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Accordingly, on the next morning, he set off on horseback, attended merely by a white man, who had been reared among the Seminoles, and understood their language and manners, and who acted as interpreter. They struck into an Indian 'trail,' leading to Neamathla's village. After proceeding about half a mile, Governor Duval informed the interpreter of the object of his expedition. The latter, though a bold man, paused and remonstrated. The Indians among whom they were going were among the most desperate and discontented of the nation. Many of them were veteran warriors, impoverished and exasperated by defeat, and ready to set their lives at any hazard. He said that if they were holding a war council, it must be with desperate intent, and it would be certain death to intrude among them.
Duval made light of his apprehensions: he said he was perfectly well acquainted with the Indian character, and should certainly proceed. So saying, he rode on. When within half a mile of the village, the interpreter addressed him again, in such a tremulous tone, that Duval turned and looked him in the face. He was deadly pale, and once more urged the governor to return, as they would certainly be massacred if they proceeded.
Duval repeated his determination to go on, but advised the other to return, lest his pale face should betray fear to the Indians, and they might take advantage of it. The interpreter replied that he would rather die a thousand deaths, than have it said he had deserted his leader when in peril.
Duval then told him he must translate faithfully all he should say to the Indians, without softening a word. The interpreter promised faithfully to do so, adding that he well knew, when they were once in the town, nothing but boldness could save them.
They now rode into the village, and advanced to the council-house. This was rather a group of four houses, forming a square, in the centre of which was a great council-fire. The houses were open in front, toward the fire, and closed in the rear. At each corner of the square, there was an interval between the houses, for ingress and egress. In these houses sat the old men and the chiefs; the young men were gathered round the fire. Neamathla presided at the council, elevated on a higher seat than the rest.
Governor Duval entered by one of the corner intervals, and rode boldly into the centre of the square. The young men made way for him; an old man who was speaking, paused in the midst of his harangue. In an instant thirty or forty rifles were cocked and levelled. Never had Duval heard so loud a click of triggers: it seemed to strike on his heart. He gave one glance at the Indians, and turned off with an air of contempt. He did not dare, he says, to look again, lest it might affect his nerves; and on the firmness of his nerves every thing depended.
The chief threw up his arm. The rifles were lowered. Duval breathed more freely: he felt disposed to leap from his horse, but restrained himself, and dismounted leisurely. He then walked deliberately up to Neamathla, and demanded, in an authoritative tone, what were his motives for holding that council. The moment he made this demand, the orator sat down. The chief made no reply, but
hung his head in apparent confusion. After a moment's pause, Duval proceeded:
'I am well aware of the meaning of this war-council; and deem it my duty to warn you against prosecuting the schemes you have been devising. If a single hair of a white man in this country falls to the ground, I will hang you and your chiefs on the trees around your council-house! You cannot pretend to withstand the power of the white men. You are in the palm of the hand of your Great Father at Washington, who can crush you like an egg-shell! You may kill me I am but one man; but recollect, white men are numerous as the leaves on the trees. Remember the fate of your warriors whose bones are whitening in battle-fields. Remember your wives and children who perished in swamps. Do you want to provoke more hostilities? Another war with the white men, and there will not be a Seminole left to tell the story of his race.'
Seeing the effect of his words, he concluded by appointing a day for the Indians to meet hm at St. Marks, and give an account of their conduct. He then rode off, without giving them time to recover from their surprise. That night he rode forty miles to Apalachicola river, to the tribe of the same name, who were in feud with the Seminoles. They promptly put two hundred and fifty warriors at his disposal, whom he ordered to be at St. Marks at the appointed day. He sent out runners, also, and mustered one hundred of the militia to repair to the same place, together with a number of regulars from the army. All his arrangements were successful.
Having taken these measures, he returned to Tallahassee, to the neighborhood of the conspirators, to show them that he was not afraid. Here he ascertained, through Yellow-Hair, that nine towns were disaffected, and had been concerned in the conspiracy. He was careful to inform himself, from the same source, of the names of the warriors in each of those towns who were most popular, though poor, and destitute of rank and command.
When the appointed day was at hand for the meeting at St. Marks, Governor Duval set off with Neamathla, who was at the head of eight or nine hundred warriors, but who feared to venture into the fort without him. As they entered the fort, and saw troops and militia drawn up there, and a force of Apalachicola soldiers stationed on the opposite bank of the river, they thought they were betrayed, and were about to fly; but Duval assured them they were safe, and that when the talk was over, they might go home unmolested.
