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Full text of "Life and adventures of William Filley, who was stolen from his home in Jackson, Mich., by the Indians, August 3d, 1837, and his safe return from captivity, October 19, 1866 after an absence of 29 years"



















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05 



THE INDIAN CAPTIVE, 

OR THE 

LONG LOST JACKSON BOY 




Abducted from his Parents at Jackson, Michigan, 

Aug. 3, 1837, at the tender age of Five Years. 

Returned October 19, 1866. 

TWEHTY-NINE YEARS WITH THE INDIAN TRIBES OF THE ROCKY MOUNTAINS 



Edited Tby- J. 52. 

JACKSON, MICHIGAN. 



CHICAGO: 
PUBLISHED BY FILLEY & BALLAED. 



ise-r. 



Made by the WESTERN BOOK MANUFACTUBING Co., 80 & S2 Washington St. 



LIFE AND ADVENTURES 



OF 



WILLIAM FILLET, 



WHO WAS 



STOLEN FROM HIS HOME 



m 



JACKSON, MICE, BY THE INDIANS, 



3d, 1837, 

AND HIS 

SAFE RETURN FROM CAPTIVITY, 

October 1O, 186G. 

AFTER AN ABSENCE OF 29 YEARS. 



CHICAGO : 

PUBLISHED BY FILLEY & BALLARD. 



ise-r. 



Entered according to Act of Congress in the year 1867, by FILLET & BALLARD, in the Clerk's 
Office of the District Court of the TJ. S. for the Northern Dist. of Illinois. 



JOHN CONAHAN, 
fctereotyper. 



DEDICATION. 



THE AUTHOR, in presenting this (2d) Edition to a more 
than generous public, MOST KESPECTFULLY Dedicates 
this work to that NOBLE BAJSDD of early pioneers of Michi 
gan, whose arduous and untiring efforts in the great search, 
and common sympathies for the " LONG LOST JACKSON.BOY," 
and heart broken parents, deserve the highest mark of af 
fection, and lasting remembrance. 






PREFACE. 



IN presenting this work to the public, we feel that we 
are giving a statement of facts which are not only of great 
interest, but which will, in time, become portions of the 
Indian history of the distant "West. The affidavits and cer 
tificates which are introductory to the Indian Boy's own 
narrative, are bona fide, the parties making them being 
respectable and reliable people. 

"We have been particular in giving all possible evidence 
as to the identity of the long lost boy, that no possible 
doubt may remain; but feeling that a better idea can be 
obtained from his own story, have not attempted to minutely 
describe many of the scenes through which he passed. "We, 
therefore, in the following pages, submit the evidence and 
the narrative. 






CONTENTS 



JSTTRODUCTION. 

Mrs. Mount's statement Grandison Filley's statement Certificates of prominent 
citizens of Jackson Statement of Daniel M. Lyons Of Ammi Filley Child Lost 
(poem) Particulars of the loss of the boy William Filley The search The sus 
pense The agonized mother and family Death of the mother Mr. Filley's trip 
to Connecticut Hope revived A boy found Letter.from Hon A. F. Collins, rel 
ative to a child supposed to be the lost William Filley Reply of Abel F. Fitch- 
Affidavits and certificates of citizens of the States of New York, substantiating 
the opinion of Mr. Collins Letter from the lost boy Description of the city of 
Jackson His return, unique appearance, experiences, etc. His hearty welcome 
at Jackson Life and wanderings during captivity The poem"0ntwa" Oregon- 
Mary Mount, the supposed murderess of the boy. 

CHAPTER I. 

Apology Early recollections and treatment First information as to his nativity 
Return Selection of James Z. Ballard to edit* this book Camping-ground of the 
Indians near Fort Kearney Indian Habits The warlike and blood-thirsty Siouxs 
Burning of a pappoose A squaw experiments on a pappoose with boiling water 
Horrible cruelty The death penalty. 

CHAPTER II. 

Disadvantages Finding of gold in California Early school houses Sent to school 
Difficulty in learning Taken from school Dislike to leaving pale face associa 
tionsReturn to bondage Punishment of Indian children Desire to be transferred 
from Big Crow and Walla Walla tribes to the Camanche tribe. 

CHAPTER IH. 

The transfer effected Adoption Made a Chief and head Medicine man Liberty 
Surmises concerning relatives Occupation as second Chief Inability of the In 
dian to understand English Friendship and love of the Indians How to jerk 
meat Panther hunting and its dangers Torture of panther whelps A panther 
fight Distressing situation Relieved by three pale-faces,escaped prisoners from 
the Osage Indians Take pale-faces to my tribe, who kindly treat them and suffer 
them to go on their way The Osage Indians Their manners and customs Their 
cruelty Tortures Roasting a pappose Religion of the Osages. 



VI CONTENTS. 

CHAPTER IV. 

Life in the Rocky Mountains Mayriage and its peculiarities A good opening foi 
wife deserters Dress of the Indians He induces the squaws to adopt the pale 
face style of dressing Becomes a modiste Camping-grounds Trading post 
Astoria Its location Indigenous growth of tobacco, quality, etc The Caman- 
che tribe Savage Indians The Arrapahoes Their filthy habits Revengefulness 
Tortures Their superstitions. 

CHAPTER V. 

Indian tribes Their ignorance Enlightening them Their cruelty Murder An 
attack Poisoned arrows Experiments Panthers Their habits Their tenacity 
of life Value of their skins for moccasins Abundance of the antelope Superior 
ity of the skins of the elk and moose Their scarcity Fishing. 

CHAPTER VI. 

His similarity to the red man His tenacity of purpose Saying the lives 01 white 
men Comparison of the laws of the whites and Indians Honesty of the same 
compared Religion of the Indians Their profession and practice Similarity to 
the ancient Jews Their burnt -offerings Their chants, etc, etc. Big trees in the 
Rocky Mountains The stories concerning them disputed No trees more than 12 
or 15 feet in diameter. 

CHAPTER VII. 

A stroll Warm weather A strange light Curiosity Search for the mystery Im- 
inent danger Renewed search Discovery of a cave containing, dead bodies of 
Indians Burial of the Indians Death dance Immense quantities of gold. 

CHAPTER VHL 

Hunting the North American or California Lion Well trained horses Ferocity of 
the lions The Indian manner of attacking them An adventure with two of 
them Severely wounded. 

CHAPTER IX. 

Hunting for grizzly bears Balling and flaying the pelts An attack in their dens 
A hugging scene Lost in a cave Long suffering among the rocks Enjoyments 
of the bears. 

CHAPTER X. 

Dirty tribes Frog and snake eaters B,lood-suckers Rocky Mountain sheep and 
goats Wild animals of the Mountains Enemies of th& goats Temperature of 
the Mountains. 

CONCLUSION 

The engravings Recollections General remarks, &c. 

THE SONG OP "THE LAKE OE THE WHITE CANOE." 
A beautiful poem Sung by the Indian captive His favorite song 




MARY MOUNT. 



INTRODUCTION. 



INTRODUCTION. 

Mrs. Mount's statement Grandison Filley's statement Certificates of promi 
nent citizens of Jackson Statement of Daniel M. Lyons Of Ammi Filley 
Child Lost (poem) Particulars of the loss of the boy William Filley The 
search The suspense The agonized mother and family Death of the mother 
Mr. Filley's trip to Connecticut Hope revived A boy found Letter from 
Hon A. F. Collins, relative to a child supposed to be the lost William Filley 
Beply of Abel F. Fitch Affidavits and certificates of citizens of the States 
of New York, substantiating the opinion of Mr. Collins Letter from the lost 
boy Description of the city of Jackson His return, unique appearance, ex 
periences, etc. His hearty welcome at Jackson Life and wanderings during 
captivity The poem"0ntwa" Oregon Mary Mount, the supposed murder 
ess of the boy. 

MKS. MOUNT'S CEBTIFICATE. 

I hereby certify that I am the mother of Mary Mount, in 
whose charge William Filley was placed at the time he was 
lost, and that I am now seventy-two years of age. 

Twenty-nine years ago the third day of August last, Wil 
liam Filley accompanied my daughter Mary to a swamp a 
short distance from my residence, for the purpose of gathering 
whortleberries. I remember well the peculiar style of his 
dress, and that some friendly hand had placed in the button 
hole of his little coat some pinks ; he had with him a piece of 
paper with writing upon it, which I learned he had obtained 
from his Aunt Fitch. William and my daughter Mary left 
my house a short time after twelve o'clock of said third day 
of August. We endeavored to persuade the little fellow not 



10 LIFE AM) ADVENTURES 

to go, fearing that he would be bitten by the snakes which 
infested that part of the country. Our entreaties were in 
vain, and the boy went along. After William and Mary had 
been absent a few hours, Mary returned to our house and 
made inquiries for William. Of course he had not returned, 
and our fears were excited, believing that he had met with 
some untimely fate. I made inquiries of my daughter about 
what had become of the boy, and the only explanation which 
she could give was that he had become weary and wanted to 
go home ; that she had led him to a beaten track which led 
to our house, and that this was the last time she had seen him. 
Immediately we made a thorough search but could find no 
trace of him ; the neighborhood was aroused and diligent 
work commenced. That night fires were built for two rea 
sons : First, believing that the lost boy would see them ; and 
secondly, that the light would aid us in our search. Fortu 
nately, there were good brush and log heaps near the swamp, 
which burned all night. 

About two miles in a westerly course, lived a family named 
Hamilton, who reported that about ten or eleven o'clock of 
that night, they heard a strange noise resembling the stifled 
cry of a child ; and near this place, in the oak openings, was 
found the identical piece of letter paper which I have hereto 
fore mentioned. The search was continued, and the crowd 
gathered near the place where this paper was found. Arrange 
ments were immediately made as to the disposition of the 
force : The crowd formed a circle, enclosing a large space of 
country, and each man walked so near his comrade that he 
could touch his person. In many places in the swamp the 
men crept upon their hands and knees, turning over the moss 
and other substances which they found in their way. As the 
circle shortened in distance, and on coming near together, 



OF WILLIAM FILLET. 1.3 

they found three bears and several deer which they allowed 
to escape, not deeming it proper to discharge fire-arms, as 
this was the signal agreed upon if the child should be found. 
For a time attention was drawn from the Indian trails and 
camping ground, owing to a report put in circulation by one 
Albert Crandall, who had succeeded in creating a suspicion 
that the child had met with some accident, and had been 
foully dealt with by my daughter Mary. Consequently a 
thorough search was made in and around our premises and 
house, and some person broke open our chests and broke into 
the tills. The ash-heaps were turned over for the purpose of 
finding the bdnes of the child, if possible, and every spot was 
searched and re-searched, in vain by hundreds of men. I 
have no doubt that there were at least eight hundred persons 
at this time about our premises. 

Our house was located upon the banks of Fitch's lake, a 
beautiful sheet of water, covering about six hundred and forty 
acres of land. This lake was dragged during the day time, 
and at night was searched with the aid of torchlights and small 
rafts, instead of boats, many persons wading in from the shore. 

Twenty-nine years have passed away since the memorable 
day when William Filley left our then quiet home. Many of 
the early settlers of Jackson county are dead. I am thankful 
that I have been spared to see that boy again, and to have the 
cloud of suspicion removed which hung over our heads. I 
have no doubt of the identity of the person whose narrative 
is contained in this book. He is now in the prime of man 
hood. May he long survive, and be the staif of his aged 
father, and live in near communion with that Great Spirit 
who has thus far been his guide in his wanderings with the 
red men of the forest. 

LYDIA MOUNT. 



LIFE AND ADVENTURES 



GKANDISON FILLET'S CERTIFICATE. 



JACKSON, November 5, 1866. 

I hereby certify that I am the uncle of William Filley, and 
that I knew him from his birth, until he was stolen by the 
Indians on the third day of August, 1837, he then being five 
years, one month, and one day old. At the age of two years 
"William was left with me at Bloomfield, in the State of Con 
necticut. 

At that time Ammi Filley, his father, was in Michigan, 
and his mother was with her father, Captain William Mar 
vin, in the State of Massachusetts. At Elijah Filley's house, 
in the State of Connecticut, we were picking apples, late in 
the fall. William had on an old coat with long sleeves, 
somewhat troublesome in picking up fruit, I took out my 
pocket knife and in cutting them off shorter, I accidentally 
cut his thumb, on his left hand, nearly off. I doubled up his 
hand,, drew down the sleeve, and told him to keep his hand 
shut. As I drew the knife across the sleeve the boy stuck 
out his thumb, and I cut it diagonally from joint to joint. 

I also certify, that I have seen, at different times from the 
19th day of October, 1866, until the present date, a man 
purporting to be William Filley, the long lost boy. From 
every feature, motion, and personal appearance, I should 
judge him to be the same one ; he has the same large cut- 
scar on his left thumb, and it shows as plain as it did thirty 
years ago. I am positive upon this point, and recollect well 
the shape of the wound and scar. 

GKAJSTDISOK FILLEY. 



OF WILLIAM FILLET. 



15 



CEETIFICATES BY CITIZENS OF JACKSON. 



We, the undersigned residents of the City of Jackson, and 
State of Michigan, hereby certify that we were citizens of 
said township in the year A. D. 1837, and that on and after 
the third day of August, in that year, we went in person, 
with many hundreds and thousands of others, in fruitless 
search for William Filley, the subject of this history, then a 
boy of five years of age, supposed to have been murdered, or 
stolen from his parents by the Pottawatamies, a tribe of 
Indians that shortly afterwards moved from this State to the 
far "West ; that the boy's father now survives, and recognizes 
his long lost son, by his appearance, and by a cut-scar on his 
thumb, after an absence of twenty-nine years and more, spent 
in the Rocky Mountains. 



Hon. DAN'L B. HIBBARD, 
ALBERT FOSTER, Esq., 
WILLIAM PAGE, Esq., 
LEWIS BASCOM, Esq., 
M. E. DWYER, Esq., 
ISAAC PETERSON, Esq., 
T. ~N. HENDERSON, Esq., 
S. P. HENDERSON, Esq % 
JAMES A. DYER, J. P., 
W. H. MONROE, Esq., 
B. F. EGGLESTON, Esq., 
S. W. STOWELL, Esq., 
PATTON MORRISON, Esq., 
D. T. DURAND, Esq., 
G-EO. FERGUSON, Esq., 
MARCUS WAKEMAN, Esq., 
H. ANSON, Esq., 
SAM'L PETERSON, Esq., 
DAVID MARKHAM, Esq., 



Hon. WM. K. DE!/AND, 
W. D. THOMPSON, Banker, 
JAMES WELCH, Esq., 
F. FARRAND, Esq., 
ISAAC SNYDER, Esq., 

B. C. HATCH, Esq., 
L. SNYDER, Jr., 

0. B. HARRINGTON, Esq., 

TEGS. YREELAND,-Esq., 

WARREN MOULTON, Esq., 
CYRUS HODGKIN, Esq., 
WM. P. WORDEN, Esq., 

C. P. EUSSELL, Esq., 
ALDEN HEWETT, Esq., 
Hon. A. H. DEL.AMATER, 
W. KNICKERBOCKER, Esq., 
J. W. PRUE, Esq., 

K E. ALLEN, Esq. 



16 LIFE AND ADVENTURES 

We, the undersigned, citizens of the City of Jackson, and 
State of Michigan, hereby certify that we are well acquainted 
with the fact of William Filley being stolen by the Indians, 
and of his return from his long captivity. 
Hon. M. A. McNouGHTON, Hon. D. FISHEK, 
J. E. BEBE, Assessor 3d Dis- NORMAN ALLEN, Esq., 

trict, Michigan, W. GREG, Esq., 

E. B. BRIGHAM, Esq., T. D. BTJDINGTON, Esq., 

A. I. HOBORT, Esq., H. WAKEMAN, Esq. 

C. "W ARRESTER, Esq., 



MR. LYONS' CERTIFICATE. 



JACKSON, November 20th, 1866. 

I hereby certify that I am a son of Dea. Lyons, of East 
Mendon, Monroe County, New York ; I >am thirty-five years 
of age, and have lived most of the past sixteen years with 
different Indian tribes in the far "West. I spent one month 
(about the time of the war with Mexico,) with the Pottawat- 
tamies, a tribe that had moved a few years previous to that 
time from the State of Michigan. ^1 also was with said tribe 
about six weeks in the year 1860, on the Missouri bottoms, 
where the river Platte runs through, and while there I 
learned from the tribe that a white child had been stolen 
years before from Jackson County, Michigan. 

I am now visiting in the city of Jackson, Michigan, where 
I shall remain for a few days with my friends and relatives, 
and have learned that a man has returned from the Rocky 
Mountains, and is recognized by his father and relatives as 
the boy that was supposed to have been stolen from his 



OF WILLIAM FILLET. 17 

parents in 1837. I also certify that in the spring of 1849, at 
the mouth of Feather River, near where now is the city of 
Marysville, I saw a white boy, apparently about seventeen 
or eighteen years of age, on his way to school with two 
Indian chiefs. One, the Big Crow Chief, told me they were 
going to leave him at school in San Francisco, to learn the 
English language. I little thought that I should ever have 
an opportunity of conversing with him face to face about the 
.Rocky Mountains, or talk Spanish and Indian with him at 

the home of his relatives. 

DANIEL M. LYONS. 



STATEMENT OF AMMI FILLET, THE FATHER OF 
WILLIAM FILLET. 

