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the English have become like a deer in the woods; and you may
your women and children should now cry, you must blame
the other. If you take the bloody path, you shall leave the town in safety, and you may go and join your friends, the English. We will then try, like warriors, who can put the most stumbling blocks in each other's way, and keep each other's clothes longest stained with blood. If on the other hand, you shall take the path of peace, and be received as brothers to the Big Knife with their friends, the French, should you then listen to bad birds that may be flying through the land, you will no longer deserve to be counted as mer, but as creatures with two tongues that ought to be destroyed without listening to anything you might
“As I am convinced you never heard the truth before, I do not wish you to answer before you have taken counsel. We will therefore part this evening, and when the Great Spirit shall bring us together again, let us speak and think with but one heart and one tongue.'
The next day after this speech a new fire was kindled with more than usual ceremony, when the Indian speaker again came forward and said: “They ought to be thankful that the Great Spirit had taken pity on them, and opened their ears and hearts to receive the truth.
I have paid great attention to what the Great Spirit had put into my heart to say to us, as the Big Knife did not speak, like any other people we have heard. We now see that we have been deceived, and that the English had told them lies, and that you have told us the truth; just as some of our old men have always told us. We now believe that you are in the right ; and as the English had forts in their country, they might, if they got strong enough, want to serve them, as they had treated the Big Knife. The Red people ought therefore to help us; we have taken the belt of peace, and spurned that of war; we are determined to hold the former fast, and have no doubt of your friendship,
from the manner of your speaking, so different from that of the English. We will now call in our warriors, and throw the tomahawk into the river, wbere it can never be found. We will suffer do more bad birds to fly through the land disquieting the women and ahildren. We will be careful to smcoth the roads for our brothers, the Big Knife, whenever they may wish to come and see us.”
“Our friends shall hear of the good talk you have given us; and we hope you will send chiefs among us with your own eyes to see yourself that we are men, and strictly adhere to all we have said, at this great fire, which the Great Spirit has kindled at Cahokia, for the good of all people who have attended it.”
The pipe was again kindled and presented to all the spirits as witnesses of the transactions. It was smoked; and the council was concluded by shaking hands among all the parties, both white and red. In this manner, with very little variety, treaties were concluded with many tribes with a dignity and sense of importance in their eyes, little inferior to that felt by our own countrymen at the alliance of their government with the powerful kingdom of France.
These negotiations of Clark at Cahokia, in a short time undermined the British influence through a large portion of these regions. The co-operation of the French inhabitants essentially contributed to these important results ; the Indians implicitly trusted in the representations of their ancient allies, and became thoroughly alarmed by the French accounts of the power of the Americans. Their actual force on the spot was utterly too insignificant, even added to the boasted reinforcement from Kentucky, to have had any such influence. Let the recollection of this ancient partiality of our French fellow-citizens be an additional bond of attachment between the descerdants of fathers who so early bad been friends.
Col. Clark adhered resolutely to a determination of not appearing to court the Indians; he evən affected to apologize for making them the few presents his scanty stores enabled him to confer. He attributed them to the great way they had traveled; and thus having expended their ammunition and worn out their moccasins and leggins. The native tribes were so much alarmed at the high and disdainful spirit of their new neighbor that the conclusion of peace notwithstanding Clark's reserve, and possibly in consequence of it, gave them satisfaction. This state of mind was confirmed by the report of the spies, whom Clark kept among all his new allies
as well as the more doubtful tribes. So well consolidated was his influence under the co-operation of French cordiality, that a single soldier could be sent in safety among the Indians through any part of the Wabash and Illinois country, to the heads of the waters discharging themselves into the lakes and the Mississippi.
Here the British still maintained their ascendency; no doubt as has always been the case by holding the forts through the country. Indeed, many of the tribes were even now divided between them and the Americans. So sudden and extensive a change among the Indians in our favor is mainly attributed to the friendly disposition of the French agents and traders, supported by the stern and commanding deportment of Col. Clark. It required all his tact, united to the French influence, to preserve the firt impression he had made, while at the head of so inadequate a force.
Accordingly the prospect of reinforcement from the Falls of Ohio was constantly held out, and every means adopted to attach our new fellow-citizens to the American government. No fees were exacted by the commanding officers in the weekly courts, which were occupied by the business and disputes of the people: a contract of administration most favorable to American influence, in the poverty and docility of this primitive people. A friendly correspondence with the Spanish government on the opposite side of the Mississippi, and the permission of some trade with agents, even from Canada, all contributed to maintain a controlling influence over the savages.
Treaty between the U. S. and Mexico.--The Mesilla
So little is known respecting the country recently acquired by the United States under the late treaty with Mexico that we conclude a description of that region, in connection with the treaty, will be interesting to our readers.
