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with an iron one, covered with a glove, with which unruly Indians and other disorderly persons were frequently knocked down as if stricken by a thunderbolt. Hence he was supposed by some to possess supernatural power. On his way up the Illinois river La Salle discovered and examined Le Rocher, or the rock on which, two years later, Fort St. Louis was erected. He sent word back to Tonti to occupy it instead of Creve Cœur. Tonti, with three soldiers and Fathers Gabriel and Zenobe, placed the valuables of the fort in two canoes and returned to La Vantum. His force being too small to build or occupy the proposed fort, he accepted the hospitality of the Indians, and awaited the return of La Salle. Tonti applied himself earnestly to the task of learning the Indian language. The two priests preached regularly to the savages, and the two soldiers basked in the smiles of squaws, whom they promptly married. At this time the Illinois Indians claimed all the country between the Wabash and Mississippi from Lake Michigan to the Ohio.
La Vantum was their greatest town, and had at times 8,000 inhabitants, and as many as 20 000 Indians were assembled in that vicinity on extraordinary festive occasions. The Iroquois, or Five Nations, from the Mohawk Valley, in Central and Western New York, and their allies, made raids upon the Illinois, and owing to their earlier use of firearms, obtained from the Dutch and French in New York and Canada, defeated the Illinois in many bloody battles, and carried away vast booty in the shape of furs, pelts, etc. In one of these raids the Iroquois captured 800 prisoners, mostly squaws and papooses, all of whom they burnt at their village on Lake Seneca. A few months after Tonti and his friends had come to La Vantum the Iroquois suddenly appeared in great force.
With great difficulty Tonti and his friends persuaded the Illinois Indians that they were not in league with the Iroquois, and barely escaped massacre in the excitement that ensued. The squaws, children and old men sought safety on a marshy island a few miles down the river.
Chassagoac, the head chief, and many
warriors, were absent at the time of the attack, and only 500 were on hand to defend the town. But these boldly marched out and fiercely assaulted the advancing Iroquois just as they were about to enter the timber along the river. At first the Iroquois were repulsed, but soon rallied, and a bloody battle ensued. At imminent risk, in the midst of the fight, Tonti vainly sought to mediate between the feroci us savages. Several times tomahawks were brandished over his head by bloodthirsty warriors. In the end, the Iroquois being superior in numbers and weapons, drove the Illinois Indians into La Vantum, which they burnt afer killing most of its defenders. The poor women and children on the island were discovered and massacred in cold blood by the victorious Iroquois; many were tied to trees and burnt to death. Tonti and his five white friends were finally released and returned to Creve Cœur in a leaky canoe. On the way down they stopped to repair their canoe. While doing so Father Gabriel retired to the woods for prayer and meditation. There he was captured by two Indians and taken to their camp, where he was tortured by fire at the stake, and finally tomahawked. Thus perished the only hir of a wealthy Burgundian house, who had left riches and comforts of civilized society to preach the gospel to the savage heathen who became his murderers. Such has been the experience of countless other missionaries both in the old and the new world.
In midwinter La Salle, with twelve companions, returned from Canada. They were horrified to find the carcasses of the slaughtered Indians at the town and island, and anxiously sought Tonti and his little band, whom they were rejoiced to find at Peoria Lake.
In the early part of 1682 La Salle descended to the mouth of the Mississippi, and, having erected (April 9, 1682) a rude cross and pillar on the highest point of the adjacent land, took possession of the great river and valley in the name of Louis the XIV, king of France. It was on the strength of this transaction that France claimed possession from the Alleghany to the Rocky Mountains and built a line of forts along the Lakes and along the Ohio river.
Great Britain's resistance to this claim led to the fray between Washington and Jummonville, in West Pennsylvania, and finally to the loss of French dominion in America.