At the request of several persons who are conversant with 
the important facts relative to the loss of my son in the sum 
mer of 1837, I have consented to make the following state 
ment : In the month of October last, while residing with one 
of my sons in the State of Illinois, I received a telegram 
from the city of Jackson, requesting my return for the pur 
pose of meeting my son, William Filley, whose strange and 
simple story is told in this book. I immediately departed 
for that city, and on arriving met with a person whom I be 
lieve is my long lost son my eldest one, and the object of 
my search for many, many years. Although many persons 
had suggested the probability that my son had been foully 
v dealt with, I had a vague idea that he had been taken off by 
some of the Indian tribes who at an early day were wander, 
ing in our woods in Michigan. My paternal affection dic 
tated to me that it was my duty to search among the red 
men for my lost son. I gave up my business and became a 



18 LIFE AND ADVENTURES 

wanderer among the Indians. I led a roving life for many- 
years, and during that time visited the tribes of Indians in 
Michigan, Ohio, Canada, and other portions of the country. 
This trouble unsettled my plans of life and deprived me of 
that peace of mind which all persons wish to enjoy. I am 
fifty-nine years old and am travelling down the hill of life, 
and feel as if my cup of happiness was filled, the great object 
of my ambition accomplished. I have found my lost son. I 
sincerely thank my friends who have rendered me so much 
assistance and who have sympathized with me in my afflic 
tion. May they live long and enjoy that happiness which 

belongs to a well-ordered life. 

AMMI FILLET. 



A CHILD IS LOST. 



OH, KINSMEN, neighbors, friends, our child is lost ! 
The night is falling ; help, for love of God ! 
In fruitless search the fields we've trod, 

And, vainly, every trail and path we've crossed. 
The mother's heart is breaking ; friends take pity 

Forth, quickly forth, and scour the darkening woods. 

A child is lost ! a tiny, tottering one, 

Whose age is scarcely reckoned yet by years ; 

Whose feet but little time have learned to run ; 

Whose words are simple words, in accent broken. 

He scarce can tell his name, nor where he dwells, 

Or else his words so modestly are spoken 

That strangers cannot understand the tale he tells. 

The slow and solemn clock tolls forth eleven ; 

Again it strikes, 'tis midnight now ! How fearfully the 

hour 

Trembles upon the calm, quiescent air 
As many a wearied seeker homeward speeds, 
To bid the mourning mother trust in Heaven, 
And, on her couch, to seek the rest she needs. 

Oh ! can I sleep when he is still unfound 
A helpless lamb that's wander'd from the fold ; 
And he, perhaps, is crying, tired, and hungry, 
Or sleeps, to die, upon the cold, cold ground ? 
How can I rest, when I, perchance, shall see 
E~o more the child whom God once gave to me ? 
Comfort me, kind neighbors, leave me not forlorn ; 
Is there no hope ? Is life henceforth to be 
Of joy, and peace, and pleasant memories shorn? 
Pity me, friends, in mine extremity. 



22 LIFE AND ADVENTURES 

PARTICULARS OF THE LOSS OF WILLIAM FILLET. 

There are many interesting incidents connected with the 
life of this individual that are worthy of a place in " Ameri 
can History." 

Ammi Filley, father of William, removed from Hartford 
County, Connecticut, in the year 1833, to the oak openings 
of Michigan, and located with his family in the township of 
Jackson, then a wilderness. By industry and economy he 
soon became the possessor of a good farm. Although sur 
rounded by Indian tribes they had no fear, as all were appa 
rently friendly. 

It was on the third day of August, A. D. 1837, that Wil 
liam Filley, then a child of the tender age of five years, one 
month and one day, went out to a swamp near by with a 
hired girl by the name of Mary Mount, to gather berries. 
The swamp was between the house of Mr. Filley and the 
dwelling of Mr. Mount, the father of the girl. After picking 
berries for a time, little William expressed a wish to go 
home. Whereupon the girl led him to the trail and pointed 
out the way to her father's house, which was in sight. Not 
doubting, as the house was in plain sight, only a few rods 
distant, that the little fellow would reach it in perfect safety, 
she returned to the swamp. 

After completing her supply of berries, she went to the 
house of her father, and found, to her astonishment, as well 
as to that of her family, that the little boy put in her charge 
had not returned ; neither had he been to the home of his 
parents. Whereupon an alarm was immediately given and 
all the inhabitants commenced a most diligent search for the 
lost child, and continued their untiring efforts by day and 
night for weeks. Every pond and stream was dragged and 



OF WILLIAM FILLET. 25 

examined, and every rod of ground scrutinized to an extent 
of more than twenty miles around. 

As an inducement to continue the search, notice Df the 
event was given in the papers, and large rewards offered for 
the recovery of the child, either dead or alive. Gold and 
silver was offered to the different Indian tribes in large sums 
by disinterested persons. 

Mr. Filley's voice was heard late at night and early in the 
morning calling, William ! William ! That familiar name 
was echoed from lake to lake, and from Green Bay to Ohio ! 
The distracted father went in person all over the wilds of 
Michigan, Wisconsin, and Iowa, visiting many tribes of 

Indians. 

All along the Grand Kiver 
And adown the shady glen, 
On the hill and in the valley, 
Were the graves of dusky men. 

Fears were entertained that the Indians were not well 
pleased with the way the pale faces had ploughed up their 
burying grounds, and that in the wilds of some inhospitable 
region, where foot of white man had never trod, the boy had 
fallen a sacrifice to the vengeance of some infuriated savage. 

No discovery could the father make and no tidings learn. 
Returning in sorrow to his family, all were heart-broken, as 
the last ray of hope was extinguished. The fond parents 
*ave up their firstborn child as forever lost. 

Of purest joy, of life itself, 
'Twere sad, indeed, to say 
How much of all, lost William I 
Has passed with thee away. 

Can you imagine a sadder scene ? Such agony of afflic 
tion seldom falls to the lot of man. If the shaft of death had 
2 



26 LITE AND ADVENTURES 

smitten down this their darling boy, and they had passed 
through the funeral solemnities and seen him laid in the 
grave of their own church-yard, time would have tempered 
their grief and mitigated the anguish of their bereavement ; 
but the painful suspense, the awful uncertainty that hung 
over his fate was an abiding sorrow which time would not 
soften, and earth had no balm to heal. Time rolled on, but 
"William was not forgotten. r 

The mournful event, with its aggravating circumstances, 
was a corroding canker on the comforts of the family, causing 
the fatal disease which seized the Christian mother as she 
went down in sorrow to an untimely grave. " Imagination 
portrays the Guardian Angel, suspended equi-distant 'be 
tween earth and the blue azure of Heaven, with her wings 
folded." The tear was on her cheek as she looked down 
upon the pitiful scene of the mother, gazing on each fond 
face as they clustered around her bedside. But one was 
not her first-born ! The dying mother whispers, " Where 
is he ?" The wild winds in and around that dismal swamp, 
with their sepulchral voice, take up the dirge and echo, 
" Where, O ! where is he ? " 

This worthy and beautiful woman was the oldest child of 
Captain "William Marvin, a wealthy and very respectable 
citizen of East Granville, Hamden County, Massachusetts, 
after whom "William was named. 

Subsequent to the death of his wife, Mr. Filley visited the 
State of Connecticut, the place of his nativity. "While there, 
by a miraculous course of events beyond the comprehension 
of human wisdom to fathom, a boy had been found in the 
possession of a party of Indians in the city of Albany and 
State of JSTew York. 

The circumstance being made known to the municipal au- 



OF WILLIAM FILLET. 27 

thorities, the migrating party were arrested, and all measures 
taken to compel them -to disclose the means by which they 
came in possession of the child. They were alternately flat 
tered and threatened, but no disclosure could be obtained, 
and they seemed resolved to submit to any punishment 
rather than make communication by which the paternity of 
the child could be ascertained. They were therefore dis 
charged, and the child humanely placed in the Orphan Asy 
lum. From thence he was taken to Mr. Filley's friends in 
New England. He could tell of being in Green Bay, and of 
riding on a steamboat. He accompanied them in their wan 
derings, and was used as a mendicant to supply himself 'with 
clothes and the wandering party with food, when their indo 
lence prevented their obtaining it any other way. In the 
summer they made their peregrinations back and forth 
through Michigan and New York, sometimes visiting Con 
necticut. In the winter they usually quartered themselves 
in wigwams in the vicinity of some village and lived on 
game. He remembered living near Detroit, Catskill, Hud 
son, and Hillsdale. In their wanderings in summer and 
winter, he travelled barefoot, suffering in winter from cold, 
and at all times from hunger and fatigue. The kindness of 
his Indian sister, who, like a second Pocahontas, took un 
wearied pains to mitigate his sufferings, made his captivity 
more endurable. 

"When all friends acquainted with the circumstances were 
rendering up grateful thanks to God, the author of all good, 
for this marvellous dispensation of His providence, the fol 
lowing letter, from Mr. Collins, at that time Member of Con 
gress, was received by the supposed grandfather of the child : 

HILLSDALE, NEW YORK, February 13, 1845. 
Captain WILLIAM MARVIN 

DEAR SIR : Having seen in the New York Evening Post, 



28 LIFE AND ADVENTTJEES 

a statement extracted from the Hartford City Times, in rela- 
. tion to the loss and finding of the child of Ammi Filley, of 
Michigan, I read it with that interest which such a statement 
would naturally excite ; but at the conclusion, when the 
names of the Indian family were mentioned, and the account 
given that they had been for a time residents of this town, it 
seemed to me, from what I had seen and heard, that Mr. 
Filley must be mistaken as to the identity of the child. I 
have since made further inquiries and am confirmed in the 
opinion that Mr* Filley is mistaken. During the summer of 
1833, an Indian family, including a white child, apparently 
two or three years of age, took up their abode in a forest 
about two miles from my place of residence. I often saw 
them, and upon inquiring, I learned the name of the Indian 
to be Paul, and that of the squaw to be Phebe. I understood 
the child to be the son of the squaw and his father to be a 
white man of the town of Copake, in this county. Those 
Indians were living in this town in the summer of 1843, and 
during the winter of 1844, and left in the spring of that year. 

I am now told that those Indians resided in the towns of 
Copake and Hillsdale most of the time from 1835 to the 
spring of 1843. I am also told, by one of the most respecta 
ble men of Copake, that he frequently saw the child from the 
period of a few months old, while it nursed from its mother, 
and that the child did, for a short time, attend the District 
School in the town of Copake. 

I am also told that a physician, now residing in that town, 
was present at the birth of the child. Disputes about the 
paternity of the child, and intense domestic excitement pro 
duced on the occasion, have given to the matter a notoriety 
that renders the subject of easy investigation, and the facts 
of the case can be ascertained to a certainty. If Mr. Filley, 



OF WILLIAM FILLET. 29 

or his friends, should desire to in.quire into this matter more 
minutely, I will either accompany them to see those better 
informed of the facts in this case, or I will get the statement 
from such persons, and will address them as may be desired. 

It has been with much hesitancy, and upon deliberation, 
that I have taken this occasion to make to you this commu 
nication. It must be with great satisfaction that Mr. Filley 
is enabled to suppose that he has found his long lost son. It 
doubtless, too, is of much importance to the boy that Mr. 
Filley should remain under the delusion, (if it is such). If, 
too, the corroding wound in Mr. Filley's feelings has been 
healed by this discovery, it seems barbarous to tear it open 
and make it bleed again. 

On the other hand, his actual child may be living. Under 
the impression that he may have found his son, he will stop 
further investigations and thereby prevent his own being 
found, which may yet, possibly be accomplished. His actual 
son, too, may hereafter present himself, and should he find 
his father's affections engrossed by another, he may not be 
able to prove his identity, and will find himself an alien in 
the home of his father. Under these views of the subject, I 
submit the matter to you. If you think it advisable to in 
vestigate the matter further I will give you all the assistance 
I am able. If you think it advisable to let Mr. Filley rest 
under his supposed discovery, or to communicate the discov 
ery that you have, or that you may hereafter make, the sub 
ject is submitted to your discretion. 

Most respectfully yours, 

A. F. COLLIKS. 



30 LIFE AND ADVENTURES 

MICHIGAN CENTRE, June 30, 1845. 
MR. A. F. COLLINS 

DEAR' SIR : Some time last month I visited Captain Wil 
liam Marvin, of Granville, Massachusetts, for the purpose of 
seeing a lost boy, supposed to be the son of Ammi Filley, of 
this county. Mr. Filley is a brother-in-law of mine, and we 
moved to this county some twelve years ago, and were near 
neighbors at the time of the loss of his boy, which occurred 
on the third day of August, 1837". The county was at that 
time new, and had Mr. Filley been an entire stranger, such 
an occurrence would, no doubt, have swelled my bosom with 
painful emotions, much more that parent being a relative and 
friend. "While there, Captain Marvin showed me a letter, 
written by you, bearing date February 13, 1845, addressed 
to him. Judge, then, of my surprise (after reading the ac 
counts in the papers, and hearing what was said by Mr. Fil- 
ley's friends in Connecticut, whom I had just visited), on 
perusing your letter. Captain Marvin, as he is an old man, 
requested me to take the letter and either visit you or address 
you on my return. I am compelled to take the latter course ; 
as I could not make it convenient to see you on my return 
from the East, I therefore take the liberty to address you, 
and as you kindly offered to make further investigations 
amongst those better acquainted with the facts, will you have 
the goodness to ascertain, First, if possible, in regard to the 
birth of the child, by the physician, or otherwise. Second, 
if those Indians were in Michigan in the summer of 1837. 
Third, if it was possible that the boy could have been six 
years old in the summer of 1838, when you say they were at 
Hillsdale, which would have been about the age of Mr. Fil 
ley' s child. Fourth, please get a description of the boy's 
complexion, color of eyes, hair, &c., &c., and whether he 



OF WILLIAM FILLET. 31 

had lost any of his toes, and if so, how many, and what ones; 
and finally, get such facts as you may think material, and 
write me as soon as convenient. 

Mr. Filley is now in Michigan, and has no knowledge of 
the facts contained in your letter, nor do we think it advisa 
ble that he should know at present. As this was a favorite 
child, his loss has truly been a corroding wound. Mr. Filley 
has at times been partially deranged, and were we fully satis 
fied that it was not his child it would be imprudent, to say 
the least, to inform him of the fact at the present time. 
Although I am satisfied he has doubts about the identity of 
the child, yet, no one else acquainted with the facts, seems 
to have the least doubt except Captain Marvin and myself, 
for no other person has seen your letter. "Will you have the 
goodness to write me as soon as convenient, and give me 
such information as you can obtain. Any trouble or expense 
that you may incur shall be promptly paid. 

Truly yours, 

ABEL F. FITCH. 

Afterwards, Mr. Fitch went in person and procured a 
large amount of testimony, a portion of which is herewith 
annexed, showing clear and positive evidence that Mr. Col 
lins was right in the supposition that this was not the child 
of Ammi Filley : 

STATE OF E"EW YORK, ) 
Columbia County, j ' 

John "W. Dinehart, being duly sworn, deposes and says, 
that he resides in the town of Copake, County of Columbia, 
and State of New York; that he knew an Indian by the 
name of Paul Pry, and an Indian, or half-breed, woman, by 
the name of Phebe ; that she was called his wife ; that they 
resided in the town of Copake the winter of 1835 and 1836 ; 



32 LIFE AND ADVENTUKES 

that they had with them a male child that appeared to be, 
and they said he was, about nine months old ; that the child 
had lost a toe off one of his feet ; that they said it had come 
by a string being around it, and that it was at last cut off ; 
that they then left the place, and he don't recollect of seeing 
them again until in July, 1839 ; that they then had a little 
boy with them apparently about four years old, and from his 
complexion and the color of his hair, he has no doubt it was 
the same child they had with them when they left; that 
they then stayed in Copake awhile and went to the town oi 
Hillsdale, adjoining Copake ; that they were in Copake fre 
quently till the summer of 1843 ; and that the boy attended 
the District School in that neighborhood. 

JOHN W. DINEHART. 

Subscribed, and sworn before ) 
me, this 5th day of Septem- > 
ber, 1846. ) 

W. M. ELLIOTT, 

Justice of the Peace, Columbia Co. 

COLUMBIA COUNTY, ss. 

Elizabeth Dinehart, being duly sworn, deposes and says : 
that she is the wife of John "W". Dinehart ; that the state 
ments in the foregoing affidavit, made by him, are correct 
and true ; that she has arrived at the dates stated in the 
foregoing affidavit from the records of the birth of her own 
children assisting her recollection. 

ECLIMETA ^ 
mark 

Subscribed, and sworn before J 
me, this 5th day of Septem- V 
ber, 1846. ) 

W. M. ELLIOTT, 
Justice of the Peace, Columbia Co. 



OF WILLIAM FILLET. 33 

COLUMBIA COUNTY, ss. 

Christina Bain, being duly sworn, says : that she is the wife 
of Abraham Bain ; that she resides in the town of Copake, in 
Columbia County ; that she knew Paul Pry, and a woman, or 
a half-breed from appearance, that was said to be his wife ; 
that they lived in Copake ten years ago ; that they had a 
male child with them ; that they left and returned again, 
about as stated in the affidavit of John "W. Dinehart ; that 
she thinks all the statements contained in that affidavit, as far 
as she can recollect, are correct. 

her 

CHKISTINA M BAIN" 
mark. 

