblest may gather the fruits of the soil.”

But “To the West” has been the rallying ery of
millions, who found homes and comfort and wealth
on the other side of the Atlantic, which were denied
them on this. The Far West has been for genera-
tions a region of romance to the dwellers in the
overcrowded cities of Europe, and the very name was
sufficient to arouse a desire to enjoy the freedom and
share in the boundless stores of this “land of
promise.”

The Far West of one generation was not the Far
West of the next; for the history of the American



14 STORIES OF THE FAR WEST

people is that of an advancing tide of white men,
gradually spreading further and further into the in-
terior, ever on the retreating footsteps of the red
men, and driving them from forest to forest and from
valley to valley, until now they have scarcely a rood
of ground which they can call their own.

Long and bitter was the struggle between the red
men and the invaders of their country. The story
of the Far West is one of progress and bloodshed, of -
a continual strife between civilisation and barbarism,
and of daring enterprise carried out in the face of
privation and discomfort, perils and ceaseless toil.



CHAPTER II.

THE RED MEN OF THE WEST.

HEN America was discovered by
Europeans, they found that con-
tinent peopled by a dark-skinned
race, to whom they gave the
name of Indians, because they
thought that they had reached
the eastern shores of India. These



natives were tall and stately in
their bearing, with black eyes
and long black hair. Their skin was of a brown or
copper colour, and to distinguish them from the
inhabitants of India they received the name of
Red or American Indians.

A great many tribes of red men wandered over
the vast prairies or grass lands of the New World.
As they seldom remained long in one place, they
did not erect permanent buildings, but dwelt in
tent-like erections called wigwams, consisting simply
of mats, skins, or pieces of bark stretched over poles.
Hunting and fishing formed their chief occupation,

15



16 . STORIES OF THE FAR WEST

and they supported themselves to a large extent
on the proceeds of the chase. The labour connected
with the family was done by the women, who were
not much better than slaves. Very little of the land
was under cultivation, and only small crops of corn
or beans were raised.

The Indians were a very brave people, and the
different tribes were often at war with one another.
Before going into battle, each tribe assembled at its
own village and held a grand feast, which was
followed by a war dance. A painted post was
driven into the ground, around which the warriors
danced, brandishing their weapons, and yelling in
the most hideous manner. This performance was
kept up during the greater part of the night, and
then in the morning the warriors marched off to
encounter the enemy.

In war. they behaved with reckless daring, for
they did not fear death, and they believed that when
a brave man died his spirit went to the happy
hunting-grounds, where he lived for ever in the
unbroken enjoyment of the delights of the chase.
When an Indian brave died his weapons were buried
with him, and his dog was killed and laid at his
feet, ready to attend on his master in the other
world.

Like all savage peoples, both men and women
were very fond of adornment, and decorated them-
selves with beads, which they made from sea-shells,











































































































































































































































































































































































































































































AN INDIAN ENCAMPMENT.






THE RED MEN OF THE WEST 19

These were called wampum, and were worn in
strings or worked into belts. Wampum belts were
used by the Indians on all important occasions—
such as making peace or war. They were also the
medium of exchange. The tribes of the interior
sold their goods to those on the coast, who were
wampum makers. Ornaments made of copper, dug
out of the ground in the region of the Great Lakes,
have been found in Virginia and other Southern
States, having passed from tribe to tribe in the
way of trade.

The dress of an Indian chief is thus described
by Longfellow—

“He was dressed in shirt of doeskin,
White and soft, and fringed with ermine,
All inwrought with beads of wampum.
He was dressed in deerskin leggings,
Fringed with hedgehog quills and ermine,
And in moccasins of buckskin,

Thick with quills and beads embroidered.
On his head were plumes of swan’s down,
On his heels were tails of foxes.”

His weapons consisted of a bow and arrows, and
a tomahawk or hatchet. The bow was made from
the branch of an ash tree, and the cord was made
of deerskin. The arrows were cut from the oak;
and the Indian

‘“* Made his arrow-heads of sandstone,
Arrow-heads of flint and jasper,
Smoothed and sharpened at the edges,
Hard and polished, keen and costly.”



20 STORIES OF THE FAR WEST

The Indians used to travel by water in their
graceful canoes. ‘These were made from the bark
of the birch tree. Cutting a circle round the
trunk with a sharp knife, just above the roots
and beneath the lowest branches, the canoe-builder
cleft one side of the bark in a straight line from
top to bottom. Then with wooden wedges he
stripped the trunk of its covering without a break.
It was next stretched on a framework of cedar, to
which it was fastened with fibres of larch. Some
of the canoes were very large, and could carry a
dozen men. The Indians were very expert in the
management of these light vessels, and it was no
uncommon thing for them, in sailing down a river,
to “shoot the rapids,’ to save carrying the canoe
along the banks to. smooth water.

When the white men settled in America, some
of the Indians received the strangers with great ~
kindness; but the majority were unfriendly, for
they feared that the pale-faces, as they called them,
would deprive them of their lands. Hoping to
drive the intruders out of the country, they attacked
them again and again, killing the men and carrying
the women and children into captivity. The white
settlers, however, continued to come to the land in
ever-increasing numbers, and the Indians were
gradually driven westward. Thither the boldest
of the pale-faces followed them, anxious to explore
the country; others came, and soon cities and towns



THE RED MEN OF THE WEST 21

were erected where the red men and their fore-
fathers had for ages hunted the buffalo and the ’
deer.

As a race the Indians of North America are
gradually dying out. A few years ago the United
States Government allotted to the red men a stretch
of country to the north of Texas, but they do not
care to settle down and adopt the pursuits of
civilised man. Their total extinction as a race is
therefore only a matter of time!

1 For an interesting article showing what means are being taken
by friends of the Taian to save the race from extinction, pa fit
the younger generation to compete with the white man, see. Young
England for March 1896.



CHAPTER IIL

THE PARADISE OF THE WORLD.

EN pounds was the royal reward
which Henry Tudor bestowed on
John Cabot, who in 1497, or
nearly fifteen months before
Columbus touched the mainland
of the American continent, landed
on the shores of North America.





This sum can scarcely be regarded
as extravagant, even remembering that money had a
greater value in those days than at present, for on
Cabot’s discovery was afterwards founded the English
claim to a large portion of the New World.

For a hundred years after this voyage the people
of England paid little attention to western explora-
tion, leaving Spain to reap the fruits of the daring
adventurers and of the unscrupulous governors, who
regarded the life of an Indian as of far less value
than a few grains of gold. The English were more
interested in trying to solve the problem—how to
reach China by sailing along the north coast of

22



THE PARADISE OF THE WORLD 23

America. They knew something about the rich
products of the East, and were anxious to share in
the wealth of those far-off lands.

In the reign of Queen Elizabeth, Sir Humphrey
Gilbert and a few other enterprising Englishmen
awoke to the fact that great possibilities lay much
nearer than China, and they attempted to establish
settlements on the eastern shores of the New World.
The very failures which at first attended their efforts
seemed to act as an impulse, and at length Sir Walter
Raleigh, Gilbert’s half-brother, managed to found an
English-speaking colony in North America.

The Queen granted her favourite courtier a patent,
which gave him almost regal power over the lands he
might discover. He was not slow to avail himself
of the royal favour, and the two ships he sent out
reached that part of the American coast now known
as North Carolina, which was taken possession of in
the name of Queen Elizabeth. It was the month of
July, and the rich vegetation of that semi-tropical
region was at the height of its beauty. The ex-
plorers were struck with admiration and wonder,
when they beheld great vines, climbing towards the
tops of high cedars, loaded with grapes. The “ sweet-
smelling timber trees” filled the air with fragrance,
and the notes of countless birds echoed and re-echoed
through the vast forest, in which no white man had
ever set foot.

To the first Indian they met they gave a hat and



24 STORIES OF THE FAR WEST

a shirt. He went away evidently pleased with the
present, and returned in a short time with a large
quantity of fish, which he divided between the crews
of the two vessels. Wherever the English went
they were well received by the natives, who were
described as “ most gentle, loving, and faithful; void
of all guile and treason, and such as lived after the
manner of the Golden Age.”

A few weeks were spent among “ the green islands
of those glittering seas,” and then the explorers
shaped their course for England. On their arrival
they gave a glowing account of their discoveries, and
declared that the part of America they had visited
must be the “Paradise of the World.” Elizabeth
caught their enthusiasm, and, anxious to associate
herself with the discovery of such an enchanting
region, she called it Virginia



a name by which for
a considerable time the whole coast of the United
States between Maine and Georgia was known.
Raleigh lost no time in having his claim to the
newly-discovered territory acknowledged, and early
in the following year he sent out another expedition,
consisting of seven ships and a hundred and eight
colonists. Ralph Lane, a man of considerable skill
and experience, was chosen to act as governor. On
Roanoke Island, near to the coast of North Carolina,
they made their settlement, and began without delay
to explore the country, which Lane thus describes :
“It is the goodliest soil under the cope of heaven





SIR WALTER RALEIGH.
25







THE PARADISE OF THE WORLD 27

the most pleasing territory of the world; the
continent is of a huge and unknown greatness, and
very well peopled and towned, though savagely. The
climate is so wholesome that we have not one sick
since we touched the land. If Virginia had but
horses and kine, and were inhabited with English, no
realm in Christendom were comparable to it.”

Three plants, at that. time unknown in Europe,
specially attracted the notice of the settlers. These
were maize, tobacco, and the potato. Marriot, the
historian of the voyage, inquired into the cultivation
and use of these productions. He accustomed him-
self to the use of tobacco, and found boiled potatoes
to be very good food. He has also given an interest-
ing account of the inhabitants and their manner of life.
They clothed themselves in mantles and aprons of
deerskin ; their weapons consisted of wooden swords
and bows and arrows; and instead of armour they
carried shields of wicker-work. Their houses were
made of bark fastened to stakes, and the largest
town only contained about thirty dwellings. Though
ignorant of the art of war, they displayed great cun-
ning in encountering an enemy, seldom fighting in
the open field, but trusting for victory to ambushes
and sudden attacks.

The Indians regarded the strangers as more than
mortal, and after a time they began to fear that
“more of the English generation would come, to kill
theirs and take their places.” It is therefore uot



28 STORIES OF THE FAR WEST

surprising that the natives determined to watch for
an early opportunity of ridding themselves of their
uninvited guests. The cupidity of the settlers soon
furnished them with the means for accomplishing
their object.

“Industry maketh rich” is a well-known maxim,
of which Lane and his men seem to have been pro-
foundly forgetful. Instead of planting corn and
devoting themselves to the cultivation of the land,
they spent the greater part of their time in seeking
for gold. The Indians saw this, and, hoping to
separate them into small parties, they excited their
avarice with marvellous tales. They said that at
the source of the river Roanoke, near the Pacific
Ocean, there was an abundance of the precious metal,
and that the tribe which inhabited the region wore
deerskins adorned with gold and precious stones.

Lane believed this story, and set out for this El
Dorado with the greater number of his men. They
had not proceeded further than a point near the
present village of Williamstown, when they were
compelled to return for provisions. In a starving
condition they reached the settlement just in time
to prevent the Indians from killing those who had
been left behind.

The colonists had spent about a year on the island,
when they were seized with a great longing to return
to England. They were disappointed in their search
for gold, and the uncertain temper of the natives



THE PARADISE OF THE WORLD 29

filled their minds with gloomy forebodings. While
they were in this despondent state, they were cheered
by the arrival of Sir Francis Drake, who was on his
way home from the West Indies. He offered to
leave some of his men and a plentiful supply of
provisions, to enable the colonists to carry on their
discoveries. Nothing, however, would satisfy them
but a passage to England. Drake was very un-
willing to see the settlement abandoned, and he used
every means in his power to induce them to remain.
They were, however, thoroughly disheartened, and he
at length allowed them to embark on board his ship.
Thus ended the first actual settlement of the English
in North America.

Though the expedition was not so satisfactory as
had been expected, it was not wholly without result.
Ralph Lane and his companions were the first to
introduce tobacco into England. It was thought to
have a great medicinal virtue, and Raleigh and many
other distinguished persons adopted the use of “the
fragrant weed.” They smoked in the Indian fashion,
by drawing the smoke into their mouths and puffing
it out through their nostrils; some of the pipes of
those early days consisted simply of a walnut shell
fixed to a straw. There is an oft-told story, to the
effect that on one occasion Raleigh was smoking
when his servant entered the room. The man not
understanding the use of tobacco, and thinking that
his master was on fire, hastened to “put him out,”



30, STORIES OF THE FAR WEST

by emptying over his head the contents of a jug he
was carrying,

Raleigh was still as enthusiastic as before in the
cause of colonisation, and he prepared a fleet of
transport ships at his own expense; for “Queen
Elizabeth, the godmother of Virginia, declined to
contribute to its education.” He determined to
found a real colony and not merely a settlement of
explorers. The emigrants were therefore allowed to
take with them their wives and families. He also
granted a charter of incorporation that life and pro-
perty might be secure, and established a municipal
government for the “city of Raleigh,” which the
colonists were instructed to build) Captain John
White was chosen as governor, and eleven assistants
were appointed to help him in his duties.

On the 27th of April 1587 the colonists set sail,
equipped with an ample supply of necessaries, in-
cluding a number of agricultural implements. When
they arrived at Roanoke Island they found the
dwellings of the former settlers still standing. The
lower rooms were overgrown with melons, among
which the wild deer lay calmly eating the fruit.

Governor White and his followers set to work to
make the houses habitable, and in a short time “the
city of Raleigh” was established. Here on the 18tb
of August a baby girl was born. Her mother was
“Mistress Eleanor Dare,” the daughter of the
governor, and her father was one of the assistant-



~THE PARADISE OF THE WORLD 31

governors. This was the first English child born in
America, and she was named, after the place of her
birth, Virginia Dare.

Shortly afterwards White returned to England
for supplies. When he arrived he found the country
agitated by a threatened Spanish invasion; and it
was no easy matter for him to draw attention to the
needs of the settlers. Two years passed before he
was able to set sail again for the West, and when he
reached Roanoke Island the colony had disappeared.
No trace of it was ever found, and its fate remains to
this day a mystery.



CHAPTER IV.

CAPTAIN JOHN SMITH.

OOD QUEEN BESS, as we now call
her, was as careful of her money
as Henry VII. He regarded ten
pounds as sufficient reward for the
adventurous Cabot, and his grand-
daughter was not disposed to be
more lavish in spending money on
what might after all prove a very
unprofitable speculation. Private

enterprise, unaided by public funds, was not equal

to the task of successfully settling Virginia. Few
people went out, and they were so badly supplied with
the necessaries of life that only disaster could attend
their efforts. Colony after colony was rescued just
in the nick of time, but not until many had
miserably perished of starvation or fallen before the
murderous attacks of their savage foes. When

Queen Elizabeth died in 1603, there was not a

single Englishwoman settled in the country.
During the early years of the reign of James L,

32





CAPTAIN JOHN SMITH 33

the attention of many persons of rank and learning
was turned towards Virginia. At length a company
was formed, and an application was made to the king
for permission “to deduce a colony into Virginia.”
James had already planted a Scottish settlement
in the north of Ireland, and the venture had proved
successful. He therefore regarded the proposal with
a favourable eye, especially as it afforded a prospect
of increasing his dominions, and he readily set his
seal to the undertaking.

By the charter which he granted to the Virginia
Company, lands from Cape Fear in the south to
Halifax in the north were assigned to the colonists.
The king reserved to himself complete control over
the settlements, and drew up a code of laws. A
superior council was appointed by the king to control
the colonies from England; while a resident council,
the members of which were elected by the superior
body, was chosen to carry on the work of government.
The religion was to be that of the Church of England.
To the emigrants it was also promised, that they
and their children should continue to be English.

On the 19th of December 1606 the infant colony
set out for “the dear strand of Virginia, earth’s only
paradise,” in three ships, the largest of which did not
exceed one hundred tons burden. Sailing by way of
the Canaries and West India Islands, they reached
the coast of America in about four months. They
intended to land on Roanoke Island, but a storm

2

9



34 STORIES OF THE FAR WEST

drove them into the magnificent bay of the
Chesapeake. Sailing along the southern extremity













CAPTAIN JOHN SMITH.
(From an Old Print.)

of this bay, they entered a river, which they named
after King James, They continued up the stream



CAPTAIN JOHN SMITH 35

for about fifty miles, till they came to a peninsula,
where they decided to establish themselves, and
called the settlement Jamestown.

Preparations were at once made to clear the ground
and build houses, but the work did not advance
rapidly. The emigrants consisted for the most part
of the wrong kind of people. Out of their number
—a hundred and five—there were only twelve
labourers and very few mechanics; the remainder
were gentlemen unused to manual labour, and quite
unfit for the hardships which now befell them. The
Indians objected to the presence of the strangers,
and harassed them with frequent sudden attacks.
Provisions ran short, and the want of proper nour-
ishment brought on a deadly epidemic. Sometimes
three or four died in a night, and the survivors were
so weak that they had hardly strength to bury the
bodies of their late companions. Before autumn
one-half of the colony perished. Constant quarrels
among the members of the council had weakened
their authority, and it became evident that unless the
reins of government were taken up by a strong hand,
inevitable ruin would result.

There was among the colonists a man named
Captain John Smith, and he now assumed the
direction of affairs. Though not yet thirty years of
age, long acquaintance with danger had fitted him
for the post. He had fought in the Netherlands,
travelled through France and Italy, and repeatedly



36 STORIES OF THE FAR WEST

engaged in single combat with Turkish warriors.
Taken prisoner at last by a band of Turks, he had
been sent as a slave to Constantinople, from whence
eventually he made his escape, and returned to
England in time to take. part in the great scheme of
colonisation.

Under Smith’s vigorous rule the prospects of the
colony began to look more hopeful. The little town
was strengthened against the attacks of the Indians;
and, to raise the spirits of his men, as well as to
provide supplies, he led parties to explore the
surrounding country. In this way he became
acquainted with many of the native tribes; and, in
exchange for beads, bells, and other trifles, he
obtained provisions to keep the Jamestown people
from starving. In one of these expeditions he was
attacked by the Indians, who killed ten of his men
and made him prisoner.

When taken before the chief, Smith did not lose
his presence of mind. He displayed a small
mariner’s compass; “and indeed it was a marvel to
see these poor, ignorant savages gazing with wonder
at the playing of the needle, which they could see so
plainly and yet could not touch, by reason of the
glass which covered it. But when JI,” continues
Smith in his Narrative, “told them, as well as I could
both by signs and in their language, of the roundness
of the earth and of the skies, and of the spheres of
the sun, moon, and stars, and how the sun did chase



CAPTAIN JOHN SMITH 37

the night round the world continually, and many
other such-like matters, they all stood as amazed
with admiration.”

When the Indians found that Smith had no more
curiosities to show them, all their natural fury
returned, and, tying him to a tree, they strung their
arrows and prepared to shoot him. The captain
thought that his last moment had come, when the
chief, to whom he had given the compass, stepped
forward and forbade his men to harm the prisoner.
He was then unbound and taken to the nearest
village. Here he had another alarming experience.
Shortly after his arrival, one of the head men sent.
for him to cure his son, who was dangerously ill.
Smith went to the hut, accompanied by two strong
warriors, but the young man was beyond all human
aid, and died in a few minutes. The Indians
believed that, because Smith could kill men by
unknown means, he could also restore them to life.
The chief therefore requested him to give him back
his son, and when he replied that this was beyond
his power, the chief wanted to kill him, and would
have done so, but the guards prevented him.

From one village to another Smith was led in
triumph, till at length he was brought before
Powhatan, the king of the country. He found that
monarch seated before a fire. On either side of him
sat a young girl; along each side of the house were
two rows of men, and behind them a number of



38 STORIES OF THE FAR WEST

women, all with their heads and shoulders painted
red. Smith was courteously received, and the queen
brought him water to wash his hands, and a bunch
of feathers to use instead of a towel. Then they
feasted him in their best manner, “ which,” says
Smith rather ungraciously, “after all, was but
barbarous.”

Then followed a great conference, at which the
fate of the captain was decided, and preparations
were made for his immediate execution. Two large
stones were brought in, and on these the captive’s
head was placed. ‘Two savages with upraised clubs
awaited the word to strike. In another moment
their blows would have fallen, when Pocahontas, the
king’s dearest daughter, a child of ten, darted forward,
laid her head on that of the prostrate Englishman,
and thus saved his life. Powhatan was deeply im-
pressed by this simple act of devotion, and at once
set his prisoner at liberty. Two days afterwards, he
was sent back to Jamestown under a picked escort
of twelve warriors.

When he reached the colony he found its numbers
reduced to forty men, the strongest of whom were
preparing to escape. This attempt to break up the
little community was put down by Smith at the risk
of his life, and then at once he set himself to put
matters right. It now appeared that his captivity
among the Indians was a blessing in disguise, for had
not friendly relations with the natives been thus



oo :
ANY f

Ie
1.

IAN



POCAHONTAS PLEADING FOR THE LIFE OF CAPTAIN JOHN SMITH.
39







CAPTAIN JOHN SMITH 4I

established, the colonists must have perished for lack
of food.

Shortly afterwards Smith set out with a few com-
panions, in an open boat, to explore Chesapeake Bay.
He sailed along the coast, examining rivers and inlets,
penetrated some distance into the interior, and laid
the foundation of future peaceful dealings with the
native tribes. From this expedition he returned on
the 7th of September 1608, after accomplishing a
voyage of three thousand miles. The greatness of
the discoveries which Smith made, with such slender
resources, is indeed marvellous, and they entitle him
to rank among the great pioneers of the American
continent.

Three days after his return, he was elected pre-
sident of the council. He had many formidable
difficulties to contend with, but his energy and pru-
dence enabled him to triumph over private enemies
in the town and hostile Indians without. Order and
industry had just been restored, when all was again
thrown into confusion by the arrival of a fresh party
of emigrants, who, like the original settlers, were quite
unfitted for the severe toils of colonial life. Smith
wrote to the company in London, complaining of the
“ fine gentlemen and ruined traders,” and said, “ When
you send again, I entreat you, rather send but thirty
carpenters, husbandmen, gardeners, fishermen, black-
smiths, masons, and diggers up of trees’ roots, well
provided, than a thousand such as we have.”



42 STORIES OF THE FAR WEST

With characteristic vigour Smith laid down the
law, and by his authority compelled the men to
work. Six hours in the day were spent in
work, the remainder were given to rest and recrea-
tion. “He who would not work, might not eat,” and
Jamestown soon assumed the appearance of a regular
place of abode. This result was not, however, achieved
without great toil, and from Smith’s Narrative we
learn how he “inured the men to the life they
would have to lead, did they want to make the colony
a success.” He taught them how to cut down trees,
make boards, and camp outin the woods. They soon
became experts at the work, and it was their delight
to hear the trees thunder as they fell.

“But the axes so often blistered their tender
fingers,” continues Smith, “that many a time every
third blow had a loud oath to drown the echo. For
the remedy of which sin, and for the good of their
souls, as the work was benefiting their bodies, I
devised how to have every man’s oaths numbered ; and
at nighttime, when we had a little pleasant recreation,
the culprit was duly arraigned, and for every oath that
was recorded against him, he did have a can of water
poured down his sleeve. This was the cause of much
merriment, yet somehow those who were punished
liked it not so well as to care ofttimes to have it
repeated, and so became more guarded of his tongue,
and soon it came to pass that a man should scarce
hear an oath in a week.”



CAPTAIN JOHN SMITH B

Smith was especially successful in his dealings
with the Indians, and made frequent excursions
among them to obtain provisions for the colony. On
one occasion, accompanied by fifteen men, he was
trading with a chieftain named Opechancanough,
when he found himself surrounded by a body of
~ seven hundred armed warriors. Suspecting treachery,
he at once seized the Indian chief by the hair of the
head, dragged him into the midst of his people, and,
presenting a-pistol to his breast, threatened to shoot
him if his warriors did not at once withdraw. This
bold action produced the desired effect. The
astonished Indians laid down their arms and made
peace with the Englishmen. :

The excellence of Smith’s rule in Virginia was soon
recognised by the settlers. Their dangerous neigh-
bours the red-skins were reduced to submission, and
they gladly sent regular supplies of food to James-
town; additional ground was brought under cultiva-
tion; the Indians taught the colonists how to grow
maize; better dwellings were built, and guarded by a
strong fort; and other schemes were entered upon
for the improvement and comfort of the settlement.

Meanwhile, however, the company in London
became dissatisfied that no gold had been found, and
decided to send out new officers. When they arrived
Smith refused to resign, and was: supported in his
resistance by the elder settlers, with whom he had
become a great favourite. For some time he con-



44 STORIES OF THE FAR WEST

tinued as president, till he was so severely injured by
an explosion of gunpowder that he was compelled to
leave Virginia and return to England.