In the fall of 1682, as stated in the former article, La Salle erected Fort St. Louis, on Starved Rock. The Indian town, a few miles below, was restored, and 6,000 Illinois Indians occupied the scene of the horrible massacre of their kindred two years before.
search of La Salle, but failed to find him. Again in 1689 he made a similar expedition, hoping to find a remnant of his followers, and to bring back the bones of his old commander. He made important discoveries, but did not find La Salle or his bones.
The devotion of Tonti to La Salle and his memory would indicate that La Salle was a more magnetic and less selfish and arbitrary man than some of our magazines have recently represented Two years later La Salle left Tonti him. Like De Soto, he was maligned in command while he departed to by those who envied his renown or who France. The French court aided him rebelled against his just authority, and in fitting out an expedition of three were perhaps guilty of his death, when ships, with which he sailed to the Gulf he was engaged in gigantic enterprises of Mexico, to establish a colony at the for the benefit of mankind. mouth of the Mississippi. The project was a failure, and the daring explorer was assassinated by some of his own men while trying to get back to Fort St. Louis on the Illinois.
Tonti managed the colony well for eighteen years, acting honorably to whites and Indians alike.
Immense quantities of furs and pelts were sent East by way of Illinois river, across the Portage through Mud Lake into Chicago river, and thence over the great lakes to Canada, and articles for the Indian trade were brought back in
In 1637 Touti, with fifty French soldiers and two hundred Indian allies, went to Canada, and aided Gen. Denonville in a victorious campaign against the Iroquois Indians along the Mohawk, many of whose towns were destroyed. Tont then returned to Fort St. Louis, taking along back a large body of emigrants from Canada, including many women, the wives and daughters of soldiers and traders at the Fort. A grand ball and dance at the Fort and a dog feast at La Vantum celebrated the return of Tonti and his Indian allies, with their much prized addition to the colony. An air of refinement now pervaded the colony. With great courage and address Tonti prevented a bloody war between the Illinois Indians and their Winnebago neighbors, in the fall of 1688, by proceeding across the prairies to their chief town, near the head of Rock river, and ac ing the part of mediator after the Winnebago war-dance had aleady begun. With twenty soldiers and twenty warriors he made the perilous trip.
Two years after the building of Fort St. Louis (i. e. in 1684) the Iroquoi Indians returned in great force. The Illinois Indians with their families fled down the river in canoes, or across the prairies on ponies. The French settlers collected inside the fort. Finding the town deserted, the Iroquois beseiged the fort which Tonti held with fifty soldiers and a hundred Indian allies. For six days 2,000 Iroquois assailed the little garrison, firing from the adjacent cliffs, but with little effect. Tonti did not reply to their fusilade until, emboldened by their impunity, the savages massed their forces for an assault in the timber at the foot of the accessible side of the hill. When within close range, the cannon and musketry opened on the assailants so destructive a fire that the Iroquois fled in a panic and never again The unscrupulous priest was anxious returned to the country of the Illinois. to secure a large amount of pecuniary aid In 1686 Tonti, at his own expense, (4,000 livres) from Tonti, and deemed descended the river to the Gulf of it expedient to conceal the death of his Mexico, with forty men in canoes, in brother. Hence he represented La Salle
On his return to Fort St. Louis Tonti was surprised and delighted to find Father Cavalier, a Jesuit priest and brother of La Salle, who with five companions, had worked their way up the Mississippi and Jilinois rivers in a leaking canoe, after the assassination of La Salle, in Texas.
as in fine health and spirit, and his colony in prosperous condition, at the mouth of the Mississippi. The following year the fraud became known at Fort St. Louis, and Tonti made the second trip down the river, already referred to, in vain s arch for the bones of La Salle and the remnant of his colony.
For fifteen years after the death of La Salle the trade with the Illinois Indians was carried on by Tonti and his friend La Frost in Canada. In 1702 the Governor of Canada in an arbitrary and unjust wav, by military force, took possession of Fort St. Louis and seized all the stock in trade. By this outrage Tonti was in a measure disgraced and beggared. His own private fortune and the rich results of many years of noble effort were ruthlessly confiscated. He bade farewell to his friends, and amid lamentations and weeping, of whites and Indians, he set out for the lower Mississippi, where he joined D' Iberville and assisted in establishing his colony. For sixteen years he remained in the South until sickness and Spanish invasion destroyed the colony. Broken down in health and expecting soon to die, he longed to return to the loved friends and scenes on the Illinois, that he might die where so long he had been honored and obeyed.