Subscribed, and sworn before \ 
me, this 4rth day of Septem- > 
ber, 1846. ) 

W. M. ELLIOTT, 
Justice of the Peace Columbia Co. 



COLUMBIA COUNTY, ss. 
Loretta and Milton Bean, being duly sworn, each depose 

and say : that they agree in opinion with Christina Bain, of 

the affidavit of John W. Dinehart. 

LOEETTA BEAN, 
MILTON BEAN. 

Subscribed, and sworn before \ 
me, this 5th day of Septem- v 
ber, 1846. ) 

W. M. ELLIOTT, 

Justice of the Peace, Columbia Co. 



34: LIFE AND ADVENTURES 

COLUMBIA COUNTY, ss. 

Polly Williams, being duly sworn, deposes, and Bays : that 
she resides in the town of Copake, in the County of Columbia; 
that she knew Paul Pry, an Indian, and a woman ty the 
name of Phebe, a half-breed that was called his wife ; 
that they had with them a male child, that suckled, and ap 
parently less than a year old ; think that this was about ten 
years ago ; that the child had one toe that was nearly off, ex 
cept a piece of skin ; that its mother said it come by a string 
being around it ; this deponent advised her to cut it off, which 
she declined doing, but afterwards, when she saw them, she 
had it cut off'; she saw Paul, Phebe, and a little boy that had 
one toe off; that the eyes, hair and complexion of the boy 
were the same as that of the child she first saw with them. 

POLLY WILLIAMS. 

Subscribed, and sworn before \ 
me, this 5th day of Septem- v 
ber, 1846. ) 

W. M. ELLIOTT, 
Justice of the Peace, Columbia Co. 

Twenty-nine years have passed away. How marked the 
change ! Many of the early settlers have disappeared from 
the stage of existence ; another generation has succeeded 
them. The stalwart forms of the red men have left the beau 
tiful banks of the Grand River for the hunting grounds. The 
pale-faces now occupy their possessions. The rattle of ma 
chinery and the whistle of the locomotive are heard instead 
of the shrill war-whoop ; the wild oak openings have been 
turned into fruitful fields ; the wigwams and rude huts have 
been changed into castles and new houses. Where now 
stands the flourishing and infant city of Jackson, marked by 



OF WILLIAM FILLET. 35 

enterprise and prosperity so worthy our pride, destined to be 
come the great Kailroad Centre and Commercial Metropolis 
of the Lower Peninsula, were then the camping, hunting, and 
fishing grounds of the Pottawattamies. 

In the early part of the month of October, 1866, the fol 
lowing letter was received by the Postmaster at Jackson : 

c SiE: ~N"ot knowing your name, but thinking that you 
would do me the favor to try and ascertain whether there is a 
man living in the city of Jackson, where you live, or any 
where else, by the name of Willey. I am his son. I was 
taken by the Indians about thirty years ago. Can you find 
any of the relatives of this Willey ? All that I know about 
it is that my father's name is Willey, and that I was taken 
from Michigan. This I was told by an Indian. Please to 
try and find out for me, and I will thank you, whether you 
find my father or not, as soon as you can make it convenient, 
as I want to see him or my relations. 

Your humble serv't, 

WILLIAM WILLEY. 

COLDWATER, BRANCH Co., MICH., Sept. 28, 1866. 

This letter, on account of its not being deemed by the Post 
master as of much consequence, was laid aside for several days. 
In a conversation held with the Hon. Daniel B. Hibbard, the 
Postmaster made the statement that he had received such a 
letter. As Mr. Hibbard was familiar with the fact of the loss 
of the boy William Filley, and presuming that the name of 
the writer was Filley instead of Willey, of course his curiosity 
was excited, and, consequently, the Postmaster was requested 
to make a search for it. A search was made, and the letter 
(of which the above is a copy) was found. 



36 LIFE AND ADVENTURES 

The author was immediately informed of the receipt of the 
foregoing letter, and, as soon as possible, commenced an in 
vestigation into the facts. Making a visit to Branch County, 
he learned that such a person had been there, but could not 
find him. A brother of William Filley, Elijah Filley, who 
then resided in Oil City, Pennsylvania, was telegraphed to, 
and went to Branch County, for the purpose of finding his 
brother if possible. While he was engaged in the search, 
the long lost boy, on the 19th of October, 1866, appeared in 
the city of Jackson, and received the welcome and embraces 
of a large number of friends and relatives, many of whom, 
years ago, had searched in vain for him. 

The author was present at the time of the receipt of the 
telegram by the a^fed father, in Illinois, announcing the ar 
rival of William, and witnessed the paternal affection mani 
fested on that occasion. He immediately left for the city of 
Jackson, where he met and readily recognized his son, not 
withstanding the great change which had taken place during 
an absence of twenty-nine years. 

Time and exposure had somewhat obliterated the fair fea 
tures of his youth. His personal appearance is the counter 
part of his father. His complexion, age, and the color of his 
eyes and hair, and all his prominent characteristics are iden 
tical with those of the lost child. And, upon appealing to 
the well-known scar upon his left hand, his identity is fully 
substantiated. 

His (William's) appearance was, of course, unique. His 
long bushy hair hung down upon his shoulders; he was 
clothed in coarse woollen garments, manufactured by himself 
with the rude implements used by the Indians. He had 
witnessed his Indian mother work with the needle, and from 
her had learned the use of it, which enabled him to make his 




AMMT FILLET. 
The Father of the Indian Captive. 



OF WILLIAM FILLET. 39 

own garments; his boots were of the coarsest kind, and 
poorly fitted the feet which had worn moccasins in the rude 
wilds of the Rocky Mountains. His habits and mode of 
living differ materially from those who have had the privilege 
of enjoying the blessings of civilized life. By observation, 
he has treasured up many important and ufeeful ideas. He 
was known and called by his tribe a medicine man, and is 
skilled in the preparation of medicines. He understands tho 
secret of making steel out of iron, with the aid of a liquid. 
His razor is made out of a horseshoe, and is the finest steeL 
He has been thousands of miles on foot and with ponies. 
It would be singular, indeed, if he had not learned. " To 
travel, is the royal road to knowledge." He has been in 
seventeen different Indian tribes, three of whom were savage. 
He speaks eleven different Indian dialects ; and is a good 
singer in English, Spanish, and Indian. 

"I shall build a fire 
Of hickory branches dry, 
And knots of the gum-exuding pine, 
And cedar leaves and cones, 
Dry stubble shall kindle the pyre, 
And there shall the Huron die 
Flesh, and blood, and bones ! 
But first shall he know the pain 
Of a red-hot stone on the ball of his eye, 
And a red-hot spear in the spine. 
And, if he murmur a grain, 
What shouts shall rend the sky, 
To see the coward Huron flinch, 
As the Big Crows rend him, inch by inch !" 

He has been where no pale-faces of the present generation 
are allowed to go neither will they be, for many years to 



4:0 LIFE AND ADVENTTJKES 

come where scales of gold and silver ore, and various other 
precious metals are picked up by the Indians, with which to 
ornament their persons. ^ 

He has hunted down the grizzly bear and antelope, for his 
daily meal ; has shot the California lion and buffalo for com 
mon pastime. He can give the shrill warwhoop, which can 
be distinctly heard for two miles; and can dance the war 
dance. He has with him many curiosities and specimens of 
valuable medicines, prepared by his own hands in caverns 
beneath perpetual snows, thousands of miles towards the set 
ting sun. He has been in places in the mountains where, by 
looking up to the immense heights, their topmost peaks 
seemed to extend to the very clouds, and persons not familiar 
with such scenes would be frightened, and imagine the vast 
rocks were about to tumble upon them. He also relates 
many interesting incidents of Indian life and warfare, and 
has seen persons scalped in the most barberous manner. 

" I shall taste revenge ; 
I shall dip my hands in purple gore ; 
I shall wet my lips with the blood of the men 
"Who overcame my braves ; 
I shall tinge the lake so blue 
"With the hue which it wore 
When I stood, like a mouse in a wild cat's den, 
And saw the Huron s dig the graves 
Of my brothers good and true ! " 

An Indian war dance is an important occurrence in their 
events. The whole population is assembled, and a feast pre 
pared for all. The warriors are painted and prepared as for 
battle. A post is firmly planted or driven into the ground, 
and the singers, drummers, and other musicians are seated 



OF WILLIAM FILLET. 4:3 

within the circle formed by the dancers and spectators. The 
music and dancers begin. The warriors exert themselves 
with great energy ; every muscle is in action ; and there is 
the perfect concord between the music and their movements. 
They brandish their weapons with such apparent fury that 
fatal accidents seem unavoidable. Presently, a warrior 
leaves the circle, and, with his tomahawk, strikes the post. 
The music and dancing cease, and profound silence ensues. 

He then recounts, with a loud voice, his military achieve 
ments ; he describes the battles he has fought, the prisoners 
he has captured, the scalps he has taken ; he points to his 
scars, personal injuries, and trophies. He accompanies his 
harangue with actual representations of his exploits and ad 
ventures, with man and brute, in the most eloquent manner, 
and to the extent of his native oratory ; but uses no exagge 
ration or misrepresentation. It would be infamous for a 
warrior to boast of deeds that he never performed. If such 
an attempt were made, which seldom occurs, he would merit 
all the indignities of his nation, as the conduct of every war 
rior is well known. Shouts of approbation and applause 
accompany the narration, proportioned in duration and inten 
sity to the interest it excites. Then all join in the circle, and 
the war dance proceeds until it is interrupted by a similar 
transaction. 

In the poem "Ontwa," a scene is so well described, that we 
cannot resist the temptation to transfer it to our own pages. 
Of all who have attempted to embody in song the living man 
ners of the Indian, the anonymous author of this poem has 
been the most succesful. His characters, traditions, and de 
scriptions delineate the spirit and bearing of life. The work 
is not less true to nature than to poetry : 



4A LIFE AND ADVENTURES 

" A hundred warriors now advance, 
All dressed and painted for the dance ; 
And sounding club and hollow skin, 
A slow and measured time begin. 
With rigid limbs and sliding foot, 
And murmurs low the time to suit, 
Forever varying with the sound, 
The circling band moves round and round. 
Now, slowly rise the swelling notes, 
"When every crest more lively floats ; 
Now, toss' d on high, with gesture proud; 
Then lowly, 'mid the circle bowed ; 
While clanging arms grow louder still, 
And ev'ry voice becomes more shrill, 
Till fierce and strong the clamor grows, 
And the wild war-whoop bids its close." 

We will not attempt to follow him in his peregrinations 
from the Northern lakes to the Gulf of Mexico, and from the 
golden domes, silver sierras, and verdant valleys of the Mon- 
tezumas back into the rugged cliffs and deep gorges of the 
Rocky Mountains, where the rocks rise in triumphant gran 
deur many thousand feet above, shelving nearly across the 
chasms, covered with snow and glittering ice, where the ef 
fulgent sun never shines ; and onward, further west, through 
the lovely Willamette Yalley, down the banks of the Colum 
bia, from its source to its entrance into the placid ocean, 
and around the inexhaustible forests of fir and Lebanon cedar, 
and untold mineral wealth ; where the king of birds, with 
huge proportions, spreads his broad and potent pinions from 
the golden rocks of the mountains, and builds his nest, to the 
lofty branches of the red wood, above the sound and roar of 
the cataract ; where there is material wealth for future great 
ness, with an Oriental climate. 



OF WILLIAM FILLET. 45 

Dazzling as has been the career of the El Dorado of our 
day, and glittering as is the shield of the Golden State in the 
eyes of a wonder-stricken world, yet mnst her destiny grow 
dim before the rising star in the West Oregon that will 
sparkle in the galaxy of the Republic and make many of her 
older sisters look to their laurels. Take it all in all, Middle 
Oregon is one of the finest spots of Nature. 

Such have been the scenes and life of the long-lost Jackson 
boy, since he was stolen from the oak openings of Michigan, 
and crossed the broad rolling prairies of Illinois and Iowa, on 
to Salt Lake, and into Oregon. 

We should spread the broad mantle of charity over his im 
perfections, for if there ever was a person entitled to our 
sympathy, when we take into consideration the fact that he 
'has been isolated from parental care, he is one. Thus taken, 
he must have inevitably lost his language, and with it all dis 
tinct recollection of father, mother, home, and all that he held 
dear in childhood ; all, save his early sufferings amid storm 
and exposure. Often has he experienced sad and bitter feel 
ings, when, in the dark and solemn forest, by the solitary 
camp-fire on the banks of some murmuring stream, looking 
eastward towards the rising sun and over the lofty heights 
which divide the waters of the Pacific from those of the At 
lantic, with no bed but the cold ground, no cover but the 
broad canopy of heaven, he contemplated the long journey 
between him and the place of his nativity. 

He returns and proves his identity ; claims his birthright ; 
and, in his own peculiar style, in the following pages, presents 
to the public his autobiography ; thus removing the withering 
blight of suspicion which has hung like a cloud over the girl 
and family, whose misfortune it was to have charge of him on 
that memorable 3d of August, 183T. 



46 LITE AND ADVENTURES 

It is necessary that we should say something in relation to 
Mary Mount, the girl who had the boy in charge on the day 
he was stolen by the Indians. As related elsewhere, she, on 
the non-discovery of the lost boy, at once became the object 
of suspicion, and her subsequent life must have been indeed 
intolerable. Suffering under the imputation of having com 
mitted a horrible crime, and no legal proceedings having been 
instituted to prove, either her guilt or innocence, she was a 
marked person in the neighborhood. Her every appearance 
elicited such remarks as: "There is the girl that murdered 
Filley's boy ;" " That is Mary Mount the murderess ;" There 
is no possible doubt that she made away with Filley's boy:" 
etc. Citizens of Jackson, when visiting other parts of the 
State or country, were plied with all manner of questions 
concerning her : yet no opportunity was afforded her to le 
gally and effectually remove the stain thus fixed upon her. 
In the days which have passed since the time when the 
boy was stolen, and which to her must have been YEAJRS of 
torture, she has become a woman of education and refinement. 
She married, and the suspicions which attached to her made 
her married life one of misery. But she is still living, and 
the odium which had fixed itself upon her has been removed, 
and she now stands forth in her true character, as an innocent, 
greatly injured and respected woman. The return of the 
long-lost boy was to her a happy event, and one which she 
will remember during every one of her succeeding days, 
which no effort will be spared by those who cast contumely 
upon her, to make happy. She assures us, from her intimate 
knowledge of the boy stolen, that the person who has now 
set up a claim to be that boy, is no impostor. 




WILLIAM FILLET, 
The Lost Jackson Boy and Indian Captive 



LIFE AND ADVENTURES 



OF 



WILLIAM 



CHAPTEE I. 

Apology Early recollections and treatment First information as to his na 
tivity Return Selection of James Z. Ballard to edit this book Camping- 
ground of the Indians near Fort Kearney Indian Habits The warlike and 
blood-thirsty Siouxs Burning of a pappoose A squaw experiments on a pap- 
poose with boiling water Horrible cruelty The death penalty. 

JACKSON, MICHIGAN, October 1866. 

This narrative, containing some of the outlines of my event 
ful life, is written in much hurry, as I have many friends and 
relatives yet to visit in this State as well as in the States of 
Illinois, New York and ISTew England, and I am anxious to 
see them. 

In writing, I shall rely upon my memory. Were I alone, 
with less confusion, I could do much better. Since I arrived 
in this place, I have been with my father and friends to see 
the old home, the swamp, the lake, the place in the woods 
from whence I was stolen, and have had the old Indian trail 
pointed out by my father ; and, together, we wept over the 
grave of my mother. 

All have been very kind to me, strangers as well as friends, 
freely giving me money and clothes, and I have often been 



50 LIFE AND ADVENTURES 

invited to the homes of the early settlers. The public halls 
in the city have been offered me, in which to receive the friends 
who might wish to see me, but I had rather see them less 
publicly. I am often passed free on the cars, and my friends 
have horses and carriages which I have been welcome to use. 

The readers of this work may think it strange that I have 
stated no date of month, spring, summer nor fall, nor the date 
of the year. Will you look over this, as I never stored enough 
of the circumstances in my mind to let me state dates, and as 
to paper, pens, and ink, I had not the chance to get them at all 
times, and moreover, never expected to come and live among 
pale-face whites, so you must excuse my imperfection of mem 
ory. Many people in my situation, would not, perhaps, re 
member as much of the customs of the many tribes as I do 
now, though some may think that one might have committed 
to memory the whole of the scenes that I have passed through 
in these long twenty-nine years. The first eight years of my 
captivity, I never saw a pale-face, nor heard a single word of 
English spoken. This much is a blank in the history of my life. 

From the first of my remembrance, the Indians used me 
perfectly well in every respect ; even if, at any time, I wanted 
any valuable article that they prized highly, each and all of 
them would let me have it. In regard to food, I had the best 
there was ; and as to the moccasins I used to wear, if there 
was any part about them that I did not like, they would al 
ways give me the strongest they had. I was used by the dif 
ferent tribes that I was in, altogether better than any of the 
Indians used themselves. When the Indians steal any male 
white child, they always treat him unaccountably well, in 
order that he may have the due respect for them they wish to 
have shown them ; although they do not look for much res- 



OF WILLIAM FILLEY. 51 

pect from a child, neither do they look for much from their 
children. They will correct white children in the same man 
ner they do their own, but not by whipping. I will state 
hereafter the punishment of their children. 