A grand talk was now held, in which the late conspiracy was discussed. As he had foreseen, Neamathla aud the other old chiefs threw all the blame upon the young men. Well,' replied Duval, 'with us white men, when we find a man incompetent to govern those under him, we put him down, and appoint another in his place. Now as you all acknowledge you cannot manage your young men, we must put chiefs over them who can.'
So saying, he deposed Neamathla first; appointing another in his place; and so on with all the rest; taking care to substitute the warriors who had been pointed out to him as poor and popular; putting medals round their necks, and investing them with great ceremony. The Indians were surprised and delighted at finding the
appointments fall upon the very men they would themselves have chosen, and hailed them with acclamations. The warriors thus unexpectedly elevated to command, and clothed with dignity, were secured to the interests of the governor, and sure to keep an eye on the disaffected. As to the great chief Neamathla, he left the country in disgust, and returned to the Creek Nation, who elected him a chief of one of their towns. Thus by the resolute spirit and prompt sagacity of one man, a dangerous conspiracy was completely defeated. Governor Duval was afterward enabled to remove the whole nation, through his own personal influence, without the aid of the General Government.
TWO YEARS BEFORE THE MAST: a Personal Narrative of Life at Sea. pp. 483. New-
We have no hesitation in pronouncing this volume one of the most striking and evidently faithful pictures of real life' at sea, that has ever come under our observation. It is literally what it claims to be, a 'Voice from the Forecastle,' and narrates, from the notes of a journal kept during the entire period, the events of two years spent as a common sailor before the mast, in the American merchant service. The writer is said to be Mr. R. H. DANA, Jr., of Boston, a son of the well-known author of 'The Buccaneers.' The voyage round Cape Horn from Boston to the western coast of North America, was undertaken from a deterinination to dispel, if possible, by an entire change of life, and by a long absence from books and study, a complaint which had obliged him to give up his pursuits, and which no medical aid seemed likely to cure From the moment of the change from the tight dress-coat, silk cap, and kid gloves, of an under-graduate at Cambridge, to the loose duck trowsers, checked shirt, and tarpaulin hat of the regular Jack Tar, our young author seems to have determined to play, or rather work, the part of a thorough sailor; and we cannot sufficiently admire the uncomplaining fortitude with which, for two long years, he bore the multifarious hardships of a common seaman's lot. For himself, great as was the change in his avocations, he never utters a murmur. Whether 'tarring down' the rigging; cleaning offensive Spanish hides, and carrying them on his head through the surf of a California coast; sending down a royal-yard, or furling a yardarm off Cape Horn, in a hurricane of hail and sleet,
While the tough cordage creaks, and yelling loud,
in short, whether 'in breeze, or gale, or storm,' with dinner, such as it was, or without it, such as it might have been, but for sad accidents; we find our author ever the same hard-working, all-enduring philosopher, with an eye to see and a heart to feel every body's discomforts and sufferings but his own. We commend the forcible Saxon English, and the unpretending style, of this work to the notice of the elaborate, ornate class of writers among us, who find it so difficult to describe a plain matter in a plain way, while we proceed to lay before our readers a few extracts, in justification of our warm encomium; commencing, 'for the benefit of the ladies,' with the following picture of an English sailor, encountered on the coast of California:
"He had been to sea from a boy, having served a regular apprenticeship of seven years, as all English sailors are obliged to do, and was then about four or five and twenty. He was tall; but you only perceived it when he was standing by the side of others, for the great breadth of his shoulders and chest made him appear but little above the middle height. His chest was as deep as it was wide; his arm like that of Hercules; and his hand the fist of a tar-every hair a ropeyarn. With all this he had one of the pleasantest smiles I ever saw. His cheeks were of a handsome brown; his teeth brilliantly white; and his hair, of a raven black, waved in loose curls all over his head, and fine open forehead; and his eyes he might have sold to a duchess at the price of diamonds, for their brilliancy. As for their color, they were like the Irishman's pig, which would not stay to be counted; every change of position and light seemed to give them a new hue; but their prevailing color was black, or nearly so. Take him with his well-varnished black tarpaulin stuck upon the back of his head; his long locks coming down almost into his eyes; his white duck
trowsers and shirt; blue jacket; and black kerchief, tied loosely round his neck; and be was a fine specimen of manly beauty. On his broad chest he had stamped with India ink 'Parting moments' a ship ready to sail; a boat on the beach; and a girl and her sailor lover taking their farewell. Underneath were printed the initials of his own name, and two other letters, standing for some name which he knew better than I did. This was very well done, having been executed by a man who made it his business to print with Iudia ink, for sailors, at Havre. On one of his broad arms he had the crucifixion, and on the other the sign of the foul anchor.