It is generally conceded, we believe, that the principal motive to the purchase of the Mesilla Valley was the acquisition of a favorable route for a railroad from the Atlantic to the Pacific ocean. We have, therefore, selected from Commissioner Bartlett's personal
narrative such facts as would seem to affect the practicability and profitables of building a railroad through that region.
It will be recollected that the initial point for the commencement of the northern boundary line of Mexico was fixed by commissioners where the parallel of 32° 22' north latitude intersects the middle of the Rio Grande. Thence the line proceeded west to the waters of the Gila. By the late treaty, this line is to commence on the Rio Grande at a point where the parallel of 31° 47' intersects the middle of that river, being 35' or about forty miles further south. This space includes the Mesilla Valley. As the meaning of the name, and the character of this valley is not generally understood, we quote the following, by way of explanation, from Bartlett’s personal narrative:
“Mesilla is the diminutive of the Spanish word mesa, i. e. table, also table-land, or plateau, and is applied to a lesser plateau in the valley of the Rio Grande, beneath that of the great mesa or table-land which extends for several hundred miles in all directions from the Rio Grande. It is situated on the western side of the Rio Grande, about fifty miles above El Paso, in latitude about 32° 18' north, and until the year 1850, it was without an inhabitant.”
In March 1851, it contained between six and seven hundred inhabitants, mostiy Mexicans who removed from the east side of the Rio Grande by reason of the claims set up to their lands by American citizens holding land grants or certificates known as “Texas head-rights." The author says the lands at La Mesilla are precisely of the same character as other bottom lands, on the opposite bank of the river, near Dona Ana and Cruces.
Referring to the value of the bottom lands on the Rio Grande, for agricultural purposes, Mr. Bartlett says:
"A mistaken idea prevails in regard to the great advantage of artificial irrigation over that of natural rains. It is true that where the cultivator can depend upon an ample supply of water at all seasons in the irrigating canals, he possesses an advantage over him who relies exclusively on nature. But the misfortune is that when water is most needed, the supply is the scantiest. In February and March there is always enough for the first irrigation. In April and May the quantity is much diminished; and if the rise expected to take place in the middle of May, fails, there is not enough to irrigate properly all the fields prepared forit. The consequence is, a partial failure of crop. In 1851 many large tracts of land near El Paso, which were planted in the spring, and through which irrigating canals were dug at a great cost, pro
expected to irrigate pro failure of er
duced nothing ;" and the author was told by a gentleman at San Eleazario, twenty-five miles below El Paso, “that the summer of 1852 was the first one in five years when there had been sufficient to irrigate all the lands of that vicinity which had been put under cultivation.” He concludes that “not one tenth part of the fertile bottom land of the Riv Grande can be cultivated, owing to the un. certainty of the supply of water. The Rio Grande receives no tributary for more than four hundred miles, reckoning above and below El Paso; and if there is now found to be not water enough even for the limited district near that town, what is to be done with the vast tract along the river below at a time of scarcity?”
From these facts it is obvious that even the narrow slip of bottom land on the Rio Grande, constituting the Mesilla valley prop. er, is of but very little value for agricultural purposes.
Having emerged from the valley of the Rio Grande and reached the summit of a high table-land, the author says:
"On the west, the broad undulating prairie was only here and there interrupted by low conical-shaped hills. At the south and south-west, detached mountains appeared abruptly springing from the plain, with jagged and picturesque summits, some of which must have been fifteen hundred feet in height. In the clear blue atmosphere of this elevated plateau, every object appeared with great distinctness, so that mountains could be seen at a distance of more than a hundred miles.”
After crossing this barren plateau, at the distance of about seventy-five miles from the Rio Grande, the party reached the Rio Mimbres; "the third stream,” says the author, “we had geen since passing the small water courses which empty into the Colorado, in our journey from San Antonio to El Paso, the Picos and the Rio Grande being the other two. * * * * The bottom for nearly a mile in width was covered with verdure, such as we have not seen since leaving the rich vallies near Fredericksburg; in Texas.”
The Rio Mimbres is described as being a stream from “ten to twenty feet in width, and in some places even less: its waters soft and delightful to the taste. * * * It has never been traced to either of its terminations. It rises in the mountains north-east. of the copper mines, and when full, empties into lake Guzman, about one hundred and thirty miles to the south; but for several months in the year it exists only in pools, or dries up entirely, after reaching the plains. When the surveying party crossed it six weeks later, about fifteen miles lower down, they found it entirely dry.”
The bottom at the place crossed by the party was thickly wood- ed: ash and oak were interspersed among large cotton-wood; wild