When I gained the good news that I was taken from the 
State of Michigan, I resolved the earliest opportunity, to come 
to this State, in order to try and find my relations, if I had 
any living here or elsewhere. I visited my own tribe in the 
fall of the same year, which was 1860. When I came to tell 
the story to the head Chief, and the Council, and the rest of 
the tribe, they all told me that they should not advise me to 
go, but would freely give me the privilege to use my own 
mind on the subject, besides, they were more inclined for me 
to leave the tribe on so important business than to stay with 
them and never know whether I had any relations or not. I 
had made up my mind in the fall of 1865 to leave the next 
spring. 

I left the Camanche tribe on the second Monday of last 
March, 1866, and I had a party of my tribe as a scout, and 
also to protect me from all danger through the mountains, 
until I reached a party that were crossing the Plains for the 
East. Since I arrived here I have seen something over four 
hundred old settlers who knew of the circumstances of my 
being lost on the third day of August, 1837, and the greater 
part of the number were in search of me at that time ; and 
nearly every one of these old settlers have talked with me 
about writing my life to the best my memory would afford. 
I have concluded to try it, but I am not accustomed to write 
in this manner my readers must not find fault with me if I 
don't place every word in its proper order, and more especially 
as I have been deprived of the privileges which the pale-faces 
enjoy. My father, Ammi Filley, told me that my brother-in- 



52 LIFE AND ADVENTTJBES 

law, James Z. Ballard, would be as good a person as I could 
get to assist me, in Jackson or elsewhere. And, on gaining 
this information from my father, I resolved to have no other 
one have anything to do with it, in any way whatever. What 
James Z. Ballard has written in regard to the time and 
the circumstances of the case, when I was lost, is worded a 
great deal better than I can write. 

Below Fort Kearney, on the River Platte, say two hundred 
miles, is the first place of my recollection, and of that I 
remember but little. The Indians here used to have their 
winter quarters at different points, sonietimes at one place, 
and sometimes at another. The living here was generally on 
buffalo and deer. The habits of this tribe differs from all 
other tribes, except savages. They eat food with fingers, and 
lie on the ground, mostly. In fall, hunt meat for winter, and 
jerk to keep sweet. After fall, lay idle until spring, or early 
spring. Then the summer would be spent in ranging and 
fishing. Don't recollect of any reptiles except the hoop-snake 
and black viper, of which the bite is instant death. Stayed 
with this tribe until I was about nine years old, then left to 
the Sioux tribe, who are warlike and bloodthirsty, fear form 
ing no part of their nature. They live much as the tribe first 
mentioned, except they catch beaver and eat their hind 
quarters, and catch mecunis. This must be what they call 
the muskrat in this part of the country. They generally kill 
their game with the bow and arrow. 

The Sioux are very cruel to those against whom they enter 
tain revengeful feelings ; and are, also, in most cases, cruel 
to their horses if they don't do as they wish them to. The 
squaws, as a general thing, do all the drudgery or work. 
They marry by the moon or summer, as it best suits the 
parties. 



OF WILLIAM FILLET. 53 

The power of the chief -of this tribe is greater than of any 
tribe with which I am acquainted. He governs the councils 
strictly to the letter in every respect. Crimes are not pun 
ished so severely as in some other tribes with which I have 
been ; although, in some harsh cases of burning pappooses, 
starving, etc., if found guilty, the nearest relative is required 
to act the part of executioner. I know of one case where a 
squaw left her pappoose with another squaw, to take care of 
for a short time, while the mother went to the farther part of 
the camp on business of some kind. While she was gone, the 
squaw with whom she left the pappoose, burned it almost to 
a cinder, or so nearly so that there was nothing left but the 
upper part of the skull. The mother came back in the eve 
ning, and to her astonishment found her pappoose burned to 
death. She went to the chief and stated her case. He went 
to the wigwam to see if the statement was true, and found 
that it was. The old chief could not sleep that night, his mind 
being so troubled with the thoughts of the horrible crime 
which had been perpetrated. He laid until nearly midnight, 
when he arose and called the council together for the purpose 
of trying the squaw who had committed the crime. The 
council came together and ordered a search to be made for the 
guilty squaw. She was found in the afternoon of the next 
day. When found, the council gathered together in a circle, 
the chief in the midst, and examined the mother. She stated 
her testimony several times, and swore by the Great Spirit 
that her statement was true. They then questioned the pris 
oner in regard to to the crime she had committed. She said 
nothing for a short time, but finally her conscience so smote 
her that she confessed the fact of having committed the crime. 
She stated" that she did it to get rid of the pappoose, because 
it cried so much and was so troublesome to take care of. The 



LIFE AND ADVENTUKES 

council deliberated over the case, and found lier guilty of burn 
ing the pappoose. The sentence was that her nearest relative 
should tie her to a stake and execute her, by first cutting out 
her left eye, then drawing out one of her finger nails, 
and then work at the other eye, and another finger or toe 
nail, and so until she was dead ; all of which he did, keeping 
at his bloody work until after she was dead. If this torture 
should be perpetrated by white folks, it would be looked upon 
as barbarous in the extreme ; but with these Indians this is 
nothing, in comparison with some of their executions. 

I heard of an old squaw who had the care of a small pap 
poose only three or four hours, but through much wanton cru 
elty she scalded it to death, and then put it out of sight as 
well as she could. It was only a few days before the pap 
poose was found. The chief was made acquainted with the 
facts, and went, as he was wont to do, to ascertain the truth 
of the statement. The squaw who committed the crime was 
then found, and her trial began; but soon after commenc 
ing the trial the guilty squaw confessed that she scalded the 
little pappoose to see how long it would live in boiling water. 
She stated that she dipped it in by the hand first, then one of 
the feet, then the other hand, and then the other foot, and she 
concluded she had punished it about enough. She finished by 
putting in the head of the pappoose until it was all covered. 
The chief and the council sat and looked very sad and grim. 
They were so uneasy in hearing the statement of the cruel 
squaw, that the whole council were glad when she had fin 
ished telling of the plan she took to try the experiment of 
seeing how much the innocent pappoose could suffer before 
its heart would cease to beat. The sentence of this squaw was 
to be scalded in the same manner as she did the young child. 
Even then they were not satisfied, as they went to work on 



OF WILLIAM FILLET. 55 

her in double madness after she was dead. They began to 
pluck out her eyes and draw out the finger nails, as well as 
the toe nails. "When the Indians have a case of this kind, 
they do not know when to stop. The pale-face would shudder 
at so cruel and barbarous a way to put a guilty criminal to 
death, even if the criminal had put his victim to a ten times 
more horrid death than this young pappoose suffered. But 
there is no shudder for the barbarous Indian. I could tell 
you of far more cruel cases than this, but it makes my very 
blood run cold when I think of the cruel death scenes I be 
held while with this tribe. 



OHAPTEE II. 

Disadvantages Finding of gold in California Early school houses Sent to 
school Difficulty in learning Taken from school Dislike to leaving pale 
face associations Keturn to bondage Punishment of Indian children Desire 
to be transferred from Big Crow and Walla "Walla tribes to the Camanche tribe. 

At this time, I went to the Big Crow tribe. I ought to be 
some fond of these Indians, as they brought me in contact 
with white folks ; and I knew that I was a white boy, but 
could not understand any of the white folks' language. I 
knew the disadvantage of not understanding English, al 
though I had forgot my mother tongue ; but still, knowing 
that I was at times among white folks, and not knowing what 
language they spoke, it was very hard for me to make them 
understand- what I wanted. I can remember very well how 
mad it made me because they could not understand me in the 
way I wanted them to ; and not only myself, but the Big Crow 
Chief and tribe as well, knew the disadvantage of not under 
standing the white folks. If they wanted anything from the 
pale-face people, they would send me to get the desired article. 

About this time, was the first finding of gold in California 
by the whites. The Big Crow Chief and tribe, as well as the 
chief of the Walla "Walla tribe, concluded to put me with the 
pale-face people, in order for me to learn and speak their lan 
guage, if they had any, as it was generally thought by most 
all these tribes that they understood each other on the same 
principle as some wild tribes, that is, by signs more than words. 



OF WILLIAM FILLET. 57 

Soon after this, the gold flow of emigration began, in order 
to gain the precious yellow metal that had been seen in the 
far West ; as some of the emigrants found the precious stuff, 
and, sending the accounts to their friends in the far East, they 
began to emigrate in a short time by hundreds. 

It was not long from the beginning of the finding of gold 
that the emigrants began to build villages ; some of these, after 
a short time became cities, as they were called at that time in 
California. But still, they increased so much that they con 
cluded to build school houses ; and, when the time came, the 
people of San Francisco decided, to build a large and perma 
nent school house. 

A short time after this, the chief of the Big Crow tribe and 
the chief of the Walla Walla tribe, 

" Two mighty chiefs, one cautious, wise and old, 
One young, and strong, and terrible in fight," 

took me to this San Francisco school, and placed me with the 
pale-faces, in order to learn to talk with them. This was the 
hardest work I ever did in my life to learn to speak English 
again, not knowing at that time whether I had ever spoken 
English or not ; and I was also ignorant of the fact that I 
had been stolen from white folks. As near as I can recollect 
I remained at school in San Francisco a little over three years, 
but, before this time had expired, I found out to my great 
joy, that I had learned the language of the pale-faces, and, 
also, that their language was not the most of it. signs and 
characters. I cannot tell how happy I was when I could talk 
to the whites and make them understand me. I can recollect, 
as well as if it was only yesterday, how I used to be talking 
to everybody, in order to find out the names of different things 
that I did not know anything about. I used to ask the names 



58 LIFE AOTD ADVENTURES 

of things, anl put them down on bits of waste paper that I 
would find about the streets, and sometimes on smooth bark. 
The reason I did this, recollect, was because I had no money 
to buy paper with. This was the most trouble I had at this 
time ; I thought more of a sheet of paper than I do of a whole 
quire now. So you can form something of an idea of what a 
state of poverty and destitution I was in no one to tell me 
when I was doing anything wrong ; and, more than that, did 
not care whether I learned to steal or not. But as I had 
to get along the best I could, I made the best I could of it, 
under the circumstances. 

But then I had another hard thing to do, and that was, to 
leave the pale-faces in California, go back to the tribe, and 
be in bondage again. Tongue cannot tell how sad it made 
me feel to know that [ had got to be thrust away from my 
new found friends, that I had become so attached to, and to 
be, as I thought, almost shut out of the world again, to lead 
a sad, mournful, and wandering life. Still, I had to stand it, 
for when the chiefs of the two tribes that had sent me to 
school came for me I had to go, without making any fuss 
about it. Had I been stubborn about going with them, they 
would have punished me very severely, by lifting me up by 
both of my ears for a few seconds. [Indians correct the white 
children they have stolen in the same way that they do their 
own, but not in quite so severe a manner. The way is this, 
when a very small pappoose, say three summers, or, as the 
pale-faces say, three years old, does wrong, the Indians will 
lift it gently up by the ears, not bearing the whole weight of 
the body when so young ; but commencing at so early an age 
begins to train them in the punishment principle, and does 
not hurt them very much, and is done to make them mind. 




TAKEN BY INDIAN CHIEFS 
From School in California back to bondage in the Rocky Mountains') 



OF WILLIAM FILLET. 



01 



When they are four or five years old and require punishment, 
they are lifted bodily up by the ears and are told why and 
what it is done for, which hurts them considerably. It is not 
generally the case that a pappoose requires to be lifted up 
more than three or four times before they will mind strictly 
when spoken to, and by this mode of punishment they will 
mind other persons and Indians as well as their parents. 
Indians think this a much better plan than to whip them, as 
it makes them mind so close that a word or look is enough.] 
At times, it would seem to almost take my life. Pale-faces in 
Eastern climes might suppose that I need not dread going 
into bondage, as they might have supposed that I was at 
liberty. But that was the case, as, for the gold the two chiefs 
gave them for taking care of me at school, it was for them to 
keep me very close to them, so as not to enjoy my whole 
liberty. Still I was happier here than I had been in all my 
life. 

But before I close this part of my life in California, I will 
tell you that I saw the chief of the Camanche tribe, and as 
the former chiefs that claimed me gave me the liberty to talk 
with him, I did so in the most earnest manner possible. I 
told the chief that I had been to this school for a little more 
than three years, and was now a tolerable good scholar in 
speaking English and also in writing. I thought I was a 
first-rate scholar when I could but fairly write my name, but 
I have found out the difference since. But, to go back, I told 
the Camanche chief that I was dissatisfied with the Big Crow 
and Walla Walla chiefs and tribes, and that I wanted him to 
get me away from them, and then I would be his prisoner 
and captive. He accordingly went and saw these chiefs, and 
made a bargain for me ; but what the bargain was I never 
knew, as the Camanche would never tell me. But this much 



62 LIFE AND ADVENTURES 

he told me, that I must go with these two chiefs into what is 
called New Oregon, and stay until the next spring, it being 
late in the fall when I saw him. I went back with them in a 
happier mood, knowing, as I had been told, that I could get 
with the Camanche chief, and would soon have my liberty. 
The next four months seemed the longest time of my exist 
ence ; the time wore away very slow to me, yet not without 
hope. 



OHAPTEK III 

The transfer effected Adoption Made a Chief and head Medicine man Lib 
erty Surmises concerning relatives Occupation as second Chief Inability 
of the Indians to understand English Friendship and love of the Indians 
How to jerk meat Panther hunting and its dangers Torture of panther 
whelps A panther fight Distressing situation Relieved by three pale-faces, 
escaped prisoners from the Osage Indians Take pale-faces to my tribe, who 
kindly treat them and suffer them to go on their way The Osage Indians 
Their manners and customs Theircruelty Tortures Roasting a pappose- 
Religion of the Qsages. 

The spring came, and, to my great joy, with it came the 
Camanche chief. The moment I saw my protector, as I was 
told he would be, I sprang towards him as quick as a panther 
would leap on a deer. This chief I found to be my fiiend, 
indeed, although, for about a year, he and the tribe used to 
watch me very closely. Soon after this, I was adopted into 
this tribe, and chose to be their chief, but not the head chief; 
I was next to him in rank. At this time I had my first liberty. 
How does the reader suppose I felt at my being almost as 
free as the deer or the antelope, to stay or go when I wished? 
If I was ever happy in my life, I was at this time. It seemed 
so strange to me, when I had no one to watch me, I would 
sometimes sing and dance, and be almost at my wit's end, to 
express my happiness. 

I used to often wonder to myself wether I had a white 
father or mother, or any sisters and brothers whom I did not 
know. Thousands of times I thought of "this, but still, at this 



64: LIFE AND ADVENTURES 

time, and for years to come I was left in the dark, as to whether 
I had any pale-faces for relations. I never, at an^ time, 
thouhgt that my father was an Indian, or my mother a squaw. 
Some time after being chosen chief in my tribe, I went on 
a hunt, in company with four Indians, for the smaller kind of 
antelope. Our range was near the Blue Kidge Mountains, a 
portion of the country seldom visited by panthers, they 
generally being found much farther to the south. On this 
occasion, we came across a very large panther, with two cubs. 
These cubs we caught ; and, without .any thought of the 
danger into which we were running, we commenced teasing 
them for amusement. We cropped their ears and tails, which 
set them screaming, and then we stuffed their mouths with 
jerked bear meat to stop their screeches, which were enough 
to make you tremble. It was fun to see the savage young 
brutes attempt to get at us, but we kept them off with burning 
pitch-pine knots. Their cries soon brought several full-grown 
male and female panthers to the scene, and then our danger 
began. Having no horses, we could not get away ; and every 
thing seemed to be against us. We managed to keep them 
off by firing charges of small shot into them, which made them 
only the more savage. Our danger becoming greater every 
moment, four of us succeeded in reaching a ledge of rocks 
some one hundred feet above the infuriated panthers, but the 
fifth was seized by four of the animals and instantly torn to 
pieces. The taste of blood, thus obtained, made them more 
ferocious than ever, and by the time we were safely on the 
ledge of rocks mentioned, we found the panthers had reached 
an equal height, and were about to attack us from both sides. 
With no means of escape, our only hope was to fight 
them to death. With our rifles and other weapons we 
commenced the conflict, and after several hours' severe fight 



OF WILLIAM FILLEY. 65 

the last of the panthers was driven off from the ledge, leaving 
but two of our party, two others having fallen in the fight. 
As it would be dangerous for us to remain, we climbed up to 
a higher ledge of rocks, where we laid down to sleep, both 
being entirely exhausted in the deadly struggle through which 
we had passed. On awaking in the morning, I found my 
only remaining companion dead, the wounds he received in 
the fight with the panthers having proved fatal. My situation 
was then very distressing ; having been without food or water 
for two days and three nights, I was very weak and unable 
to reach the plain which stretched away for miles below me. 
As if by a special act of Providence, I heard a gun fired, and 
at once answered it by firing off my own rifle. I soon discovered 
that the first report of a gun was a party of three white men, and 
with their assistance succeeded in reaching the level plain. These 
white men were escaped prisoners from the Osage tribe of 
Indians on the south fork of the Platte River, where they 
were encamped for the season, having been with them three 
years, and had then been wandering thirty-three days in the 
various ranges in search of the route to Great Salt Lake City, 
having become bewildered. At the time we met they were 
several degrees out of their way, and I took them with me to 
my tribe. They were kindly treated by the chief and council, 
after remaining some time they were permitted to go on their 
way towards their friends, well provided with everything they 
wanted. 

