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tion of eight or ten millions of foreign quarters, annually, upon our people a full sixth of the national subsistence, and which will soon become indispensable to their existence. A simple non-intercourse act will alone enable Russia or America, without firing a shot, to compel us to lower the flag of Blake nd Nelson. Stern famine will "guard the solitary coast," and famished multitudes demand national submission as the price of life. The repeal of the Navigation Laws will ere long bring the foreign seamen engaged in carrying on our trade to a superiority over our own, as has already taken place, in so woful a manner, with the Baltic powers. Hostile fleets will moor their ships of the line across our harbours, and throw back our starving multitudes on their own island for food, and their own market for employment. What will then avail our manufactures and our fabrics, the forges of Birmingham, the power-looms of Manchester, the iron-works of Lanarkshire,-if the enemies' squadrons blockade the Thames, the Mersey, and the Clyde,

and famished millions are deprived alike of food and employment, by the suicidal policy of preceding rulers? Our present strength will then be the measure of our weakness; our vast population, as in a beleaguered town, the useless multitude which must be fed, and cannot fight, our wealth,

glittering prize whi will attract the rapacity of the spoiler. With indignant feelings, but caustic truth, our people will then curse the infatuated policy which abandoned the national defences, and handed them over, bound hand and foot, to the enemy, only the more the object of rapacity, because such boundless wealth had accumulated in a few hands amongst them. Then will be seen, that with our own hands, as into the ancient city, we have admitted the enemies' bands; we have drawn the horse pregnant with armed men through our ramparts, and our weeping and dispersed descendants will exclaim, with the Trojans of old,—

"Fuimus Tröes, fuit Ilium et ingens Gloria Teucrorum."

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LA BONTE and his companions proceeded up the river, the Black Hills on their left hand, from which several small creeks or feeders swell the waters of the North Fork. Along these they hunted unsuccessfully for beaver "sign," and it was evident that the spring hunt had almost entirely exterminated the animal from this vicinity. Follow ing Deer Creek to the ridge of the Black Hills, they crossed the mountain on to the waters of the Medicine Bow, and here they discovered a few lodges, and La Bonté set his first trap. He and old Luke finding "cuttings near the camp, followed the "sign" along the bank until the practised eye of the latter discovered a "slide," where the beaver had ascended the bank to chop the trunk of a cotton wood, and convey the bark to its lodge. Taking a trap from "sack," the old hunter after "setting" the "trigger," placed it carefully under the water, where the "slide" entered the stream, securing the chain to the stem of a sappling on the bank; while a stick, also attached to the trap by a thong, floated down the stream, to mark the position of the trap, should the animal carry it away. A little farther on, and near another "run," three traps were set; and over these Luke placed a little stick, which he first dipped into a mysterious-looking phial which contained his

medicine."*

The next morning they visited the traps, and had the satisfaction of find ing three fine beaver secured in the first three they visited, and the fourth,

* A substance obtained from a gland attract that animal to the trap. 9

VOL. LXIV.

VOL. LXIV.

which had been carried away, they discovered by the floatstick, a little distance down the stream, with a large drowned beaver between its teeth.

The animals being carefully skinned, they returned to camp with the choicest portions of the meet, and the tails, on which they most luxuriously supped; and La Bonté was fain to confess that all his ideas of the superexcellence of buffalo were thrown in the shade by the delicious beaver tail, the rich meat of which he was compelled to allow was "great eating," unsurpassed by "tender loin " 66 or boudin," or other meat of whatever kind he had eaten of before.

The country where La Bonté and his companions were trapping, is very curiously situated in the extensive bend of the Platte which encloses the Black Hill range on the north, and which bounds the large expanse of broken tract known as the Laramie Plains, their southern limit being the base of the Medicine Bow Mountains. From the north-western corner of the bend, an inconsiderable range extends to the westward, gradually decreasing in height until they reach an elevated plain, which forms a break in the stupendous chain of the Rocky Mountains, and affords their easy passage, now known as the Great, or South Pass. So gradual is the ascent of this portion of the mountain, that the traveller can scarcely believe that he is crossing the dividing ridge between the waters which flow into the Atlantic and Pacific Oceans, and in a few in the scrotum of the beaver, and used to

minutes can fling a stick into two neighbouring streams, one of which would be carried thousands of miles, which the eastern waters traverse in their course to the Gulf of Mexico, the other, borne a lesser distance, to the Gulf of California.

The country is frequented by the Crows and Snakes, who are at perpetual war with the Shians and Sioux, following them often far down the Platte, where many bloody battles have taken place. The Crows are esteemed friendly to the whites; but when on war expeditions, and hair" their object, it is always dangerous to fall in with Indian war-parties, and particularly in the remote regions of the mountains, where they do not anticipate retaliation.

a Mexican from Taos, one Marcellin, a fine strapping fellow, the best trapper and hunter in the mountains, and ever first in the fight. Here, too, arrived the "Bourgeois" traders of the "North West"* Company, with their superior equipments, ready to meet their trappers, and purchase the beaver at an equitable value; and soon the encampment began to assume a busy appearance when the trade opened.

A curious assemblage did the rendezvous present, and representatives of many a land met there. A son of La belle France here lit his pipe from one proffered by a native of New Mexico. An Englishman and a Sandwich islander cut a quid from the same plug of tobacco. A Swede and an old Virginian" puffed together. A Shawnee blew a peaceful cloud with a scion of the "Six Nations." One from the Land of Cakes—a canny chiel-sought to "get round" (in trade) a right "smart" Yankee, but couldn't shine."

66

Trapping with tolerable success in this vicinity, as soon as the premonitory storms of approaching winter warned them to leave the mountains, they crossed over to the waters of Green River, one of the affluents of the Colorado, intending to winter at a rendezvous to be held in Brown's Hole" an enclosed valley so called, which, abounding in game, and sheltered on every side by lofty mountains, is a favourite wintering-ground of the mountaineers. Here they found several trapping bands already arrived; and a trader from the Uintah country, with a store of powder, lead, and tobacco, prepared to ease them of their hardly earned peltries.

The beaver went briskly, six dollars being the price paid per lb. in goods-for money is seldom given in the mountain market, where " beaver" is cash for which the articles supplied by the traders are bartered. In a very short time peltries of every description had changed hands, either by trade, or gambling with cards and betting. With the mountain men bets decide every question that is raised, even the most trivial; and if the Editor of Bell's Life was to pay one of these rendezvous a winter visit, he would find the broad sheet of his paper hardly capacious enough to answer all the questions which would be referred to decision.

In bands numbering from two to ten, and singly, the trappers dropped into the rendezvous; some with many pack-loads of beaver, others with greater or less quantity, and more than one came in on foot, having lost his Before the winter was over, La animals and peltry by Indian thieving. Bonté had lost all traces of civilized Here were soon congregated many humanity, and might justly claim to mountaineers, whose names are fa- be considered as "hard a case" as mous in the history of the Far West. any of the mountaineers then present. Fitzpatrick and Hatcher, and old Bill Long before the spring opened, he had Williams, with their bands, well-known lost all the produce of his hunt and leaders of trapping parties, soon ar- both his animals, which, however, by rived. Sublette came in with his men a stroke of luck, he recovered, and from Yellow Stone, and many of wisely "held on to" for the future. Wyeth's New Englanders were there. Right glad when spring appeared, Chabonard with his half-breeds. Wah- he started from Brown's Hole, with keitchas all, brought his peltries from four companions, to hunt the Uintah the lower country; and half a-dozen or Snake country, and the affluents Shawanee and Delaware Indians, with of the larger streams which rise in

* The Hudson's Bay Company is so called by the American trappers.

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