The enterprising spirit of this daring adventurer
had accomplished what others considered as impos-
sible. He never allowed more for himself than for
the men with him. It was his custom to lead, not
to send his men on dangerous missions. He would
rather want than borrow, and starve than not pay.
He was the first to show that the true interest of
England was not to seek for gold and sudden wealth
in Virginia, but by regular and patient industry to
establish a permanent source of riches by commerce.
“ Nothing,” said he, “is to be expected from thence
but by labour.”

He afterwards explored the coast north of Cape
Cod, and gave to the country the name of New
England; but he did not again visit Jamestown.
He died in 16381.



CHAPTER V.

THE PRINCESS POCAHONTAS.

HEN Captain John Smith went
back to England in 1609, there
were nearly five hundred white
people in Virginia. But the
settlers soon got into trouble with
the Indians, who, cn learning
that Smith was no longer at the
head of affairs, refused to have



any dealings with their former
allies, and lay in the woods and killed or took
prisoners all who ventured out. There was, there-
fore, no means of obtaining provisions, and a
dreadful famine followed. Six months after Smith’s
departure, only sixty persons remained alive, and
these were in a most wretched condition. At
length a ship arrived from England with fresh
settlers, and the colony was saved from total
destruction.
During this time Pocahontas had little influence

with her father, and to be out of harm’s way she
45



46 STORIES OF THE FAR WEST

went to live with a friend named Japazaws in
another part of the country. In 1612 an English
captain named Argall heard of her whereabouts,
and determined if possible to take her prisoner, and
hold her as a hostage till Powhatan restored his
prisoners and agreed to forward a regular supply of
corn to Jamestown. He therefore sailed up the
river to the village, and sent for Japazaws. In a
short time the captain and the chief became very
friendly, and Argall promised the savage a copper
kettle if he would bring Pocahontas on board.

The bribe was too great to be resisted; a plan was
at once arranged, and Japazaws returned home to
put it into execution. Though his wife had seen
many ships, he caused her to pretend that she was
very anxious to go on board. To her request he
at first made a show of refusal, but at length he
told her that she might go if Pocahontas would
accompany her. The princess, fearing no wrong,
agreed to go. Argall received them with great
kindness, and showed them over the ship. Then,
under the pretence that he wished to speak privately
to Japazaws, he led Pocahontas into the gun-room.
After a while he sent for her again, and told her
that she was his prisoner, and that she must go
with him and help to bring about peace between
her father and the colonists.

The treacherous chief and his wife raised a great
outcry at hearing this, and the princess wept



THE PRINCESS POCAHONTAS 47

bitterly; but at length the captain told them that
no harm would come to her, and she was pacified.
The chief with his wife and copper kettle were
conveyed ashore, and Pocahontas was taken to
Jamestown. On their arrival a messenger was sent
to Powhatan, telling him that his daughter was a
prisoner, and that if he wanted her again he must
ransom her with the captives and weapons he had
taken.

“Now,” says Smith, “this was but unwelcome
news to Powhatan, because he loved both his
daughter and our commodities well, and it was a
hard matter for him to choose between them.”
Three months therefore elapsed before he returned
an answer, and then he sent back seven men and a
number of useless muskets, promising that when his
daughter was restored to him he would give them
a large supply of corn, and “be for ever friends.”
To this the colonists replied, that his daughter would
be kept till everything was restored.

Pocahontas was never thus redeemed, “for she
had fallen into a gentler bondage, and yet one that
was harder to break.” One of the colonists named
John Rolfe had fallen in love with the Indian
maiden, but he could not marry her, as it was then
considered very wrong for an Englishman to marry
a heathen. This obstacle was, however, eventually
overcome. Pocahontas became a Christian, and was
baptized under the name of Rebecca. Early in



48 STORIES OF THE FAR WEST

April 1613 she was married. After this there
was peace between the Indians and the settlers for
many years.

On the 12th of June 1616, Rolfe landed at
Plymouth with his Indian wife. She was the first
native of North America who had become a
Christian, the first who was married to an English-
man, and the first who learned to speak .English.
Her arrival, therefore, in the country of her adoption
caused great excitement, and people flocked to see
the princess of whom they had heard so much.
She was taken to court and introduced to the king
aud queen by her old friend, Captain John Smith.
The sovereigns received her very graciously, and the
ladies of the court rivalled each other in showing
her kindness and attention.

At length the time came for her to return to
Jamestown, and, in company with her husband and
many new settlers, she embarked at Gravesend, but
a few days before the ship sailed she was taken ill
and died, at the age of twenty-two. Her death
caused great grief, for during her short visit she
had made many friends, who loved her for her
beauty and gentleness no less than for the help she
had given the English in Virginia. She was buried
in the Church of St. George at Gravesend, and her
husband returned alone to Jamestown.



CHAPTER VI.

THE PILGRIM FATHERS,

ERSECUTION is often a blessing in
disguise. James, the first Stuart
King of England, declared that he
would make the Puritans conform
to the Church of England or
harry them out of the land. He
kept his word ; and to escape from
the dangers which threatened

them, a body of Puritans emigrated to Holland, where
they remained for eleven years. For conscience
sake they had left their native country, but they
had no wish to lose their nationality and become
absorbed among the Dutch. They therefore decided
to found a colony in America, where they could
enjoy religious liberty and retain their English
manners and speech.

One hundred men, women, and children crossed
the Atlantic in the Mayflower in. 1620. The voyage
was very stormy, and occupied nearly eight weeks.
The Pilgrims suffered from sickness and want of food



4



50 STORIES OF THE FAR WEST

their vessel leaked badly, and on more than one
occasion she was expected to founder. It was there-
fore with feelings of great joy that Cape Cod was
sighted on the 9th of November 1620.

As quickly as possible a party landed to look
about for a suitable place for a settlement. March-
ing some little distance into the interior, they were
struck with the dreary aspect of the country. Low
sand-hills, dotted here and there with withered
bushes, offered no prospect of successful farming.
No natives were met with, and it seemed as if the
region was totally uninhabited. On the following
morning, however, the explorers came to a hut, but
no trace was visible of the inhabitants. While
digging in some sand-heaps near, they found a
quantity of Indian corn, which they carried to the
ship, where it proved a welcome addition to their
scanty stock of provisions.

Another expedition was organised, and set out in
a small boat to explore the coast. The hardships of
this party were greater than any the Pilgrims had
yet endured. It snowed incessantly; the sharp,
frosty wind cut their skins like knives, and froze the
sea-water on their clothes as it fell. Several times
they landed, but, though natives were frequently
seen, they fled in terror at the approach of the white
men.

One night they were disturbed by strange noises
and cries, which they thought came from the wolves,



THE PILGRIM FATHERS SI

In the morning, however, shortly after they started,
a shower of arrows and a hideous yell from a neigh-
bouring thicket warned them of the near presence
of Indians. Miles Standish, the leader of the party,
instantly discharged his musket, and the assailants
fled alarmed by the explosion.























ARRIVAL OF THE ‘‘MAYFLOWER” AT NEW PLYMOUTH.

The voyage was resumed for fifty miles along the
coast, but no suitable spot was found. Gales came
on, and it was with the utmost difficulty that they
escaped drowning. The violence of the wind broke
the mast, and the sail was carried overboard.



52 STORIES OF THE FAR WEST

Just when they had abandoned themselves to their
fate, the boat drifted under the shelter of a small
island. Here the night was spent, and on the follow-
ing day they busied themselves in repairing their
damaged boat. The next day was Sunday, but, not-
withstanding the need there was for haste, they
devoted the day to returning thanks to God for their
preservation.

Early on Monday morning they went to work
and sounded the harbour, which they found well
adapted for shipping. They “ marched also into the
land and discovered several cornfields, intersected
with little brooks—a place very good for settlement.
So they returned to the ship again with good news
to the rest of their people, which did much comfort
their hearts.”

On the 21st of December the Mayflower cast
anchor about a mile from the shore, the tide was out,
and the water was so shallow that she could not
approach nearer. In the ship’s boats they landed,
stepping ashore on a boulder of granite, which was
afterwards known as the Pilgrim Rock. There are
few more touching incidents recorded in history than
the landing of this little community—

‘*Not as the conqueror comes, they, the true-hcarted, came ;
Not with the roll of stirring drums, and the trumpet that sings
of fame:
Not as the flying come, in silence and in fear,—
They shook the depths of tho desert’s gloom with their hymns
of lofty cheer,



THE PILGRIM FATHERS 53

Amidst the storm they sang, and the stars heard and the sea;

And the sounding aisles of the dim wood rang to the anthems
of the free:

The ocean-eagle soared from his nest by the white waves’ foam,

And the rocking pines of the forest roared,—this was their wel-
come home !”

On a piece of rising ground, which afforded a good
view of the surrounding country, they decided to
erect their dwellings. Storms greatly hindered their
work, and they only managed to erect a few small
wooden huts, when sickness broke out. The bad
voyage, insufficient food, want of proper clothing, and
the lack of shelter in a climate of almost polar
severity, had so weakened them that they were un-
able to withstand the disease. In three months
more than half of their number perished, and the
survivors were so worn out that they had hardly
streneth to bury the dead. For fear that the
Indians should find out their condition, they levelled
all the graves and planted Indian corn over them.

Early in March the weather moderated, and warm
and fair breezes once more gladdened the hearts of
the Pilgrims. The birds sang in the trees, and work
was again resumed. One day an Indian suddenly
appeared among them, and, to their astonishment,
greeted them with the words, “ Welcome, English-
men.” He was a chief named Samoset, who had
learned a few English words from fishermen on the
coast of Maine. By him the settlers were informed
that the region which they now occupied had been



54 STORIES OF THE FAR WEST

lately depopulated by a plague, and in the name of
his people the chief gave them possession of the
land.

Samoset afterwards brought with him another
Indian, who had been carried captive to England
many years before, and then brought back. He now
took up his quarters with the Pilgrims, and taught
them to plant their corn as the Indians did, by
placing a few fish here and there in the ground as
manure. He also acted as their interpreter in their
dealings with the natives, and made himself useful
in a variety of ways.

Food was now plentiful. The rivers and bays
teemed with fish, the forest abounded in deer, and
the crops gave promise of a bountiful harvest.
During the summer several visits were paid to native
chiefs in the neighbourhood, with one of whom,
named Massasoit, an informal treaty of friendship
was made, which remained unbroken for upwards of
fifty years.

To the town which they erected they gave the
name of New Plymouth, after the port in England
from which they had sailed. Asa protection against
the Indians, it was surrounded by a palisade, with
gates, which were locked at sunset. In the centre
rose the fort, the lower portion of which was used as
a church, while on the roof were mounted six small
cannons.

We have an interesting description of the way in



THE PILGRIM FATHERS 55

which the Pilgrims attended divine service, written
by one who visited the colony at this time. He
Says:

“They assemble by beat of drum in front of the
captain’s door, each man armed with his musket.
They have their cloaks on, and place themselves in
order, three abreast, and are led by a sergeant.
Behind comes the governor; on one side walks the
preacher with his cloak on, carrying a Bible; on the
other side marches the captain, armed with his
sword and with a small cane in his hand. So they
march in good order, and each sets his arms down
near him. Thus they are constantly on their guard
against the Indians.”

Miles Standish, the Puritan captain, was the most
valiant man of the colony. He struck terror into
the hearts of the Indians by the boldness of his on-
set, and the terror of his riflemen. On one occasion
he was hastily summoned to a meeting of the
council. The American poet Longfellow, who was
descended from the early settlers, gives a fine
description of the scene. Entering, Standish saw an
Indian in the centre of the room. On a table near
lay the skin of a rattlesnake —

‘* Filled, like a quiver, with arrows, a signal and challenge
of warfare ;

Brought by the Indian, and speaking with arrowy tongues of
defiance.”

Standish advanced to the table—



56 STORIES OF THE FAR WEST

‘‘ Then from the rattlesnake’s skin, with a sudden contemptuous

gesture,

Jerking the Indian arrows, he filled it with powder and
bullets—

Full, to the very jaws, and handed it back to the savage,

Saying, in thundering tones, ‘Here, take it! this is your
answer !’

Silently out of the room then glided the glistening savage,

Bearing the serpent’s skin, and seeming himself like a serpent,

Winding his sinuous way in the dark to the depths of the
forest.”

This spirited answer caused the chief to withdraw
his defiance, but shortly afterwards Standish learned
that the Indians were planning to kill all the white
men. With eight of the colonists he set out to
disperse the plotters, and a sharp fight took place.
Some of the red-skins boasted what they would do,
and insulted Standish, on account of his being a small
man. This was more than the fiery captain could
stand, and, seeing four of them in a wigwam, he went
in with three of his men, shut the door, and put their
boasting to the test. He fell on one of the tallest of
the Indians, and after a desperate struggle killed him, |
with a knife suspended from his neck. The others
were also slain, and when their comrades attempted
to avenge their death they were put to flight.

Fresh parties of emigrants arrived from time to
time, and formed a welcome addition to the scanty
numbers of the colony; but, being unprovided with
food, they made serious inroads on the stock of
provisions. During the winter months the scarcity
was most severely felt. Men staggered and dropped



Mes. 8. M. thse.



PLYMOUTH ROCK MONUMENT.

ERECTED TO MARK THE LANDING-PLACE OF THE PILGRIM FATHERS,







THE PILGRIM FATHERS 59

down as they walked along, in the faintness of
hunger, and but for the shell-fish on the beach all
must have perished.

This state of things was common during the early
years of the colony, and they had often to support
life without either bread or meat. Their only drink
was “fair spring water.”

The chief men wisely concluded that there must
be some flaw in their arrangements, and accordingly
they began an inquiry. Up to this time all the
men had shared everything in common, and the
natural result was, that the idle would not exert
themselves so long as they could live without work,
and the industrious did not use their best endeavours,
when they could not enjoy the full fruits of their
toil. It was therefore agreed, in 1623, that each
settler should support himself. In. a very short
time a great improvement was manifest. Where
formerly they had barely enough to support life, they
now, out of their abundance, supplied the Indians
with corn, receiving in exchange the skins of beaver
and other animals.

The colony had now got over the most trying
period of its infancy, and the energy of the settlers
overcame all further obstacles. Within five years
after they had landed, New Plymouth consisted of
thirty-two dwellings, and though on more than one
occasion the town was nearly destroyed by fire, it
continued to prosper. A manufactory of salt was



60 STORIES OF THE FAR WEST

shortly afterwards started, and proved so successful,
that a ship loaded with fish cured with this
commodity was sent to England.

The population, however, increased but slowly,
and after the colony had been established for ten

































































































SOME OF THE RELICS BROUGHT OVER IN THE
“MAYFLOWER.”

years it only numbered about three hundred persons.
In 1662 it was united with Massachusetts, of which
State its territory still forms a part.

In Plymouth a statue has been erected to mark
the site of the landing of the Pilgrim Fathers, and



THE PILGRIM FATHERS 61

a hall in the city, known as Pilgrim Hall, contains
some of the curious old furniture which the
Pilgrims brought with them, including old-fashioned
arm -chairs, spinning -wheels, ladles, and other
interesting relics of these early settlers.



CHAPTER VII.

THE FOUNDER OF PENNSYLVANIA.

NE of the most severely persecuted
religious bodies in England, after
the Restoration, was the Society
of Friends, or Quakers. Their
conscientious objection to oaths
in law courts, to serve as soldiers,
or to remove their hats to their
superiors, were at that time

looked upon as very serious offences, and as such were

punished with the utmost rigour of the law. Fines,



imprisonment, and public whippings were their por-
tion; but, notwithstanding this, the Friends increased
in number, and several men of position and influence
joined the persecuted sect. The most notable of
these was William Penn, the son of a brave British
admiral, who had distinguished himself during the
wars with the Dutch.

Wishing to establish a home for his co-religionists
in the distant West, Penn asked Charles II. to
grant him a tract of land in New England. The

62



THE FOUNDER OF PENNSYLVANIA 63

king, who owed him large sums of money, was only
too glad to escape payment in this way, and on the
4th of March 1681 granted Penn a charter, making
him absolute proprietor, under the British crown, of
_ all the land east of the Delaware River, and north of
Maryland. The rent he had to pay the king was
merely nominal, and consisted of two beaver skins
annually, and a fifth of all the gold and silver dis-
covered.

Penn proposed to call the territory New Wales,
but the king raised objections to this name. Then
he suggested Sylvania, on account of the forests
which occupied the region. Ultimately this name
was adopted; but the king insisted on the prefix
Penn being added, in honour of the old admiral, and
the territory was named and is still known as Penn-
sylvania.

No time was lost in equipping an expedition and
arranging for the administration of the affairs of the
colony. At the end of the year three ships full of
emigrants were despatched, under the charge of
Colonel Markham, a relative of the proprietor. The
settlers were instructed to open up communication
with the natives, and to make all possible arrange-
ments for establishing the colony on a peaceful basis.
They also carried a letter written in Penn’s own hand,
and addressed to the Indians, in which he expressed
a hope that his emigrants might be able to gain
their friendship, “ by a kind, just, and peaceable life,”



64 STORIES OF THE FAR WEST

and. assured them that “if anything was done to
offend them, they should have a full and speedy
satisfaction for the same, by an equal number of just
men on both sides.” This remarkable document
ended thus: “Let me desire you to be kind to my
people, and receive the presents and tokens which I
have sent you,as a testimony of my goodwill to you,
and of my resolution to live justly, peaceably, and
friendly with you.—I am, your loving friend, WILLIAM
PENN.”

The three vessels crossed the Atlantic in safety,
and the emigrants, four hundred in number, landed to
take possession of the territory. The Indians soon
showed themselves, and heard with satisfaction their
promises of goodwill. They said, “ You are our
brothers, and-we will live like brothers with you.
There shall be one broad path for you and us to walk
in. This path shall be plain, without a stump in it
to hurt the feet. If an Englishman fall asleep in
this path, the Indian shall pass by him and say, ‘He
is an Englishman; he is asleep; let him alone!’”
A price was fixed for the land the emigrants wanted,
and the foundations of the colony were commenced. .

On the 1st of September 1682, Penn set sail from
Deal with about three hundred emigrants, in the ship
Welcome. ‘This voyage, next in historical importance
to that of the Mayflower, was rendered terrible by an
outbreak of small-pox which showed itself soon after
the vessel left England. The disease raged with





LANDING STORES FROM THE SHIPS.







THE FOUNDER OF PENNSYLVANIA 67

such violence that thirty of the passengers died.
The remainder arrived safely in the Delaware River
about the middle of October. Penn informed the
settlers that he intended to do “that which is extra-
ordinary—to leave myself and my successors no
power of doing mischief, that the will of one man
may not hinder the good of a whole country.”

Shortly after his arrival, he arranged to meet the
Indian chiefs at a grand conference on the banks of
the Delaware. The natives came to the place of
meeting in large numbers, and all fully armed. Penn
and his friends were unarmed. The only mark of
distinction which the leader of the settlers presented
was a sash of blue silk network, and the parchment
roll which he held in his hand, and which contained
the conditions of the treaty he hoped to conclude
with the chiefs. On his approach the Indians threw
down their arms, and, seating themselves on the
ground, showed that they were ready to listen to
him.

“We meet,” said Penn, “on the broad pathway of
good faith and good will, so that no advantage shall
be taken on either side, but all shall be openness and
brotherhood. I will not call you children, for parents
sometimes chide their children too severely, nor
brothers only, for brothers differ. I will not com-
pare the friendship between you and me to a chain,
for that might be rusted by the rain; or a falling
tree might break it. But let us feel the same as if



68 STORIES OF THE FAR WEST

one man’s body were to live in two separate parts;

for we are one in mankind; we are all one flesh and
blood.”

He then read to them clause by clause the



WILLIAM PENN,

treaty which he wished them to agree to. Among
other things, it declared that they were not to be
molested by the settlers even in the territory they
had sold, for it was to be common ground to them



THE FOUNDER OF PENNSYLVANIA 69

and to the English. If any disputes should arise,
they were to be settled by a jury consisting of six
settlers and six natives. He then paid them for
the land, and gave them many presents. After that
he laid the roll of parchment on the ground, saying
again that the land should be common to both races.
Taking it up later, he handed it to the leading chief,
and desired him to keep it for his companions for
three generations, that their children might know
what had passed between them, just as if he had
remained with them to repeat it.

The Indians replied in long speeches, in which
they pledged themselves “to live in love with
William Penn and his children, so long as sun and
moon should endure.”

It has been remarked as a striking fact, that the
treaty then concluded was the only one made
between savages and Christians that was not ratified
by oaths, and the only one that never was broken.
The great elm tree under which the meeting took
place, stood for more than a hundred years after,
an object of veneration to the settlers and their
descendants.

Penn now chose a site for a town on a neck of
land situated between two navigable rivers, the
Delaware and the Schuylkill, with quarries of good
building stone in the neighbourhood. A surveyor,
who accompanied the expedition, laid out the long
wide streets, running at right angles to one another.



~

70 STORIES OF THE FAR WEST

In the centre there was a square about ten acres
in extent, round which the public offices were to be
erected. To this skeleton town, not one building
of which had been erected, Penn gave the name of
Philadelphia, or the City of Brotherly Love.

The progress of the city was very rapid. Two
years after its foundation the population numbered
upwards of two thousand, and included English,
Scots, Irish, Welsh, Dutch, Swedes, and Germans.
It contained about six hundred houses, all regularly
built after the prescribed plan. Hardly a month
passed that did not bring shiploads of emigrants.
They were for the most part sober and industrious
men and women, who were attracted to the new
town by the “extraordinary humanity” with which
Penn treated the Indians, and who wished to live a
quiet and peaceable life undisturbed by persecution.

Troubles at home caused Penn to set sail for
England in August 1684, and fifteen years elapsed
before he was again in a position to return to
America. Meanwhile Pennsylvania became a thriv-
ing colony. As people began to spread, and to
improve their lands, the country became more
fruitful, and the colonists were able to raise more
produce than they required for their own wants.
A small export trade was therefore begun; vessels
were built and a wharf was erected at the side of
the river, where vessels of five hundred tons burden
could discharge their cargoes.



THE FOUNDER OF PENNSYLVANIA 71

When Penn returned to Philadelphia in 1699,
two questions claimed his attention—the condition
of the negroes, and the civilisation of the Indians.
At that time there were great numbers of negroes
who had been imported from Africa, and were
employed by the settlers in the various American
colonies as slaves. Shortly before Penn’s arrival,
many of the Quakers had come to the conclusion
that “the buying, selling, and holding men in slavery
was inconsistent with the tenets of the Christian
religion,” and he as governor was looked to for a
final verdict on the question. He went into the
matter with his usual enthusiasm, and, after careful
consideration, confirmed the conclusion already come
to. He went further, and, though he could not put
a stop to the importation of negroes, he did all in
his power to lessen the hardships of their situation,
by providing them with facilities for religious in-
structions, and granting them many of the privileges
of free men. These endeavours bore fruit in after
years, and it became a law among the Quakers that
no Friend should hold slaves. .

With Indians, Penn was very successful. He
went among them, and by his example and influence
established and maintained friendly relations between
them and the colonists. “Whatever advances in
the arts of civilised life were made in the early part
of the eighteenth century by the Indian tribes in
the north-west, were due originally to William



72 STORIES OF THE FAR WEST

Penn.” For more than fifty years after his death
his memory was respected among them as that of a
“true and good man.”

Penn lived long enough to see the prosperity
of his colony assured: He died in England in
1718, leaving Pennsylvania to his family, in whose
hands it remained till the American Revolution.
Philadelphia is still the chief town in the State,
and now ranks as the first manufacturing city in
the Union.



CHAPTER VIII.

THE PIONEER OF KENTUCKY.

S the settlements gradually spread
back from the Atlantic coast to-
wards the Alleghany Mountains,
and became more thickly peopled,
many of the old colonists, who dis-
liked the idea of having neighbours
too near them, left the land in
which they had lived for years, to

seek new homes beyond the mountains, where they

would not be crowded. These hardy pioneers formed

a race of men such as the world had never before



known, and they did more to open up the interior
to colonisation than all the State expeditions of
France and Spain.

About that time there lived in Yadkin Valley, in
North Carolina, a settler named Daniel Boone. He
was a born hunter, and, trained from his youth in all
the mysteries of woodcraft, he could go to his own
dwelling, in a straight line, from any point to which

his wanderings might any, him. Fatigue, hunger,
3



74 STORIES OF THE FAR WEST

and exposure, he could bear like an Indian. Strong
and active, but cautious and silent, he was the very
man to act the part of pioneer.

Having heard of a great land to the north-west,
where the “ buffaloes swarmed like flies in summer,”
he felt a strong desire to visit the region. For a
year he thought about it, and talked to his wife about
it, and then one morning he put a new edge on his
hunting-knife, shouldered his rifle, bade his little
family good-bye, and with five companions started off.
to explore the great lone land beyond the mountains.

