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to work. In California, I visited a rancheria or farm of Indians, where they had grown a very small quantity of corn, and a few pumpkins. They depended chiefly upon the fish, which at a certain season shoaled up a creek from a large lake. These fish were stuck in arched fences, made of tree boughs, so that they were dried by the sun on one side, and by the warmth of a fire on the other. The wigwams were mostly circular, with skins and leafy branches stretched over poles that were fastened together overhead; entrance was obtained by creeping on hands and feet through a narrow opening. As soon as the eyes got accustomed to the smoke from the wood fire, which has no means of escape above, I saw, in most of the wigwams that I entered, women sitting on the ground, with bowls of woven straw between their legs, in which they were pounding acorns, and the roots and fruits of some plants. I was told that this acorn dust was rarely baked into bread, although I saw one young woman digging a hole in the sand beside the creek, and mixing the acorn dust with water, in order to make a paste, which she would bake by lighting a fire over it. I tasted some of the flour, and found it disagreeable enough, although some of the old folks in the hut occasionally dipped their fingers in the bowls, and ate the powder with refish. Some of the women were weaving coloured straws in designs quite artistic, into bowls which would hold water. They all sat or lay upon the ground, and had nothing like beds, except in one or two of the largest wigwams, where upon a shelf some skins and cloths were laid for a favourite squaw or papoose.
The women did all the work, the men sitting and looking on with stolid indifference, and smoking a wild tobacco, in long straight pipes, One old man was making money by working a sharp-pointed flint in the centre of a small circle cut out of a clamshell. At one end of the settlement was the sweat-house, which consisted of a large circular hole, covered over tentwise with very strong poles, across which were laid leafy branches, and the whole was covered with sun-baked earth; the entrance was very low, and when I got inside I found the heat almost unbearable. There were several fires, about which naked men were lying asleep; others were gambling with cards for the native money, that lay in long strings near them. This sweat-house is the doctor and medicine of the village. Occasionally all the men assem
ble in it, after a large fire has been lighted; if they have room, they dance; if there are too many for that, they sit until they are nearly exhausted; when they rush out and plunge into the creek: sometimes a man is too much exhausted to do this ; in that case his companions roll him to the door, and the women toss him over the bank. In fact, it is a thorough Turkish bath, which has been in use ages before we had anything of the sort in England.
The Indians are very fond of dogs, little, lank curs that must live upon their wits, for the Indians certainly cannot feed them. In that wonderful valley of which I will speak presently, there is a tribe of Indians, who, with their dogs, are an exception to all others in this respect. Over the mountains, a toilsome journey from their usual abodes, is Lake Mono, whose surface, at a certain season of the year, is covered with the chrysales of a kind of worm; the Indians gather these, and rubbing off the outer skin, they find an oily yellowish matter abont the size of a grain of rice; this they call cuchave, and men and dogs alike eat it, and grow fat upon it.
When I was crossing the desert, a number of Sioux warriors, with their squaws and papooses, and all their goods, crossed our trail, on their way to the buffalo country. Many of the men were on horseback, riding as gracefully as if each man and horse formed but one being. The boys were naked, except having a piece of cloth round the loins ; they carried bows and arrows and darts, with which they aimed so well that they could transfix a bird ; on the wing. Their wigwam furniture, and infants, were carried curiously. A pole was fixed on each side of the horse, and the other ends dragged along the ground. Across these poles something like a rude cot or cradle was fastened, in which the little ones rode securely. The buffaloes were all on the banks of the Republican river. During the previous season, water was so scarce in their usual haunts, that the buffaloes had wandered into the settlements; and, although their flesh is preferred by many to beef, they were in such abundance that at last hunters were satisfied with cutting out only the tongue, which is a great delicacy. It so exasperated the Indians to find the bodies of the buffaloes rotting on the plains, that they threatened vengeance. When I was in that country, I wanted to go on a buffalo
at; but the hunter whom I asked to accompany me uld not go, as he had shot so many in the previous season it the Indians had threatened to scalp him. I had no inlation to lose my scalp, and therefore I was reluctantly npelled to forego a buffalo hunt. With all these various races-and I have said most about · Indians, because they and their mode of life are the angest to us--it is no wonder, I think, that in 300 years :y have not been shaken together into respectability and
Whenever an American asked ine if I did not nk his was a great country, his implication being that it s the greatest country in the world,—I used to reply that was greater in its prospects and opportunities than any ter nation.
