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cannot but say, I should regard him as more deserving of Christian approbation, if he had not one of his fellowcreatures in bondage.
“ With the chiefs who had convened to make out the instructions to be given to their delegation to Washington, I had a little conversation by means of an interpreter. They were less civilized in their exterior. Their ears were slitted, after the Indian manner, and pieces of silver attached to them. Their dress was the hunting shirt, vest, turban, deer-skin leggins, with silk or other garters, and moccasons. Some of them had hats. One of them showed me a pair of silver spurs, made by a native, which were very elegant. The price of them was eleven dollars. They were a true specimen of native ingenuity. The chiefs were all well provided with horses and saddles, and blankets. Their appearance was that of the utmost contentment. They were extremely friendly to each other, and to Mr. H. and myself. More good nature I never saw displayed in any meeting than this. Still they seemed to have no idea whatever of the importance of time. They took the day as it came, and seemed to have neither regret for the past, nor anxiety about the future. Understanding that in eighteen nights from that time, (Indians count by nights,) there would be a large council of Creeks and Cherokees at High Tower, I concluded not to open my great subject till that time, and therefore took my leave of them and returned to Brainerd the same day.
“On the Sabbath, Sept. 28th, I preached in the morning for Mr. Kingsbury, and assisted in the administration of the Lord's supper, as I had also assisted the Friday and Saturday before, in forming articles of faith and a church-covenant for the purpose of constituting the brethren and sisters a Christian church. The scene on the Sabbath was very solemn and interesting. I trust the
foundation was laid for a great church yet to be gathered for the Lord.”
The following paragraphs describe some incidents which occurred at the meeting of the council at High Tower, referred to on a preceding page.
“ The bank of the High Tower river on either side is steep and of difficult ascent and descent. We paused awhile at this river, and doubted our ability to ford it. To a stranger it would have appeared the extreme of rashness. But the Indians are not easily deterred from accomplishing what they undertake. They went forward, and it was not for me to doubt long what I should do. I followed, and although the water was so deep in some places as to reach my portmanteau, we all crossed it in safety. We had not proceeded more than forty rods, before we came to the path leading directly to the council. It was about sunset.
“We tied our horses near us, and purchased a supply of fodder for them. For ourselves, we could obtain nothing. We had taken no food except our breakfast in the morning, and now we must content ourselves with remaining hungry until the next day. We built a fire under the protection of a tree, spread our blankets, and went to rest. During the whole night, we were much disturbed by the whooping and yelling of some Indians in the woods. This was the first night I ever lay out under the canopy of heaven. The Lord made it a comfortable night. I arose in the morning, much refreshed. It was to me a new scene. As I awoke, I could hear the heavy dew dripping from the trees all around me, as they drip after a shower of rain. These dews are very heavy, and the night, particularly towards daylight, is proportionably cool."
At the council on the following day, Mr. Cornelius addressed the assembled Indians.
“ The Indians had generally convened, and I opened my talk with the Cherokees; Mr Hicks, their principal chief, being interpreter. I showed them my credentials, and stated my object. I told them I had come far from the north, to see them on a subject which was of the highest importance to them and to their children; that in doing this, I was not acting as a private man, but had been sent to them by a society of great and good men at the north, who loved them, and wished to do them good; that it was their belief, that in no way could they do them so much good, as by sending wise and good men among them to teach their children, to instruct them in the arts of agriculture and concerning the great Creator, by means of which they might be made happy and useful in this life, and find the path which would lead them to happiness when they die.
“ While I addressed them, they were remarkably attentive. When I had finished my talk, several of the more distinguished among them arose and addressed the council on the subject. I was informed that they cordially approved of the proposal I had made."
Whenever his duties would permit, Mr. Cornelius personally examined all the interesting antiquities and natural scenery, which came within his reach. His powers of observation and his curiosity, were strikingly developed, and strengthened by his religious feelings, as well as by a desire for intellectual gratification. One of the most important means by which he matured his religious principles, was the survey of the works of God. He used to dwell on various scenes of beauty and grandeur which he had witnessed, with expressions of high gratification, and with warm recognition of the glory of the Creator. Called as he was to travel, during almost the whole of the latter periods of his life, one of the sweetest solaces which he experienced was derived from this source.
The following is a description of a very curious relic of departed aboriginal civilization—a western mound-indicating, without much doubt, that the country was once in the possession of men comparatively enlightened and powerful.
“Saturday, Oct. 19, at the High Tower council.—This morning arose, having experienced little or no inconvenience from my second night's lodging on the earth, and soon set out with our company to visit a large and ancient mound on the north side of the High Tower river, about one mile distant. We took breakfast at the place where we supped the night before, and in the same style, and started, eight or nine Indians being in company, to see the mound I have mentioned.
“ The first thing that attracted my attention is a very large ditch, or entrenchment. It is, according to the best judgment I could form, twenty-five, if not thirty feet wide at the top, and from ten to fifteen feet deep. Its form is semicircular, each end of which extended towards the bank of the river. That this ditch was never made by the washing of the river, is evident from the fact that it is not a complete excavation from one end to the other. I had not time to see the whole of it, but I was told that in one or two places, the earth had not been dug away, leaving a passage to the interior. After we had rode perhaps three hundred yards within the entrenchment, we came to the principal mound, which is a stupendous work indeed. At first I could not believe it had ever been thrown up by human strength. I examined closely to ascertain if I could not perceive some traces of rock that should prove it a natural mound, but there is no such indication. The situation seems also to forbid the idea. It stands by the side of a river, upon a strip of flat land, called in this country, river-bottom, upon which, it is not usual to find any hill whatever. The bottoms or low lands possess the richest soil, and always evince it by the luxuriance of every tree and herb which grow upon them. So far as I could judge, the composition of the mound is precisely the same with the soil on the flat. The mound appeared to be circular, but as we approached it, we found it was not strictly so. Three parapets projected from the main body, only one of which formed a continued slope to the top of the mound. This is obviously designed as a passage to the top. It is very steep, but not so much as to prevent a horse from taking me up. I first examined the summit. It is covered with weeds much higher than a man's head, and thus the view is very much obscured. I found it fortified by pickets, which I was told had been done by the Cherokees in their late war with the Creeks, with a view to furnish a place of protection for their wives and children. Having passed from the east to the west side, I obtained a vine of some length, and proceeded to make various admeasurements, which, by subsequent calculation, I found to be as follows. The vine I used was ten yards and five inches in length. This I called
line. From the top of the mound, on the slope which is so steep as to render it difficult to stand, to the base, I measured three lines, equal to thirty-seven yards, six inches, or one hundred and eleven feet and a half. From this I judged that the perpendicular height cannot be far from eighty feet. I next measured the distance around its base ; this, including the base of three projections, I found to be four hundred seventy-one yards and thirteen inches, or one thousand one hundred and fourteen feet.
- The mound is covered with trees of great size, all of which appear as ancient as any on the river-flat. Near