While stopping with my tribe, these pale-faces told me 
many things concerning the manners and customs of the 
Osage Indians with whom they had been prisoners. These 
Indians were very cruel and bloodthirsty, taking great pleas 
ure in putting to death the pale-face squaws and children who 



66 LIFE AND ADVENTURES 

fell into their hands, first torturing them in the most fiendish 
manner. One case they stated was of a pale face pappoose, 
an infant at the breast, which they tortured to death in the 
following manner : They bored holes in its ears, and running 
wampum belt strings through the holes, danced it up and down 
by these strings until it was dead. When they found the 
child was dead, they danced the Indian death dance around 
it, and then proceeded to roast it by a slow fire, as they said, 
to purify the spirit so that it would be received into the 
Indian's happy land. 

There is little civilization among the Osage Indians ; yet 
they believe that in the happy hunting grounds they will 
enjoy greater privileges than other tribes of Indians. One of 
their happy ideas is, that every Osage Indian who reaches 
that happy land will have three squaws for wives ; and the 
squaws believe they will have three husbands. They also 
believe they will live in the happy hunting grounds until the 
land turns to gold, out of which the good Indians and squaws 
will build a golden wigwam for the Great Spirit, who will be 
constantly with them ; that he will fish and hunt for them, 
l >and prepare their food. In this belief they will roast a pale 
face squaw to purify her for the happy land where they are 
to live, that she may cook for them when the Great Spirit is 
hunting and fishing. They inflict the most horrible torture 
in this operation, which is done by a very slow fire, and is 
continued even after death has released the victim from their 
fiendishness. If, while being burned alive, groans or cries 
escaps from the unfortunate pale-face squaw, water is poured 
down her throat, as the savages believe, to stop the fire from 
burning her up too fast. If she should die quicker than they 
think she ought to, she will not be fit to enter the happy 
hunting grounds, but will remain at the gate to wait upon all 



OF WILLIAM FILLET. 67 

the Indians and squaws, wash their dirty feet before they 
enter, and gather tobacco for them. If her duties in this po 
sition are well attended to, she will, when the land turns into 
gold, be allowed to join them in the happy land. In the event 
of the Great Spirit leaving them, this pale-face squaw will 
have to take his place in hunting, fishing, and cooking for the 
good Indians and squaws. As a final reward, she is made the 
wife of the Great Spirit when he comes back ; but if she is 
not a good wife, and won't spread out the bear or buffalo skin 
for the Great Spirit to sleep upon, she is sent out among the 
bad Indians, where they have to do all the hard work in tan 
ning the skins and making moccasins for the good Indians. 

My business as under, or second chief, of the Camanches, 
was to do all the trading that the tribe wanted done. It made 
no difference how small the pelt was, nor how simple the ar 
ticle, if any of the Indians had any such to trade, it was my 
place to try and sell it for him, and make as much as I could. 
I did this to get acquainted with this strange tribe, as you 
must know that I could not get acquainted with them all in 
one year, for there was a large number of them. The tribe 
were naturally fond of me, more so than they would be of 
other pale-faces who do not live among them. , 

When I knew that the whole tribe took a liking to me, (and 
this 1 knew by the treatment I received from them), and that 
they liked me as much as it was possible for them to love a 
white chief, and looked upon me as their guardian, protector, 
and friend, then, and not till then, did I begin to learn some 
thing for my fifture benefit. In such a case, should one ever 
turn his mind to go and live among the pale-faces, or to be 
their chief medicine man, they will make him what you would 
call their chief or prominent doctor ; they will learn him all 
the plants and bark^ they use in their treatment of different 



68 LIFE AND ADVENTURES 

complaints, both external and internal ; he will have the 
chance to learn how to prepare all their medicines, and eve 
rything they know which will be of any advantage to them. 
Now, the reader must be well aware that such a tribe of In 
dians have all the fondness for this pale face chief that they can 
possibly have. The chief is called upon, when he has 
learned all I have above stated, for any case of consequence. 
He is above all the rest of the medicine men, in preparing and 
dealing out the different classes of medicine. It matters not 
what the case may be, he is called upon to superintend. This 
is the most lofty grade in which such an one can be stationed 
amongst Indians. He also oversees all the meat that is caught 
by them to save for the next year's food ; he has the regulat 
ing of all meat that is jerked. There are probably thousands 
of the whites who do not understand the manner of jerking 
meat. There are various ways of doing it, and I will state 
to you one of them. 

First, select a spot that is considerably on a descent ; then 
go up from the level ground, say twelve or sixteen feet, and 
dig a square pit six or eight feet deep. "When you have done 
this, dig a trench from this square pit, say eighteen inches 
wide, until you run out on level ground ; then you will cover 
this trench over with stones, and grass turf on the top of them, 
and dirt on top of the turf. This forms a flue. Your meat 
you will cut in moderately thin slices, and use 'twine or bark 
in order to hang the meat on a short stick : put one end of 
this stick in the ground, so that it will be firm 'and not slip ; 
string the meat on this stick, so that it will'not touch the 
ground, and close together, only not to touch ; then place your 
sticks with the meat on, one above the other, until you have 
all your meat in the pit ; then get some very strong sticks or 
poles and lay a number of them across the pit : then stretch 



OF WILLIAM FILLET. 69 

a hard hide quite tight over the top of these poles, and put 
some earth over this hide, until you have completely covered 
it. Well done. Build a fire with dry wood in the mouth of 
the flue, and the smoke will reach the pit. This warm smoke 
will fill the pit and warm the sides, so that it will cause a 
damp, gassy vapor to arise from the bottom and sides. This 
vapor, if kept going for twelve or eighteen hours, takes away 
or destroys the animal life. This meat, if covered close 
enough to keep all flies from it, will keep as well ten years 
as it will two. Fresh meat, in a temperate climate, if 
hoisted up forty or fifty feet, will keep perfectly sweet in 
the summer time from four to six weeks. The reason is, 
because we are so near the Pacific coast, and get the salt 
sea-breeze ; and, besides, being in a temperate clime, the 
atmosphere is more regular, and less changeable, by far, 
there, than in this State. I have wandered now, from one 
thing to another, till I have got back to the State of Michigan. 



OHAPTEE IV. 

Life in the Rocky Mountains Marriage and its peculiarities A good opening 
for wife deserters Dress of the Indians He induces the squaws to adopt the 
pale-face style of dressing Becomes a modiste Camping-grounds Trading 
post Astoria Its location Indigenous growth of tobacco, quality, etc 
The Camanche tribe Savage Indians The Arrapahoes Their filthy habits 
Revengefulness Tortures Their superstitions. 

I will now go back to the Kocky Mountains, which is the 
spot where the Camanche tribe mostly ranges in the fall and 
winter seasons. "We do but little in the winter our pastime, 
generally, is to practice with the rifle, tomahawk, and knife ; 
play different games that we are accustomed to ; read, and play 
the fool with each other. But the Indians are not like the 
pale-faces, they are not so quick tempered with each other. 

Our marriages are arranged in a somewhat peculiar manner. 
I will state this particular as modestly as I can: They will 
marry by the moon, or summer, or for a longer time. But, 
say that the Indian marries for a moon (this is what the reader 
would call -a month), then, if the squaw becomes pregnant, 
they are married for life ; then they may fight, bite, scratch, 
kick, wrangle, and quarrel with each other as much as they 
have a mind to. But if they finally separate, so as not to live 
together for two moons, they are separated for life, and neither 
the squaw nor Indian can live together again ; and, besides, 
if the squaw is caught with this Indian or with another Indian, 
or the Indian with another squaw, they are tried by the chief 
and council, and, if found guilty, are sentenced to the penalty 



OF WILLIAM FILLET. 71 

of death. So much, for the Indians and squaws. You may 
think it very strange, but I have seen, in my tribe, some 
Indians and squaws as pale-faced as any of the whites. But, 
although this is the case, these are of pure Indian blood. A 
pale-face will not be used very civil if he undertakes to per 
suade one of the squaws of my tribe to marry ; he would get 
punished very severely, as such conduct is a thing that will 
not be allowed in our tribe. If he goes beyond our laws, then 
we will try him, and, if we find him guilty, then we will 
punish him in such a way that he won't try that plan again 
as long as he lives. 

Some of our tribe can speak the English language much 
better than I can. Many of them cannot speak it at all. This 
part of our tribe are indolent, and don't care whether they 
learn anything for their benefit or not. It would be greatly 
to their benefit if they could speak English, as they would 
then have a chance to learn the manners and customs of the 
whites. 

This tribe dresses far different from any other tribe. Most 
of the other tribes wear only blankets and skins, and a breech- 
clout; our tribe wear pantaloons, somewhat in the shape of 
those worn by white men, but the coat is shorter, reaching 
not much below the hips. The squaws wear under and over- 
clothes, in much similar shape to the white women. The first 
dress worn in my tribe was worn by the squaw of the head 
chief, or what the reader would call wife. She had got a 
dress pattern from a white woman in-the Willammette Yalley, 
State of Oregon. The chief squaw cut out the dress. I was 
in the cabin when she first put it on ; I did not like it, as it 
only came down to her knees. I cut this dress from off her 
body. Then I persuaded her to let me cut one out for her, 
by the pattern she had got ; she did it, and I cut it to reach 



72 LIFE AND ADVENTURES 

down to her ankles and persuaded her to wear it. I liked the 
shape of it much better than the one she had made for herself. 
I may say, that it was not over three years before every squaw 
in the tribe had dresses, and made them as long as the first 
long dress I cut. It was through my means that the squaws 
in my tribe were persuaded to wear dresses at all ; neither did 
the Indians wear pantaloons or jackets, until I induced them 
to do it for their comfort, decency, and happiness. Now, the 
Indians or squaws are not ashamed to see pale-face men or 
women, and look them in the face. I have done this much, 
and would like to do more for them ; but perhaps I never 
shall. 

My readers would like to know where my tribe's camping- 
grounds lay. Our village covers quite a large space of ground, 
something over eight miles square. But this is guess work, 
for there never was a chain run through there, and may not 
be for several generations to come. It is in the Rocky Moun 
tains, and is no farming country. The reader may now ask, 
where was our trading point or post. It was mostly at Asto 
ria ; this lays very near the mouth of the river. Our camp 
lies, as near as I can tell, from 170 to 220 miles nearly in a 
north-west direction from this Astoria, which is a small town, 
inhabited mostly by Spaniards, with a few American families. 
"We go down to this spot once a year, in order to buy tea, 
flour, and powder ; lead we have plenty of in the mountains. 
Near Astoria, we find, in places, the natural wild tobacco. It 
is not much larger than the common narrow yellow dock, 
which grows in the" State of Michigan ; but it is very strong, 
especially if we let.it alone until it gets ripe ; it is the strong 
est tobacco I ever saw of any kind. This is real tobacco, and 
not what is called " Indian's tobacco," or lobelia. 

This Camanche tribe is what we call a brother tribe to the 



OF WILLIAM FILLET. 73 

Camanches that range generally in the State of Texas. But 
those Camanches are a very warlike and bloodthirsty tribe. 

Among the different Indian tribes who roam over the wide 
prairies of the far West are the Arrapahoes. They are the 
most crafty, cruel, and revengeful of any of the tribes with 
which I had any acquaintance. They are keenly alive to 
insult, and the death of the person giving the insult is the 
only satisfaction ever taken. They do no torture before killing 
in cases of insult, but strike deep and sure at the first chance. 
They permit no violation, of their laws ; particularly of that 
which forbids the enticing away of their squaws. When a 
pale-face is guilty of breaking this law, if captured, he is com 
pelled to endure the most intense misery, inflicted in the 
following manner : They first tie the hands behind the back 
and tie the feet together, then they lay the victim on his back, 
and with red-hot flints burn some particular spot of the body, 
and they will continue to work at that part until it is burned 
to the bone. They burn off the hair, and burn the tongue 
and ears ; then, for a rest they will drive sharp sticks under 
the finger and toe-nails, draw out the nails, one at a time, and 
then resort again to the scorching with hot flints. Should the 
victim be alive after all this, they will place him upon a pile 
of thorns, and leave him, that he may die in peace, as they 
say. They have an idea that the victims of this torture some 
times come to life again and practice all kinds of mischief 
upon them. In order to prevent this, when they bury the 
body, they lay it on the face, that in digging to get out it will 
dig deeper, and they bind the body down with long sticks, in 
such a manner that if laid on the back and should come to life 
they never could get out. They think when any one so tor 
tured to death comes to life again that they destroy the fish 
in the lakes and streams and the game in their hunting grounds. 



74: LIFE AND ADVENTURES 

I once had one of these savages come and tell me that one of 
the pale-faces he had tortured to death had come to life and 
had been into his wigwam, bent his bow the wrong way so 
that it would not shoot, and drove his squaw away. I tried 
to make him believe that some of his Indian enimies had done 
it, but he would not, and remained under the superstition that 
he had been the victim of a visit from the ghost of the mur 
dered pale-face. The Arrapahoes are much more superstitious 
than many other tribes, and no manner of argument can 
change them in any way. 

There may be many pale-faces who don't know what a sav 
age Indian is. I will describe them, and their tempers and 
positions, as well as I can, although I have stated elsewhere 
that I have been amongst them before. But it is impossible 
to describe their true character. All I know of these two 
strange tribes I learned by being with them two different 
nights. In describing one I describe both. 



OHAPTEE V. 

Indian tribes Their ignorance Enlightening them Their cruelty Murder 

An attack Poisoned arrows Experiments Panthers Their habits Their 
tenacity of life Value of their skins for moccasins Abundance of the ante 
lopeSuperiority of the skins of the elk and moose Their scarcity Fishing. 

We were out for a stroll, eleven years ago last summer, 
(1866,) and we came across some of these savage tribes. They 
took particular notice of what direction we came. I suppose 
it was nearly night when we reached their camp, and they 
made signs for us to stay with them for the night, which we 
were very glad to accept of, as we knew that we were some 
distance from water. If it had not been for that, we would 
not have made any halt at all. If my memory serves me 
right, we were smoking when we first went into their camp. 
For a short space of time they kept a proper distance from us ; 
but, bye-and-bye, they drew a little closer to us, but cautiously, 
for fear, as I thought, that we were going to kill them. "When 
they came up close to us, it was to ascertain if our mouths 
were on fire or not ; but when they saw us take our pipes 
from our mouths and blow the smoke out, and could not see 
any fire, they were greatly astonished. On smoking again, 
they saw no danger, and began to be sure that we were human 
beings like themselves. They would look all around us, at 
our clothes, and at our silver and gold ornaments. Then they 
wanted to see our guns, and their great wonderment was, 
what .they were for. I took my rifle, showed them some gun 
powder, and let them see me put it in the barrel ; then I let 



76 LIFE AND ADVENTURES 

them see the rag I put on top of the powder, then took my 
ramrod and forced down the paper; then I showed them a 
ball, and let them see me put it down the mouth of the barrel, 
and they saw me force it down ; then I took a piece of writing 
paper and placed it on a tree a hundred rods off, and asked 
them to go to the tree with me and examine it, then gave signs 
for them to leave the tree. When they were safe, I drew my 
rifle and put a ball through the paper ; then made signs for 
them to go again to the tree, which they did, and found the 
ball in the tree and brought it badk to me, and kept it. As 
near as I could make out, they understood what lead was. So 
you see there are some tribes so wild and ignorant that they 
are unacquainted with anything belonging to the pale-faces. 
They were very shy of us after this. They gave us some of 
their dried bear meat, and we partook of the same kind of bed 
that they did, and that was the ground, with the canopy of 
heaven for a shelter. In the morning we were up before they 
were, and they gave us some kind of meat for breakfast. I 
saw, that morning, an old squaw strike one of the pappooses 
with a stick, very hard; one of the savages then took up a 
good-sized club, and split the old squaw's brains out. This 
was enough to show me their temper, and it was well for us 
that we showed them what our rifles were for ; had we not, 
we might never one of us have seen our camp-ground again. 
We left soon after this, and in a few hours we saw them se 
creted behind some rocks, from which they attacked us with 
bows and arrows. If one of their arrows had entered our flesh, 
it is probable it would have taken our lives, for the whole flint 
point was poisened, as we afterwards found out. We shot one 
of them at our tame antelope and he died from its effects in 
about two days, although it was but a slight flesh wound, I 
knew that the arrow must be dipped in some deadly poison, 



OF WILLIAM FILLET. 77 

for I have thrown flint point arrows into deer and antelopes, 
and made very deep wounds, which would not kill them. 

Panther hunting is a common pastime in the spring-time of 
the year. There are a great many of them at certain spots in 
the mountains. There is a moderately high point south-east 
of camp, called Range Point. A hundred and fifty miles from 
this Range Point, panthers are plenty, and go in groups of 
four and sometimes more. I have heard persons East say 
that the panther will follow men and women. This is not the 
case with our Rocky Mountain panther ; as far as my knowl 
edge goes, they never follow any one, and I ought to know, 
as I have ranged in these mountains for the last seventeen 
and a-half years. I have never been out in these ranges and 
came across any of them, but they have run out of my sight 
as if they were running for their lives. The panthers I have 
seen were very small, compared to the Eastern panthers which 
I have heard tell about. They are very hard to kill, although, 
sometimes, if the ball takes them at the'proper spot, they may 
be killed very easily ; I have known as many as eight or more 
balls to be thrown into them before they would yield up the 
ghost. 

When we kill panthers and catamounts we always tan their 
pelts to make our moccasins of. The reason we use such pelts 
is, the deer are very scarce here in the heart of the mountains. 
I have never seen but very few deer in this part ; what are 
here are on the outskirts of the mountain. 