For five weeks the little band toiled on over hill
and plain, till at length they came to the Red River,

a tributary of the Kentucky. Here they built a hut,
and for seven months they hunted and fished with
success. Then Boone and one of his companions
were captured by the Indians, and carried off to their
encampment. On the seventh night of their captivity,
the Indians made a great feast, during which the two
hunters managed to make their escape. When, after
a weary tramp, they reached the hut, they found it
deserted. Boone searched everywhere for traces of
his companions, but he was unable to find any clue;
nor did he ever learn what became of them.

Determined to persevere, the two men built another
hut, in a more secluded part of the forest. Here
they were shortly afterwards joined by two friends
from Carolina, who had come to share the perils of
this wild life. A few months later, their numbers



THE PIONEER OF KENTUCKY 75

were again reduced by the death of one man and
the desertion of another. Then their ammunition
ran short, and the other man was compelled to return
to the settlements for a fresh supply, thus leaving
Boone alone in that vast region, without even a dog
for company.

It is impossible for us to realise the danger and
loneliness of such a situation. Many hundreds of
miles separated him from all to whom he could look
for aid. In a boundless wood filled with fierce bears,
and still fiercer Indians, he was dependent for food
on his gun, yet he had but a scanty store ‘of powder
and shot. very day he changed his dwelling, and
every night his sleeping-place. Constantly in danger,
he was forced always to be watchful, but the freedom of
the life and the excitement of peril appear to have made
up for all the hardships he endured, for he afterwards
declared that this was the happiest period of his life.

One circumstance, to which he probably owed his
security, in a region infested by roving bands of
savages, also illustrates the keen powers of ob-
servation which made Boone the prince of back-
woodsmen. The forests were filled with a kind of
nettle, which, when once trodden on, retained for a
long time the impression of the foot. This weed
the Indians took no care to avoid, while the solitary
hunter never touched it. Thus it became to him
the means of knowing the number and position of
the red-skins, without betraying his own whereabouts.



76 STORIES OF THE FAR WEST

There is a story told of Boone, which gives a
striking idea of the life he was leading at this time.
On one occasion he entered a wood from the western
side, and another hunter entered from the east.
Before long each became aware of the presence of
another human being in the neighbourhood. Then
each commenced dodging about among the trees, to
learn who the other was, without showing himself.
Such was their skill in baffling one another, that
forty-eight hours passed before either could satisfy
himself that the other was not an Indian and a
foe.

About the end of June 1770 he was joined by his
brother, and they hunted together till the ensuing
March, when they returned home, in order to lead a
party of settlers into Kentucky. In the autumn,
Boone started with five families besides his own, and
forty men. Suddenly, and without warning, a number
of Indians swooped down upon the emigrants. In an
instant all was confusion. Women shrieked, cattle
broke loose, and horses reared and plunged. moments decided the skirmish in favour of the white
men; but the victory was dearly purchased by the
lives of six of the party, one of whom was Boone’s
eldest son. This so discouraged the remainder that
they retreated to the settlements, and no further
attempt to colonise Kentucky was made for several
years. It was indeed, as its name signified, “dark
and bloody ground.”



THE PIONEER OF KENTUCKY 77

In the summer of 1775, Boone led another party
of pioneers across the mountains. He made a treaty
with the Cherokee Indians, by which they agreed to

_leave him in undisturbed possession of certain lands
between the rivers Kentucky and Cumberland. Here,
though he had to fight for the ground with other
tribes, he succeeded in erecting a palisaded fort—
the pioneers working with an axe in one hand and
a rifle in the other. Leaving Boonesborough, as the
new settlement was called, in charge of his com-
panions, Boone returned to his family, which with
three others he brought safely to their new home in
September. The four women of this party deserve
special honour for their heroism, in thus braving the
perils of frontier life, at a time when Indian hostility’
had been aroused to its highest pitch by the de-
termined inroads of the white men. The names of the
“mothers of the West” are Mrs. Boone, Mrs. M‘Gary,
Mrs. Denton, and Mrs. Hogan.

In the early days of the settlement the inhabitants
had to be constantly on the watch, to repel the
determined attacks of the red men. But they soon
learned that they could not catch Boone napping.
No matter when they made their onset, whether
at midday or at midnight, or how silently they
- advanced through the forest, the keen eyes of the
‘old backwoodsman detected them; and for a time
Boonesborough was left in comparative peace.

One day his daughter and two other girls were



78 STORIES OF THE FAR WEST

amusing themselves in a skiff on the Kentucky
river. Suddenly they felt the boat was being borne
towards the opposite shore. A lurking Indian
swimming out to them, under water, had caught hold
of it, and the terrified children quickly found them-
selves prisoners amongst a band. who had posted
themselves in a thicket near the river. The screams
of the girls alarmed the settlers, who rushed down to
the bank in time to see them bound and carried off.
It was some time before Boone and a party of his
friends could cross the river in pursuit, so that the
Indians got a start of several miles.

Darkness put an end to the search, but with the
first signs of day the settlers were ready to take up
the trail. They followed it to a thick wood, where
they lost all trace of the fugitives. Life and death,
freedom and captivity, hung upon the right use of
every moment, so Boone decided not to waste time
in examining the wood. Guessing the probable
direction of the route taken by the Indians, he turned
to the southward, with his companions, and went
boldly forward for about thirty miles. Then, turning
to the north, he resumed his search for a trail.

It was a bold move to make, but it was fully
justified by the results, for, after going a few miles,
they came upon the footsteps of the Indians in one
of the great buffalo paths. With fresh courage they
pushed forward, quietly and on the alert, lest they
should come unexpectedly on the red-skins. At the



THE PIONEER OF KENTUCKY 79

end of ten miles they caught sight of the natives, as
they were leisurely preparing their dinner.

Cautious as Boone and his companions had been
in their movements, the quick-eyed Indians saw them
as soon as they themselves were discovered. Fearing
that the girls would ‘be put to death the moment a
rescue was attempted, Boone dashed hastily forward,
not to give them time to do any mischief. The
unexpected onset struck terror into the hearts of the
savages, and they fled, leaving all their weapons and
goods behind them, and the three terrified girls were
recovered unhurt.

After this Boonesborough was besieged by the
Indians for some weeks. The settlers ran short of
ammunition, and it seemed as if they would be forced
to surrender. With only two companions, Boone set
out on a journey of over two hundred miles, to
procure a fresh supply. Over a wild and mountain-
ous country he made his way to the nearest settlement,
obtained a stock of powder and shot, and ten days
afterwards he was once more within the fort. This
timely help enabled the settlers to beat off the
enemy.

The most serious misfortune which befell: the
hardy pioneer happened in 1778, which was also the
most trying year of the “borough” which he had
founded. He had gone with thirty men to the salt-
licks to prepare salt for his people, and had almost
finished his work, when he was surprised by a party



80 STORIES OF THE FAR WEST

of Indians. He fled, but was pursued, taken prisoner,
and carried to their encampment. The chief of the
tribe, named Black Fish, had for a long time admired
Boone for his fearlessness and skill, and he determined
to adopt him into his tribe. The pioneer had more
sense than to refuse the intended honour, and for
some months he lived the life of a Shawanese Indian.
He took his part in the games, and shot as near the
centre of the target as he judged prudent, so as not
to arouse the enmity of the warriors. We can
imagine the humorous twinkle that came into his
quiet eye, as he witnessed the joy of the savage
marksman at having done better than the best of the
Long Knives.

One day he saw a band of five hundred warriors
in all the splendour of war-paint and feathers, and
he wondered what their object could be; a few words
accidentally dropped by the Indians informed him
that their destination was Boonesborough. Could he
do nothing to save his family and friends? There
were a hundred and sixty miles of wild country
between him and the fort, yet he made up his mind
to the attempt. Early one morning in June he stole
away, and for four successive days he sped over hill
and valley, covering forty miles a day. During this
time he had only one meal, for he was afraid to light
a fire, as it would have shown his whereabouts.

When he reached Boonesborough, his wife did not,
as was her wont, come out to meet him, and when





DEFENDING THE FORT.







THE PIONEER OF KENTUCKY 83

he anxiously asked what had become of her, one of
the men replied, “ Bless you, man, she put into the
settlements long ago. She thought you was dead,
Dan’l, and packed up and was off to Carolina, to the
old man’s.” There was no time to indulge in vain
regrets with the Indian so near at hand; but days
passed, and the expected host did not appear. It
was then found out by scouts that Boone’s dis-
appearance had brought them to a standstill, for they
rightly concluded that he must have given warning
of their approach, and they abandoned their intention
of attacking the fort. Thinking that the country
was clear, the settlers returned to their usual
occupations.

One morning, shortly after this, when Boone was
in the forest, he saw a body of red-skins proceeding
towards the fort. Thinking that this was but the
vanguard of a larger party, he returned with all
haste to prepare for the worst.

It was well he did so, for on the following
morning the Indian army swarmed round Boones-
borough, under the command of a British officer.
The war of American Independence was then
raging, and the British hoped to gain some advan-
tage by rousing the Indians to attack the outlying
settlements. The force which was now encamped
in front of the fort outnumbered the garrison by
ten to one, and when the officer summoned Boone
to surrender, he was at a loss to know what to do.



84 STORIES OF THE FAR WEST

The cattle were all out in the wood, which made
resistance for a lengthened period impossible; and
to surrender meant being handed over to Black Fish
and his men, who would punish him severely for
his flight.

At length he concluded to ask two days in
which to consider the matter. This request was
granted, and the first thing he did was to drive
in the cows. Then he busied himself in making
everything as strong as possible. When the two
days expired, he felt that he was in a position
to make a successful resistance, so he “ politely
thanked the representative of His Gracious Majesty
for giving him time to prepare a reception fitting
his rank, and said that he had decided to fight.”

The officer offered to leave them in peace, if the
settlers would send a few of their men to a con-
ference with him and some of the chiefs, outside the
fort. To this he consented, taking care to select
the strongest of his men, and to post the rest on
the walls ready to fire on the slightest show of
treachery. As expected, the red-skins seized them
and tried to drag them to the ground. The whites
drew back struggling; the rifle - balls of those
posted on the walls struck down the foremost of
the assailants, and amid the fire of friends and foes
Boone and his men made their way into the fort
unharmed.

The treaty trick having thus failed, there began



THE PIONEER OF KENTUCKY 85

one of the fiercest battles ever fought in Kentucky.
For ten days the firmg went on. The Indians,
led by a white officer, were confident of success ;
but the settlers were not to be beaten, and they
at length succeeded in compelling the enemy to
retreat, never again to disturb the peace of Boones-
borough. After their departure Boone picked up
a hundred and twenty-five pounds of their bullets
from the ground.

Amid such scenes the foundation of Kentucky
was laid by a mere handful of rough but high-
spirited men. Boone survived all his perils, and
died at the age of eighty-three, having lived to see
populous States founded where he had explored
pathless forests.



CHAPTER IX.

THE ADVENTURES OF PETER WILLIAMSON.

URING the early years of the
American settlements the colonists
were in great want of labourers
and servants, and to supply the
need it became a common practice
to kidnap people in this country
for the colonies. Many thousands

of men, women, and even children, were seized in

the streets and sent over to America, where they
were sold to the highest bidder. Fortunately, their
bondage was not for life, but only for an arranged
number of years. During the time of their service,
however, they could be bought and sold like slaves.
The best-known case of this kind on record is

that of Peter Williamson, who about the year 1736

was carried off from Aberdeen and sold for a slave

in Philadelphia. Peter was at this time only ten
years of age. He was bought by a fellow-country-
man named Wilson, who had himself been kidnapped

from Perth as a child. He was a humane man,
86





ADVENTURES OF PETER WILLIAMSON 87

and treated his slave with great kindness, giving
him only the lightest kind of work, and allowing
him to learn to read and write. When he died, a
few years afterwards, he left Peter a legacy of
one hundred and fifty pounds, his best horse, saddle,
and wearing apparel, as a reward for the faithful
manner in which he had served him.

Peter was at this time seventeen years of age,
and for the next seven years he worked diligently
at various employments, and considerably increased
his capital. He then thought it time to settle,
and, as a preliminary step, married the daughter of |
a neighbouring planter. His father-in-law bestowed
on the young couple a tract of well-cleared land on
the frontiers of Pennsylvania, where they lived very
happily till the autumn of 1754, when the Indians
began a series of raids, accompanied by the most
horrible barbarities. Scarcely a day passed but
some unhappy family fell victims, and at last the
blow fell on Peter Williamson.

On the 2nd of October his wife left home to
visit some of her relations about six miles away.
Night came on and she did not return, 80 he
decided to go to bed. He had just made everything
secure, when he was alarmed by the dismal war-
whoop of the savages. Rushing to the window, he
saw that his house was surrounded. One of the
Indians came forward and offered him his life, on
condition that he made no resistance, adding, how-



88 STORIES OF THE FAR WEST

ever, that if he would not surrender himself a
prisoner, they would burn him alive. He chose
what seemed to him at the time the lesser of two
evils, and gave himself up. His captors tied him
to a tree, and then proceeded to plunder the house.
Not satisfied with this, they set it on fire and
burned it to the ground.

Williamson soon learned why his life had been
spared, for the savages loaded him with plunder,
and threatened him with the worst of deaths if he
did not go quietly with them. All night the poor
fellow trudged along under his burden. At day-
break a halt was made, and the prisoner was bound
to a tree. His captors then made a fire near, and
danced round him, brandishing their weapons, and
yelling and screaming in the most frightful manner.
They next took sticks flaming with fire at the ends,
and held them to different parts of his body, at
the same time threatening to roast him to death if
he cried out. Tortured thus, we do not wonder
that tears of anguish began rolling down the face
of the unfortunate man. This did not escape the
notice of the savages, who, telling him that his
face was wet and that they would dry it for him,
took fresh sticks from the fire, and put them near
his eyes. “How I underwent these tortures,” he
says, “has been a matter of wonder to me, but God
enabled me to wait with more than common patience
the deliverance I daily prayed for.”



















































































































































































































































































































































































































































AN INDIAN HORSE THIEF.

89







ADVENTURES OF PETER WILLIAMSON 91

At nightfall they again set out on their march,
Williamson being loaded as before. In the darkness
they attacked the house of a settler, and, having
murdered him and his family, they plundered the
dwelling and set it on fire. Only one life was
spared, that of a young manservant, whom the
savages thought would be of service in assisting to
carry the plunder. He was compelled to suffer
cruel treatment, and, unable to endure it with the
same heroic fortitude as Williamson, the wretched
youth gave vent to his misery in groans and tears.
In vain did his companion encourage him with the
hope of escape, for he kept on crying. One of the
Indians seeing this came up behind him, and with
his tomahawk felled him to the ground.

We could not, even did our space permit, tell of
all the horrors which Williamson was compelled to
witness. Family after family was tortured and
murdered, as much out of “ fiendish pleasure in such
acts as for their property.” A heavy fall of snow
at length compelled the band to go into their winter
quarters, lest their tracks should betray them to the
enraged white men. They remained in hiding for
nearly two months. As the severity of the cold
increased, they stripped the captive of his clothes
for their own use, giving him in return a piece of
blanket, a pair of moccasins, and a strip of coarse
cloth to serve instead of trousers.

At length, being joined by many other Indians,



92 STORIES OF THE FAR WEST

they set out on a fresh expedition. Marching
towards the settlements, they divided into small
. parties; but, fearing to take Williamson with them,
they left him behind under a guard of ten men.
Now the long-wished-for chance of escape had come.
He knew the country well, and he eagerly waited
for an opportunity to regain his liberty. One night,
while his guards, wearied with a severe day’s hunt-
ing, slept more soundly than usual, he determined to
escape or perish in the attempt. Naked and defence-
less, he set out; but he had not gone more than a
few hundred yards when the cries of the Indians
told him that his flight had been discovered.

Terror lent him speed, and he rushed forward
through the woods. Many a time he fell completely
exhausted, but the thought of all he had suffered
nerved him to struggle on. Daylight found him
faint and bruised, and he crept into a hollow tree
to wait till darkness made it possible for him to
continue his journey towards the settlements. Worn
out with exertion and hunger, he fell asleep. Ina
few hours he was awakened by the voices of the
savages near the place where he lay, saying what
they would do to him when they caught him.

At night he left his hiding-place and continued
his flight. Travelling by night and resting by day,
he encountered no dangers, though in a constant
state of apprehension. On the fourth night he came
suddenly on a party of Indians lying round their



eZ

Le

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Le
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ize



TRACKING THE FUGITIVE.
93







ADVENTURES OF PETER WILLIAMSON 95

fire. The rustling he made in the leaves alarmed
them, and, seizing their arms, they ran towards the
spot from which the noise proceeded. The fugitive
did not know whether to run or to stand still, when,
to his surprise and joy, a herd of swine appeared
between him and the Indians, who, thinking they
had discovered the cause of the alarm, returned to
the fire and shortly afterwards went to sleep.

On the following afternoon he reached the house
of John Bell, an old acquaintance. In answer to his
knock, the settler’s wife came to the door, and, on
seeing this naked and haggard figure, rushed scream-
ing into the house. This brought her husband to
the door, gun in hand. He was about to shoot the
wanderer, when he called out that he was his old
friend Peter Williamson. At once Bell threw down
his rifle and heartily welcomed him into his house,
providing him with food and clothing. Here he
remained for some days to recover his strength.
Then, having borrowed a horse from his host, he
started for his father-in-law’s house, about a hundred
and forty miles distant.

When he arrived the family could scarcely believe
their eyes, for there was no one who did not suppose
that he had been put to death when his house was
burned. They welcomed him gladly, and he asked,
“Where is my wife? I was told she returned to you.”

“She did,” replied the old man, “but her griefs
killed her in less than a week.”



96 STORIES OF THE FAR WEST

Determined “to be revenged on the authors of
his ruin,” Williamson went to Boston, and enlisted in
a regiment which was being raised to guard the
western frontier of the settlement. During this
campaign his knowledge of the Indian customs and
mode of warfare were of great use to the command-
ing officer, who made him a lieutenant. He after-
wards took part in several expeditions against the
French, and was severely wounded.

Williamson returned to his native town in June
1758, where he turned his misfortunes to good
account “by exhibiting himself in the costume of a
North American Indian, and giving representations
of the Indians’ gestures and war-whoops.” The story
of his life and adventures, which he published, roused
the wrath of the magistrates of the “Granite City,”
whom he charged with conniving at the trade of
kidnapping. He was convicted of “having issued a
scurrilous and infamous libel,” imprisoned, and finally
banished from the city, while his book was publicly
burned by the hangman.

He went to Edinburgh and brought an action
against the Aberdeen Corporation, and obtained
damages to the extent of £100. With this money
he opened a coffee-house. He died in 1799, at the
age of seventy-three.



CHAPTER X.

THE GREAT FUR LAND,

ENRY HUDSON, an English sailor
in the employment of the Dutch,
discovered, in 1610, the great
bay which bears his name. The
waters of this vast inland sea
teemed with fish, and the French,
who at that time were masters of



Canada, were not slow to avail

themselves of this inexhaustible source of wealth.
Among those who visited the bay was a bold and
enterprising Frenchman, named Grosseliez. He saw
the advantages which would follow the possession
of the ports and harbours of this region, and,
wishing to secure it for his own country, he set
out for France and laid the matter before the
king. His proposals were, however, regarded as
visionary, and his scheme of settlement was rejected.
Mr. Montague, the English minister at Paris, saw
further than the French monarch, and, anxious to
hear more of the matter, sent for Grosseliez, and

7



98 STORIES OF THE FAR WEST

asked him to explain his views. The boundless
possibilities of the region appealed strongly to
Montague, and he gave the Frenchman a letter of
introduction to Prince Rupert in England. Crossing
the channel, Grosseliez was received with every mark
of honour ; his proposals were listened to with respect ;
and he was engaged to go out to Hudson’s Bay in
one of the King’s ships, and form a settlement. vessel was therefore equipped, and in 1668 the
expedition set sail, under the command of Captain
Gillam. After the fashion of the time, an attempt
was first made to find a way to China, but, failing
in this, the explorers entered Rupert’s River, where
they spent the winter. Here Captain Gillam laid
the foundation of the first English settlement in
Canada, by building a small stone fort, which he
named Fort Charles in honour of the King,

On the return of the explorers, Prince Rupert
formed a company of seventeen noblemen and
gentlemen, and in 1670 obtained from King Charles
II. a charter, granting to him “all the lands
and territories in Hudson’s Bay, with all the trade
thereof in furs, minerals, and other considerable
commodities.” Over this boundless region, to which
the name of Rupert’s Land was given, roamed great
herds of buffalo and deer, besides countless numbers
of bears, beavers, foxes, and other smaller fur-bearing
animals. The Company lost no time in erecting
forts and factories to trade with the Indians, from





WAITING THE APPROACH OF A MOOSE.

99







Full Text


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BY

FRANK MUNDELL.
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A HOPELESS RESISTANCE.
Frontispiece, See page 122,
STORIES

OF

Cre FAR Wiese

By FRANK MUNDELL

AUTHOR OF ‘‘STOR“ES OF NORTH POLE ADVENTURE” ETC,



SECOND EDITION

LONDON:
THE SUNDAY SCHOOL UNION
57 AND 59 LupcarTe Hitt, E.C.
PREFATORY NOTE

—+—

Tus book is not intended to be a history of the
discovery and settlement of America. Its purpose
is to present to the reader a series of pictures of life
and scenes in the Far West, and place on record a
few of the more prominent instances of the courage,
perseverance, and daring which have marked the
advance of civilisation from east to west of the great
continent.

F. M.

March 1896.


CHAP,
I.

Il.

III.

IV.

Vv.

VI.

VII.

VIII.

IX.

xX.

XI.

XII.

XIIL

CONTENTS

“10 THE WEST!”

THE RED MEN OF THE WEST

THE PARADISE OF THE WORLD
CAPTAIN JOHN SMITH

THE PRINCESS POCAHONTAS. :

THE PILGRIM FATHERS .

THE FOUNDER OF PENNSYLVANIA .
THE PIONEER OF KENTUCKY .

THE ADVENTURES OF PETER WILLIAMSON
THE GREAT FUR LAND . .

AN ADVENTURE WITH THE BLACKFEET
A ROMANCE OF INDIAN FRIENDSHIP .

A RACE FOR LIFE .

PAGE
8 ; CONTENTS

CHAP, PAGE
XIV. A FREE MAN OF THE FOREST . , ' A 127

XV. A BRAVE BOY : ‘ ‘ 136
XVI. BUFFALO BILL . : ' - : ; 143

XVII. A PLUCKY DEFENCE rs : ; 3 i 154
LIST OF ILLUSTRATIONS

—+—.

PAGE
A HOPELESS RESISTANCE i ; F . Frontispiece
AN INDIAN ENCAMPMENT ; : : : : 17
SIR WALTER RALEIGH 5 i i ; 25
CAPTAIN JOHN SMITH . 5 : ‘ ‘ 34

POCAHONTAS PLEADING FOR THE LIFE OF CAPTAIN JOHN
SMITH : ; ‘ ‘ : . ; 39
ARRIVAL OF THE ‘‘MAYFLOWER” AT NEW PLYMOUTH a 51
PLYMOUTH ROCK MONUMENT . 57

SOME OF THE RELICS BROUGHT OVER IN THE ‘‘MAY-
FLOWER” . . : : . : 5 60
LANDING STORES FROM THE SHIPS . - i ‘i 65
WILLIAM PENN , 5 é ‘ - é 68
DEFENDING THE FORT A : , . : 81
AN INDIAN HORSE THIEF : 3 A 3 R180
TRACKING THE FUGITIVE , , 4 , : 93
A CRITICAL MOMENT . ' , : r , 99
STARTING FOR THE HUNTING-GROUNDS , . 6 103
ON THE LOOK-oUT ; ' , 5 " , 109
A FOREST SKIRMISH . x ce " a ame loll
“THE INDIAN FELL, AND THE HORSE GALLOPED ON” nea
Rouse, brothers, rouse! we've far to travel,
Free as the winds we love to roam ;

Far through the prairie, far through the forest
Over the mountains, we'll find a home.

We cannot breathe in crowded cities,
Strangers we to the ways of trade;
Longing to feel the grass beneath us,
To wield the hatchet and ply the spade,

Fair elbow-room for men to thrive in,
Wide elbow-room for work or play ;

If cities follow, tracing our footsteps,
Ever to westward shall point our way !

Rude though our life, it suits our spirit,
And new-born States in the coming years
Shall own us founders of a nation,
And bless the hardy pioneers.

10
SOR EES

OF

iE eA Ro We Sa



beyond question.

CHAPTER I.

“TO THE WEST!”

A cHO discovered America? This

question has been often asked
and variously answered, especially
during the last few years. No
one grudges the honour given
to Columbus for his discovery,
which at any rate has the
advantage of being well authenti-
cated, and the date of which is
The fact, however, remains, that

the hardy Norsemen landed on the western shores of
the Atlantic five hundred years before the Genoese
captain made his famous voyage towards the setting

sun. Nor must we forget that the Chinese lay
UW :
12 STORIES OF THE FAR WEST

claim to a prior discovery, and this contention has
received some support from the fact that many traces
of civilisation in Peru have been found to resemble
that of the Celestial Empire.