In the latter part of August, 1718, Tonti returned to Fort St. Louis in a canoe rowed by two Indians. He was so changed that his most intimate friends scarcely recognized him. The tall and graceful form was bent with disease, the piercing black eyes were dim, and his raven hair was white. He claimed that he was the rightful commauder, and that La Motte was a usurper, and that he (Tonti) had come back to die. In a few days he took the Sacrament, and gazing upon a gold crucifix, he gave up the lofty spirit that long had made him a dauntless leader. He was buried on the river-bank close to the west end of S.arved Rock. For many years French and Indian voyagers alike would land and show reverence to the hallowed spot where reposed the mortal remains of Tonti.
Things went badly after Tonti's unjust ejection from command. The officers and traders vied in defrauding the Indians and in corrupting their squaws.
Immorality and riotous living went hand in hand with fraud and peculation, until even the stolid savages could stand it no longer. Not many weeks after Tonti had breathed his last the garrison was surprised after a night of revelry and debauchery. Fort St. Louis was destroyed by indignant Indians, under the head chief Jero, from La Vantum; the colony was broken up. Some of the settlers returned to Canada, and others located at Peoria Lake, Cahokia, etc.
Thus it is and always shall be. Righteousness exalts nations, families and individuals, but sin is the reproach and ruin of all who indulge in it. Ingratitude, wrong and outrage have been the portion meted out to many of the world's benefactors, and especially to American discoverers, explorers and pioneers, from the days of the great Columbus down. And much of this wrong has been done under the garb of law in church and state.
But another article is needed to finish the tragic and romantic history of La Vantum and Starved Rock, where at length the powerful tribe or nati n of Illinois Indians was exterminated in expiation of the assassination of the great Pontiac, whose name was once a terror from the Mississippi to the Atlantic. Before closing I must acknowledge my great indebtedness to the work of N. Matson on the "French and Indians of the Illinois River," in the preparation of these articles. The copy of his instructive and valuable book, presented to me by the author, seven years ago, I have re-read with special interest. As a help and inspiration to the proposed bi-centennial celebration of the settlement of the Great Mississippi Valley, the story deserves to be extensively circulated.
SUPPOSE the pastor, every few Sabbaths, should fail to appear in his pulpit at the hour of service, with no substitute and no notification of his absence, leaving the elders to hold some kind of a meeting or send the people away-how long could such a pastor retain his place? Teachers who stay away from their classes and make no provision for them, can work out the meaning of this paragraph.- Westminster Teacher.
THE RAIN CONGRESS.
(From the German of Chamisso.*)
BY THE EDITOR.
I cannot vouch for this, though 'tis no mystery, I give it as I found it in a book; 'Twas written in a Transylvanian history—
And thence I bodily the story took.
As thongh the harvest's joy would change to weeping;
As though the crops, upon the fields remaining, Would soon be spoiled, and not deserve their keeping.
Then from the people rose a loud complaining;
At once they called a congress to decide What must be done to stop this ceaseless raining.
The delegates from all the country hied,
The congress met, and by their laws' provision
And then the marshal said: "Now speak, I pray,
If any one can offer a suggestion,
The subject seemed too heavy for digestion,
A serious matter, as your lordship knows;
This is no time for idle hesitation;
The time has come for action-now or never !
I pray you wait no longer-give us light!
In words expressive of determination,
Accept the counsel of an aged man;
The vote was taken then by acclamation;
The congress was concluded; and, indeed, There's many a one that led to conflicts gory (Of which such full accounts we often read
With praise rehearsed in ancient song and story,)
Has done far less, I'm very sure, to render
There was a feast it was but right to tender A banquet to the men who stopped the rain; For on their homeward way, with dazzling splendor
The sun burst forth, and dried the golden grain.