We know what little seabound England has What, then, may not the same Anglo-Saxon race do on a continent practically illimitable, and of exhaustless jources ; whose head is whitened with eternal snows; at lose feet are orange groves and palm trees ; that dips one nd into the angry waters of the Atlantic, while the other ays with the rippling wavelets of the calm Pacific ? But I am digressing. The people are of as many fferent complexions, if regarded in a religious aspect, 'as respect to their descent and race. The Methodist church divided on the question of slavery; for there are ministers the church who bold slaves, and defend their iniquity by ible arguments. The Methodists have bishops, and their eachers are greater beggars than any in English churches. heard of one minister-a Presbyterian, by the way-who dered the church doors to be locked; and when he had t the keys, he told the congregation that he wanted so luch money, and that he should keep them there until they ibscribed it. The Methodists have a system of religious legraphy. The minister says “I want a thousand dollars; ow much will brother Jones give?” Brother Jones holds p one finger, whereupon the minister cries—“ Brother ones gives ten dollars; how much will Brother
-give ?" Brother is a rich man. So the farce goes on.
All the isms find a home in the states, and many are -orn there. You have heard of the Spiritualist mania hat largely increased the number of inmates of their lunatic sylums. Literary Boston is the head-quarters of this eresy; but in many parts of the country, regular meetings tre held by persons who profess to relate to one another vhat the spirits have told them.
One strange sect, who flourished most some years ago, was that of the Millerites, who had fixed the time abou: which the world was to come to an end, and went to bed every night in their resurrection robes, that they might look tidy if the trumpet sounded in the night. One of their songs had a chorus Rising from the church yard with a band of music,” which I have heard folks singing.
In several parts of the states there are communities of Shakers, who say “yea,” and “nay,” who dress with peculiar plainness, the women having their gowns hanging close about them in such style, that, after seeing them, you are ready to declare that you will never again say a wont against crinoline. They are farmers and manufacturer, and have all their property in common. They are opposed to marriage, and men and women live apart in their settie ments. They dance in their religious services, shaking their hands in front of them, as they pass round the room, Their peculiar doctrine is, that as mankind is an image of God, there are in God those faculties which we see in men, and those that we see in women ; that Jesus Christ was an incarnation and revelation to us of the masculine characteristics of God; but that the Deity was not completely revealed until his feminine characteristics had become flest and dwelt among us, and that this last incarnation of God took place in the person of Ann Lee, a cook in the Manchester Royal Infirmary, who saw visions, and was persecuted in this country, so she emigrated to the states, and there founded a sect which still flourishes.
Then there are the Mormons, whose belief is just the ! opposite to that of the Shakers; who think a man cannot be married too much, and that he is respcctable in propor tion to the number of wives he has. I shall have more to say of the Mormons presently.
I was in Washington for a fortnight during the sitting of the last Congress, before the rebellion broke out; have I seen a more disorderly mob than that assembled in the House of Representatives. There I saw most of the meu whose names have become notorious since as leaders of the rebellion, from Jefferson Davis downwards. One of the members
one day remarked to me that such conduct as had been seen in the House that day would ruin the gover ment, unless it was soon abated. I saw the disturbance One member called another a demagogue, and he retorted
that it was impossible for his colleague to deport himself as a gentleman, since God Almighty had written the word
blackguard” upon his face. The first replied that the other was an infamous liar, and they rushed from their seats in order to come to blows. The row subsided on the interference of the other members. The members always read their speeches, laying their papers on the desk before them; and I did not hear a single speech during the whole fortnight that was not interrupted again and again. On Sundays, this bear-garden-which is, by the way, a very elegant room-is used as a place of worship, the Congressional chaplain conducting the service and preaching.
In the legislature or parliament of California, one day I heard this conversation. Mr. Laspeyre, one of the members, said to Mr.Conness—“If you say I have used unparliamentary and discourteous language, you tell what is false.” Mr. Conness replied—“ You are a dirty dog" Mr. Laspeyre retorted by taking up a heavy inkstand that stood on his desk, and hurling it at Mr. Conness. Mr. Conness flung his inkstand at his opponent. Laspeyre then drew a dagger, or bowie knife, I could not tell which, although I saw it glisten. By this time other members had got between the combatants. I fancy it was a bowie knife Laspeyre drew, for one Sunday he was at the church I attended, and in passing along the aisle he dropped a bowie knife by accident upon the floor.
While on the subject of legislatures, I may say, that being deeply interested in newspaper work, I made some inquiries respecting the reporting of the debates. The main portion of this arduous and responsible labour is done by means of Pitman's Phonography. Indeed, this is the system almost universally adopted by the newspaper press of the United States. is rarely that a shorthand writer is met with who uses any other system than that invented by Isaac Pitman, of Bath. I found the art of infinite service; for, besides introducing me to two state legislatures, it enabled me to keep notes of travel with a freshness of description, a fulness of detail, in perfect legibility, and with an economy of time which no one can sufficiently appreciate who is unacquainted with this admirable system.
The Presidential election, which occurs once in four years, fills the country with political excitement. The