It was not, however, until after Columbus had
made known the existence of the Western continent
to the people of Europe, that the stream of emigration
began to flow from the Old World to the New. It
was indeed a revelation to the inhabitants of the
crowded cities on this side of the Atlantic, to learn
that only three thousand miles away there lay a
mighty country, of marvellous fertility and fabulous
wealth.

True, the newly-discovered region was not without
inhabitants, but the savage races who claimed the
forest and the prairie as their hunting-grounds, were
unable to turn to account the natural riches with
which they were surrounded. The Indian was
' satisfied to follow in the footsteps of his father, and
no progress marked the centuries. The forests
remained unfelled; the marshes were undrained; the
prairies and the plains saw no cities rising out of
their broad expanse; harbours of unsurpassed
capacity were unvisited by ships; and mighty rivers
ran through vast solitudes from their sources to the
sea, carrying on their bosoms no fleets laden with the
produce of a country able to supply the wants of
millions of the human race.

The first visitors from the Old World were very
“TO THE WEST!” 13

different from the emigrants who, during the last
two hundred years, have founded a great empire in
the West. They consisted largely of men in search
of gold or glory, who carried their lives in their
hands, and many of whom, failing in their object,
fell victims to their own recklessness, and were
buried in unknown graves. The story of adventure
and exploration, and the marvellous growth of cities
unequalled in any other quarter of the globe, has a
fascination peculiarly its own.

Only a generation ago, Mackay wrote his famous

song—

“To the West ! to the West !
To the land of the free,
Where the mighty Missouri
Rolls down to the sea ;
Where a man is a man, if he’s willing to toil,
And the humblest may gather the fruits of the soil.”

But “To the West” has been the rallying ery of
millions, who found homes and comfort and wealth
on the other side of the Atlantic, which were denied
them on this. The Far West has been for genera-
tions a region of romance to the dwellers in the
overcrowded cities of Europe, and the very name was
sufficient to arouse a desire to enjoy the freedom and
share in the boundless stores of this “land of
promise.”

The Far West of one generation was not the Far
West of the next; for the history of the American
14 STORIES OF THE FAR WEST

people is that of an advancing tide of white men,
gradually spreading further and further into the in-
terior, ever on the retreating footsteps of the red
men, and driving them from forest to forest and from
valley to valley, until now they have scarcely a rood
of ground which they can call their own.

Long and bitter was the struggle between the red
men and the invaders of their country. The story
of the Far West is one of progress and bloodshed, of -
a continual strife between civilisation and barbarism,
and of daring enterprise carried out in the face of
privation and discomfort, perils and ceaseless toil.
CHAPTER II.

THE RED MEN OF THE WEST.

HEN America was discovered by
Europeans, they found that con-
tinent peopled by a dark-skinned
race, to whom they gave the
name of Indians, because they
thought that they had reached
the eastern shores of India. These



natives were tall and stately in
their bearing, with black eyes
and long black hair. Their skin was of a brown or
copper colour, and to distinguish them from the
inhabitants of India they received the name of
Red or American Indians.

A great many tribes of red men wandered over
the vast prairies or grass lands of the New World.
As they seldom remained long in one place, they
did not erect permanent buildings, but dwelt in
tent-like erections called wigwams, consisting simply
of mats, skins, or pieces of bark stretched over poles.
Hunting and fishing formed their chief occupation,

15
16 . STORIES OF THE FAR WEST

and they supported themselves to a large extent
on the proceeds of the chase. The labour connected
with the family was done by the women, who were
not much better than slaves. Very little of the land
was under cultivation, and only small crops of corn
or beans were raised.

The Indians were a very brave people, and the
different tribes were often at war with one another.
Before going into battle, each tribe assembled at its
own village and held a grand feast, which was
followed by a war dance. A painted post was
driven into the ground, around which the warriors
danced, brandishing their weapons, and yelling in
the most hideous manner. This performance was
kept up during the greater part of the night, and
then in the morning the warriors marched off to
encounter the enemy.

In war. they behaved with reckless daring, for
they did not fear death, and they believed that when
a brave man died his spirit went to the happy
hunting-grounds, where he lived for ever in the
unbroken enjoyment of the delights of the chase.
When an Indian brave died his weapons were buried
with him, and his dog was killed and laid at his
feet, ready to attend on his master in the other
world.

Like all savage peoples, both men and women
were very fond of adornment, and decorated them-
selves with beads, which they made from sea-shells,








































































































































































































































































































































































































































































AN INDIAN ENCAMPMENT.
THE RED MEN OF THE WEST 19

These were called wampum, and were worn in
strings or worked into belts. Wampum belts were
used by the Indians on all important occasions—
such as making peace or war. They were also the
medium of exchange. The tribes of the interior
sold their goods to those on the coast, who were
wampum makers. Ornaments made of copper, dug
out of the ground in the region of the Great Lakes,
have been found in Virginia and other Southern
States, having passed from tribe to tribe in the
way of trade.

The dress of an Indian chief is thus described
by Longfellow—

“He was dressed in shirt of doeskin,
White and soft, and fringed with ermine,
All inwrought with beads of wampum.
He was dressed in deerskin leggings,
Fringed with hedgehog quills and ermine,
And in moccasins of buckskin,

Thick with quills and beads embroidered.
On his head were plumes of swan’s down,
On his heels were tails of foxes.”

His weapons consisted of a bow and arrows, and
a tomahawk or hatchet. The bow was made from
the branch of an ash tree, and the cord was made
of deerskin. The arrows were cut from the oak;
and the Indian

‘“* Made his arrow-heads of sandstone,
Arrow-heads of flint and jasper,
Smoothed and sharpened at the edges,
Hard and polished, keen and costly.”
20 STORIES OF THE FAR WEST

The Indians used to travel by water in their
graceful canoes. ‘These were made from the bark
of the birch tree. Cutting a circle round the
trunk with a sharp knife, just above the roots
and beneath the lowest branches, the canoe-builder
cleft one side of the bark in a straight line from
top to bottom. Then with wooden wedges he
stripped the trunk of its covering without a break.
It was next stretched on a framework of cedar, to
which it was fastened with fibres of larch. Some
of the canoes were very large, and could carry a
dozen men. The Indians were very expert in the
management of these light vessels, and it was no
uncommon thing for them, in sailing down a river,
to “shoot the rapids,’ to save carrying the canoe
along the banks to. smooth water.

When the white men settled in America, some
of the Indians received the strangers with great ~
kindness; but the majority were unfriendly, for
they feared that the pale-faces, as they called them,
would deprive them of their lands. Hoping to
drive the intruders out of the country, they attacked
them again and again, killing the men and carrying
the women and children into captivity. The white
settlers, however, continued to come to the land in
ever-increasing numbers, and the Indians were
gradually driven westward. Thither the boldest
of the pale-faces followed them, anxious to explore
the country; others came, and soon cities and towns
THE RED MEN OF THE WEST 21

were erected where the red men and their fore-
fathers had for ages hunted the buffalo and the ’
deer.

As a race the Indians of North America are
gradually dying out. A few years ago the United
States Government allotted to the red men a stretch
of country to the north of Texas, but they do not
care to settle down and adopt the pursuits of
civilised man. Their total extinction as a race is
therefore only a matter of time!

1 For an interesting article showing what means are being taken
by friends of the Taian to save the race from extinction, pa fit
the younger generation to compete with the white man, see. Young
England for March 1896.
CHAPTER IIL

THE PARADISE OF THE WORLD.

EN pounds was the royal reward
which Henry Tudor bestowed on
John Cabot, who in 1497, or
nearly fifteen months before
Columbus touched the mainland
of the American continent, landed
on the shores of North America.





This sum can scarcely be regarded
as extravagant, even remembering that money had a
greater value in those days than at present, for on
Cabot’s discovery was afterwards founded the English
claim to a large portion of the New World.

For a hundred years after this voyage the people
of England paid little attention to western explora-
tion, leaving Spain to reap the fruits of the daring
adventurers and of the unscrupulous governors, who
regarded the life of an Indian as of far less value
than a few grains of gold. The English were more
interested in trying to solve the problem—how to
reach China by sailing along the north coast of

22
THE PARADISE OF THE WORLD 23

America. They knew something about the rich
products of the East, and were anxious to share in
the wealth of those far-off lands.

In the reign of Queen Elizabeth, Sir Humphrey
Gilbert and a few other enterprising Englishmen
awoke to the fact that great possibilities lay much
nearer than China, and they attempted to establish
settlements on the eastern shores of the New World.
The very failures which at first attended their efforts
seemed to act as an impulse, and at length Sir Walter
Raleigh, Gilbert’s half-brother, managed to found an
English-speaking colony in North America.

The Queen granted her favourite courtier a patent,
which gave him almost regal power over the lands he
might discover. He was not slow to avail himself
of the royal favour, and the two ships he sent out
reached that part of the American coast now known
as North Carolina, which was taken possession of in
the name of Queen Elizabeth. It was the month of
July, and the rich vegetation of that semi-tropical
region was at the height of its beauty. The ex-
plorers were struck with admiration and wonder,
when they beheld great vines, climbing towards the
tops of high cedars, loaded with grapes. The “ sweet-
smelling timber trees” filled the air with fragrance,
and the notes of countless birds echoed and re-echoed
through the vast forest, in which no white man had
ever set foot.

To the first Indian they met they gave a hat and
24 STORIES OF THE FAR WEST

a shirt. He went away evidently pleased with the
present, and returned in a short time with a large
quantity of fish, which he divided between the crews
of the two vessels. Wherever the English went
they were well received by the natives, who were
described as “ most gentle, loving, and faithful; void
of all guile and treason, and such as lived after the
manner of the Golden Age.”

A few weeks were spent among “ the green islands
of those glittering seas,” and then the explorers
shaped their course for England. On their arrival
they gave a glowing account of their discoveries, and
declared that the part of America they had visited
must be the “Paradise of the World.” Elizabeth
caught their enthusiasm, and, anxious to associate
herself with the discovery of such an enchanting
region, she called it Virginia



a name by which for
a considerable time the whole coast of the United
States between Maine and Georgia was known.
Raleigh lost no time in having his claim to the
newly-discovered territory acknowledged, and early
in the following year he sent out another expedition,
consisting of seven ships and a hundred and eight
colonists. Ralph Lane, a man of considerable skill
and experience, was chosen to act as governor. On
Roanoke Island, near to the coast of North Carolina,
they made their settlement, and began without delay
to explore the country, which Lane thus describes :
“It is the goodliest soil under the cope of heaven


SIR WALTER RALEIGH.
25

THE PARADISE OF THE WORLD 27

the most pleasing territory of the world; the
continent is of a huge and unknown greatness, and
very well peopled and towned, though savagely. The
climate is so wholesome that we have not one sick
since we touched the land. If Virginia had but
horses and kine, and were inhabited with English, no
realm in Christendom were comparable to it.”

Three plants, at that. time unknown in Europe,
specially attracted the notice of the settlers. These
were maize, tobacco, and the potato. Marriot, the
historian of the voyage, inquired into the cultivation
and use of these productions. He accustomed him-
self to the use of tobacco, and found boiled potatoes
to be very good food. He has also given an interest-
ing account of the inhabitants and their manner of life.
They clothed themselves in mantles and aprons of
deerskin ; their weapons consisted of wooden swords
and bows and arrows; and instead of armour they
carried shields of wicker-work. Their houses were
made of bark fastened to stakes, and the largest
town only contained about thirty dwellings. Though
ignorant of the art of war, they displayed great cun-
ning in encountering an enemy, seldom fighting in
the open field, but trusting for victory to ambushes
and sudden attacks.

The Indians regarded the strangers as more than
mortal, and after a time they began to fear that
“more of the English generation would come, to kill
theirs and take their places.” It is therefore uot
28 STORIES OF THE FAR WEST

surprising that the natives determined to watch for
an early opportunity of ridding themselves of their
uninvited guests. The cupidity of the settlers soon
furnished them with the means for accomplishing
their object.

“Industry maketh rich” is a well-known maxim,
of which Lane and his men seem to have been pro-
foundly forgetful. Instead of planting corn and
devoting themselves to the cultivation of the land,
they spent the greater part of their time in seeking
for gold. The Indians saw this, and, hoping to
separate them into small parties, they excited their
avarice with marvellous tales. They said that at
the source of the river Roanoke, near the Pacific
Ocean, there was an abundance of the precious metal,
and that the tribe which inhabited the region wore
deerskins adorned with gold and precious stones.

Lane believed this story, and set out for this El
Dorado with the greater number of his men. They
had not proceeded further than a point near the
present village of Williamstown, when they were
compelled to return for provisions. In a starving
condition they reached the settlement just in time
to prevent the Indians from killing those who had
been left behind.

The colonists had spent about a year on the island,
when they were seized with a great longing to return
to England. They were disappointed in their search
for gold, and the uncertain temper of the natives
THE PARADISE OF THE WORLD 29

filled their minds with gloomy forebodings. While
they were in this despondent state, they were cheered
by the arrival of Sir Francis Drake, who was on his
way home from the West Indies. He offered to
leave some of his men and a plentiful supply of
provisions, to enable the colonists to carry on their
discoveries. Nothing, however, would satisfy them
but a passage to England. Drake was very un-
willing to see the settlement abandoned, and he used
every means in his power to induce them to remain.
They were, however, thoroughly disheartened, and he
at length allowed them to embark on board his ship.
Thus ended the first actual settlement of the English
in North America.

Though the expedition was not so satisfactory as
had been expected, it was not wholly without result.
Ralph Lane and his companions were the first to
introduce tobacco into England. It was thought to
have a great medicinal virtue, and Raleigh and many
other distinguished persons adopted the use of “the
fragrant weed.” They smoked in the Indian fashion,
by drawing the smoke into their mouths and puffing
it out through their nostrils; some of the pipes of
those early days consisted simply of a walnut shell
fixed to a straw. There is an oft-told story, to the
effect that on one occasion Raleigh was smoking
when his servant entered the room. The man not
understanding the use of tobacco, and thinking that
his master was on fire, hastened to “put him out,”
30, STORIES OF THE FAR WEST

by emptying over his head the contents of a jug he
was carrying,

Raleigh was still as enthusiastic as before in the
cause of colonisation, and he prepared a fleet of
transport ships at his own expense; for “Queen
Elizabeth, the godmother of Virginia, declined to
contribute to its education.” He determined to
found a real colony and not merely a settlement of
explorers. The emigrants were therefore allowed to
take with them their wives and families. He also
granted a charter of incorporation that life and pro-
perty might be secure, and established a municipal
government for the “city of Raleigh,” which the
colonists were instructed to build) Captain John
White was chosen as governor, and eleven assistants
were appointed to help him in his duties.

On the 27th of April 1587 the colonists set sail,
equipped with an ample supply of necessaries, in-
cluding a number of agricultural implements. When
they arrived at Roanoke Island they found the
dwellings of the former settlers still standing. The
lower rooms were overgrown with melons, among
which the wild deer lay calmly eating the fruit.

Governor White and his followers set to work to
make the houses habitable, and in a short time “the
city of Raleigh” was established. Here on the 18tb
of August a baby girl was born. Her mother was
“Mistress Eleanor Dare,” the daughter of the
governor, and her father was one of the assistant-
~THE PARADISE OF THE WORLD 31

governors. This was the first English child born in
America, and she was named, after the place of her
birth, Virginia Dare.

Shortly afterwards White returned to England
for supplies. When he arrived he found the country
agitated by a threatened Spanish invasion; and it
was no easy matter for him to draw attention to the
needs of the settlers. Two years passed before he
was able to set sail again for the West, and when he
reached Roanoke Island the colony had disappeared.
No trace of it was ever found, and its fate remains to
this day a mystery.
CHAPTER IV.

CAPTAIN JOHN SMITH.

OOD QUEEN BESS, as we now call
her, was as careful of her money
as Henry VII. He regarded ten
pounds as sufficient reward for the
adventurous Cabot, and his grand-
daughter was not disposed to be
more lavish in spending money on
what might after all prove a very
unprofitable speculation. Private

enterprise, unaided by public funds, was not equal

to the task of successfully settling Virginia. Few
people went out, and they were so badly supplied with
the necessaries of life that only disaster could attend
their efforts. Colony after colony was rescued just
in the nick of time, but not until many had
miserably perished of starvation or fallen before the
murderous attacks of their savage foes. When

Queen Elizabeth died in 1603, there was not a

single Englishwoman settled in the country.
During the early years of the reign of James L,

32


CAPTAIN JOHN SMITH 33

the attention of many persons of rank and learning
was turned towards Virginia. At length a company
was formed, and an application was made to the king
for permission “to deduce a colony into Virginia.”
James had already planted a Scottish settlement
in the north of Ireland, and the venture had proved
successful. He therefore regarded the proposal with
a favourable eye, especially as it afforded a prospect
of increasing his dominions, and he readily set his
seal to the undertaking.

By the charter which he granted to the Virginia
Company, lands from Cape Fear in the south to
Halifax in the north were assigned to the colonists.
The king reserved to himself complete control over
the settlements, and drew up a code of laws. A
superior council was appointed by the king to control
the colonies from England; while a resident council,
the members of which were elected by the superior
body, was chosen to carry on the work of government.
The religion was to be that of the Church of England.
To the emigrants it was also promised, that they
and their children should continue to be English.

On the 19th of December 1606 the infant colony
set out for “the dear strand of Virginia, earth’s only
paradise,” in three ships, the largest of which did not
exceed one hundred tons burden. Sailing by way of
the Canaries and West India Islands, they reached
the coast of America in about four months. They
intended to land on Roanoke Island, but a storm

2

9
34 STORIES OF THE FAR WEST

drove them into the magnificent bay of the
Chesapeake. Sailing along the southern extremity













CAPTAIN JOHN SMITH.
(From an Old Print.)

of this bay, they entered a river, which they named
after King James, They continued up the stream
CAPTAIN JOHN SMITH 35

for about fifty miles, till they came to a peninsula,
where they decided to establish themselves, and
called the settlement Jamestown.

Preparations were at once made to clear the ground
and build houses, but the work did not advance
rapidly. The emigrants consisted for the most part
of the wrong kind of people. Out of their number
—a hundred and five—there were only twelve
labourers and very few mechanics; the remainder
were gentlemen unused to manual labour, and quite
unfit for the hardships which now befell them. The
Indians objected to the presence of the strangers,
and harassed them with frequent sudden attacks.
Provisions ran short, and the want of proper nour-
ishment brought on a deadly epidemic. Sometimes
three or four died in a night, and the survivors were
so weak that they had hardly strength to bury the
bodies of their late companions. Before autumn
one-half of the colony perished. Constant quarrels
among the members of the council had weakened
their authority, and it became evident that unless the
reins of government were taken up by a strong hand,
inevitable ruin would result.

There was among the colonists a man named
Captain John Smith, and he now assumed the
direction of affairs. Though not yet thirty years of
age, long acquaintance with danger had fitted him
for the post. He had fought in the Netherlands,
travelled through France and Italy, and repeatedly
36 STORIES OF THE FAR WEST

engaged in single combat with Turkish warriors.
Taken prisoner at last by a band of Turks, he had
been sent as a slave to Constantinople, from whence
eventually he made his escape, and returned to
England in time to take. part in the great scheme of
colonisation.

Under Smith’s vigorous rule the prospects of the
colony began to look more hopeful. The little town
was strengthened against the attacks of the Indians;
and, to raise the spirits of his men, as well as to
provide supplies, he led parties to explore the
surrounding country. In this way he became
acquainted with many of the native tribes; and, in
exchange for beads, bells, and other trifles, he
obtained provisions to keep the Jamestown people
from starving. In one of these expeditions he was
attacked by the Indians, who killed ten of his men
and made him prisoner.

When taken before the chief, Smith did not lose
his presence of mind. He displayed a small
mariner’s compass; “and indeed it was a marvel to
see these poor, ignorant savages gazing with wonder
at the playing of the needle, which they could see so
plainly and yet could not touch, by reason of the
glass which covered it. But when JI,” continues
Smith in his Narrative, “told them, as well as I could
both by signs and in their language, of the roundness
of the earth and of the skies, and of the spheres of
the sun, moon, and stars, and how the sun did chase
CAPTAIN JOHN SMITH 37

the night round the world continually, and many
other such-like matters, they all stood as amazed
with admiration.”

When the Indians found that Smith had no more
curiosities to show them, all their natural fury
returned, and, tying him to a tree, they strung their
arrows and prepared to shoot him. The captain
thought that his last moment had come, when the
chief, to whom he had given the compass, stepped
forward and forbade his men to harm the prisoner.
He was then unbound and taken to the nearest
village. Here he had another alarming experience.
Shortly after his arrival, one of the head men sent.
for him to cure his son, who was dangerously ill.
Smith went to the hut, accompanied by two strong
warriors, but the young man was beyond all human
aid, and died in a few minutes. The Indians
believed that, because Smith could kill men by
unknown means, he could also restore them to life.
The chief therefore requested him to give him back
his son, and when he replied that this was beyond
his power, the chief wanted to kill him, and would
have done so, but the guards prevented him.

From one village to another Smith was led in
triumph, till at length he was brought before
Powhatan, the king of the country. He found that
monarch seated before a fire. On either side of him
sat a young girl; along each side of the house were
two rows of men, and behind them a number of
38 STORIES OF THE FAR WEST

women, all with their heads and shoulders painted
red. Smith was courteously received, and the queen
brought him water to wash his hands, and a bunch
of feathers to use instead of a towel. Then they
feasted him in their best manner, “ which,” says
Smith rather ungraciously, “after all, was but
barbarous.”

Then followed a great conference, at which the
fate of the captain was decided, and preparations
were made for his immediate execution. Two large
stones were brought in, and on these the captive’s
head was placed. ‘Two savages with upraised clubs
awaited the word to strike. In another moment
their blows would have fallen, when Pocahontas, the
king’s dearest daughter, a child of ten, darted forward,
laid her head on that of the prostrate Englishman,
and thus saved his life. Powhatan was deeply im-
pressed by this simple act of devotion, and at once
set his prisoner at liberty. Two days afterwards, he
was sent back to Jamestown under a picked escort
of twelve warriors.

When he reached the colony he found its numbers
reduced to forty men, the strongest of whom were
preparing to escape. This attempt to break up the
little community was put down by Smith at the risk
of his life, and then at once he set himself to put
matters right. It now appeared that his captivity
among the Indians was a blessing in disguise, for had
not friendly relations with the natives been thus
oo :
ANY f

Ie
1.

IAN



POCAHONTAS PLEADING FOR THE LIFE OF CAPTAIN JOHN SMITH.
39

CAPTAIN JOHN SMITH 4I

established, the colonists must have perished for lack
of food.

Shortly afterwards Smith set out with a few com-
panions, in an open boat, to explore Chesapeake Bay.
He sailed along the coast, examining rivers and inlets,
penetrated some distance into the interior, and laid
the foundation of future peaceful dealings with the
native tribes. From this expedition he returned on
the 7th of September 1608, after accomplishing a
voyage of three thousand miles. The greatness of
the discoveries which Smith made, with such slender
resources, is indeed marvellous, and they entitle him
to rank among the great pioneers of the American
continent.

Three days after his return, he was elected pre-
sident of the council. He had many formidable
difficulties to contend with, but his energy and pru-
dence enabled him to triumph over private enemies
in the town and hostile Indians without. Order and
industry had just been restored, when all was again
thrown into confusion by the arrival of a fresh party
of emigrants, who, like the original settlers, were quite
unfitted for the severe toils of colonial life. Smith
wrote to the company in London, complaining of the
“ fine gentlemen and ruined traders,” and said, “ When
you send again, I entreat you, rather send but thirty
carpenters, husbandmen, gardeners, fishermen, black-
smiths, masons, and diggers up of trees’ roots, well
provided, than a thousand such as we have.”
42 STORIES OF THE FAR WEST

With characteristic vigour Smith laid down the
law, and by his authority compelled the men to
work. Six hours in the day were spent in
work, the remainder were given to rest and recrea-
tion. “He who would not work, might not eat,” and
Jamestown soon assumed the appearance of a regular
place of abode. This result was not, however, achieved
without great toil, and from Smith’s Narrative we
learn how he “inured the men to the life they
would have to lead, did they want to make the colony
a success.” He taught them how to cut down trees,
make boards, and camp outin the woods. They soon
became experts at the work, and it was their delight
to hear the trees thunder as they fell.