Antelope are very thick here, so numerous that it is no 
trouble for us to kill several in the course of an hour ; their 
pelts are the next best pelts we can get to make a covering 
for our feet. I and my tribe would rather have the pelt of 
the moose and the elk, if we can get them, as these tan much 
easier than most any pelt ; they are much thicker and more 



78 LIFE AND ADVENTURES 

durable. After we tan them, we can travel over sharp stones, 
or even over sharp thorns, without hurting our feet in the least. 
This is not all. No matter how wet we get them, after they 
are dry they are just as soft as they were before. I can take 
a moccasin of our tanning, from the moose or elk pelt, and fill 
it with water and let it remain as long as I wish, and then no 
water will soak through. But it is very rare that we find any 
of these last mentioned animals in the heart of the mountains, 
though they are in the outskirts. 

I always liked to range in these winding mountain valleys, 
on the small as well as the larger streams, as they abound 
in red-spotted trout. I have spent a great many lonely 
hours catching these small trout, merely for pastime, and 
then throw them away. This was the pleasantest time I ever 
had alone with the red men. 



CHAPTEE VL 

His similarity to the red man His tenacity of purpose Saving the lives of 
white men Comparison of the laws of the whites and Indians Honesty of 
the same compared Religion of the Indians Their profession and practice 
Similarity the ancient Jews Their burnt-offerings Their chants, etc, etc. 
Big trees in the Rocky Mountains The stories concerning them disputed 
No trees more than 12 or 15 feet in diameter. 

Some people here may think me very tenacious in my 
habits. I am, and well I might be, as I was raised, except 
the first five years of my life, among the red men of the 
mountains. I hold to just the same principles and dispositions 
as the red men and squaws who raised me. I am very 
curious and particular as to who I choose for my confidential 
friends in the vast community, and, more than this, I do not 
like to be contradicted when I know I am telling the truth. 
It is contrary to my principles to allow any one to dictate for 
me in any manner. I hold to their disposition, except that I 
will not allow myself to be revengeful, and kill for a very 
small grievance. This I would not do, and I never had enough 
of the red man's revenge in me to kill a human being. I 
have, in the course of my life, saved the life of many a pale 
face, by my intercession, from scalping with the long-knife. 
Some folks may think that I write this last statement in order 
to be well spoken of. I always felt it my duty, as under 
chief, to do so, and, besides, it made me more friendly with 
the pale faces of the extreme "West. It was not only much 
better for me, but it was a benefit to the red men I was with. 



80 LIFE AND ADVENTURES 

I remember, in 1857, that a small-party of white men came 
into our range to find gold, which they did find, and were 
caught by some of our Indians. They were forced to come 
into our camp, and were made to know that, according to our 
laws, they would be tried for their lives. But, by my inter 
cession with the head chief and the council, they were given 
their entire liberty. Now, it is a fact, if this party of pale 
faces had gone among white men, and had entered their or 
chards or fields and begun to help themselves to wiiat was 
growing there, they would have tried them to the utmost of 
their law, and, if found guilty, would have put them in the 
white man's prison, and kept them there some time ; and if 
the sentence for the crime had been death, they would have 
tied a piece of hemp around their necks, and hung them 
up. Now, if I had not interceded lor the above party, and 
they had been proved guilty, and been shot by the red 
men, the pale-faces would have said directly that the In 
dians had murdered them, not reflecting of the opposite case. 

Again, the pale-faces think it is no sin to steal the red 
man's property from his land, but to steal from a white man 
is all wrong, and deserves punishment. I say, of a truth, 
they ought to be punished in the one case as well as in the 
other. If this were not so, there would be no honesty what 
ever. Some may think I am writing very sharp on this 
subject, but I write the truth. I have known it this way 
often in Oregon and California, and I do not know as there 
is much difference in the laws there and in the East. I am 
not going to hold the Indian up to the last point of honesty, 
for I know there are some who are not honest. But there 
are more honest Indians, according to their numbers, than 
there are whites. If this is not so, your State prisons would 
not be so full. 



OF WILLIAM FILLET. 



81 



I have written the above statement from the knowledge I 
have gained in the States, and from the various State prison 
accounts of your pale-face convicts. There are many reasons 
why I think more of our laws than I do of yours. One is, our 
laws are put in full force, no matter what the offence or the 
nature of it. When we find any one or more of the tribe 
guilty, we enforce the full extent of the law against them. 
This is the reason we have not so many thieves and murderers 
in our tribe. I firmly believe, if the laws were as strictly 
enforced in the States as they are with us, that where ten 
murders or thefts are committed, there would not be more 
than one or two. 

I have been frequently asked questions in regard to the 
religion professed by Indians generally. My answer has 
,been : The Indians do not profess anything; they either know 
it or they do not know it. What I mean by this is, that what 
religion they have, they practice to the full extent. They 
don't profess one thing and practice another. Their general 
worship is similar to that of the Jews during the time of 
Moses, as we read in the Old Testament ; and although they 
cannot get the same kind of animals for their burnt offerings 
as the Jews had, they use such as they have. Like the Jews, 
the animals they use must be without spot or blemish, and I 
have known them to kill for the space of two weeks and some 
times even longer, till they obtained the suitable one, without 
spot or blemish, for their burnt offering. Every new moon is 
the occasion for offering up their sacrifices in atonement for 
the sins committed from time to tinue since their last offering. 
They believe in a Great Spirit, who has absolute power for 
good or evil ; but of Christianity they have no more idea than 
they have of the Greek language. No such word as virgin is 
known among them, and it will be difficult to make them 
5 



82 LIFE AND ADVENTURES 

4 understand the atonement. The Camanche Indians appeal 
directly to the Sun and the Earth : the Sun as the great 
source of life, and the Earth as the producer and receptacle 
of all that contributes to sustain them. Their sacrifices and 
offerings are all made to the Sun and Earth. In their religious 
ceremonies they have many chants, of which the following 
are examples : 

Och auw naun na wan, 
Och auw naun na wau, 
Och auw naun na wau, 
Och auw 'naun na wau, 

Heh!hehlhoh!heh! 

TRANSLATION : 

I am the living body of the Great Spirit above, 
(The Great Spirit, the ever-living Spirit above,) 
The living body of the Great Spirit, 
(Whom all must heed.) 

[The chorus is untranslatable.] 
"Wish e mon dau kwuh 
Wish e mon dav kwuh 
Ke maun was sa hah kee 
Ne maun was sa hah kee 

Wey ! ho ! ho ! ho ! ho I 

TRANSLATION : 

I am the Great Spirit of the sky, 
The overshadowing power, 
I illumine the earth, 
I illumine the heaven. 

[Slow, hollow, and peculiar chorus.] 
I have only given in the foregoing the experience I had 



OF WILLIAM FILLET. 83 

among the Camanch tribe ; other tribes vary greatly from 
this, of which I shall speak elsewhere. 

I have heard, a great many large stories told here concern 
ing the big timber west of the Rocky Mountains ; and some 
have told me that they have heard travelers who had been to 
California tell of the large red wood timber being from twenty 
to thirty-five feet in diameter. This class of persons may 
have seen such large trees, but I never have ; and I ought to 
know, if anybody, for I have ranged all through Tipper and 
Lower California, before there was any gold thought of. I 
don't remember that I ever saw one of these trees over from 
twelve to fifteen feet in diameter ; and this is considered a 
large tree in this country. 

From the beginning of this book, I did not intend to relate 
any long stories on this pojnt beyond the truth ; neither do 
you want to read long yarns that are all falsehood. I want to 
do honestly with every human being, and I had rather cut off 
my hand that I write with, than to tell what I know to be a 
wilful, absolute lie. 



OHAPTEE VII. 

A stroll "Warm weather A strange light Curiosity Search for the mystery- 
Imminent cftnger Renewed search Discovery of a cave containing, dead bod 
ies of IndiansBurial of the Indians Death dance Immense quantities of gold. 

In the latter part of July, 1853, I went out for another of 
my strolls. This was the warmest time I ever saw or felt. 
I roamed away from one place to another until night overtook 
me. I found a lodge for the night, in this vast wilderness, 
under a very broad ledge of rocks, which projected over the 
ground some five or seven feet. This ledge ran nearly north 
and south. Here I concluded to stay for the night. I exam 
ined my rifle, to know that it was* all right, and also my small 
arms ; whenever I was out alone in this way I always did so. I 
ate what little I had with me, and then lay me down to sleep, 
hoping that it would be my everlasting sleep. When I had 
lain there some time, I though I saw a bright light in the 
distance, directly south of where I lay. I kept a steady gaze 
on this light. After a while it grew much brighter, and be 
fore long it seemed to be most as bright as day. This seemed 
very unaccountable to me, as in all my ranges I never saw 
such a strange light before. I raised up to go and ascertain 
what the cause of this singular light could be. I started off 
in the direction where it was the brightest, and suppose I 
traveled some three or four miles, when I came to a spot 
where, in looking off, it loooked like a large sheet of water. 
This I thought very singular, as I never had seen so large a 
lake in the mountains. Wondering what all this could mean, 
I concluded not to venture any farther on this route, but went 
back a short space and lay me down to sleep again. 



OF WILLIAM FILLET. 85 

I awoke in the morning, a short time before sunrise, and 
went back on my last nights route. Here I saw that if I had 
kept on my course I should have found my everlasting sleep, 
which I so much desired the night before I should have 
walked off a high cliff of perpendicular rock, and opposite this 
deep gulf was where I saw the dazzling light. If any of my 
readers can account for so wonderful a sight, in such a spot, I 
would thank them to do it. 

I returned to the spot where I first stopped the night pre 
vious and wandered into the valley, where I took a southerly 
course until I came to this deep chasm again. I walked on 
till I came to some ill-shaped steps which led downwards into 
the cave below. I procured some dry splinters of wood, to 
make a torch of. I went down with my torch into the depths 
below, and discovered still another deeper chasm ; and here, 
alone in the dark, a sight met me which made me shudder. 
It was the stiff, stark bodies of several dead Indians. I made 
up my mind that I would ascertain the cause of their death, 
if possible. I went to procure some pitch-pine knots, and got 
into another difficulty in obtaining them ; I unluckily walked 
011 top of a mineral spring, and, before I was aware of it, 
broke through and fell, for aught I know, from twenty to 
thirty feet. When I reached bottom, I was nearly blind 
from the strong mineral which got into my eyes. It was with 
difficulty that I clambered out of my perilous situation. I 
rubbed my eyes a long time before I could see. After dry 
ing myself, I gathered up my pine knots and went back to 
the cave ; I proceeded down the rugged steps and reached 
the place of the dead, and found, to my sorrow that they 
were Indians of my tribe. I knew them by their clothes, and 
the make and form of their bodies. I then laid them in one 



86 LIFE AND ADVENTUKES 

heap, and covered them over in the best manner I could with 
sticks, bark, and dry moss. 

When this was finished, I went back to my tribe, after sev 
eral days' severe travel, and with a hungry stomach, and gave 
a statement of my discovery to the chief, in council, and re 
ported it also to my tribe , I and the chief and council began 
to lay plans to explore the whole of this wild and distant cave. 
The next day being new moon, we did not go it is the cus 
tom in our tribe to have a burnt oifering at the time of the 
new moon, which is the grandest offering I have witnessed in 
all my travels in the wilderness of the far West 

This done, we started on our expedition for the cave. We 
ranged some nine days before we found the wild cavern, as 
we took the wrong trail. We reached the mouth of it about 
the middle of the ninth day, and procured some dry knots 
with which to broil our fresh goat's meat we had procured 
that afternoon. This done, we laid down to rest for the night. 
We rose early and ate our cold meat, and then went down 
into the deep, dark cave, where we discovered the poor In 
dians in the sleep of death. Here we remained four or five 
hours, and danced the solemn death dance, which is a very 
solemn eeremony. 1 never saw this danced over any Indians 
except those who were supposed to have starved to death. 
We left them here, as a suitable place, where they could rest 
undisturbed. We then proceeded into the cave, say from 
sixty to one hundred feet, when we had to come to a halt, for 
we saw, to our astonishment, a wide wall, about breast high, 
and from five to eight feet wide, and beyond this breast work 
was a dark gulf of great depth. As we were returning back, 
we saw some very handsome metal, which was pure gold ; we 
picked up some of this, and then went out to the mouth of 
the cave. We went back and got more afterwards, but we 
did not get the half of it, as it lay loose on the ground, and in 
ledges of the rock. 



OHAPTEE Yin. 

Hunting the North American or California Lion Well trained horses Ferocity 
ofthe lions The Indian manner of attacking them An adventure with two 
of them Severely wounded. 

I went out, with four Indians of the tribe, into the bush, to 
hunt the North American lion. When we went on these 
hunts, we always went on horseback, but without bridle or 
saddle. Our horses are carefully trained, so well that they 
are perfectly under our control and ready to obey their riders ; 
when they are spoken to, they will stop quick as lightning, 
and move from right to left whenever they are made to 
understand it ; when we want to fire, they will stand quite 
still if told to, or they will run quite fast if it will be of any 
service to us. Were they not trained, they would be of no 
service to us in this kind of hunting. 

These lions are very savage, so much so, that let them be 
but a little hungry, they will attack anything they come 
across. For this reason, Indians dread hunting them, as they 
have io encounter every danger possible. We have to travel 
from, fifty to seventy-five miles before we find any of this clas.. 
of game. They live in the bush and on the trail. 

When we find them, we always halt and arrange our horses 
in line, with their hind parts towards the lions, for the safety 
of ourselves and horses. They generally range two together, 
and we have to be very careful, or we may be attacked and 
lose our lives, or be badly crippled. When we can see their 



88 LIFE AND ADVENTURES 

heads two of us fire, and the rest are kept in reserve, in case 
of failure. We seldom have to fire twice ; but sometimes 
they will not die until their heads are knocked into pomice. 
They are as hard to kill as the common house cat. Their 
skins are mostly tanned and sold to traders, who will give 
more for their hides than for the hides of bears, but they are 
Hot so valuable to the Indians. 

The range of the North American lion is in the most rocky 
part of the mountains, where no animal but the wild goat 
lives. I have known six Indians to kill, in from five to eight 
days, from forty to sixty of this tribe of savage brutes. 

In the year 1864, an Indian and myself were out in the 
country where these lions range, hunting squirrels for pastime, 
not knowing but the lions had all left that range. When our 
sport is over for the day, and we are away from camp, we 
always quit about 4: o'clock in the afternoon, in order to make 
some preparation for our night's lodging. We chose, at this 
time, a small cave. These caves are not generally more than 
from fifteen to forty feet in depth. We had selected a con 
siderable quantity of dry knots, wfrh which to broil some of 
our small game, and when we had got the fire built, a very 
curious sound issued from the mouth of the cave. I never 
heard so dismal a sound before in my life. But we were not 
alarmed at this, and kept on cooking our game ; and, in being 
foolhardy, lost the broiling of our supper. What was our 
surprise, to see two of these fierce lions only a few feet from 
us, and our guns as much as ten feet from us and very near 
them. There we sat, in awful suspense, not knowing whether 
to keep still or jump for our rifles. But this Indian was very 
true to me, and told me he would rather lose his life than 
have me lose mine, as he knew the tribe would not mourn so 
much for him. He told me to keep still and keep my eyes 



OF WILLIAM FILLET. "89 

fixed close on the nearest beast. 'No sooner had he begun 
to move towards the rifles, than one of the lions sprang upon 
him, and took off his right hand quicker and smoother than 
I could with an axe. He did not stop, but crawled till he 
reached the rifles. He had just got back to me, when the 
other lion sprang on him, took him in his jaws, and fairly 
lifted him up from the ground. This made the poor Indian 
yell and scream with all his might, which frightened the ani 
mal so that he let go his hold and I had time to prime my 
rifle. I took sight the best I could, fired, and killed the ani 
mal instantly. The poor Indian lay wounded at my feet. 

But we were not through yet ; the worst was yet to come : 
the other was the male. I loaded my rifle again, so as to 
have them both loaded, if I did not kill with the first shot. I 
fired, but did not kill, yet the lion was so amazed that he dare 
not attack us. I fired the second and the third shot, when 
the wounded animal got so enraged that he sprang at me. I 
raised my right foot, which he clung to till I had reloaded my 
rifle.* His strength had considerably subsided, but I carry 
the mark of his grip on the joint of my big toe till this day. 
I fired this charge into his mouth, which released my foot ; 
but this did not kill him yet ; he rolled over on his side, and 
with my last charge, I put a bullet through his heart. This 
finished the customer. I was then in miserable pain, but not 
so bad as my friend, the Indian. He told me to bind up my 
toe, to save my own life, and let him alone. I did bind up 
my toe, and then tried to comfort him as well as I could under 
-the circumstances. I managed to stop the blood from the 

*As this story may not be believed by some, it may be well to state that on its being 
doubted by the lost boy's friends, he unhesitatingly uncovered his foot, and exhibited it 
in a greatly mangled condition. As he will be in various parts of the country after the 
issue of this book, parties having a desire to know the truth of the story, can have their 
curiosity gratified. J. Z. B. 



90 LIFE AND ADVENTURES 

stump of his arm and side and proposed to hide my rifle, and 
get him to one of our fall tents, to make him more comforta 
ble. What was my sorrow, when 1 had lifted him up, his 
arm began to bleed most severely. Then he told me to go 
back to camp as quick as possible, and let him die, for there 
was nothing that could save his life. 