*NOTE.-Adalbert von Chamisso (born 1781-died 1838), was a French nobleman, who, with his parents,
found a refuge in Germany during the Reign of
Terror. He became a celebrated German poet, German language with fluency. The above po m though it is said he never learned to speak the is an example of his keen and kindly satire, directed, as it is, against a class of men who assume to be wiser than Providence, and thereby prove their own stupidity.
CATCHING WILD PIGEONS.
BY REV. ELI KELLER.
CHAPTER III. The Execution. "The great time for catching pigeons with the net," said Uncle Ned, was in the fall of the year-during October, and even November. In spring time they came in large flocks, and by their coming_announced that summer was near. They were hailed with shouts of -Pigeons! Pigeons!' This greeting, as they passed, sounded loud and long, almost from every hill side, and echoed out from the valleys. Unless they were very hungry their flight was high, and their little eyes seemed to peer upward and onward, rather than downward. The work of the summer was before them, and so quickly did they come from the far south, that it was no strange thing to find in their craws grains of rice still undigested. Besides this, even when they did come to the ground, they were very shy, and hard to take.'
"Here and there in large woods they settled down and went to nest building. Indeed, it was surprising to see how soon these wanderers took to a settled life," how speedily their simple nests were built, eggs laid and hatched, and even the young reared-two in each nest.
"In those days the wild pigeons were held in such respect, and even esteem, I may say, that they were rarely disturbed whilst raising their young. No special laws favored them, nor indeed were they in need of such protection.
"But in the fall of the year, when the young were even larger and of better parts than the old, was the grand time to take them with the net.
"Soon after the break of day and long before sunrise, we were out and ready for the fray. In the morning they were hungry, and it was at times no difficult task in a few hours to take even dozens of them. Up in that field, on the hill and right back of the corner of the woods was the place where our hut was usually found. From that spot we could look up and down the valley, a distance of many miles, and the pigeons seemed to take to it instinctively. Many a bright fall morning did we stand up there, mostly with uncovered heads, and
enjoy not only the refreshing air but the grand sight afforded us. These valleys were still shaded, and here and there along the springs and streamlets long and narrow belts of mi-t rose heavenward. Then the mighty sun as 'king of day' appeared crowned with majesty and glory. His bright, warm rays so speedily scattered the shades as well as the mist that not a trace of either could be found in the heavens.
"The process of catching was indeed very simple. When a coming flock was within a distance of several hundred yards, the 'fliers' were sent up. Then the stool-pigeon was 'played,'-at first as high as the stool allowed, then lower, and still lower, until the first coming pigeons were almost down to it. As soon as a flock was attracted, they lowered their heads, threw backward their wings and came in a graceful circle to alight. If they suspected danger they repeated the circles, and if they came near enough to the ground and were flying towards the spring of the net, the skilful catcher, for fear of their final escape, took them at times on the wing.'
"All being right, they came down thick and fast-one flock often attracting another. The catcher, as soon as the pigeons arrive on the bed,' drops the string of the stool-pigeon, lays both bands, with the bracing of his muscles. on the long rope, and with a mighty pull springs the net.' At this, all hands' rush forth and go to work. Every captured pigeon has the back part of its head quickly crushed in with the thumb
a little flutter, a quiver. and its pigeon life is gone. The beauty of it is, that in catching them thus scarcely a feather on their little backs is harmed. The bloodless butchery being done, the net is raised and re-set; the dead pigeons carried into the hut; the stray feathers carefully picked up; the fliers brought in.
Very soon all is ready for another haul-big or little, as the case may be.
"Boys," said Uncle Ned, with a sigh, "did you ever see wild pigeons?" "Yes," said they, "we did once, in market. They were brought in from the far west, and sold at high figures." "Father said," added Jeff," if he had known that they were as good yet, as they used to be long ago, he would have bought some, cust what they might."