“But the axes so often blistered their tender
fingers,” continues Smith, “that many a time every
third blow had a loud oath to drown the echo. For
the remedy of which sin, and for the good of their
souls, as the work was benefiting their bodies, I
devised how to have every man’s oaths numbered ; and
at nighttime, when we had a little pleasant recreation,
the culprit was duly arraigned, and for every oath that
was recorded against him, he did have a can of water
poured down his sleeve. This was the cause of much
merriment, yet somehow those who were punished
liked it not so well as to care ofttimes to have it
repeated, and so became more guarded of his tongue,
and soon it came to pass that a man should scarce
hear an oath in a week.”
CAPTAIN JOHN SMITH B

Smith was especially successful in his dealings
with the Indians, and made frequent excursions
among them to obtain provisions for the colony. On
one occasion, accompanied by fifteen men, he was
trading with a chieftain named Opechancanough,
when he found himself surrounded by a body of
~ seven hundred armed warriors. Suspecting treachery,
he at once seized the Indian chief by the hair of the
head, dragged him into the midst of his people, and,
presenting a-pistol to his breast, threatened to shoot
him if his warriors did not at once withdraw. This
bold action produced the desired effect. The
astonished Indians laid down their arms and made
peace with the Englishmen. :

The excellence of Smith’s rule in Virginia was soon
recognised by the settlers. Their dangerous neigh-
bours the red-skins were reduced to submission, and
they gladly sent regular supplies of food to James-
town; additional ground was brought under cultiva-
tion; the Indians taught the colonists how to grow
maize; better dwellings were built, and guarded by a
strong fort; and other schemes were entered upon
for the improvement and comfort of the settlement.

Meanwhile, however, the company in London
became dissatisfied that no gold had been found, and
decided to send out new officers. When they arrived
Smith refused to resign, and was: supported in his
resistance by the elder settlers, with whom he had
become a great favourite. For some time he con-
44 STORIES OF THE FAR WEST

tinued as president, till he was so severely injured by
an explosion of gunpowder that he was compelled to
leave Virginia and return to England.

The enterprising spirit of this daring adventurer
had accomplished what others considered as impos-
sible. He never allowed more for himself than for
the men with him. It was his custom to lead, not
to send his men on dangerous missions. He would
rather want than borrow, and starve than not pay.
He was the first to show that the true interest of
England was not to seek for gold and sudden wealth
in Virginia, but by regular and patient industry to
establish a permanent source of riches by commerce.
“ Nothing,” said he, “is to be expected from thence
but by labour.”

He afterwards explored the coast north of Cape
Cod, and gave to the country the name of New
England; but he did not again visit Jamestown.
He died in 16381.
CHAPTER V.

THE PRINCESS POCAHONTAS.

HEN Captain John Smith went
back to England in 1609, there
were nearly five hundred white
people in Virginia. But the
settlers soon got into trouble with
the Indians, who, cn learning
that Smith was no longer at the
head of affairs, refused to have



any dealings with their former
allies, and lay in the woods and killed or took
prisoners all who ventured out. There was, there-
fore, no means of obtaining provisions, and a
dreadful famine followed. Six months after Smith’s
departure, only sixty persons remained alive, and
these were in a most wretched condition. At
length a ship arrived from England with fresh
settlers, and the colony was saved from total
destruction.
During this time Pocahontas had little influence

with her father, and to be out of harm’s way she
45
46 STORIES OF THE FAR WEST

went to live with a friend named Japazaws in
another part of the country. In 1612 an English
captain named Argall heard of her whereabouts,
and determined if possible to take her prisoner, and
hold her as a hostage till Powhatan restored his
prisoners and agreed to forward a regular supply of
corn to Jamestown. He therefore sailed up the
river to the village, and sent for Japazaws. In a
short time the captain and the chief became very
friendly, and Argall promised the savage a copper
kettle if he would bring Pocahontas on board.

The bribe was too great to be resisted; a plan was
at once arranged, and Japazaws returned home to
put it into execution. Though his wife had seen
many ships, he caused her to pretend that she was
very anxious to go on board. To her request he
at first made a show of refusal, but at length he
told her that she might go if Pocahontas would
accompany her. The princess, fearing no wrong,
agreed to go. Argall received them with great
kindness, and showed them over the ship. Then,
under the pretence that he wished to speak privately
to Japazaws, he led Pocahontas into the gun-room.
After a while he sent for her again, and told her
that she was his prisoner, and that she must go
with him and help to bring about peace between
her father and the colonists.

The treacherous chief and his wife raised a great
outcry at hearing this, and the princess wept
THE PRINCESS POCAHONTAS 47

bitterly; but at length the captain told them that
no harm would come to her, and she was pacified.
The chief with his wife and copper kettle were
conveyed ashore, and Pocahontas was taken to
Jamestown. On their arrival a messenger was sent
to Powhatan, telling him that his daughter was a
prisoner, and that if he wanted her again he must
ransom her with the captives and weapons he had
taken.

“Now,” says Smith, “this was but unwelcome
news to Powhatan, because he loved both his
daughter and our commodities well, and it was a
hard matter for him to choose between them.”
Three months therefore elapsed before he returned
an answer, and then he sent back seven men and a
number of useless muskets, promising that when his
daughter was restored to him he would give them
a large supply of corn, and “be for ever friends.”
To this the colonists replied, that his daughter would
be kept till everything was restored.

Pocahontas was never thus redeemed, “for she
had fallen into a gentler bondage, and yet one that
was harder to break.” One of the colonists named
John Rolfe had fallen in love with the Indian
maiden, but he could not marry her, as it was then
considered very wrong for an Englishman to marry
a heathen. This obstacle was, however, eventually
overcome. Pocahontas became a Christian, and was
baptized under the name of Rebecca. Early in
48 STORIES OF THE FAR WEST

April 1613 she was married. After this there
was peace between the Indians and the settlers for
many years.

On the 12th of June 1616, Rolfe landed at
Plymouth with his Indian wife. She was the first
native of North America who had become a
Christian, the first who was married to an English-
man, and the first who learned to speak .English.
Her arrival, therefore, in the country of her adoption
caused great excitement, and people flocked to see
the princess of whom they had heard so much.
She was taken to court and introduced to the king
aud queen by her old friend, Captain John Smith.
The sovereigns received her very graciously, and the
ladies of the court rivalled each other in showing
her kindness and attention.

At length the time came for her to return to
Jamestown, and, in company with her husband and
many new settlers, she embarked at Gravesend, but
a few days before the ship sailed she was taken ill
and died, at the age of twenty-two. Her death
caused great grief, for during her short visit she
had made many friends, who loved her for her
beauty and gentleness no less than for the help she
had given the English in Virginia. She was buried
in the Church of St. George at Gravesend, and her
husband returned alone to Jamestown.
CHAPTER VI.

THE PILGRIM FATHERS,

ERSECUTION is often a blessing in
disguise. James, the first Stuart
King of England, declared that he
would make the Puritans conform
to the Church of England or
harry them out of the land. He
kept his word ; and to escape from
the dangers which threatened

them, a body of Puritans emigrated to Holland, where
they remained for eleven years. For conscience
sake they had left their native country, but they
had no wish to lose their nationality and become
absorbed among the Dutch. They therefore decided
to found a colony in America, where they could
enjoy religious liberty and retain their English
manners and speech.

One hundred men, women, and children crossed
the Atlantic in the Mayflower in. 1620. The voyage
was very stormy, and occupied nearly eight weeks.
The Pilgrims suffered from sickness and want of food



4
50 STORIES OF THE FAR WEST

their vessel leaked badly, and on more than one
occasion she was expected to founder. It was there-
fore with feelings of great joy that Cape Cod was
sighted on the 9th of November 1620.

As quickly as possible a party landed to look
about for a suitable place for a settlement. March-
ing some little distance into the interior, they were
struck with the dreary aspect of the country. Low
sand-hills, dotted here and there with withered
bushes, offered no prospect of successful farming.
No natives were met with, and it seemed as if the
region was totally uninhabited. On the following
morning, however, the explorers came to a hut, but
no trace was visible of the inhabitants. While
digging in some sand-heaps near, they found a
quantity of Indian corn, which they carried to the
ship, where it proved a welcome addition to their
scanty stock of provisions.

Another expedition was organised, and set out in
a small boat to explore the coast. The hardships of
this party were greater than any the Pilgrims had
yet endured. It snowed incessantly; the sharp,
frosty wind cut their skins like knives, and froze the
sea-water on their clothes as it fell. Several times
they landed, but, though natives were frequently
seen, they fled in terror at the approach of the white
men.

One night they were disturbed by strange noises
and cries, which they thought came from the wolves,
THE PILGRIM FATHERS SI

In the morning, however, shortly after they started,
a shower of arrows and a hideous yell from a neigh-
bouring thicket warned them of the near presence
of Indians. Miles Standish, the leader of the party,
instantly discharged his musket, and the assailants
fled alarmed by the explosion.























ARRIVAL OF THE ‘‘MAYFLOWER” AT NEW PLYMOUTH.

The voyage was resumed for fifty miles along the
coast, but no suitable spot was found. Gales came
on, and it was with the utmost difficulty that they
escaped drowning. The violence of the wind broke
the mast, and the sail was carried overboard.
52 STORIES OF THE FAR WEST

Just when they had abandoned themselves to their
fate, the boat drifted under the shelter of a small
island. Here the night was spent, and on the follow-
ing day they busied themselves in repairing their
damaged boat. The next day was Sunday, but, not-
withstanding the need there was for haste, they
devoted the day to returning thanks to God for their
preservation.

Early on Monday morning they went to work
and sounded the harbour, which they found well
adapted for shipping. They “ marched also into the
land and discovered several cornfields, intersected
with little brooks—a place very good for settlement.
So they returned to the ship again with good news
to the rest of their people, which did much comfort
their hearts.”

On the 21st of December the Mayflower cast
anchor about a mile from the shore, the tide was out,
and the water was so shallow that she could not
approach nearer. In the ship’s boats they landed,
stepping ashore on a boulder of granite, which was
afterwards known as the Pilgrim Rock. There are
few more touching incidents recorded in history than
the landing of this little community—

‘*Not as the conqueror comes, they, the true-hcarted, came ;
Not with the roll of stirring drums, and the trumpet that sings
of fame:
Not as the flying come, in silence and in fear,—
They shook the depths of tho desert’s gloom with their hymns
of lofty cheer,
THE PILGRIM FATHERS 53

Amidst the storm they sang, and the stars heard and the sea;

And the sounding aisles of the dim wood rang to the anthems
of the free:

The ocean-eagle soared from his nest by the white waves’ foam,

And the rocking pines of the forest roared,—this was their wel-
come home !”

On a piece of rising ground, which afforded a good
view of the surrounding country, they decided to
erect their dwellings. Storms greatly hindered their
work, and they only managed to erect a few small
wooden huts, when sickness broke out. The bad
voyage, insufficient food, want of proper clothing, and
the lack of shelter in a climate of almost polar
severity, had so weakened them that they were un-
able to withstand the disease. In three months
more than half of their number perished, and the
survivors were so worn out that they had hardly
streneth to bury the dead. For fear that the
Indians should find out their condition, they levelled
all the graves and planted Indian corn over them.

Early in March the weather moderated, and warm
and fair breezes once more gladdened the hearts of
the Pilgrims. The birds sang in the trees, and work
was again resumed. One day an Indian suddenly
appeared among them, and, to their astonishment,
greeted them with the words, “ Welcome, English-
men.” He was a chief named Samoset, who had
learned a few English words from fishermen on the
coast of Maine. By him the settlers were informed
that the region which they now occupied had been
54 STORIES OF THE FAR WEST

lately depopulated by a plague, and in the name of
his people the chief gave them possession of the
land.

Samoset afterwards brought with him another
Indian, who had been carried captive to England
many years before, and then brought back. He now
took up his quarters with the Pilgrims, and taught
them to plant their corn as the Indians did, by
placing a few fish here and there in the ground as
manure. He also acted as their interpreter in their
dealings with the natives, and made himself useful
in a variety of ways.

Food was now plentiful. The rivers and bays
teemed with fish, the forest abounded in deer, and
the crops gave promise of a bountiful harvest.
During the summer several visits were paid to native
chiefs in the neighbourhood, with one of whom,
named Massasoit, an informal treaty of friendship
was made, which remained unbroken for upwards of
fifty years.

To the town which they erected they gave the
name of New Plymouth, after the port in England
from which they had sailed. Asa protection against
the Indians, it was surrounded by a palisade, with
gates, which were locked at sunset. In the centre
rose the fort, the lower portion of which was used as
a church, while on the roof were mounted six small
cannons.

We have an interesting description of the way in
THE PILGRIM FATHERS 55

which the Pilgrims attended divine service, written
by one who visited the colony at this time. He
Says:

“They assemble by beat of drum in front of the
captain’s door, each man armed with his musket.
They have their cloaks on, and place themselves in
order, three abreast, and are led by a sergeant.
Behind comes the governor; on one side walks the
preacher with his cloak on, carrying a Bible; on the
other side marches the captain, armed with his
sword and with a small cane in his hand. So they
march in good order, and each sets his arms down
near him. Thus they are constantly on their guard
against the Indians.”

Miles Standish, the Puritan captain, was the most
valiant man of the colony. He struck terror into
the hearts of the Indians by the boldness of his on-
set, and the terror of his riflemen. On one occasion
he was hastily summoned to a meeting of the
council. The American poet Longfellow, who was
descended from the early settlers, gives a fine
description of the scene. Entering, Standish saw an
Indian in the centre of the room. On a table near
lay the skin of a rattlesnake —

‘* Filled, like a quiver, with arrows, a signal and challenge
of warfare ;

Brought by the Indian, and speaking with arrowy tongues of
defiance.”

Standish advanced to the table—
56 STORIES OF THE FAR WEST

‘‘ Then from the rattlesnake’s skin, with a sudden contemptuous

gesture,

Jerking the Indian arrows, he filled it with powder and
bullets—

Full, to the very jaws, and handed it back to the savage,

Saying, in thundering tones, ‘Here, take it! this is your
answer !’

Silently out of the room then glided the glistening savage,

Bearing the serpent’s skin, and seeming himself like a serpent,

Winding his sinuous way in the dark to the depths of the
forest.”

This spirited answer caused the chief to withdraw
his defiance, but shortly afterwards Standish learned
that the Indians were planning to kill all the white
men. With eight of the colonists he set out to
disperse the plotters, and a sharp fight took place.
Some of the red-skins boasted what they would do,
and insulted Standish, on account of his being a small
man. This was more than the fiery captain could
stand, and, seeing four of them in a wigwam, he went
in with three of his men, shut the door, and put their
boasting to the test. He fell on one of the tallest of
the Indians, and after a desperate struggle killed him, |
with a knife suspended from his neck. The others
were also slain, and when their comrades attempted
to avenge their death they were put to flight.

Fresh parties of emigrants arrived from time to
time, and formed a welcome addition to the scanty
numbers of the colony; but, being unprovided with
food, they made serious inroads on the stock of
provisions. During the winter months the scarcity
was most severely felt. Men staggered and dropped
Mes. 8. M. thse.



PLYMOUTH ROCK MONUMENT.

ERECTED TO MARK THE LANDING-PLACE OF THE PILGRIM FATHERS,

THE PILGRIM FATHERS 59

down as they walked along, in the faintness of
hunger, and but for the shell-fish on the beach all
must have perished.

This state of things was common during the early
years of the colony, and they had often to support
life without either bread or meat. Their only drink
was “fair spring water.”

The chief men wisely concluded that there must
be some flaw in their arrangements, and accordingly
they began an inquiry. Up to this time all the
men had shared everything in common, and the
natural result was, that the idle would not exert
themselves so long as they could live without work,
and the industrious did not use their best endeavours,
when they could not enjoy the full fruits of their
toil. It was therefore agreed, in 1623, that each
settler should support himself. In. a very short
time a great improvement was manifest. Where
formerly they had barely enough to support life, they
now, out of their abundance, supplied the Indians
with corn, receiving in exchange the skins of beaver
and other animals.

The colony had now got over the most trying
period of its infancy, and the energy of the settlers
overcame all further obstacles. Within five years
after they had landed, New Plymouth consisted of
thirty-two dwellings, and though on more than one
occasion the town was nearly destroyed by fire, it
continued to prosper. A manufactory of salt was
60 STORIES OF THE FAR WEST

shortly afterwards started, and proved so successful,
that a ship loaded with fish cured with this
commodity was sent to England.

The population, however, increased but slowly,
and after the colony had been established for ten

































































































SOME OF THE RELICS BROUGHT OVER IN THE
“MAYFLOWER.”

years it only numbered about three hundred persons.
In 1662 it was united with Massachusetts, of which
State its territory still forms a part.

In Plymouth a statue has been erected to mark
the site of the landing of the Pilgrim Fathers, and
THE PILGRIM FATHERS 61

a hall in the city, known as Pilgrim Hall, contains
some of the curious old furniture which the
Pilgrims brought with them, including old-fashioned
arm -chairs, spinning -wheels, ladles, and other
interesting relics of these early settlers.
CHAPTER VII.

THE FOUNDER OF PENNSYLVANIA.

NE of the most severely persecuted
religious bodies in England, after
the Restoration, was the Society
of Friends, or Quakers. Their
conscientious objection to oaths
in law courts, to serve as soldiers,
or to remove their hats to their
superiors, were at that time

looked upon as very serious offences, and as such were

punished with the utmost rigour of the law. Fines,



imprisonment, and public whippings were their por-
tion; but, notwithstanding this, the Friends increased
in number, and several men of position and influence
joined the persecuted sect. The most notable of
these was William Penn, the son of a brave British
admiral, who had distinguished himself during the
wars with the Dutch.

Wishing to establish a home for his co-religionists
in the distant West, Penn asked Charles II. to
grant him a tract of land in New England. The

62
THE FOUNDER OF PENNSYLVANIA 63

king, who owed him large sums of money, was only
too glad to escape payment in this way, and on the
4th of March 1681 granted Penn a charter, making
him absolute proprietor, under the British crown, of
_ all the land east of the Delaware River, and north of
Maryland. The rent he had to pay the king was
merely nominal, and consisted of two beaver skins
annually, and a fifth of all the gold and silver dis-
covered.

Penn proposed to call the territory New Wales,
but the king raised objections to this name. Then
he suggested Sylvania, on account of the forests
which occupied the region. Ultimately this name
was adopted; but the king insisted on the prefix
Penn being added, in honour of the old admiral, and
the territory was named and is still known as Penn-
sylvania.

No time was lost in equipping an expedition and
arranging for the administration of the affairs of the
colony. At the end of the year three ships full of
emigrants were despatched, under the charge of
Colonel Markham, a relative of the proprietor. The
settlers were instructed to open up communication
with the natives, and to make all possible arrange-
ments for establishing the colony on a peaceful basis.
They also carried a letter written in Penn’s own hand,
and addressed to the Indians, in which he expressed
a hope that his emigrants might be able to gain
their friendship, “ by a kind, just, and peaceable life,”
64 STORIES OF THE FAR WEST

and. assured them that “if anything was done to
offend them, they should have a full and speedy
satisfaction for the same, by an equal number of just
men on both sides.” This remarkable document
ended thus: “Let me desire you to be kind to my
people, and receive the presents and tokens which I
have sent you,as a testimony of my goodwill to you,
and of my resolution to live justly, peaceably, and
friendly with you.—I am, your loving friend, WILLIAM
PENN.”

The three vessels crossed the Atlantic in safety,
and the emigrants, four hundred in number, landed to
take possession of the territory. The Indians soon
showed themselves, and heard with satisfaction their
promises of goodwill. They said, “ You are our
brothers, and-we will live like brothers with you.
There shall be one broad path for you and us to walk
in. This path shall be plain, without a stump in it
to hurt the feet. If an Englishman fall asleep in
this path, the Indian shall pass by him and say, ‘He
is an Englishman; he is asleep; let him alone!’”
A price was fixed for the land the emigrants wanted,
and the foundations of the colony were commenced. .

On the 1st of September 1682, Penn set sail from
Deal with about three hundred emigrants, in the ship
Welcome. ‘This voyage, next in historical importance
to that of the Mayflower, was rendered terrible by an
outbreak of small-pox which showed itself soon after
the vessel left England. The disease raged with


LANDING STORES FROM THE SHIPS.

THE FOUNDER OF PENNSYLVANIA 67

such violence that thirty of the passengers died.
The remainder arrived safely in the Delaware River
about the middle of October. Penn informed the
settlers that he intended to do “that which is extra-
ordinary—to leave myself and my successors no
power of doing mischief, that the will of one man
may not hinder the good of a whole country.”

Shortly after his arrival, he arranged to meet the
Indian chiefs at a grand conference on the banks of
the Delaware. The natives came to the place of
meeting in large numbers, and all fully armed. Penn
and his friends were unarmed. The only mark of
distinction which the leader of the settlers presented
was a sash of blue silk network, and the parchment
roll which he held in his hand, and which contained
the conditions of the treaty he hoped to conclude
with the chiefs. On his approach the Indians threw
down their arms, and, seating themselves on the
ground, showed that they were ready to listen to
him.

“We meet,” said Penn, “on the broad pathway of
good faith and good will, so that no advantage shall
be taken on either side, but all shall be openness and
brotherhood. I will not call you children, for parents
sometimes chide their children too severely, nor
brothers only, for brothers differ. I will not com-
pare the friendship between you and me to a chain,
for that might be rusted by the rain; or a falling
tree might break it. But let us feel the same as if
68 STORIES OF THE FAR WEST

one man’s body were to live in two separate parts;

for we are one in mankind; we are all one flesh and
blood.”

He then read to them clause by clause the



WILLIAM PENN,

treaty which he wished them to agree to. Among
other things, it declared that they were not to be
molested by the settlers even in the territory they
had sold, for it was to be common ground to them
THE FOUNDER OF PENNSYLVANIA 69

and to the English. If any disputes should arise,
they were to be settled by a jury consisting of six
settlers and six natives. He then paid them for
the land, and gave them many presents. After that
he laid the roll of parchment on the ground, saying
again that the land should be common to both races.
Taking it up later, he handed it to the leading chief,
and desired him to keep it for his companions for
three generations, that their children might know
what had passed between them, just as if he had
remained with them to repeat it.

The Indians replied in long speeches, in which
they pledged themselves “to live in love with
William Penn and his children, so long as sun and
moon should endure.”

It has been remarked as a striking fact, that the
treaty then concluded was the only one made
between savages and Christians that was not ratified
by oaths, and the only one that never was broken.
The great elm tree under which the meeting took
place, stood for more than a hundred years after,
an object of veneration to the settlers and their
descendants.

Penn now chose a site for a town on a neck of
land situated between two navigable rivers, the
Delaware and the Schuylkill, with quarries of good
building stone in the neighbourhood. A surveyor,
who accompanied the expedition, laid out the long
wide streets, running at right angles to one another.
~

70 STORIES OF THE FAR WEST

In the centre there was a square about ten acres
in extent, round which the public offices were to be
erected. To this skeleton town, not one building
of which had been erected, Penn gave the name of
Philadelphia, or the City of Brotherly Love.

The progress of the city was very rapid. Two
years after its foundation the population numbered
upwards of two thousand, and included English,
Scots, Irish, Welsh, Dutch, Swedes, and Germans.
It contained about six hundred houses, all regularly
built after the prescribed plan. Hardly a month
passed that did not bring shiploads of emigrants.
They were for the most part sober and industrious
men and women, who were attracted to the new
town by the “extraordinary humanity” with which
Penn treated the Indians, and who wished to live a
quiet and peaceable life undisturbed by persecution.

Troubles at home caused Penn to set sail for
England in August 1684, and fifteen years elapsed
before he was again in a position to return to
America. Meanwhile Pennsylvania became a thriv-
ing colony. As people began to spread, and to
improve their lands, the country became more
fruitful, and the colonists were able to raise more
produce than they required for their own wants.
A small export trade was therefore begun; vessels
were built and a wharf was erected at the side of
the river, where vessels of five hundred tons burden
could discharge their cargoes.
THE FOUNDER OF PENNSYLVANIA 71

When Penn returned to Philadelphia in 1699,
two questions claimed his attention—the condition
of the negroes, and the civilisation of the Indians.
At that time there were great numbers of negroes
who had been imported from Africa, and were
employed by the settlers in the various American
colonies as slaves. Shortly before Penn’s arrival,
many of the Quakers had come to the conclusion
that “the buying, selling, and holding men in slavery
was inconsistent with the tenets of the Christian
religion,” and he as governor was looked to for a
final verdict on the question. He went into the
matter with his usual enthusiasm, and, after careful
consideration, confirmed the conclusion already come
to. He went further, and, though he could not put
a stop to the importation of negroes, he did all in
his power to lessen the hardships of their situation,
by providing them with facilities for religious in-
structions, and granting them many of the privileges
of free men. These endeavours bore fruit in after
years, and it became a law among the Quakers that
no Friend should hold slaves. .

With Indians, Penn was very successful. He
went among them, and by his example and influence
established and maintained friendly relations between
them and the colonists. “Whatever advances in
the arts of civilised life were made in the early part
of the eighteenth century by the Indian tribes in
the north-west, were due originally to William
72 STORIES OF THE FAR WEST

Penn.” For more than fifty years after his death
his memory was respected among them as that of a
“true and good man.”

Penn lived long enough to see the prosperity
of his colony assured: He died in England in
1718, leaving Pennsylvania to his family, in whose
hands it remained till the American Revolution.
Philadelphia is still the chief town in the State,
and now ranks as the first manufacturing city in
the Union.
CHAPTER VIII.

