From The Uncivilized Races of Men in All Countries of the World,
By Rev. J. G. Wood
In Two Volumes, Vol. II
Hartford: J. B. Burr and Hyde, Publishers, 1872

Mandan Chief and His Wife
Crow Chief
American Indians Scalping
Camanchees Riding
Smoking Horses
Bison Hunting
Buffalo Dance
Mandan Ordeal of Suspension
The Last Race
Indian Ball Play
Medicine Man at Work
Three Indians
Dance to the Medicine of the Brave
The Snow Shoe Dance

From Chapter 139: The North American Indians (continued)

As the object of this work is to present the manners and customs of tribes and races in their primitive state, and not those semi-civilized, it will be enough to merely introduce the names of the Cherokees, Choctaws, Creeks, Chickasaws, Senecas, Delawares, etc. Nor is it necessary to consider those, now extinct, that occupied the country when first settled by white men. For the same general characteristics, now presented, pertain to all the North American races. The Indian tribes are rapidly retreating or vanishing before the steady, irresistible march of civilization, and the growing grandeur of the great Republic in North America. The line, where the echoes of the Indian's yell blends with the shout of the advancing pioneers and the sound of the wood-chopper's axe, is continually moving westward. In a few years we have seen it pass from the Mississippi River, to the base of the Rocky Mountains. The settler's cabin is unceasingly encroaching upon the wigwams of the Red Men. With sadness, having smoothed the graves of their fathers, and taken a last look of their hunting grounds, they retreat before a power which they vainly strive to resist. Pressed backward in two centuries and a half, across three-quarters of the continent, from Massachusetts Bay almost to the Pacific, except a few decaying remnants of tribes, their history and doom cannot but awaken sympathy for an unfortunate and overpowered race.

Even though we do not form our estimate of the Indian from the romantic creations of Cooper, every right-thinking person will accord them the tribute of many qualities that constitute a real grandeur of character. Their marvellous bravery, their ardent rage, their steadfast, fiery enthusiasm in the fight or in the chase, their manly sports, their grave, philosophic demeanor in the council, their stern, stoical endurance in misfortune, their disdain of death, are traits that have given to the Indian a character unique and noble, a character and history that the annalist, poet, and novelist have transferred to their immortal pages, and over which multitudes of old and young alike have bent with eager, breathless interest. As Mr. Mangin in his "Desert World" says: --"There was poetry in their faith, in their customs, in their language, at once laconic and picturesque--and even in the names they bestowed on each tribe, each chief and warrior, on mountain and river. One can hardly suppress a feeling of regret that so much of wild romance and valor should have been swept from the face of the earth, unless we call to mind the shadow of the picture--the Indian's cruelty, perfidiousness and savage lust. Even then, our humanity revolts from the treatment to which he has been subjected by the white man." Tracked and hunted like wild beasts, driven from their hunting grounds and the territory of their ancestors, imbruted by drink, decimated and dying by epidemics and vices contracted from white men, the poor Indians vainly struggling to avert their doom of extermination have elicited the sympathy and commiseration of the civilized world. The theory advocated in the preceding part of this work . . . in regard to the decay and extinction of savage races, does not forbid regrets that such a people should have suffered so greviously at the hands of the United States Government, by the greed of its agents, the frauds of traders, and the fatal contagion of the vices of a civilized people. What with American rifles and American whiskey, their extinction has been rapid, and their doom certain.

. . . Here we have the secret of many of the barbarities of the Indian tribes. Inflamed and imbruted by the whiskey sold them, their ignorance imposed upon by the greed of traders and even government agents, having little or no chance for securing justice in their real or imagined injuries, there is certainly some extenuation if this wild son of the forest go forth with tomahawk and scalping knife, as the self-appointed avenger of his own and his people's wrongs. This is not the place, if there were room, for a thorough discussion of the wrongs of the Red Men, but I cannot forgo the duty, in treating of the manners, customs and character of tribes so interesting, so noble and superior, by many traits, to most savage races, of recording at the same time, this tribute and testimony. It will unquestionably be the verdict of the future, as coming generations shall study the memorials and character of the North American Indians.*

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