But how could I be so hard-hearted to this poor Indian ? 
He had most likely been the means of saving my life. Leave 
him I would not then, if it cost me my life by staying, and I 
did all for him that I could in my mind think of. The day 
WQ got hurt we had enough small game to last two days. The 1 
third day morning we were out of food, and my foot pained 
me to such a degree that I could scarcely move at all. But 
was I going to let us both be hungry, even if I was in severe 
pain ? ]S"o, this would not do. As chance would have it, I 
spied a mountain sheep, or wild goat, about one hundred and 
twenty rods from me, feeding towards us ; I walked, as well as 
I could, to a narrow ledge of rocks, about fifty or sixty feet 
from where I was, and there I lay and watched my future 
game for a short time, when to my surprise, I saw two Indians 
nearing me. Just as I fired the two Indians fired at the same 
object, so that by the three charges being fired we got the 
sheep ; it was very poor in flesh, but nevertheless, it came in 
good time for us. These two Indians did not belong to my 
tribe, but to the Walla Walla tribe, and had been down to the 
south fork of the Platte Eiver, and the day before we saw 
them had lost their range. If they had not taken our trail we 
would have been in a bad condition. They relieved us some, 
and they said they would go to our camp and let the tribe 
know of our sufferings and perilous condition. 

Five days passed away, none of our tribe had come to our 
help, and I had almost made up my mind that we sould never 



OF WILLIAM FILLET. 91 

see the tribe again. As to my walking, that was out of the 
question, for upon bearing the slightest weight upon my foot 
it would commence bleeding. 

My poor Indian died the sixth day after being wounded, I 
was left alone, not knowing whether there were any Indians 
within from forty to sixty miles of me, and I felt that I was in 
a very bad situation. Still I weathered it through until my 
foot got well enough for me to walk some, and then was 
obliged to walk very slowly on account of the pain being so 
constant and severe. I knew that to get back to my tribe I 
had a long journey before me, and I could not travel more 
than a mile and a-half a day at the utmost, so you may know 
why I thought I should never reach my tribe again. But the 
Great Spirit, who rules all things in their proper course, 
ordered it otherwise for me, for I had traveled only about 
twenty or twenty-five miles when I met four Indians of my 
own tribe in search of me. They had been looking around 
for eleven days. If ever I was thankful to the Great Spirit 
in my life, it was then. I had worn out my moccasins, my 
feet were very sore with cutting them on sharp stones, and I 
had not had anything to eat for nearly five days except chew 
ing a little spruce bark, which was probably the means of 
keeping me alive. I was so weak I could hardly carry my rifle, 
and had to stop and rest very often. The second day after 
these four Indians found me we reached the tribe in safety. 
Had I not met them I should probably have starved. The 
scars on my foot I shall carry with me to the grave ; it was a 
long time before my bad bite got entirely well. Thank the 
Great Spirit that my life was saved. 



CHAPTEE IX. 

Hunting for grizzly bears Killing and flaying the pelts An attack in their dens 
A hugging scene Lost in a cave Long suffering among the rocks Enjoy 



ments of the bears. 



The grizzly bear is a very hard animal to deal with, es 
pecially if there are several of them together. I never liked 
hunting these animals; still I had to do it sometimes. When 
ever I could get out of it I would, as it is a very rare case 
that one or more of the hunters do not get badly hurt, or 
perhaps killed. I was never in danger .by these bears but 
once, and then I had enough of it. 

We left our camp in the month of September, 1852. This 
was a month earlier than we go hunting animals for their skins 
generally. We only hunt for them once in a long time, and 
only when such pelts are commanding a high price. We 
started with thirty-three or thirty-five Indians. It would have 
been well for many of the party if we had not started at all. 
When we are under good headway killing and flaying, it is 
our custom for some to flay, or take the pelts oflf, while the 
others keep hunting. We kept hunting until we found we 
were out of our range. This we knew by not seeing any 
regulae Indian trails. What trails there were, had been made 
by these bears, panthers, and other wild animals. On search 
ing back for Indian trails, we passed a cave of considerable 
ftize, where we concluded to stay for the night. We broiled 
our meat, ate our supper, and made some torches with dry 



OF WILLIAM FILLET. 93 

splinters of wood which we had collected for this purpose. 
"When we had lighted them we started for the mouth of this 
large cave, entered, and walked perhaps fifty feet from the 
mouth, when we came to two turns or passages. We took the 
left hand one, and traveled on for eight or ten minutes. We 
passed several more passages, but still we were not at the 
farther end. We made up our minds to take the back track, 
but turned out from the passage we went in on, and soon 
found that we were wrong, and made another attempt to find 
the right one and get out. We walked but a very few rods 
when we were met by several grizzly bears. They brought 
us to a halt, but not long enough for us to see that our rifles 
were in order. An Indian and I held up our torches for the 
others to see to shoot, but this made a bad thing of it, as they 
could not shoot with any surety of killing the animals, wound 
ing them only making them more dangerous. They moved 
towards us as fast as they could. One of the smaller ones 
seized me by clasping his paws around me, my face towards 
him. I had the presence of mind to stick to my torch and 
grasped one of my revolvers. Just at this instant I heard the 
report of a rifle, and it prove to be fired at the same bear that 
was loving me in a way that I did not care to be loved. This 
shot forced him to let go of me. This was the only bear killed 
that night to my knowledge. The others had gone out of our 
sight. We lost no time in trying to get out of this place and 
we succeeded, but with the loss of some blood and very sore 
bodies, as we were scratched to our hearts' content. After we 
got out we were not long in finding a ledge of rocks which 
overhung the ground some six to ten feet, and there we lay 
down to take our night's rest, and sleep, which was but little. 
We wandered about in those valleys some six or seven 
weeks before we could find any trail that amounted to any- 



94r LIFE AND ADVENTURES 

thing for our benefit. All the meat we had to live on during 
this time was one wild sheep and one goat, but very little 
water, and mineral water at that, which would make us sick 
every time we drank it. Finally we found a trail and traveled 
on it for some time ; and crossing no other trails, caused us to 
think we were* on a sheep or goat trail, as it steered very 
crooked most of the time. "We were then out of food of every 
kind. In four or five days after we struck this trail we found 
the carcass of one of the bears we had killed and flayed as we 
went out with our bear company. At this time we were very 
hungry, and although the bear's meat smelt some and was 
very bad, we were very glad to cut off some and broil it and 
made a good feast on it. This was the hardest time I can 
recollect while I was with the Western Indians. 

After this we reached our camp in a few days. ISTot one of 
the other Indians did we ever see again. Most likely they 
were all killed or starved to death. 

It is no uncommon thing to see these grizzly bears in the 
months of May, June, July, and August ranging On the side 
cliffs, rocks, and ledges. Sometimes they will lie and bask in 
the sun, but they never do this when they are the least hungry. 
Often they are shot in the summer time by the Indians, 
merely for pastime, or to keep us in practice with our rifles. 
At times they will be shot as they stand or lie on the narrow 
ledges. Sometimes we kill them with the first shot ; when 
this is the case they roll off and fall as heavy as though they 
would smash the stones on which they fall, and very often, 
their bodies will be crushed almost into pumice. Their meat 
at this season of the year is not good for much, as they are 
generally lean and their flesh is rank and tough, not considered 
fit to eat by our tribe, although they are eaten by some tribes 
less civilized than the Camanche tribe. 



OHAPTEE X. 

Dirty tribes Frog and snake eaters Blood-suckers Rocky Mountain sheep 
and goats Wild animals of the Mountains Enemies of the goats Tempe 
rature of the Mountains. 

Among the tribes are some which are called, by the more 
advanced tribes, dirty tribes, because they hardly care whether 
their meat is clean or dirty. I have seen some of them eat 
frogs of any species, as well as black rattlesnakes, of which 
some of these tribes are very fond, and would rather eat them 
than any other kind of food ; and many of these uncivilized 
tribes will suck the warm, fresh blood and would rather have 
it than any other liquid as a drink. SfiOCTOft L2bfM$[ 

Another reason why they are called the dirty tribes is, that 
they never wash themselves at all. It makes no difference 
what kind of dirty flesh or filthy snakes they have been hand 
ling, nor what kind of nasty employment they may have been 
engaged in, they will not wash their hands. 

There is much difference among the more civilized tribes in 
regard to this practice. As a regular thing they wash their 
hands, face, and neck every morning, noon, and night ; and 
at other times, especially when they have been handling flesh 
or anything else of an unclean nature they will wash them 
selves in several waters, in order to be sure that their hands 
are perfectly free from any bad smell. 

The Rocky Mountain sheep or goat are much the same, as 
they eat only clean, wild herbage, and drink clean water. 



96 LIFE AND ADVENTURES 

The timidity of these animals is very great, although it is not 
quite so great as that of the deer and antelope. I have heard 
some pale-faces here (in the State of Michigan) tell that they 
have seen the Rocky Mountain sheep, and also the goat, jump 
or leap off from ledges or rocks which were from ten to 
twenty feet high, seemingly for pastime or play. That much 
I have never seen in all the 'seventeen and a-half years that 
I was in the Rocky Mountains. But I will say that I have 
seen them leap many times for good reasons. I have noticed 
that when the grizzly bear is moving towards the sheep or 
goats, or has made an attempt to catch them, it is quite a 
common thing for them to leap off the ledges in order to save 
'their lives. Some may ask if they do not hurt themselves in 
thus leaping ? They will not for this reason: Their skulls 
and that part of their horns which is nearest the upper part 
of their forehead are the next thing to being as hard as the 
rocks that the head strikes on, so that it would be an impos 
sibility for these sheep or goats to hurt themselves. 

The wild animals of these mountains, such as the grizzly 
bear, North American lion, panther, catamount, lynx, wild 
cat, and the wolverine, are all by nature very savage, and the 
sheep and goats being very timid, it is natural that these 
beasts should be their worst enemies, except the rifle ball. 
The principal food of the savage animals spoken of, is the 
sheep, goat deer, and antelope, and they make great havoc 
among this class of animals. 

I presume a few words concerning the climate in that portion 
of the Rocky Mountains where the greater portion of my In 
dian life was spent, will be of interest to many of the readers 
of fchis book. The climate in the mountains differs greatly from 
that of the valleys, the latter being warm and pleasant, with 



OF WILLIAM FILLET. 97 

regular seasons of rain. Snow is almost unknown in the val 
leys ; but in the mountains: it is no rarity, and their peaks are 
in perpetual snow. A person going in summer time from the 
valleys into the mountains will experience a number of 
changes in the atmosphere. 'No very marked change will be 
noticed at the height of four hundred feet, but after reaching 
the height of one thousand feet the cold becomes greater at 
each succeeding step until, after reaching the height of several 
thousand feet, snow is found eternally. 

As stated elsewhere, the "Willammette Valley is the home 
of many Indians. It is a beautiful spot ; plants and fruits of 
many kinds grow there spontaneously and in the greatest pro 
fusion. The climate is so mild that very little change of cloth 
ing is necessary, and the seasons are regular, no variable 
weather, such as prevails in the East and South, inconven 
iencing the inhabitants. It is just such a place as the Indians 
are fitted for, their wants being few, and work being almost a 
stranger to them, they are enabled to hunt and fish to their 
heart's content, and obtain a living without much labor. 

The foregoing are some of the simple incidents and observa 
tions of my life among the Indians, written in my plain way. 
I confess my ignorance. Twenty-nine years of my life having 
been spent among the red men of the forest, of course I am 
much better acquainted with the Indian trails, their habits, 
and hunting-grounds, the wild game, and my rifle than I am 
with the manners and customs of the pale-faces, my own race. 
I can handle my gun much better than I can my pen, and I 
can write the simple language of the Indians much better 
than 1 can the more cultivated language of my pale-faced 
friends, with whom I differ in many respects. I dislike work, 
as I have never been taught to labor, nor brought up to do any 
6 



98 LIFE AND ADVENTURES 

kind of business ; but I am always ready and willing to help 
any one who is sick and suffering. This I have been accus 
tomed to do many years. I can go into the woods and from 
roots and barks which I can get there (such as red cedar and 
other varieties) can extract oil and medicine. This my pale- 
face friends seldom do. I do not eat salt with my food, as I 
see others do at every meal. I have my butter made fresh, 
and use no gravy with my meat. I can get along without 
water or other drink. I sleep in my blanket on the floor or 
carpet, although it makes my friends more trouble. I never 
sleep on a feather bed, though my friends tell me the cold 
weather here will bring me to it. I shall not dispute them on 
this point, as I am now suffering from the effects of the cli 
mate every day, and I expect it will be worse before spring. 
This is written near the home of my childhood. I thank 
the Great Spirit, who has been my guide in my wanderings, 
and who has enabled me to find my father, my brothers, and 
my sisters. My mother long since passed away. Oh! that 
she had lived, to embrace her long-lost child. 

WILLIAM FILLET, 

CHIEF MEDICINE MAN, CAMANCH TRIBE, 
Rocky Mountains, Oregon. 



CONCLUSION. 

The engravings Recollections General remarks, &c 

In writing the concluding remarks to this history of the life 
of the Indian captive, William Filley, the author desires to 
call attention to the engravings embodied in the work, truth 
fully delineating the features ot the lost boy as he now 
appears; of the boy's father, Ammi Filley ; of the girl Mary 
Mount, and of the different incidents in the search made when 
the boy's absence was first discovered. The scenes of the 
most important passages in the search are true to life and 
nature. 

There has been little said in the preceding pages of the 
many incidents in the carrying off by the Indians of the boy. 
It was a subject of conversation, during many years subsequent 
to its occurrence, among the people of the community where 
the tnrillrcg event transpired. It was the occasion of the 
death of his mother, who went down to her grave sorrowing for 
her first born, never being vouchsafed the slightest consolation 
as to whether he was dead or alive. Had his fate been known 
had the faintest knowledge of the disposition made of him 
been known her overpowering, absorbing sorrow, and that 
of his other relatives, might have been in a measure assuaged ; 
but the unfulfilled hope of his return broke her heart, and she 
died in the belief that he was no more of earth. His father 
wasted his strength and means in fruitless search for him, and 
when hope had utterly failed him, his unwearied and patient 
toil was rewarded by the return of his long-absent and dearly 



100 LIFE AND ADVENTURES 

beloved boy. Nor was the sorrow for his loss confined to his 
parents ; grand parents, brothers and sisters, uncles and aunts, 
and a large circle of family friends mourned him long and 
sincerely. Large sums of money were spent in the unavail 
ing search, and days, weeks and months devoted to the same 
end. And now he returns ra man grown is readily recog 
nized by hundreds of those who knew him in childhood, and 
their hearts are made glad, for the " lost is found." 

In reading these pages, it will probably occur to the reader 
to ask how and in what manner the Indian captive obtained 
intelligence of his parentage, place of birth, and the cause 
of his being amongst the Indians. It was in this wise : An 
Indian chief with whom he had had no connection or acquain 
tance, on his dying couch sent for him, and, under pledge of 
eecrecy, communicated to him the fact that he was of the race 
of pale-faces, and had been stolen in his early childhood by 
the Indians, by whom he had been reared as one of their own 
race. This was the first intimation he had ever received 
from any source whatever, of his early history. From the 
time he received this information he was firmly determined 
to find the home of his boyhood, and to visit his kindred. In 
this he was warmly seconded by his Indian friends, who had 
no desire, after the many favors he had rendered them, to 
place the slightest obstacle in his way. The letter which he 
wrote to the Postmaster at Jackson, and other facts, are con 
tained in the foregoing pages. 

The author would also ask a perusal of the Indian song 
given in the closing pages of the book, " The Lake of the 
White Canoe." Mention having been made of the ability of 
the boy to sing in the English, Spanish, and Indian tongues, 
it may be well to say that this song is a great favorite with 
him. Its insertion in the place it occupies, is occasioned by 



OF WILLIAM FILLET. 101 

its great length. Had it been given at the point where it 
rightly belongs, its length would have broken the thread of 
the narrative, which is now continuous. 

Notwithstanding the many years that this boy was a cap 
tive among the Indians, and in the face of the many hardships 
through which he was compelled by them to pass, his friend 
ship for them is of that enduring kind which time, even, 
cannot change or efface. The slighest insinuation against 
their honesty or friendship, is resented by him as a personal 
insult. In fact, his long residence among them, HAS MADE 
HIM AN INDIAN. 

The subject of this narrative is at the present time visiting 
his friends in New England, the place of his birth, but will, 
previous to his contemplated return to his Indian friends, 
spend some time in various leading cities of the Union, not 
for the purpose of exhibiting himself, but to gratify the nat 
ural desire of an intelligent, searching mind in relation to the 
greatness of the pale-faces' country. 

J. Z. BALLAED. 

JACKSON, MICHIGAN. 



THE LAKE OF THE WHITE CA1TOE. 



THE SONG OF "THE LAKE OE THE WHITE CANOE." 

A beautifnl poem Sung by the Indian captive His favorite song. 



Wo ! Wo I Wo ! 

Wo to the sons of the far-off land, 

Weak in heart and pale in face, 

Deer in battle, moose in a race, 

Panthers wanting claw and tooth. 

Wo to the red man, strong of hand, 

Steady of purpose, lithe of limb, 

Calm in the toils of the foe, 

Knowing nor tears nor ruth. 

Wo to them and him, 

If,cast by hard fate at the midnight damp, 

Or an hour of storm in the dismal swamp, 

That skirts the Lake of the White Canoe! 