THE PIONEER OF KENTUCKY.

S the settlements gradually spread
back from the Atlantic coast to-
wards the Alleghany Mountains,
and became more thickly peopled,
many of the old colonists, who dis-
liked the idea of having neighbours
too near them, left the land in
which they had lived for years, to

seek new homes beyond the mountains, where they

would not be crowded. These hardy pioneers formed

a race of men such as the world had never before



known, and they did more to open up the interior
to colonisation than all the State expeditions of
France and Spain.

About that time there lived in Yadkin Valley, in
North Carolina, a settler named Daniel Boone. He
was a born hunter, and, trained from his youth in all
the mysteries of woodcraft, he could go to his own
dwelling, in a straight line, from any point to which

his wanderings might any, him. Fatigue, hunger,
3
74 STORIES OF THE FAR WEST

and exposure, he could bear like an Indian. Strong
and active, but cautious and silent, he was the very
man to act the part of pioneer.

Having heard of a great land to the north-west,
where the “ buffaloes swarmed like flies in summer,”
he felt a strong desire to visit the region. For a
year he thought about it, and talked to his wife about
it, and then one morning he put a new edge on his
hunting-knife, shouldered his rifle, bade his little
family good-bye, and with five companions started off.
to explore the great lone land beyond the mountains.

For five weeks the little band toiled on over hill
and plain, till at length they came to the Red River,

a tributary of the Kentucky. Here they built a hut,
and for seven months they hunted and fished with
success. Then Boone and one of his companions
were captured by the Indians, and carried off to their
encampment. On the seventh night of their captivity,
the Indians made a great feast, during which the two
hunters managed to make their escape. When, after
a weary tramp, they reached the hut, they found it
deserted. Boone searched everywhere for traces of
his companions, but he was unable to find any clue;
nor did he ever learn what became of them.

Determined to persevere, the two men built another
hut, in a more secluded part of the forest. Here
they were shortly afterwards joined by two friends
from Carolina, who had come to share the perils of
this wild life. A few months later, their numbers
THE PIONEER OF KENTUCKY 75

were again reduced by the death of one man and
the desertion of another. Then their ammunition
ran short, and the other man was compelled to return
to the settlements for a fresh supply, thus leaving
Boone alone in that vast region, without even a dog
for company.

It is impossible for us to realise the danger and
loneliness of such a situation. Many hundreds of
miles separated him from all to whom he could look
for aid. In a boundless wood filled with fierce bears,
and still fiercer Indians, he was dependent for food
on his gun, yet he had but a scanty store ‘of powder
and shot. very day he changed his dwelling, and
every night his sleeping-place. Constantly in danger,
he was forced always to be watchful, but the freedom of
the life and the excitement of peril appear to have made
up for all the hardships he endured, for he afterwards
declared that this was the happiest period of his life.

One circumstance, to which he probably owed his
security, in a region infested by roving bands of
savages, also illustrates the keen powers of ob-
servation which made Boone the prince of back-
woodsmen. The forests were filled with a kind of
nettle, which, when once trodden on, retained for a
long time the impression of the foot. This weed
the Indians took no care to avoid, while the solitary
hunter never touched it. Thus it became to him
the means of knowing the number and position of
the red-skins, without betraying his own whereabouts.
76 STORIES OF THE FAR WEST

There is a story told of Boone, which gives a
striking idea of the life he was leading at this time.
On one occasion he entered a wood from the western
side, and another hunter entered from the east.
Before long each became aware of the presence of
another human being in the neighbourhood. Then
each commenced dodging about among the trees, to
learn who the other was, without showing himself.
Such was their skill in baffling one another, that
forty-eight hours passed before either could satisfy
himself that the other was not an Indian and a
foe.

About the end of June 1770 he was joined by his
brother, and they hunted together till the ensuing
March, when they returned home, in order to lead a
party of settlers into Kentucky. In the autumn,
Boone started with five families besides his own, and
forty men. Suddenly, and without warning, a number
of Indians swooped down upon the emigrants. In an
instant all was confusion. Women shrieked, cattle
broke loose, and horses reared and plunged. moments decided the skirmish in favour of the white
men; but the victory was dearly purchased by the
lives of six of the party, one of whom was Boone’s
eldest son. This so discouraged the remainder that
they retreated to the settlements, and no further
attempt to colonise Kentucky was made for several
years. It was indeed, as its name signified, “dark
and bloody ground.”
THE PIONEER OF KENTUCKY 77

In the summer of 1775, Boone led another party
of pioneers across the mountains. He made a treaty
with the Cherokee Indians, by which they agreed to

_leave him in undisturbed possession of certain lands
between the rivers Kentucky and Cumberland. Here,
though he had to fight for the ground with other
tribes, he succeeded in erecting a palisaded fort—
the pioneers working with an axe in one hand and
a rifle in the other. Leaving Boonesborough, as the
new settlement was called, in charge of his com-
panions, Boone returned to his family, which with
three others he brought safely to their new home in
September. The four women of this party deserve
special honour for their heroism, in thus braving the
perils of frontier life, at a time when Indian hostility’
had been aroused to its highest pitch by the de-
termined inroads of the white men. The names of the
“mothers of the West” are Mrs. Boone, Mrs. M‘Gary,
Mrs. Denton, and Mrs. Hogan.

In the early days of the settlement the inhabitants
had to be constantly on the watch, to repel the
determined attacks of the red men. But they soon
learned that they could not catch Boone napping.
No matter when they made their onset, whether
at midday or at midnight, or how silently they
- advanced through the forest, the keen eyes of the
‘old backwoodsman detected them; and for a time
Boonesborough was left in comparative peace.

One day his daughter and two other girls were
78 STORIES OF THE FAR WEST

amusing themselves in a skiff on the Kentucky
river. Suddenly they felt the boat was being borne
towards the opposite shore. A lurking Indian
swimming out to them, under water, had caught hold
of it, and the terrified children quickly found them-
selves prisoners amongst a band. who had posted
themselves in a thicket near the river. The screams
of the girls alarmed the settlers, who rushed down to
the bank in time to see them bound and carried off.
It was some time before Boone and a party of his
friends could cross the river in pursuit, so that the
Indians got a start of several miles.

Darkness put an end to the search, but with the
first signs of day the settlers were ready to take up
the trail. They followed it to a thick wood, where
they lost all trace of the fugitives. Life and death,
freedom and captivity, hung upon the right use of
every moment, so Boone decided not to waste time
in examining the wood. Guessing the probable
direction of the route taken by the Indians, he turned
to the southward, with his companions, and went
boldly forward for about thirty miles. Then, turning
to the north, he resumed his search for a trail.

It was a bold move to make, but it was fully
justified by the results, for, after going a few miles,
they came upon the footsteps of the Indians in one
of the great buffalo paths. With fresh courage they
pushed forward, quietly and on the alert, lest they
should come unexpectedly on the red-skins. At the
THE PIONEER OF KENTUCKY 79

end of ten miles they caught sight of the natives, as
they were leisurely preparing their dinner.

Cautious as Boone and his companions had been
in their movements, the quick-eyed Indians saw them
as soon as they themselves were discovered. Fearing
that the girls would ‘be put to death the moment a
rescue was attempted, Boone dashed hastily forward,
not to give them time to do any mischief. The
unexpected onset struck terror into the hearts of the
savages, and they fled, leaving all their weapons and
goods behind them, and the three terrified girls were
recovered unhurt.

After this Boonesborough was besieged by the
Indians for some weeks. The settlers ran short of
ammunition, and it seemed as if they would be forced
to surrender. With only two companions, Boone set
out on a journey of over two hundred miles, to
procure a fresh supply. Over a wild and mountain-
ous country he made his way to the nearest settlement,
obtained a stock of powder and shot, and ten days
afterwards he was once more within the fort. This
timely help enabled the settlers to beat off the
enemy.

The most serious misfortune which befell: the
hardy pioneer happened in 1778, which was also the
most trying year of the “borough” which he had
founded. He had gone with thirty men to the salt-
licks to prepare salt for his people, and had almost
finished his work, when he was surprised by a party
80 STORIES OF THE FAR WEST

of Indians. He fled, but was pursued, taken prisoner,
and carried to their encampment. The chief of the
tribe, named Black Fish, had for a long time admired
Boone for his fearlessness and skill, and he determined
to adopt him into his tribe. The pioneer had more
sense than to refuse the intended honour, and for
some months he lived the life of a Shawanese Indian.
He took his part in the games, and shot as near the
centre of the target as he judged prudent, so as not
to arouse the enmity of the warriors. We can
imagine the humorous twinkle that came into his
quiet eye, as he witnessed the joy of the savage
marksman at having done better than the best of the
Long Knives.

One day he saw a band of five hundred warriors
in all the splendour of war-paint and feathers, and
he wondered what their object could be; a few words
accidentally dropped by the Indians informed him
that their destination was Boonesborough. Could he
do nothing to save his family and friends? There
were a hundred and sixty miles of wild country
between him and the fort, yet he made up his mind
to the attempt. Early one morning in June he stole
away, and for four successive days he sped over hill
and valley, covering forty miles a day. During this
time he had only one meal, for he was afraid to light
a fire, as it would have shown his whereabouts.

When he reached Boonesborough, his wife did not,
as was her wont, come out to meet him, and when


DEFENDING THE FORT.

THE PIONEER OF KENTUCKY 83

he anxiously asked what had become of her, one of
the men replied, “ Bless you, man, she put into the
settlements long ago. She thought you was dead,
Dan’l, and packed up and was off to Carolina, to the
old man’s.” There was no time to indulge in vain
regrets with the Indian so near at hand; but days
passed, and the expected host did not appear. It
was then found out by scouts that Boone’s dis-
appearance had brought them to a standstill, for they
rightly concluded that he must have given warning
of their approach, and they abandoned their intention
of attacking the fort. Thinking that the country
was clear, the settlers returned to their usual
occupations.

One morning, shortly after this, when Boone was
in the forest, he saw a body of red-skins proceeding
towards the fort. Thinking that this was but the
vanguard of a larger party, he returned with all
haste to prepare for the worst.

It was well he did so, for on the following
morning the Indian army swarmed round Boones-
borough, under the command of a British officer.
The war of American Independence was then
raging, and the British hoped to gain some advan-
tage by rousing the Indians to attack the outlying
settlements. The force which was now encamped
in front of the fort outnumbered the garrison by
ten to one, and when the officer summoned Boone
to surrender, he was at a loss to know what to do.
84 STORIES OF THE FAR WEST

The cattle were all out in the wood, which made
resistance for a lengthened period impossible; and
to surrender meant being handed over to Black Fish
and his men, who would punish him severely for
his flight.

At length he concluded to ask two days in
which to consider the matter. This request was
granted, and the first thing he did was to drive
in the cows. Then he busied himself in making
everything as strong as possible. When the two
days expired, he felt that he was in a position
to make a successful resistance, so he “ politely
thanked the representative of His Gracious Majesty
for giving him time to prepare a reception fitting
his rank, and said that he had decided to fight.”

The officer offered to leave them in peace, if the
settlers would send a few of their men to a con-
ference with him and some of the chiefs, outside the
fort. To this he consented, taking care to select
the strongest of his men, and to post the rest on
the walls ready to fire on the slightest show of
treachery. As expected, the red-skins seized them
and tried to drag them to the ground. The whites
drew back struggling; the rifle - balls of those
posted on the walls struck down the foremost of
the assailants, and amid the fire of friends and foes
Boone and his men made their way into the fort
unharmed.

The treaty trick having thus failed, there began
THE PIONEER OF KENTUCKY 85

one of the fiercest battles ever fought in Kentucky.
For ten days the firmg went on. The Indians,
led by a white officer, were confident of success ;
but the settlers were not to be beaten, and they
at length succeeded in compelling the enemy to
retreat, never again to disturb the peace of Boones-
borough. After their departure Boone picked up
a hundred and twenty-five pounds of their bullets
from the ground.

Amid such scenes the foundation of Kentucky
was laid by a mere handful of rough but high-
spirited men. Boone survived all his perils, and
died at the age of eighty-three, having lived to see
populous States founded where he had explored
pathless forests.
CHAPTER IX.

THE ADVENTURES OF PETER WILLIAMSON.

URING the early years of the
American settlements the colonists
were in great want of labourers
and servants, and to supply the
need it became a common practice
to kidnap people in this country
for the colonies. Many thousands

of men, women, and even children, were seized in

the streets and sent over to America, where they
were sold to the highest bidder. Fortunately, their
bondage was not for life, but only for an arranged
number of years. During the time of their service,
however, they could be bought and sold like slaves.
The best-known case of this kind on record is

that of Peter Williamson, who about the year 1736

was carried off from Aberdeen and sold for a slave

in Philadelphia. Peter was at this time only ten
years of age. He was bought by a fellow-country-
man named Wilson, who had himself been kidnapped

from Perth as a child. He was a humane man,
86


ADVENTURES OF PETER WILLIAMSON 87

and treated his slave with great kindness, giving
him only the lightest kind of work, and allowing
him to learn to read and write. When he died, a
few years afterwards, he left Peter a legacy of
one hundred and fifty pounds, his best horse, saddle,
and wearing apparel, as a reward for the faithful
manner in which he had served him.

Peter was at this time seventeen years of age,
and for the next seven years he worked diligently
at various employments, and considerably increased
his capital. He then thought it time to settle,
and, as a preliminary step, married the daughter of |
a neighbouring planter. His father-in-law bestowed
on the young couple a tract of well-cleared land on
the frontiers of Pennsylvania, where they lived very
happily till the autumn of 1754, when the Indians
began a series of raids, accompanied by the most
horrible barbarities. Scarcely a day passed but
some unhappy family fell victims, and at last the
blow fell on Peter Williamson.

On the 2nd of October his wife left home to
visit some of her relations about six miles away.
Night came on and she did not return, 80 he
decided to go to bed. He had just made everything
secure, when he was alarmed by the dismal war-
whoop of the savages. Rushing to the window, he
saw that his house was surrounded. One of the
Indians came forward and offered him his life, on
condition that he made no resistance, adding, how-
88 STORIES OF THE FAR WEST

ever, that if he would not surrender himself a
prisoner, they would burn him alive. He chose
what seemed to him at the time the lesser of two
evils, and gave himself up. His captors tied him
to a tree, and then proceeded to plunder the house.
Not satisfied with this, they set it on fire and
burned it to the ground.

Williamson soon learned why his life had been
spared, for the savages loaded him with plunder,
and threatened him with the worst of deaths if he
did not go quietly with them. All night the poor
fellow trudged along under his burden. At day-
break a halt was made, and the prisoner was bound
to a tree. His captors then made a fire near, and
danced round him, brandishing their weapons, and
yelling and screaming in the most frightful manner.
They next took sticks flaming with fire at the ends,
and held them to different parts of his body, at
the same time threatening to roast him to death if
he cried out. Tortured thus, we do not wonder
that tears of anguish began rolling down the face
of the unfortunate man. This did not escape the
notice of the savages, who, telling him that his
face was wet and that they would dry it for him,
took fresh sticks from the fire, and put them near
his eyes. “How I underwent these tortures,” he
says, “has been a matter of wonder to me, but God
enabled me to wait with more than common patience
the deliverance I daily prayed for.”
















































































































































































































































































































































































































































AN INDIAN HORSE THIEF.

89

ADVENTURES OF PETER WILLIAMSON 91

At nightfall they again set out on their march,
Williamson being loaded as before. In the darkness
they attacked the house of a settler, and, having
murdered him and his family, they plundered the
dwelling and set it on fire. Only one life was
spared, that of a young manservant, whom the
savages thought would be of service in assisting to
carry the plunder. He was compelled to suffer
cruel treatment, and, unable to endure it with the
same heroic fortitude as Williamson, the wretched
youth gave vent to his misery in groans and tears.
In vain did his companion encourage him with the
hope of escape, for he kept on crying. One of the
Indians seeing this came up behind him, and with
his tomahawk felled him to the ground.

We could not, even did our space permit, tell of
all the horrors which Williamson was compelled to
witness. Family after family was tortured and
murdered, as much out of “ fiendish pleasure in such
acts as for their property.” A heavy fall of snow
at length compelled the band to go into their winter
quarters, lest their tracks should betray them to the
enraged white men. They remained in hiding for
nearly two months. As the severity of the cold
increased, they stripped the captive of his clothes
for their own use, giving him in return a piece of
blanket, a pair of moccasins, and a strip of coarse
cloth to serve instead of trousers.

At length, being joined by many other Indians,
92 STORIES OF THE FAR WEST

they set out on a fresh expedition. Marching
towards the settlements, they divided into small
. parties; but, fearing to take Williamson with them,
they left him behind under a guard of ten men.
Now the long-wished-for chance of escape had come.
He knew the country well, and he eagerly waited
for an opportunity to regain his liberty. One night,
while his guards, wearied with a severe day’s hunt-
ing, slept more soundly than usual, he determined to
escape or perish in the attempt. Naked and defence-
less, he set out; but he had not gone more than a
few hundred yards when the cries of the Indians
told him that his flight had been discovered.

Terror lent him speed, and he rushed forward
through the woods. Many a time he fell completely
exhausted, but the thought of all he had suffered
nerved him to struggle on. Daylight found him
faint and bruised, and he crept into a hollow tree
to wait till darkness made it possible for him to
continue his journey towards the settlements. Worn
out with exertion and hunger, he fell asleep. Ina
few hours he was awakened by the voices of the
savages near the place where he lay, saying what
they would do to him when they caught him.

At night he left his hiding-place and continued
his flight. Travelling by night and resting by day,
he encountered no dangers, though in a constant
state of apprehension. On the fourth night he came
suddenly on a party of Indians lying round their
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TRACKING THE FUGITIVE.
93

ADVENTURES OF PETER WILLIAMSON 95

fire. The rustling he made in the leaves alarmed
them, and, seizing their arms, they ran towards the
spot from which the noise proceeded. The fugitive
did not know whether to run or to stand still, when,
to his surprise and joy, a herd of swine appeared
between him and the Indians, who, thinking they
had discovered the cause of the alarm, returned to
the fire and shortly afterwards went to sleep.

On the following afternoon he reached the house
of John Bell, an old acquaintance. In answer to his
knock, the settler’s wife came to the door, and, on
seeing this naked and haggard figure, rushed scream-
ing into the house. This brought her husband to
the door, gun in hand. He was about to shoot the
wanderer, when he called out that he was his old
friend Peter Williamson. At once Bell threw down
his rifle and heartily welcomed him into his house,
providing him with food and clothing. Here he
remained for some days to recover his strength.
Then, having borrowed a horse from his host, he
started for his father-in-law’s house, about a hundred
and forty miles distant.

When he arrived the family could scarcely believe
their eyes, for there was no one who did not suppose
that he had been put to death when his house was
burned. They welcomed him gladly, and he asked,
“Where is my wife? I was told she returned to you.”

“She did,” replied the old man, “but her griefs
killed her in less than a week.”
96 STORIES OF THE FAR WEST

Determined “to be revenged on the authors of
his ruin,” Williamson went to Boston, and enlisted in
a regiment which was being raised to guard the
western frontier of the settlement. During this
campaign his knowledge of the Indian customs and
mode of warfare were of great use to the command-
ing officer, who made him a lieutenant. He after-
wards took part in several expeditions against the
French, and was severely wounded.

Williamson returned to his native town in June
1758, where he turned his misfortunes to good
account “by exhibiting himself in the costume of a
North American Indian, and giving representations
of the Indians’ gestures and war-whoops.” The story
of his life and adventures, which he published, roused
the wrath of the magistrates of the “Granite City,”
whom he charged with conniving at the trade of
kidnapping. He was convicted of “having issued a
scurrilous and infamous libel,” imprisoned, and finally
banished from the city, while his book was publicly
burned by the hangman.

He went to Edinburgh and brought an action
against the Aberdeen Corporation, and obtained
damages to the extent of £100. With this money
he opened a coffee-house. He died in 1799, at the
age of seventy-three.
CHAPTER X.

THE GREAT FUR LAND,

ENRY HUDSON, an English sailor
in the employment of the Dutch,
discovered, in 1610, the great
bay which bears his name. The
waters of this vast inland sea
teemed with fish, and the French,
who at that time were masters of



Canada, were not slow to avail

themselves of this inexhaustible source of wealth.
Among those who visited the bay was a bold and
enterprising Frenchman, named Grosseliez. He saw
the advantages which would follow the possession
of the ports and harbours of this region, and,
wishing to secure it for his own country, he set
out for France and laid the matter before the
king. His proposals were, however, regarded as
visionary, and his scheme of settlement was rejected.
Mr. Montague, the English minister at Paris, saw
further than the French monarch, and, anxious to
hear more of the matter, sent for Grosseliez, and

7
98 STORIES OF THE FAR WEST

asked him to explain his views. The boundless
possibilities of the region appealed strongly to
Montague, and he gave the Frenchman a letter of
introduction to Prince Rupert in England. Crossing
the channel, Grosseliez was received with every mark
of honour ; his proposals were listened to with respect ;
and he was engaged to go out to Hudson’s Bay in
one of the King’s ships, and form a settlement. vessel was therefore equipped, and in 1668 the
expedition set sail, under the command of Captain
Gillam. After the fashion of the time, an attempt
was first made to find a way to China, but, failing
in this, the explorers entered Rupert’s River, where
they spent the winter. Here Captain Gillam laid
the foundation of the first English settlement in
Canada, by building a small stone fort, which he
named Fort Charles in honour of the King,

On the return of the explorers, Prince Rupert
formed a company of seventeen noblemen and
gentlemen, and in 1670 obtained from King Charles
II. a charter, granting to him “all the lands
and territories in Hudson’s Bay, with all the trade
thereof in furs, minerals, and other considerable
commodities.” Over this boundless region, to which
the name of Rupert’s Land was given, roamed great
herds of buffalo and deer, besides countless numbers
of bears, beavers, foxes, and other smaller fur-bearing
animals. The Company lost no time in erecting
forts and factories to trade with the Indians, from


WAITING THE APPROACH OF A MOOSE.

99

THE GREAT FUR LAND 101

whom the most valuable furs were obtained in
exchange for articles of trifling cost.

The trading was carried on by barter, and the
skin of the beaver was the standard of reckoning.
Four beavers were considered to be equal to one
silver fox, two martens to one beaver, and so on, in
an arranged tariff which was well known among
the Indians. The price of a gun was twenty beaver
skins. Next to guns, hatchets, knives, powder, and
other weapons, the red men specially fancied blue and
red cloth, beads, gaily coloured ribbons, and kettles.

When Canada came under British rule in 1763,
the agents of the Company pushed westward in
search of peltries. From point to point they
established trading-posts, and gradually explored
the country as far as the Rocky Mountains. Adven-
turers of very mixed nationality hunted over the
vast preserves, and the peculiar nature of the
employment developed a race of men famed for their
marvellous powers of endurance. Starting out in
their birch bark canoes, these hardy voyageurs, as
they were called, made their way up the rivers,
which cover the land like a network, encountering
at every step difficulties and dangers from rocks and
rapids. The boats were always heavily laden with
provisions for the party, and goods of various kinds
to be exchanged for furs. The labour of carrying
the canoes and their cargoes round rapids, from the
lower to the upper stream, was very great, and none
102 STORIES OF THE FAR WEST

but the strongest men could engage in the work.
These carrying places were called portages, and
varied in length and frequency according to the
nature of the country. In coming down stream the
voyageur followed the Indian custom of “shooting”
the rapids.

The Hudson’s Bay Company lost the monopoly
they had so long enjoyed in 1783, when the North-
West Fur Company was established. After forty
years of stubborn competition, the Hudson’s Bay
Company entered into partnership with its formid-
able rival. Their joint operations then covered
nearly the whole of British North America from the
Atlantic to the Pacific, and from the Arctic Circle
to the northern frontier of the United States.

“Tmagine an immense extent of country, many
hundred miles broad, and many hundred miles long,
covered with dense forests, expansive lakes, broad
rivers, and mighty mountains, and all in a state of
primeval simplicity, undefaced by the axe of civilised
man, and untenanted, save by a few roving hordes
of red Indians and myriads of wild animals.
Picture amid this wilderness a number of small
squares, each enclosing about half a dozen wooden
houses and about a dozen men, and between each of
these establishments a space of forest, varying from
fifty to three hundred miles in length, and you will
have a pretty correct idea of the Hudson’s Bay

territories.”
THE GREAT FUR LAND 103

In 1838 the Company acquired the sole right of
trading for itself for a period of twenty-one years.
At the end of that time the fur trade in British
North America was thrown open to the world.

































































STARTING FOR THE HUNTING-GROUNDS.

Finally, in 1870, the Company made a formal
concession to the British Government of all their
claims, and for the sum of £300,000 the land was
annexed by the Dominion of Canada. The Company,
however, retained all their forts, with 50,000 acres
to4 STORIES OF THE FAR WEST

and a large extent of fertile land lying between the
Red River and the Rocky Mountains. Besides
still carrying on the business of collecting furs, the
Company derives a large annual income from the
sale of these reserved lands.
CHAPTER XI.

