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the beard by the roots from its earliest appear-
ance; and as their faces are therefore smouth, it
has been supposed they were without this cha-
racteristical mark of their sex. I am even of
opinion that, if the Indians were to practise shav-
ing from their youth, many of them would have
as strong beards as Europeans. (Signed)
(True Copy)

Agent of Indian Affairs.
Niagara, April 12, 1784.


The men of the Six Nations have all beards by nature; as have likewise all other Indian nations of North America, which I have seen. The generality pluck out the hairs of the beard by the roots as soon as they begin to appear, and hence they seem to have no beard, or at most only a few straggling hairs, which they have neglected to eradicate. I am, however, of opinion, that if the Indians were to shave, none of them would be without beards, and that some would have very thick ones.

(True Copy)

Schenectady, April 19, 1793.


I brought up in my family at Fiat-Bush, a young Indian of the Montazk nation, who inhabit the East end of Long Island, and having read with

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interest both Buffon's and Jefferson's philosophic chapter on beards, I would not neglect the fair opportunity which offered to determine the dispute of these great men by an appeal to experience. Directly the chin of this Montauk Indian became razorable, I put a razor into his hand, and taught him to shave; inculcating with all my powers of rhetoric how much importance there was annexed by the world to a beard ; that a beard had a kind of mechanical operation upon the mind ; that in the ages of antiquity no man could be a philosopher without one, and that (the fellow had received a pretty liberal education) it was the opinion of Doctor Swift, that the reason Daphne fled from Apollo was because he had no beard.

This mode of reasoning, together with my own example (I am obliged to shave every morning), induced my Indian protegé to encourage a beard ; he at first shared every other day, but in the lapse of a twelvemonth he was obliged to have diurnally recourse to his razor; he has now what may be termed a handsome beard; it is dark, bushy, and repulsive; and before he reaches the age of thirty (he is now cnly twenty-three) he may, I am of opinion, appear with dignity at the Court of the Grand Turk.

(True Copy)

Long Island, June 15, 1795.

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Upon this subject there can be now no more controversy. Facts will ever supersede speculation; and, however the casuist may argue,

truth vindicates itself. The page of Buffon that relates to the beards of the Six Nations, may eternally enforce homage by the dignified march of its periods; for the page of Buffon, whether his subject be the creation of the first man, the Arab wandering in the desert, or the Mohock wanting a beard, is ever found to blaze with magnificence, and sparkle with illustration. But it can bring no conviction to him who submits his book to his reason, and not his reason to his book.

About eight miles from the Occoquan mills is a house of worship, called Powheek Church ; a name it derives from a Run* that flows near its walls. Hither I rode on Sundays and joined the congregation of Parson Wems, a Minister of the Episcopal persuasion, who was cheerful in his mien that he might win men to religion.

A Virginian church-yard on a Sunday, resembles rather a race-ground than a sepulchralground; the ladies come to it in carriages, and the men after dismounting from their horses make them fast to the trees. But the steeples to the Virginian churches were designed not for utility, but ornament ; for the bell is always suspended to a tree a few yards from the church. It is also observable, that the gate to the church-yard is ever carefully locked by the sexton, who retires last; so that had Hervey and Gray been born in America, the Preacher of Peace could not have indulged in his Meditations among the Tombs ; nor the Poet produced the Elegy that has secured him immortality.

* A Run is the American for a Rivulet.

Wonder and ignorance are ever reciprocal. I was, confounded on first entering the churchyard at Rowbeek to hear

Steed threaten steed with high and boastful neigh,

Nor was I less stunned with the rattling of carriage-wheels, the cracking of whips, and the vociferations of the gentlemen to the negroes who accompanied them. But the discourse of Parson Wems calmed every perturbation ; for he preached the great doctrines of salvation, as one who had experienced their power. It was easy to discover that he felt what he said ; and indeed so uniform was his piety, that he might have applied to himself the words of the prophet : “My mouth “ shall be telling of the righteousness and salva" tion of Christ all the day long; for I know no 66 end thereof."

In his youth, Mr. Ņens accompanied some young Americans to London, where he prepared hinself by diligent study for the profession of the church. After being some months in the metropolis, it was remarked by his companions, that he absented himself from their society towards the close of the day; and conjecturing that the motive of his disappearing arose either from the

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heat of lust, or a proneness to liquor, they determined to watch his conduct. His footsteps were traced, and they found him descending into a wretched cellar that augured no good. But their suspicions were soon changed on following him into his subterranean apartment. They found him exhorting to repentance a poor wretch, who was once the gayest of the gay, and flattered by the multitude, but now languishing on a death bed, and deserted by the world. He was reproving him tenderly, privately, and with all due humility ; but holding out to him the consolation of the sacred text, that his sins, red as scarlet, would become by contrition white as snow; and that there was more joy in the angels of heaven over one sinner that repented, than over ninetynine persons whose conduct had been unerring.

Of the congregation at Powbeek church, about cne half was composed of white people, and the other of negroes. Among many of the negroes were to be discovered the most satisfying evidences of sincere piety; an artless simplicity ; passionate aspirations after Christ, and an earnest endeavour to know and do the will of God.

After church I made my salutations to Parson Wems, and having turned the discourse to divine worship, I asked him his opinion of the piety of the Sir,” said he, “ no people in this

country prize the sabbath more seriously than " the trampled-upon negroes. They are swist “to hear ; they seem to hear as for their lives.

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