"He was very fond of reading, and we lent him most of the books which we had in the foreeastle, which he read and returned to us the next time we fell in with him. He had a good deal of information, and his captain said he was a perfect seaman, and worth his weight in gold on board a vessel, in fair weather and in foul. His strength must have been immense, and he had the sight of a vulture. It is strange that one should be so minute in the description of an unknown, outcast sailor, whom one may never see again, and whom no one may care to hear about; but so it is. Some people we see uuder no remarkable circumstances, but whom, for some reason or other, we never forget. He called himself Bill Jackson; and I know no one of all my accidental acquaintances to whom I would more gladly give a shake of the hand than to him. Whoever falls in with him, will find a handsome, hearty fellow, and a good shipmate."
We do not remember to have seen a more forcible sketch of a lazy Spanish American, than is contained in the subjoined 'feature' of a scene at the island of Juan Fernandez:
"The men appeared to be the laziest people upon the face of the earth; and indeed, as far as my observation goes, there are no people to whom the newly-invented Yankee word of loafer' is more applicable than to the Spanish Americans. These men stond about doing nothing, with their cloaks, little better in texture than an Indian's blanket, but of rich colors, thrown over their shoulders, with an air which it is said a Spanish beggar can always give to his rags; and with great politeness and courtesy in their address, though with holes in their shoes, and without a sous in their pockets. The only interruption to the monotony of their day seemed to be when a gust of wind drew round between the mountaius and blew off the boughs which they had placed for roofs to their houses, and gave them a few minutes' occupation in running about after them. One of these gusts occurred while we were ashore, and afforded us no little amusement at seeing the men look round, and if they found that their roofs had stood, conclude that they might stand too, while those who saw theirs blown off, after uttering a few Spanish oaths, gathered their cloaks over their shoulders, and started off after them. However, they were not gone long, but soon returned to their habitual occupation of doing nothing."
We give the following melancholy scene at length; and not without a sense of pleasure that it is embraced in the widely-spread 'Family Library,' and that it is in our power to place before some forty thousand additional readers a record of tyranny that must stamp the character of 'Captain T-,' of the Brig Pilgrim, of Boston, with odium, and hand down his name to the merited scorn and contempt of every humane commander and seaman in Christendom:
"The captain was on board all day Friday, and every thing went on hard and disagreeably. The more you drive a man, the less he will do,' was as true with us as with any other people. We worked late Friday night, and were turned-to, early Saturday morning. About ten o'clock the captain ordered our new officer, Russeil, who by this time had become thoroughly disliked by all the crew, to get the gig ready to take him ashore. John, the Swede, was sitting in the boat alongside, and Russell and myself were standing by the main hatchway, waiting for the captain, who was down in the hold, where the crew were at work, when we heard his voice raised in violent spute with somebody, whether it was with the mate, or one of the crew, I could not tell; and then came blows and scuffling. I ran to the side and beckoned to John, who came up, and we leaned down the hatchway; and though we could see no one, yet we knew that the captain had the advantage, for his voice was loud and clear:
"You see your condition! You see your condition! Will you ever give me any more of your jaw? No answer; and then came wrestling and heaving, as though the man was trying to turn him. 'You may as well keep still, for I have got you!' said the captain. Then came the question, Will you ever give me any more of your jaw?"
"I never gave you any, Sir,' said Sam; for it was his voice that we heard, though low and half choked.
"That's not what I ask you. Will you ever be impudent to me again?'
"I never have been, Sir,' said Sam.
"Answer my question, or I'll make a spread eagle of you! I'll flog you, by G-d.'
"I am no negro slave,' said Sam.'
"Then I'll make you one!' said the captain; and he came to the hatchway, and sprang on deck, threw off his coat, and rolling up his sleeves, called out to the mate: Seize that man up, Mr. A! Seize him up! Make a spread eagle of him! I'll teach you all who is master aboard!' "The crew and officers followed the captain up the hatebway, and after repeated orders the mate laid hold of Sam, who made no resistance, and carried him to the gangway.
"What are you going to flog that man for, Sir?' said John, the Swede, to the captain.
"Upon hearing this, the captain turned upon him, but knowing him to be quick and resolute, he ordered the steward to bring the irons, and calling upon Russell to help him, went up to Johu.
"Let me alone,' said John. 'I'm willing to be put in irons. You need not use any force;' and putting out his hands, the captain slipped the irons on, and sent him aft to the quarter-deck. Sam by this time was seized up, as it is called, that is, placed against the shrouds, with his wrists made fast to the shrouds, his jacket off, and his back exposed. The captain stood on the break of