AN ADVENTURE WITH TIE BLACKFEET.

T one time the Hudson’s Bay traders
and the American Fur Company
were rivals in the wild and rocky
territory of the Oregon. Dotted
throughout the interior were a
number of little forts or stations



at which the trade in peltries was
carried on with the Indians. One
of these stations, known as Spokan Fort, was in
charge of a Scotsman named M‘Pherson, who, as a
lad, had left his native country to seek his fortune
in the wilds of the Far West, and now by persever-
ance and economy had risen to the position of a
well-to-do merchant. Of an enterprising disposition,
he had been so far able to carry on a thriving trade
with the Indians, in spite of the obstacles thrown in
his way by his rivals.

“Nothing can equal the excitement of this pre-

carlous commerce,” says one who was well acquainted
105
106 STORIES OF THE FAR WEST

with its manners and methods. “It is the constant
effort on the part of opposition companies and traders
to out-general the other, to mutually blind their
opponents to their destination and plans, as well as
to be ever first in the field.” These efforts gave
rise to almost superhuman exertions on the part of
the traders, and they carefuliy studied the tastes and
wants of their savage customers, for on more than
one occasion it had happened that a trader lost the
year because he could not supply some little article
the Indians wanted.

One night, about two years after Spokan Fort was
established, M‘Pherson and his clerks were sitting at
supper. It was near the time of the annual inter-
view with the various tribes, a meeting of much
importance, for then the whole fortunes of the year
were decided. The custom was to appoint a place
for the natives to camp with their beaver and
other skins. Thither the traders. went, and who-
ever offered the best price obtained a ready and
profitable market. Suddenly a noise was heard
outside the house, and in another moment a
half-breed hunter walked into the room. Looking
round, M‘Pherson saw that the newcomer was a
scout, whom he had sent to find out the state
of the market.

“What news, Nick?” asked the trader.

“Bad,” replied the scout. “Master Sublette got
ahead of Spokan. The Indians all at camp with
(AN ADVENTURE WITH THE BLACKFEET 107

plenty beaver. Master Sublette buy up all, but him
got no tobacco ; so he send away for some, then smoke
and buy up the beaver.”

“Why, that’s good news,” said M‘Pherson, laughing.
“Tf Sublette has no tobacco, all is right. We
have plenty, and not an Indian will sell a skin until
he has had a good puff at the pipe of peace. So up,
my men,” he continued, addressing his clerks, “ you
must away and out-general Sublette by taking
Johnson a good supply of the weed.”

“ All very fine,” said Nick ; “but Sublette know a
trick worth two of that. A hundred Blackfeet are
lying in the woods, and not a soul will reach the
market until they are gone.”

“ The Blackfeet!” exclaimed M‘Pherson, “ then we
are defeated. What is to be done?”

“How many bales are needed ?” asked one of the
clerks, named Edward Ray.

“Tf Johnson, our agent, had but one,” replied the
trader despondingly, “all would be right. But it is
impossible, and this year is lost to me.”

“Tt is not!” said the clerk, with energy. “John-
son shall have that bale, or my scalp shall hang in a
Blackfoot lodge before morning.”

“ Are you in earnest?” asked M‘Pherson sternly.

“T am, sir; give me Wild Polly, and I will go
alone and save the year.”

The trader ordered the favourite mare to be
saddled, and in half an hour Ray, with two bales of
108 STORIES OF THE FAR WEST

tobacco behind him, and armed to the teeth, set out
from Spokan on his perilous errand. Then the gates
were securely fastened, sentinels posted, and the
trader lit his pipe and sat down by the fire to think
over the situation.

Ray had before him a journey of seventy miles.
In that sparsely populated district, the distance in
itself was nothing; but then there were a hundred
lurking Indians in his path, eager for the scalp of a
pale-face. There was the additional inducement to
them of securing a horse, and what was of even
greater value, two bales of tobacco. Under ordinary
circumstances, Ray would not have risked his life in
such a wild and doubtful enterprise, but no one else
had volunteered, and he thought with pride that
no one at the fort had even offered to accompany
him.

A ride of half an hour brought him to the end of
the valley in which the fort lay, and on reaching the
edge of the prairie he halted and looked round him
to discover some signs of the Blackfeet. The moon
shone brightly over the forest, and not a sound
disturbed the stillness of the vast wilderness.
Setting spurs to his mare, he passed swiftly along the
path in the direction of the Indian mart. Suddenly
the animal showed signs of hesitation. She had
been quick to scent the smoke, which Ray saw in the
distance rising from amid the trees. This told him
that Indians were near, and, hoping that he had not


ON THE LOOK-OUT.

109

AN ADVENTURE WITH THE BLACKFEET 111

been discovered, he rode at a gallop along the skirt
of the wood. Not a sound, save the clatter of his
unshod mare, was heard, until he had almost cleared
the dangerous ground. Then came the Blackfeet
war-whoop and the crack of rifles. His enemies
were in full chase.

The time had now come when the mettle both of
horse and rider would be tested to the utmost.
Wild Polly seemed to know the need, and put forth
all her energy, and, nerved by hopes of success, Ray
urged her to the top of her speed. Looking back
from time to time, he saw the wild Indian warriors
coming fast towards him, but still not gaining
‘ground. He knew that if he cut away the precious
bales of tobacco he could with ease out-distance
them ; but then the object of his journey would be
lost. For an hour the race for life was kept up.
The howling, whooping Indians, half a hundred in
number, galloped madly after him, their long spears
waving in the moonlight, and their black hair
streaming in the wind.

The path lay through a thicket of cane trees,
where the reeds rose ten feet high—dry, parched, and
crackling. Here Ray determined to make a stand;
but to his surprise he saw before him another foe,
mounted on a tall horse, and calmly waiting his
approach. Clutching a pistol, the clerk rode madly
forward against his new opponent, who, just in time
to save himself, cried “ All right—Saucy Nick!”
112 STORIES OF THE FAR WEST

There was no time for greeting, and into the cane-
brake the two dashed together. Presently Nick
dismounted and set fire to the reeds, and in another
moment there was a wall of fire between them and
their pursuers.

“ Away!” cried the scout, urging his steed to the
utmost. “The fire spirit is awake, the wind is
coming towards us. Away, or our bones will be
mingled with those of the red men.”

“ But, Nick,” said Ray, as side by side they dashed
across the prairie, “how came you here? TI left you
at the fort.”

“No; Nick start half an hour before. Wouldn’t
let brave warrior go by himself. Found him
chased by Blackfeet; but no Indian take Master
Ray. But hush!” he added, as they gained the
entrance of a valley, “we are not yet free.
Blackfeet here.”

‘Seeing that they were about to meet another band
of Indians, Ray drew his pistols, and galloped forward
at a rattling pace. A flash and the crack of guns
fired in haste showed that Nick was not mistaken.
Firing in reply, they continued their flight and soon
reached the open plain beyond. Gradually they
outstripped their pursuers, and before daylight
reached the great encampment where the Indians
had pitched their tents to traffic with the white
men.

Here Ray found Johnson, M‘Pherson’s agent,
AN ADVENTURE WITH THE BLACKFEET 113

in very bad spirits, as his rival was expected to
receive the necessary supply of tobacco in the
course of the afternoon. When he heard Ray’s
story, he cried—

“Bravo! I should just like to be in your shoes;
for if you have not made old Mac’s fortune, my name
is not Johnson. Such prime beavers you never
saw.”

tay was delighted, and after a hasty meal the
traders began their work. Then Sublette, to his
consternation, saw his rival pass round a liberal
supply of tobacco—not a single Indian was
forgotten. The bartering began, and the natives
showed their delight by selling every skin they
had at a moderate price to the Spokan agent.
When Sublette received his tobacco, there was
not a skin left.

Mounting a fresh horse, Ray set out on his return
journey, accompanied by the faithful scout. All
danger was now over, for the Blackfeet had been so
demoralised by the fire that they had left the neigh-
bourhood. On arriving at the fort, the clerk was
received with heartiest congratulations, and when he
told his master of the extraordinary quantity and
excellence of the beavers which had been obtained
by means of his bold undertaking, M‘Pherson’s delight
knew no bounds, and he said—

“You have brought me the best year’s trade I

ever had; and I count it no small thing to have
8
114 STORIES OF THE FAR WEST

beaten Sublette, the most cunning trader on the
frontier.”

A few weeks later, Ray was made a partner at
Spokan, and he at any rate had no reason to regret
his midnight adventure with the Blackfeet on the
prairies of the wild Oregon.
CHAPTER XII.
A ROMANCE OF INDIAN FRIENDSHIP.

BOUT seventy years ago, a Scotsman
named M‘Dougal emigrated from
Argyleshire and settled in Upper ~
Canada. Wishing to make his
slender resources go as far as pos-
sible, he bought a track of cheap



land on the very outskirts of
civilisation. He built a rude cabin,
and set to work to reclaim the waste land. In a
comparatively short time, by his untiring industry,
he brought a few acres under cultivation, and
acquired a small herd of cattle. His greatest
discomforts arose from the loneliness of his situation;
but he comforted himself with the thought that he
would soon be joined by other settlers.

One day he had a quantity of corn to grind, and
as the distance to the mill was a full day’s journey,
and the roads were none of the smoothest, he set
out at daybreak, leaving his wife in charge of the

farm. She had never been left alone before, and at
115
116 STORIES OF THE FAR WEST

first she was rather frightened; but as the day wore
on, and nothing happened to cause her alarm, she
banished her fears and went about her work as
usual.

Evening came, but the cattle did not return from
their pasture in the neighbouring forest, so she
decided to go in search of them. Undismayed by
any thought of danger, she hurried here and there,
looking in vain for the missing herd. At length,
fatigued with the search, and alarmed at the
approach of night, she decided to return to the
house; but this was easier said than done, for
when she tried to retrace her steps, she found that
she had lost all knowledge of the direction she
ought to take.

Utterly exhausted, she sank down on the ground ;
but in a few minutes she was startled by the sound
of approaching footsteps, and, looking in the direc-
tion of the sound, she saw to her horror an Indian
advancing towards her. She had never seen any of
the red men before, and this sudden appearance
filled her with dismay. The hunter stopped in
front of her, and, after gazing at her for a few
minutes, he made a sign for her to rise and follow
him, She tremblingly obeyed, and, after a length-
ened march, they arrived at the door of an Indian
wigwam.

Her guide requested her by signs to enter, but
she emphatically refused. All the stories she had
A ROMANCE OF INDIAN FRIENDSHIP — 117

heard of Indian torture flashed across her memory,
and she felt it were better to meet death in the
open air. Finding entreaties vain, and probably
guessing the cause of her refusal, the Indian entered
the wigwam and returned in another minute with
his squaw. She joined her husband in begging the
stranger to enter, and at last succeeded.

When Mrs. M‘Dougal went into the hut a
plentiful supply of venison was instantly set before
her, and, though still greatly alarmed at the novelty
of her situation, she made a good meal, to the
manifest delight of her hosts. Darkness had set in,
and the strange couple made signs that she must
stay the night at their dwelling.

In the morning Mrs. M‘Dougal awoke greatly
refreshed, and was anxious to return home without
further delay; but this her mysterious host would
not allow. Breakfast was prepared—another savoury



and well-cooked meal of venison—and when it was
finished the Indian led the woman to the very spot
where the cattle were grazing. He drove the herd
to the edge of the wood, where Mrs. M‘Dougal saw
her husband seeking for her in every direction like
one demented. His joy at her safe return was
only equalled by his surprise at finding her in
such strange company; but when he had heard the
story of her adventure, these feelings gave place to
gratitude to her benefactor. He invited the Indian
into his house, and treated him to the best food he
118 STORIES OF THE FAR WEST

had, and presented him, on his departure, with a
suit of clothes.

A few days later, the red man returned to the
house, and endeavoured to persuade M'‘Dougal to
return with him into the forest. The hardy settlers,
fearing a trap, refused, and the Indian departed with
a very dejected air. Next morning he returned and
renewed his dumb entreaties; but still without effect.
At last he hit on a plan for accomplishing his object.

Mrs. M‘Dougal had a baby only a few months old,
and when the Indian found that he could not induce
the settler to accompany him, he approached the
cradle, seized the child, and darted out of the house
before the astonished parents had time to realise
what had happened. Away went the Indian through
the forest, followed by the father and mother, begging
and beseeching him to restore their only child; but
the red man heeded not their cries. Having put a
considerable distance between himself and his pur-
suers, he slackened his pace, and appeared to be in
no hurry to end his chase.

At length he halted, and when M‘Dougal and his
wife came up, he gave back the child to its mother
unhurt. Then, before the astonished settler had
recovered sufficient breath to ask the meaning of this
strange conduct, the Indian pointed to a wide prairie,
whose splendid pasturage extended to several thou-
sand acres. Then the truth flashed across the
settler’s mind. It had been to show him this rich
A ROMANCE OF INDIAN FRIENDSHIP 119

Jand that the Indian had run off with his child, and
he shook the red man warmly by the hand. The
savage, delighted at the success of his manceuvre,
jumped about with shouts and every demonstration
of joy. By signs a day was fixed for the removal
of the goods and implements, and M‘Dougal with
his wife and child returned to their dwelling, tired,
but delighted with the day’s adventure.

At the appointed time the Indian and a number
of his followers came to assist in on of the most
romantic removals ever undertaken. In a few days,
by their assistance, a large log-house was built on
the prairie, and a neat garden laid out round it.
M‘Dougal was greatly pleased with the change—as
he well might be, seeing that he could boast of a
bodyguard as bold as the bowmen of Robin Hood.
Year by year the size of the farm was increased,
and the over-abundant prairie grass gave place to
thriving crops. The Indians remained friendly and
faithful, and never returned from a hunting expedi-
tion without bringing a supply of venison and other
game to Mrs. M‘Dougal. She had now lost all fear
of the red men, and never allowed any of them to go
away without a supply of butter and cheese from her
well-stocked dairy.

The Indian who had been the cause of their
fortunate change of circumstances was at length per-
suaded to form part of the establishment as head
cattle-keeper,
CHAP DE Re xe I,

A RACE FOR LIFE.

N the banks of a creek about six
miles from Jefferson Fork, one
of the branches of the great
Missouri, two trappers named
Colter and Potts were encamped
This region was inhabited
by the Sioux, the fiercest of
North American Indians, whose

hostility had lately been aroused by the death

of a prominent member of the tribe, who
had been slain by one of the trappers in
self-defence.

Knowing full well the fate that awaited them at
the hands of the red men, should they fall into their
power, the trappers went about their work with the
utmost secrecy and caution. All day they lay con-
cealed in the woods at the riverside; at night they
crept out to set their traps, and took them up before
daybreak. Though they suffered terribly from cold,

they did not dare to light a fire, for the smoke would
120


A RACE FOR LIFE 121

speedily have betrayed their presence and led to
their capture. It was indeed a fearful risk to run
for the sake of a few beaver skins, but of such hazards
was the trapper’s life made up in the early part of
the present century.

At daybreak one morning they set out as usual to
examine their traps. As they paddled quietly up
the stream, Colter suddenly paused.

“What's the matter?” asked his companion.

“Don’t you hear that trampling?” said Colter.

Potts replied that he heard nothing, but in a
minute or two the sound became more distinct. The
high perpendicular banks of the river prevented them
from seeing anything, and Colter, fearing that the
Indians were advancing, wanted to retreat at once
before they were discovered. Potts declared that it
was only a stampede of buffaloes, and laughed at
his companion’s fears, adding, “If we stop here
listening much longer the Sioux will discover
our traps, and then theyll be down on us fast
enough.”

The words were hardly spoken when a number of
Indians appeared on both banks of the creek, bran-
dishing their spears and uttering frightful yells. They
made signs to the two men to come ashore, and they,
finding escape impossible, at length paddled to the
bank. The moment the canoe touched, a red-skin
dashed forward and seized the rifle belonging
to Potts. Without a moment’s hesitation, Colter
122 STORIES OF THE FAR WEST

sprang after the man, wrenched the gun from
his grasp, and handed it to Potts, who remained in
the canoe.

Taking advantage of the consternation which
Colter’s action caused among the Indians, Potts
pushed off into the stream. He had not gone far
when a well-directed arrow caused him to cry out,
“Colter, I am wounded!” His companion shouted
to him that it was folly to attempt to escape, adding,
“Come ashore, man, and take your chance of life
along with me.” In reply he raised his rifle
and shot the Indian dead on the spot. Instantly
a score of arrows whistled through the air, and he
fell back into the bottom of the canoe never to
rise again.

The Indians now turned their attention to Colter.
They stripped him naked, and bound his hands tightly
behind his back. They then sat down to deliberate
on the manner in which he should be put to death.
The trapper, who understood the Sioux language,
listened attentively to what was said; at the same
time, he turned over in his mind all the known modes
of torture to which the Indians were accustomed to
subject their prisoners, wondering what his fate would
be. The majority were in favour of setting him up
as a mark to shoot at; others thought that he should
be roasted over a slow fire. Neither party had the
satisfaction of seeing their favourite torture in
operation, for the chief, seizing Colter by the
A RACE FOR LIFE 123

shoulder, demanded to know if he could run
fast.

The trapper was too well acquainted with Indian
customs to doubt for a moment the meaning of this
question. It told him that he had now to run for his
life, with the dreadful odds of five hundred armed
Indians against him. By signs he gave the chief to
understand that he was a very bad runner, though
he was well known among his friends for his fleetness
of foot. This pardonable deception probably saved
his life. The chief commanded his men to stand still,
while he led the captive about four hundred yards
out on the prairie. Then, cutting his bonds, he bade
him save himself, if he could. At the same instant
_ the war-whoop sounded, and the race for life
began.

Away went Colter at the top of his speed, in the
direction of Jefferson Fork, the nearest shelter, six
miles away. The shouting of the Indians soon died
away, a sign that they had settled down to serious
work. With never a backward glance, the trapper
bounded forward. He saw nothing, he felt nothing,
though the prickly pear, with which the prairie
abounded, drew blood from his naked feet at every
stride.

When about half-way across the plain, he ventured
to look over his shoulder, and saw that the Indians
were very much scattered, and that he had gained
ground for a considerable distance on the main
124 STORIES OF THE FAR WEST

body. His nearest pursuer, a tall, fleet-flooted
Indian, armed with a spear, was far in advance of
his companions, and not more than a hundred yards
behind. The prospect of escape lent Colter fresh
strength, and he redoubled his efforts to reach a
place of safety. On he went for another mile; but
then the pace began to tell. His breath came
thick and fast, and he stumbled occasionally in his
stride. Still he struggled on. The blood began to
trickle from his nostrils, then it gushed from his
mouth in a red stream.

He had now arrived within a mile of the river,
when, to his horror, he heard distinctly the sound of
footsteps behind him. Looking over his shoulder,
he saw the leading Indian within twenty yards of
him. His spear was upraised to strike the fatal
blow, when Colter suddenly stopped, wheeled round,
and stretched out his arms. Surprised by this
sudden movement, the red-skin attempted to throw
his weapon, but, exhausted with running, he fell to
the ground, breaking the spear in his fall. Colter
instantly snatched up the serviceable part, and
pinned his foe to the ground.

On again he went; but his pace was slower now,
for his torn and blistered feet caused him intense
pain. Presently a hideous yell sounded across the
prairie, and the trapper knew that the foremost of
his pursuers had come upon his fallen comrade.
He also knew that the red-skin would wait till the
A RACE FOR LIFE 125

main body came up, and there would thus be a
slight delay. Every moment of this time Colter
turned to good account, and just as a chorus of
shrieks informed him that the pursuit had been
resumed, he reached the river, into which he
plunged.

In the middle of the stream lay an island,
against the upper part of which a quantity of
driftwood had lodged, and formed a natural raft.
Towards this he swam, and, diving under the raft,
succeeded, after several attempts, in getting his head
above water among the trunks of the trees, and
completely hidden from view by the branches.
Scarcely had he drawn breath when the Indians
reached the bank. Hither and thither they ran,
seeking for him in every direction. The raft was
also visited, and several of them passed so near the
trapper’s hiding-place that he could hear their
breathing. At length they abandoned the search,
thinking that he had been drowned.

Afraid to move, however, Colter spent the day
in the water, then at dark he dived under the raft,
and swam down the river for some distance till he
thought he was well out of the way of his enemies.
His situation was indeed terrible’ He was com-
pletely naked, under a burning sun. He had no
means of supplying himself with food, and his feet
were lacerated with the thorns of the. prickly pear.
Notwithstanding all these difficulties, he pushed on
126 STORIES OF THE FAR WEST

with indomitable courage, and in seven days, during
which he kept himself alive with roots and herbs,
he reached a trading-post on the Yellowstone
River, after an experience such as few men but an
American hunter could have endured and survived.
CHAPTER XIV.

A FREE MAN OF TUE FOREST.

MONG the names foremost in the
story of American border warfare is
that of Lewis Wetzel. Accustomed
from boyhood to undergo hardships,
and familiar with all the varieties
of forest adventure, from that of



hunting the beaver and the bear to
that of contending with the cunning
Indian, he became one of the most celebrated marks-
men of the day. His form was erect and very
muscular, and showed him to be possessed of great
bodily strength. From constant exercise he could
without fatigue bear prolonged and violent exertion ;
and he had by practice learned to load his rifle when
running at full speed through the forest; and,
suddenly turning round, he could discharge it with
unerring aim, at the distance of eighty or a hundred
yards, into a mark not larger than a shilling.
Wetzel’s fame spread throughout the region; but

none ventured to question his supremacy. One day,
127
128 STORIES OF THE FAR WEST

however, a young man, living on Dankard’s Creek,
decided to challenge the champion to a trial of skill.
Wetzel was at that time living about twenty miles
distant, but this presented no obstacle to the
ambitious young settler, who, calling his favourite
dog and shouldering his gun, set off. He had not
gone far when a fine buck sprang up before him.
With the quickness born of practice, he levelled his
gun and fired; but, to his astonishment, the animal,
though badly wounded, did not fall. His dog soon
seized the buck and brought him to the ground.
Suddenly another dog sprang from the thicket upon
the same deer, and his master, making his appearance
at the same time from behind a tree, with a loud
voice claimed the buck as his, because he had been
wounded by his shot. Both had fired at the same
instant, and the question now to be decided was, to
whom the animal belonged.

The dogs felt the same spirit of rivalry as their
masters, and, quitting the carcase, began to worry
one another. In separating the combatants, the
strange hunter accidentally struck the young man’s
dog. The old adage, “ Strike my dog, strike myself,”
arose in full force, and without a word he fell upon
the hunter, and hurled him to the ground. This
was no sooner done than he found himself turned,
and under his more powerful antagonist. Finding
that he was likely to get the worst of the encounter,
the young man appealed to the trial by rifles, saying
A FREE MAN OF THE FOREST 129

it was too much like dogs for men and hunters to
fight in this way.

The stranger agreed, but said that, before they went
any further, he would like to show him what he could
do with the rifle, adding that he thought he was as
much superior with the weapon as he had already
proved in strength. Making a mark about the size
of a shilling on the trunk of a huge poplar that stood
near, he told the settler that he would start from that
point with his rifle unloaded, and, running a hundred
yards at full speed, would load as he ran, and, wheel-
ing round, would discharge it instantly to the centre
of the mark.

In amazement the settler watched the stranger
while he carried out the conditions he had imposed
on himself. Almost immediately the report of a
rifle rang through the forest, and when the tree was
examined, a bullet was found right in the centre of
the diminutive target.

Anxious to know who this distinguished marks-
man was, the settler asked him his name.

“Lewis Wetzel, at your service,” the hunter replied.

This indeed was the man whom he had set out to
seek with the intention of putting his reported skill
to the test, and, overcome with a natural sense of his
presumption, he acknowledged his inferiority, and
begged the hunter to return with him to Dankard’s
Creek, that he might exhibit his prowess to the
hardy backwoodsmen in that neighbourhood.

9
130 STORIES OF THE FAR WEST

Pleased with the pluck of his new acquaintance,
Wetzel agreed to his proposal, and they set out. As
they went along, the champion told many tales of his
wanderings, and of his adventures with the Indians.
Among other things, Wetzel stated that long experience
had enabled him to distinguish the footprints of a
white man from those of an Indian, even if both were
alike moccasined, and though the tracks of the
former were intermixed with the tracks of savages.
He had acquired this useful knowledge from closely
observing the manner of placing the feet. The
Indian steps with his feet in parallel lines and first
putting his toe to the ground, whilst the white man
usually places his feet at an angle with the line of
march. This knowledge was soon put to the test in
a way which they little expected.

On reaching the young man’s home in the after-
noon, they found the dwelling a smoking ruin, and
all the family lying dead, with the exception of a
girl who had been brought up in the house. An
examination of the footmarks showed that she had
been taken away alive. What was to be done?
Wetzel soon discovered that the party consisted of
three Indians and an outlawed white man, one of
those miserable creatures who at that time frequently
joined the savages for the sake of revenge, or to
escape the consequences of crime. As there were
only four to contend with, Wetzel and his companion
decided to push on at once. It was evident that
















































































































































































A FOREST SKIRMISH.

BACKWOODSMEN REPELLING AN ATTACK BY INDIANS.
131 oo
A FREE MAN OF THE FOREST 133

the outrage had been recently perpetrated, and the
pursuers hoped to overtake the enemy before
nightfall.

With untiring energy the two men followed the
trail—the one anxious to recover the girl, the other
eager to assist his new friend, and avenge the murder
of his countrymen. At length, just as darkness was
coming on, they traced the fugitives to a noted war-
path, by the side of a river emptying into the Ohio,
and, much to their disappointment, they found that
the Indians had crossed the stream by forming a raft
of logs and brushwood. A careful look-out was kept
by Wetzel, who soon discovered the fire of the Indian
camp in a slight hollow, a short distance from the
river.

Afraid to construct a raft lest the noise should
alarm the Indians, and give notice of the pursuit,
tho two hardy adventurers determined to swim the
stream. Undressing, they fastened their clothes and
ammunition in bundles on the top of their heads,
and, with rifles slung across their shoulders, they let
themselves silently into the water, and reached the
opposite shore in safety. After carefully examining
their weapons, they crawled to a point from which
they were able unseen to watch the movements of
the enemy, who, thinking themselves safe from pursuit,
were carelessly lying round the fire. The captive
was seated by herself, and weeping bitterly.

The settler, hardly able to restrain his anger and
134 STORIES OF THE FAR WEST

impatience, would have rushed instantly upon them ;
but Wetzel, more experienced and cautious, told him
to wait until daylight, when they would be better
able to attack with a chance of success. “ For,” said
he, “if we attack in the dark, some of the rutfians
will be sure to escape.” Throughout the night Wetzel
and his companion kept watch over the Indians, lest
they should slip away unpunished.

As soon as daylight dawned, the red-skins arose and
prepared to depart. Now or never was the time to
strike a blow for the life and liberty of the captive.
Raising their rifles, the hunters fired, and an Indian
and the white man fell dead. The young man rushed
forward to the girl, while Wetzel loaded his rifle and
went in pursuit of the remaining Indians, who had
fled to the woods on the first discharge, until they
could ascertain the number of their assailants.
Fearing that they might escape, Wetzel fired his rifle
at random, in order to draw them from their hiding-
place. His manceuvre was successful, for the Indians
seeing him, as they thought, at their mercy, rushed
upon him before he had time to reload.

The hunter turned and fled, closely pursued by
the red men. When he had loaded his rifle he
wheeled about and fired, and the foremost Indian
fell. Undaunted, his companion continued the
pursuit. Wetzel led him on, dodging from tree to
tree, until his rifle was again ready, when he
suddenly turned, and the Indian shared the fate
A FREE MAN OF THE FOREST 135

of his comrades. He then went back to the camp,
where his friend and the girl awaited him, and they
set out for the settlement, which they reached in
safety.

Like other frontiermen, Wetzel could not endure
the near presence of neighbours, and he always
retreated westward before the advance of civilisation.
He died as he had always lived, a free man of the
forest.
CHAPTER XV.

A BRAVE BOY,

URING the terrible floods which
devastated this valley of the
Missouri in 1881, many acts of
bravery were performed; but by
far the most conspicuous was that
of a lad of fifteen, named Henry



Wilson, whose father owned a
farm on the western side of the Missouri. One day
the settler and his wife left home, leaving Henry
and his two little sisters, Ada and Jennie, in charge
of a farm-labourer named Rudolph. As soon as the
work of the day was over, Rudolph set out to visit
some friends a few miles away, promising to be back
at ten o’clock.

It was not the first time that the children had
been left alone in the evening, so they at once settled
down to enjoy themselves, without a thought of fear.
Playing games and telling stories whiled away the
time till nine o’clock, when they went to bed.

Early next morning, Henry awoke and called

130
A BRAVE BOY 137

Rudolph, as was his father’s custom. Receiving no
answer, he thought the man must be outside attending
to the cattle, and went back to his bedroom to dress.
As he was putting on his clothes, he noticed, for the
first time, that the river seemed to be making an
unusual noise. Looking out of the window, he saw
a sight that filled him with alarm. All around, as
far as the eye could reach, was water—a_ black,
swollen, hoarsely roaring torrent, bearing along in
its furious course trunks of trees, cattle, and masses
of ice. The doorstep was already under water, and
he knew that the foundations of the house would
soon be undermined. In an agony of fear, he shouted
“Rudolph” again and again ; but there was no reply.
His cries had, however, wakened the girls, who clung
to him crying and sobbing. He soothed them
as best he could, and, leaving them to dress, he
went downstairs to see how high the water had
risen,

To his alarm, he found that the kitchen floor was
already covered, and that the water was rising fast.
Then his courage almost deserted him, and he stood
for some minutes as if in a dream, but the crash of
a huge mass of ice against the door warned him that
there was no time to lose. Something must be
done to save his sisters, and that without delay.
Suddenly he remembered that near the door stood
an old elm tree, with great outstretching branches,
one of which extended across a corner of the kitchen
138 STORIES OF THE FAR WEST

roof, which was flat, and nearly on a level with the
second storey windows. Many a time had he
climbed the tree: but how about the two girls?
They might grow dizzy and fall into the rushing
waters. beneath! In another moment he had
decided on a plan.

Wading through the water on the kitchen floor,
he went into the woodshed, where he obtained a
coil of rope, an old door, and some loose boards.
Carrying these upstairs, he laid them on the kitchen
roof, and then tried to cheer the girls by telling
them his plans, adding, “What you have got to do
is to bustle about and find something to eat up
there.”

His sisters, encouraged by his hopeful manner, set
to work, and helped him to carry out some bread
and meat and several pairs of blankets. Then
Henry bound the clothes-line about his waist,
crawled out along the branch to the trunk of the
tree, and climbed up till he reached a height of
about twenty feet above the rushing waters. Select-
ing a suitable spot where two stout branches
forked out close beside each other, he lowered one
end of the rope to his sisters, for the old door
and boards. Before climbing up, he had told them
what to do; and with astonishing quickness they
now followed his directions. In a very short time,
the boards, the door, and the rope were hoisted
up, and securely fastened to the branches. In
A BRAVE BOY 139

this way a small platform about six feet square
was formed, large enough for all three to lie
down on.

It did not take long to draw up the food and
blankets; but the harder and more perilous task of
hoisting the little girls to the elevated platform was
still to be performed. Taking the longest and
strongest rope, he looped it in the middle over a
branch. Then, letting the two ends fall to the roof,
he descended, and tied an end firmly round the
waists of Ada and Jennie. To climb back to the
platform was but the work of a moment. Grasping
the rope tightly in both hands, he pulled with all his
might, and soon Ada was out of danger. Jennie
was even heavier than her sister, though not so
old; but there were now two to help with the
pulling, and in another minute she was safe on
the platform.

Meanwhile the wild rushing waters were steadily
rising, and had nearly reached the kitchen window-
sills. Huge masses of ice went whirling past,
occasionally striking against the elm, making it
quiver. Great logs of driftwood went crashing
through the windows of the house with a force that
made the timbers crack. The little girls trembled
with fear. Here and there the heads of some of the
cattle were seen above water, and the piteous lowing
of the poor animals heightened the horror of the
situation.
140 STORIES OF THE FAR WEST

Henry comforted his sisters as best he could, but
his spirits were sinking, and he felt that unless he
did something he would break down. He busied
himself in arranging and re-arranging their little
stock of provisions, till the feeling had worn off.
Then he began to consider if it was not possible to
save some of the furniture; but the house was by
this time shattered and rocking, and he wisely
decided that anything he might save was not worth
the risk. Fearing that the girls might slip off the
frail platform, he tied them securely to the tree,
leaving the rope slack enough to allow them to
move about.

Thus the weary hours wore on. The waters
crept higher and higher, till at noon the windows
were covered. At last the pangs of hunger
made themselves felt, and the children ate a
hearty meal, in spite of their dangerous and
almost desperate situation. During the afternoon
they thought they heard shouting in the distance,
and strained their eyes in the hope of seeing a
boat coming to their rescue. Nothing was visible
save the foaming torrent, and the sounds died
quickly away.

The night closed in cold and dark, and the little
girls cried themselves to sleep, with their heads
pillowed on their brother’s knees. Presently there
was a crash, louder than any before. The founda-
tions of the house were giving way; and as he_
A BRAVE BOY I4I

looked down he saw the whole building vanish amid
the mad waters, as if made of snow. Throughout
the weary hours of that long night the brave boy
kept watch over his sisters, never once closing his
eyes in sleep, praying for deliverance and hoping
against hope.

When at last day dawned there was nota familiar
landmark to be seen, save the trees; and many of
the smallest of these had been broken down by
masses of ice. Shortly after daybreak shouts were
heard higher up the river, and, on looking in the
direction of the sound, Henry saw a boat pulling -
cautiously towards them.

The neighbours had seen them on the previous
day, and had worked for many hours in a vain
endeavour to send a boat to their rescue. Being
unable to do so on account of the swiftness
of the current, and the floating wreckage, they had
raised a shout to let the children know that help
would be sent. This was the cry the children
had heard faintly across the waste of waters. In
the morning the neighbours were early astir, and
saw, to their great joy, that the little ones were still
safe on the platform. Five brave men led by
Rudolph put off, and carefully piloted their
boat to the tree. Cold and hungry, but safe
and happy, the gallant boy and his sisters were
taken on board, and reached firm ground without
mishap.
142 STORIES OF THE FAR WEST

When Mr. and Mrs. Wilson returned that
evening, they found their children settled in
the house of a kind neighbour, safe and well,
and none the worse for their perilous roost in the
tree-top.
CHAPTER XVI.

BUFFALO BILL.

is well known in this. country in
connection with the “Wild West
Show,” which a few years ago was
one of the sights of London.
Never before had such a spectacle



been witnessed in a_ civilised
country. It was a sufficiently faithful representa-
tion of life in the Far West, and the astonished and
admiring spectators were introduced to hunters, cow-
boys, scouts, and Indians in all the pomp of war-
paint and feathers. Then was heard the fierce war-
whoop which had often struck dismay into the heart
of the hardy settler and the adventurous pioneer.
Hunting scenes, Indian fights, and the marvellous
feats of horsemanship for which the American cow-
boy is so justly famed, passed before the spectator in
rapid and realistic succession.

Cody, or, as he is more commonly called, Buffalo

Bill, was born in the State of Iowa in 1843. At
143
144 STORIES OF THE FAR WEST

that time the country west of the Mississippi was a
happy hunting-ground for the Indians, and abounded
with game. Almost from childhood young Cody
was used to shooting and riding, and before he was
eighteen years old he had earned for himself the
name by which he is now known. It happened in
this way. He was engaged as an assistant-driver of
a waggon train, and one day, after the camp had
been pitched, he went out hunting. Having shot an
antelope, he dismounted to. cut it up, when his horse
suddenly started off and bounded over the prairie.
Looking round to discover the cause of the animal's
flight, he saw a large herd of buffaloes coming rapidly
towards him. Without loss of time he climbed the
nearest tree, to be out of the way. But from this
elevated position he saw, to his horror and dismay,
a party of Indians in pursuit of the flying bulls.
The buffaloes were making straight for the tree,
and the Indians would therefore be sure to discover
him.

Rather than fall into the hands of the red men, he
determined to take advantage of the only means of
escape which lay open to him. Slinging his rifle
over his shoulder, he dropped on the back of a huge
bull as the herd passed under the tree. Mad with
fear, the animal dashed forward, making vain
endeavours to rid itself of the unusual burden, but
Cody sat immovable. The buffaloes made straight
for the camp where the riderless horse had already
BUFFALO BILL 145

arrived. Cody’s buffalo had by this time become
exhausted, and was lagging some distance behind
the others. Before it could get away, a shot from
one of the men’s rifles brought it to the ground, and
ended Cody’s novel ride. From that day the daring
youth was known as Buffalo Bill, and a few years
later he vindicated. his claim to the title, when, in
contest with another hunter, he killed sixty-nine
buffaloes in eight hours, while his opponent only
managed to bag forty-six.

Before the construction of the railway which now
crosses North America from the Atlantic to the
Pacific, news was conveyed across the continent by
the pony express. Previous to 1860 there were
no means of communication, but in that year a
regular mail service was established. Along the
line of route stations were built at convenient
distances, and the Company undertook to carry letters
from ocean to ccean in fourteen days. Six hundred
ponies or small serviceable horses were bought, and
the best of riders were chosen from among the
trappers and scouts—brave men familiar with the
wild life of the plains, and capable of great physical
exertion.

An express messenger left once a week from each
side of the continent. When a pony had completed
its stage, the rider in readiness, and without dis-
mounting, tossed his bag to another waiting, threw

himself on the back of the fresh animal, and galloped
Io
146 STORIES OF THE FAR WEST

on to the next station." When a rider had finished
his stage, the mail-bags were handed over to another
who was waiting to receive them. Thus night and
day the mails were kept in motion for eight days,
during which they travelled a distance of nearly
two thousand miles.

The riders were constantly overcome by fatigue
and exposure to the extremes of heat and cold,
besides the dangers from Indian attacks and robbers,
who lay in ambush, shot the riders, and carried off
the mails for the sake of any money which the
letters might contain.

Buffalo Bill, ever ready for adventure and danger,
offered his services as a pony express rider, and
was accepted. While engaged in this work he had
many notable adventures, but he always managed to
reach his destination in safety, and up to time.

One day when Bill arrived at the end of his stage,
he found that the man who should have taken on
the mails had been killed, and there was no one to
finish the journey. He had already ridden seventy-
five miles, but this did not hinder him offering to
carry the letters to the next stage, eighty-five miles
away. His offer was accepted, and away he went on
a fresh horse, and accomplished the journey in less
than the time allowed. Without stopping to rest,
he turned back and made for his own station, which
he reached in time, having covered three hundred

1 See the small illustration on title-page of the volume.


“TUE INDIAN FELL, AND TIIE HORSE GALLOPED ON.”
147

BUFFALO BILL 149

and twenty-two miles without rest, at an average
speed of fifteen miles an hour. For this extra-
ordinary feat the Company awarded him a purse of
gold, and his admiring comrades conferred on him the
title of the “ Boss Pony Rider.”

A few months later Bill was pursued by a band
of Indians, who sprang out on him from an ambush.
For several miles the race was kept up, neither side
gaining any advantage. Presently he saw that two
Indians, superbly mounted, had left the main body
and were rapidly overtaking him. His pony was
showing signs of exhaustion, and he knew that it
was impossible to escape. He therefore decided to
settle “the trouble” at once. Pulling suddenly up,
he wheeled round and fired at the foremost rider,
whose feathers proclaimed him to be a chief. The
red-skin fell from the saddle dead, and his horse
galloped on, till Bill seized the rein and brought the
animal to a standstill.

He quickly dismounted, and was in the act of
changing his saddle, to which the mail-bags were
attached, from his own to the Indian’s horse, when
the second warrior rode up, and knocked off his hat
with a bullet. Having two horses to look after, the
rider had quite enough to do, and before he could
draw his revolver his enemy fired a second shot,
which killed the pony. Cody returned the fire, and
the Indian fell. Cutting the girths from the dead
pony, he sprang to the horse and rode away as the
150 STORIES OF THE FAR WEST

whole band came galloping on the scene. He soon
left his pursuers far behind, and arrived safely at
the end of his stage ahead of time.

Once the rider was stopped by a gang of robbers,
who ordered him to deliver up his bags. In reply
he shot the leader in the arm, and escaped. Know-
ing that they would keep a watch for him, he went
by a different route, and after a time he was no
longer seen on the road. None of the other riders
cared to take this stage, and it seemed as if there
would be a break in the continuity of the messengers,
when one of the horse-keepers came forward and
said that his daughter would ride the stage till a
man could be found.

She was of course stopped, but the highwayman,
in consideration of her sex, not only allowed her to
pass, but promised her that none of his band should
molest her. Every night he met the girl pony-rider
and accompanied her to the end of her stage, taking
care, however, to keep out of sight of the post-houses.
At length, one night, as they galloped along, he asked
her to be his wife, and she, with becoming maidenly
modesty, assented. He begged her to name the
happy day, and she suggested that the following
night would be very convenient, as she would then
have a large sum of money for the Company’s agent
at the end of her stage. This suited admirably, and
they parted in high hopes.

Next night the highwayman was early at his post,
BUFFALO BILL 151

anxiously waiting the appearance of his bride-elect.
True to her promise, she came; but, before setting
out on the great journey, she asked her lover to
tighten her saddle-girths. He smilingly dismounted ;
but the next moment he felt the cold muzzle of a
revolver pressed against his temple, and heard a
stern voice saying—

“ Hands up, or I blow your brains out!”

At first he was inclined to treat the affair as a
joke, but he soon learnt that it was no laughing
matter. He had to surrender his weapons and
march on to the station before the strange young
woman, who was none other than our friend Buffalo
Bill in a riding-habit. The highwayman was tried
for his long course of crime, and ended his life on
the gallows.

For some months longer Bill continued to carry
the mails without any special adventure. The
Indians at length became bolder, and, not content
with attacking riders, surrounded stations, and by
their bloodthirsty conduct frightened all but the
most daring off the road. Bill, however, though
often pursued, escaped without even a scratch, as
though he bore a charmed life.

One day he saw the stage-coach tearing along at
full speed, but, to his surprise, no driver was on the
box. Thinking that something must be wrong, he
gave chase. At that moment about a dozen Indians
darted out of a ravine through which he had just
152 STORIES OF THE FAR WEST

passed. The coach was now in the open plain, and
Bill saw that there were three Indians in close
pursuit. Perilous as his position was, the rider
never flinched fora moment. Putting spurs to his
horse, he soon came within range, and fired. Down
dropped the pony of one of the red men, and its
rider, stunned by the fall, lay motionless. A second
shot put his companions to flight, and Bill dashed
up to the side of the coach.

There on the box lay the driver. dead, but. still
grasping the reins. Bill knew that besides passengers
the coach also carried a large quantity of gold be-
longing to the Company. This he determined to
save at any cost. Without stopping the coach
horses, he clambered from his saddle on to the box.
His pony, trained to follow the trail no matter what
happened, ran alongside. Taking up the reins, he
urged the six coach-horses forward at the top of
their speed. The road at this part was very bad,
and the Indians gained ground rapidly, but just as
they were near enough to discharge their arrows, he
plied the whip so briskly, that the animals put their
strength to the load, and rattled along at a break-
neck pace.

From side to side the vehicle swayed as it rushed
down the steep road, threatening to throw out the
passengers, who must have thought that they ran as
much risk of having their necks broken as of losing
their scalps. But Bill managed his horses well, and
BUFFALO BILL 153

in half an hour the coach dashed up to the station
without mishap. For this service the Company
promoted him from the saddle of the pony express
to the box of the overland mail coach.

During the great Indian war in 1868, Bill acted
as a guide and scout. It was at this period that he
performed one of the most famous rides on record,
covering a distance of nearly four hundred miles in
fifty-eight riding hours, through a country infested
with hostile savages.
CHAPTER XVIL

A PLUCKY DEFENCE.

NE morning, a few years ago, a
stockman named George Webber
was riding along the south bank
of the Loup Fork in Western
Nebraska, in search of some
cattle that had strayed from
the ranch. While he was pass-
ing through a thicket, a number



of shots were fired at him by an unseen enemy. He
was struck in several parts of the body, and his
horse was also wounded. Ignorant of the number
and strength of his assailants, he did not dare to
stop, but decided to get out of the neighbourhood as
quickly as possible.

Suddenly nine mounted Indians dashed out in
pursuit. Webber put spurs to his horse, and galloped
in the direction of the ranch of Charles Moss, about
four miles away. For the first mile Webber had no
hope, as the Indians were close enough to use their

revolvers and arrows, and his horse had no great
154
A PLUCKY DEFENCE 155

speed. A score of bullets were fired at him, and
fully twenty arrows whistled past his ears, but the
wound the animal had received, together with the
yells of the red-skins, terrified it to such an extent
that it tore along lke a born racer.

He soon began to widen the distance, and when
he dashed up to the ranche the enemy was fully half
a mile behind. His shouts as he neared the place
gave the alarm, and the wife of the stock-raiser came
out to meet him. To his dismay, she told him that
her husband and his man had gone away an hour
before, and she was alone in the house. Webber
was in a fix. The cabin stood on rising ground
about twenty yards from the river, and could be
approached from any side.

“What arms have you got?” he asked.

“ A Colt’s revolver,” she replied.

“I have a2 Winchester rifle. We must hold ’em
off until assistance comes. Help me off.”

The woman assisted him to alight. Then he
gave his horse a slap and sent it galloping off
up the trail. The first white man who saw the
animal would understand that something was
wrong, and that his assistance was asked for down
the trail.

Meanwhile the Indians came up, and halted out
of range to see what was about to take place. This
gave Webber time to arrange his plan of defence.
Iic knew his pursuers were “bad” Indians, who
156 STORIES OF THE FAR WEST

had skulked off the Reservation, and he was con-
fident that, if he could keep them at bay for an
hour or two, reinforcements would arrive, or the
enemy would retire for fear of their identity being
discovered.

The house was a very rude building, divided into
two rooms. The only point from which the Indians
could approach with shelter to cover them was the
east side, which could be reached by creeping up a
ravine. Webber realised that if the nine charged
together at this point, with only the fire from a
single window directed at them, not more than two
or three could be stopped. If the others reached
the house, there would be a repetition of the deeds
of the early colonial days. He therefore decided to
take up his position outside, without even a tree to
shelter him.

Fearing that perhaps some of the Indians might
approach the house singly from another direction, he
instructed Mrs. Moss to fasten the door securely,
and then to pass from window to window and keep
a bright look-out. With pale face and compressed
lips, and without stopping to question the wisdom of
the wounded man’s plans to save their lives, she
promptly obeyed.

Though the Indians must have known the number
of the garrison, they did not dare to expose them-
selves by making a rush. They started to creep up
the ravine, when Webber saw that they had left their
A PLUCKY DEFENCE 157

ponies within range of his Winchester. He there-
fore opened fire, and shot three before their owners
knew what had happened. Fearing that their
retreat would be cut off, the red-skins went back and
removed the remaining six animals to a place of
safety. As they returned to the ravine, Webber
noticed that three were missing, a fact which he at
once communicated to Mrs. Moss.

For fifteen minutes Webber sat gun in hand, the
blood from his wounds reddening the ground, watch-
ing the ravine with the knowledge that he was one
against six. Then an Indian raised his head above
the bank to see the whereabouts of the stockman.
It was only for an instant, but long enough to enable
Webber to take aim, and the red-skin fell back
dead.

This made the others more careful. Instead of
raising their heads, they rested their rifles on the
bank and fired at random. Thirteen bullets struck
the logs within six feet of where the stockman was
sitting, and several grazed his body. If the firing
was kept up, it was clear that his death was simply a
question of time. ;

Meanwhile the three Indians who had left the
main body were creeping towards the house in
different directions. One of them managed to gain
a point from which he could fire on Webber with-
out exposing himself too much. Nine times he
discharged his weapon, and though his bullets came
158 STORIES OF THE FAR WEST

dangerously near, he did not hit the mark. In
speaking of this part of the conflict, the stockman
afterwards said—

“T knew what he was up to; but I had to trust to
luck. He was not where I could hit him, and if he
happened to hit me, it would have been no worse
than to have been killed by the others in front.
After his first bullet I didn’t even turn my head
that way.

Presently Mrs. Moss came to the window near me,
and said the other two were in sight, and I told her
to open fire with the revolver. She had fired a
pistol only a few times, and I did not count on
anything beyond her giving them something to think
about. It must have been entirely by accident that
at her first fire she wounded one of the scoundrels,
and he at once crawled away to take care of himself.
The other one sent three bullets through a window
at which she was standing, but she kept firing away
at him, and sending so much lead around his ears
that he dared not advance.”

For half an hour a vigorous fusilade was kept
up on both sides of the house. To prevent the
Indians making a rush, Webber kept firing along
the bank, tearing up the turf, and flinging the
earth over the red-skins hiding behind it. Suddenly
the Indians ceased firing and beat a retreat, and
a few minutes later Moss and his man rode up,
having been met on the open prairie by the
A PLUCKY DEFENCE 159

riderless horse. The house and its inmates were
saved.

The bravery of the stockman in taking and
maintaining his position outside, wounded as he was,
and the pluck of the woman in obeying his orders
without flinching, hopeless as the defence must have
appeared to her, is a real deed of derring-do, and
their names are well worthy of a place in the long
list of heroes of the Far West,

PRINTED EY MORRISON AND GIBB LIMITED, EDINBURGH
DZ) 1268)
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