Wo to him and them, 
If, when the night's dim lamps are veil'd 
And the Hunter's Star is hid, 
And the moon has shut her lid, 
For their wearied limbs the only berth 
Be the cold and frosty earth, 
And their flesh be burned by the gum cx- 
From the cedar's poisonous stem, [hal'd 
And steep' d in the blistering dew 
Of the barren vine in the birchen copse, 
Where rear the pines their giant tops 
Above the Lake of the White Canoe! 



My brother hears 't is well 
And let him shun the spot, 
The damp and dismal brake. 
That skirts the shallow lake, 
The brown and stagnant pool,* 

* The water of the little lake (Drum- 
mond's Pond) to which this tradition re 
lates, is colored brown by the roots of the 
juniper and cedar. 



The dark and miry fen; 

And let him never at nightfall spread 

His blanket among the isles that dot 

The surface of that lake; 

And let my brother tell 

The men of his race that the wolf hath fed 

Ere now on warriors brave and true, 

In the fearful Lake of the White Canoe. 

Wo ! Wo ! Wo ! 

To him that sleeps in those dark fens! 
The she-wolf will stir the brake, 
And the copper-snake breathe in his ear, 
And the bitterns will start by tens, 
And the slender junipers shake 
With the weight of the nimble bear, 
And the pool resound with the cayman's 
plash. [ash, 

And the owl will hoot in the bonghs of the 
Where he sits so calm and cool ; 
Above his head the muckawissf 
Will sing his gloomy song ; 
Frogs will scold in the pool, 
To see the muskrat carry along 
The perch to his hairy brood ; 
And coil'd at his feet the horn-snake wiL 
Nor last nor least of the throng, [hiss 
The shades of the youth and maid so true.. 
That haunt the Lake of the White Canoe 

And if he chance to sleep, 

Still will his OKKI whisper wo, 

For hideous forms will rise ; 

The spirits of the swamp [deep. 

Will come from their caverns dark and 

I fWhip-poor-will. 







104 



THE LAKE OF THE WHITE CANOE. 



Where the slimy currents flow, 
With the serpent and wolf to romp, 
And to whisper in the sleeper's ear 
Of wo and danger near ; 
And mist will hide the pale, cold moon, 
And the stars will seem like the sparkling 
That twinkle m the prairie glades, [flies 
In my brother's month of June 
Murky shades, dim, dark shades, 
Shades of the cypress, pine and yew, 
In the swamp of the Lake of the White 
Canoe. 



Wo! Wo! Wo! 

He will hear in the dead of the night 

If the bittern will stay his toot, 

And the serpent will cease his hiss, 

And the wolf forget his howl. 

And the owl forbear his hoot, 

And the plaintive muckawiss, 

And his neighbor the frog, will be mute ; 

A plash like the dip of a water-owl, 

In the lake with mist so white ; [view. 

And two forms will float on his troubled 

O'er the brake with a meteor light, 

And he'll hear the words- of a tender song, 

Stealing like a spring-wind along, 

The Lake of the White Canoe. 



That song will be a song of wo, 

Its burthen will be a gloomy tale ; 

It will cause the rain to flow ; 

It will tell of youthful love, 

Fond but blighted love ; 

It will tell of father's cruelty ; 

It will cause the rain to flow ; , 

It will tell of two lovely flowers 

That, grew in the wilderness ; 

And the mildew that touched the leaf ; 

And the canker that struck the bud ; 

And the lightniiig that wither' d the stem; 

And 't will speak of the Spirit-dove. 

That summon'd them away, 

Deeming them all too good and true, 

For aueht save to paddle a White Canoe. 



It was many seasons ago, 

How long I cannot tell my brother, 

That this sad thing befel ; 

The tale was old in the time of my father, 

By whom it was told by mother s mother. 

My brother hears 'tis well 

Nor may he doubt my speech ; 

The red man's mind receives a tale 

As snow the print of a moccasin ; 

But, when he hath it once, 

It abides like a footstep chisel'd in rock, 

The hard and flinty rock. 

The pale man writes his tales 

Upon a loose and fluttering leaf, 

Then gives it to the winds that sweep 

Over the ocean of the mind | 

The red man his on the evergreen 

Of -his trusty memory.* 

When he of the fur-off land would know 

The tales of his father's day, 

He unrolls the spirit-skin .f 

And utters what it bids ; 

The Indian pours from his memory 

His song, as a brook its babbling flood 

From a lofty rock into a dell, 

In the pleasant summer moon. 



*The memory of the Indians is as as 
tonishing as their sagacity and penetra 
tion. They are entirely destitute of those 
helps which we have invented to ep.se our 
memory, or supply the want of it ; yet 
they are never at a loss to recall to their 
minds any particular circumstance with 
whieh they would impress their hearers. 
On some occasions, they do indeed make 
use of little sticks to remind them of the 
different subjects they have to discuss; 
and with ease they form a kind of local 
memory, and that so sure and infallible, 
that they will speak for a great length of 
time sometimes for three or four hours, 
together and display twenty different 
presents, each of which reqnires an entire 
discourse, without forgetting anything 
and even without hesitation. 



f The Indians could never be brought 
to believe that paper was any other than 
a tanned skin invested with the pow ers of 
a spirit. 



THE LAKE OF THE WHITE CANOE. 



105 



My brother hears. 

He hears my words 'tis well 

And let him write them down 

Upon the spirit-skin, 

That, when he has cross'd the lake, 

The Great Salt Lake, 

The lake, where the gentle spring winds 

And the mighty fishes sport. [dwell 

And has called his babes to his knee, 

And his beauteous dove to his arms, 

And has smoked in the calumet 

With the friends he left behind, 

And his father, and mother, and kin, 

Are gather' d around his fire, 

To learn what the red men say. 

He may the skin unroll, and bid 

His Okki this tradition read 

The parting words of the Roanoke, 

And his tale of a lover and maiden true, 

Who paddle the Lake in a White Canoe. 

There liv'd upon the Great Arm's brink.* 

In that far day, 

The warlke Roanokes, 

The masters of the wilds: 

They warr'd on distant lands, 

This valiant nation, victors everywhere 

Their shoutsrung through the hollow oakf 

That beetle over the Spirit Bay,t 

Where the red elk comes to drink; 

The frozen clime of the Hunter's Star 

Rang shrill witlrthe shout of their bands 

And the whistle of their cress ;J 

And they fought the distant Cherokee, 

The Chickasaw, and the Muscogulgee, 

And the Sioux of the West. 

They liv'd for nought but war, [vie 1 , 1 

Though now and then would be caught a 

Of a Roanoke in a White Canoe. 

* Chesapeake Bay. 

t Bay of Saganaum, in Lake Huron. 

I Cress or crease, a poisoned arrow 
seldom used, howeve^ by the tribes eas 
of the Rocky Mountains. 



Among this tribe, this valiant tribe, 
Of brave and warlike Roanokes, 
Were two a youth and maid, 
Who lov'd each other well, 
Long and fondly lov'd, 
Lov'd from the childish hour, 
When, through the bosky dell, 
Together they fondly roved 
[n quest of the little flower, 
That likes to bloom in the quiet shade 
Of the tall and stately oaks. 
The pale-face calls it the violet 
T is a beautiful child when its leaves are 
With the morning dew, and spread [wet 
To the beam of the sun,and its little head 
Sinks low with the weight of the tear 
That gems its pale blue eye. 
Causing it to lie 

Like a maiden whose heart is broke, 
Does my brother hear ? 

He hears my words 't is well 

The names of this fond youth and maid 

Tell who they were 

For he was Annawan, the Brave, 

And she Pequida, the girl of the braid, 

The fairest of the fair. 

Her foot was the foot of the nimble doe, 

That flies from a cruel carcajou, 

Deeming speed the means to save; 

Her eyes were the eyes of the yellow owl, 

That builds his nest by the River of Fish; 

Her hair was black as the wings of the 

fowl [aky* 9 - 

That drew this world from the great 

Small and plump was her hand; 

Small and slender her foot; 

And, when she opened her lips to sing, 

Ripe red lips, soft sweet lips, 

Lips like the flower that the honey-bee 

The birds in the grove were mute, [sips, 

The bittern forgot his toot, 

And the owl forbore his hoot, 

And the king bird set his wing, 

And the woodpecker ceas'd his tap 



106 



THE LAKE OF THE WHITE CANOE. 



On the hollow beech, 
And the son of the loon on the neighbor- 
Gave over his idle screech-, [ing strand 
And fell to sleep in his mother's lap. 



And she was good as fair, 
This maid of the Roanokes; 
She was mild as a day in spring; 
Morning, noon, and night, 
Young Pequida smil'd on all, 
But most on one. 
She smiled more sweet if he were there, 
And her langh more joyous rung, 
And her step had a firmer spring, 
And her eye had a keener light. 
And her tongne dealt out blither jokes, 
And she had more songs to spare, 
And she better mocked the blue jay's cry, 
When his dinner of maize was done; 
And better far, when he stood in view, 
Could she paddle the Lake in her White 
Canoe. 

And who was he she loved? 

The bravest he of the Koanokes, 

A leader, before his years 

Were the years of a full-grown man; 

A warrier, when his strength 

Was less than a warrior's need; 

Bnt, when his limbs were grown, 

And he stood erect and tall, 

Who could bead the sprout of the oak 

Of which his bow was made ? 

Who could poise his choice of spears, 

To him bnt a little reed ? 

None in all the land. 

And who had a soul so warm ? 

Who was so kind a friend ? * 



* Every Indian has a friend nearly of 
the same age as himself, to whom he at 
taches himself by the most indissoluble 
bonds Two persons thus united by one 
common interest, are capable of under 
taking and hazarding everything in order 
to aid and mutually succor each other ; 
death itself, according to their belief, can 



And who so free to lend 

To the weary stranger bed and bread, 

Food for his stomach, rest for his head, 

As Annawan, the Roanoke, 

The valiant son of the chief Red Oak? 



They liv'd from infancy together 

They seem'd two sides of a sparrow's 

feather ; 

Together they roam'd o'er the rocky hill, 
And through the woody hollow, 
And by the river brink, 
And o'er the winter snows ; 
And they sat for hours by the summer rill, 
To watch the stag as he comes to drink, 
And to see the beaver wallow ; 
And when the waters froze, 
They still had a sport to follow 
O'er the smooth ice, for, in full view, 
Lay the glassy Lake of the White Canoe. 



The youth was the son of a chief, 
And the maiden a warrior's daughter ; 
Both were approved for deeds of blood ; 



only separate them for a time ; they are 
well assured of meeting again in the other 
world never to part, where they are per 
suaded they will have the same services 
from one another. Charlevoix tells of an 
Indian who was a Christian, but who did 
not live according to the maxims of the 
gospel, and who, being threatened with 
hell by a Jesuit, asked this missionary 
whether he thonght his friend who was 
lately departed had gone into that place 
of torment; the father answered him that 
he had good grounds to think that the 
Lord had had mercy upon him, and taken 
h m to heaven. "Then I won't go to 
hell, neither/" replied the Indian, and 
this motive brought him to do everything 
that was desired of him ; that is to say, 
he would have been full as willing to go 
to hell as heaven had he thought to find 
his companion there. 

It is said that these friends, when they 
happen to be at a distance from each 
other, reciprocally invoke one another in 
all dangers. The assistance they promise 
each other may be surely depended upon. 



THE LAKE OF THE WHITE CANOE. 



107 



Both were fearless, strong, and brave : 

One was a Roanoke. 

The other a captive Maqua boy, 

In battle saved from slaughter* 

A single ear from a blighted sheaf, 

Planted in Aragisken land ;t 

And these two men were foes, 

When they to manhood came, 

And each had skill and strength to bend 

A bow with a warrior's aim. 



* The following is the practice and 
ceremony of adoption : A herald is sent 
around the village or camp, to give notice 
that such as have lost any relations in 
the late expedition are desired to attend 
the distribution which is about to take 
place. Those women who have lost their 
sons or husbands, are generally satisfied 
in the first place ; afterwards, such as 
have been deprived of friends of a more 
remote degree of consanguinity, or who 
choose to adopt some of the youth. The 
division being made, which is done as in 
other cases without the least dispute, 
those who have received any share lead 
them to their tents or huts, and, having 
unbound them, cleanse and dress their 
wounds, if they happen to have received 
any ; they then clothe them, and give 
them the most comfortable and refreshing 
food their store will afford. 

While their new domestics are feeding, 
they endeavor to administer consolation 
to them ; they tell them they are redeemed 
from death, they now must be cheerful 
and happy ; and' if they serve them well, 
without murmuring or repining, nothing 
shall be wanting to make them ^uch a- 
tonement for the loss of their country 
and friends as circumstances will allow of. 

If any men arc spared, they are com 
monly given to the widows that have lost 
their husbands by the hands of the enemy, 
should there be any such, to whom, if 
they happen to prove agreeable, they are 
soon married. The women are usually 
distibuted to the men, from whom they 
do rot fail of meeting with a favoraple 
reception. The boys and girls are taken 
into the families of such as have need of 
them. The lot of their conquerors be 
comes in all things theirs. 



t Virginia. 



And to wield the club of massy oak 

That a warrior man should wield, 

And to pride themselves on a blood red 

And to deem its cleanness shame, [hand, 

Each claimed to lead the band, 

And angry words arose, 

Bat the warriors chose Red Oak, 

Because his sire was a Roanoke. 

Then fill'd the Maqua' s heart with ire 

And out he spoke : 

' Have his deeds equal' d mine ? 

Three are the scalps on his pole * 

In my smoke are nine ; 

I have fought with a Cherokee ; 

I have stricken a warrior's blow, 

Where the waves of Ontario roll ; 

I have borne my lance where he dare not 

I have looked on a stunted pine [go; 

In the realms of endless frost, 

And the path of the Knistenau 

And the Abenaki crost. 

While the Red Oak planted the land. 

It was mine to lead the band." 



Then fiercely answered the rival brave, 
And bitter words arose ; 
Noisy boasts and taunts, 
Menaces and blows, . 

These foolish men each other gave ; 
And each like a panther pants 
For the blood of his brother chief ; 
Each himself with his war-club girds, 
And forth he madly goes, 
His wrath and ire to wreak ; 
But the warriors interpose. 
Thenceforth they met as two eagles meet, 
When food for but one lies dead at their 
And neither dare to '\>e the thief ; [feet, 
Each is prompt to show his ire ; 
The eye of each is an eye of fire, 
And trembles each hand to give 



*Scalps are suspended from a pole in the 
lodge, and usually in the smoke. 



108 



THE LAKE OF THE WHITE CANOE. 



The last and fatal blow. 

And thus my brother may see them live 

With the feelings that wolf-dogs know. 

And when each of these brave men 

Had built himself a lodge, 

And each had a bird in his nest, 

And each had a babe at his knee, 

Their hate had no abatement known, 

Still each was his brother's enemy, 

And thirsted for his blood, 

And when those babes had grown, 

The one to be a man 

In stature, years, and soul, 

With a warrior's eye and brow, 

And his poll a shaven poll, * 

And his step as a wild colt's free, 

And his voice like the winter wind, 

Or the roaring of the sea ; 

The other a maiden ripe, 

With a woman's tender heart, 

Full of soft and gentle wishes, 

Sighs by day and dreams by night, ' 

Their hostile fathers bade them roam 

Together no more o'er the rocky dell, 

And through the woody hollow, 

And by the river brink. 

And o'er the winter snows, 

Nor sit for hours by the summer rill, 

To watch the stag as he came to drink, 

And to see the beaver wallow, 

Nor when the waters froze, 

Have a pleasant sport to follow, 

O'er the smooth ice ; they bade them shun 

Each other as the stars the sun. 



What did they then this youth and 

Did they their fathers mind? [maid? 

I will tell my brother. 

They met in secret met 

'T was not in the rocky dell, 

Nor in the woody hollow, 

Nor by the river brink, 

* All tiding to the custom of the Indian 
of shaving off all the hair except the 
icalp-lock. 



Nor o'er the winter snows, 

Nor by the summer rill, 

Watching the stag as he came to drink, 

And to see the beaver wallow, 

That these two lovers met, 

Nor when the waters froze, 

GiviHg good sport to follow , 

But, when the sky was mild, 

And the moon's pale light was veil'd, 

And hushed was every breeze, 

In prairie, village, and wild, 

And the bittern had stayed his toot, 

And the serpent had ceased his hiss, 

And the woolf forgot his howl, 

And the owl forbore his hoot, 

And the plaintive wekolis, * 

And his neighbor, the frog, were mute 

Then would my brother have heard 

A plash like the dip of a water fowl, 

In the lake with mist so white, 

And the smooth wave roll to the bank, 

And have seen the current stirr'd 

By something that seem'd a White Canoe 

Gliding past his troubled view. 

And thus for moons they met 

By night on the tranquil lake, 

When darkness veils the earth ; 

Nought care they for the wolf, 

That stirs the brake on the bank ; 

Nought that the junipers shake 

With the weight of the nimble bear, 

Nor that bitterns start by tens, 

Nor to hear the cayman's plash, 

Nor the hoot of the owl in the boughs of 

Where he sat so calm and cool : [the ash, 

And thus each night they met, 

And thus a summer pass'd. 

Autumn came at length, 
With all its promised joys, 
Its host of glittering stars, 
Its fields of yellow corn, 
Its shrill and healthful winds, 

* Another name for the whip-poor-will. 



THE LAKE OF THE WHITE CANOE. 



109 



Its sports of field and flood. 

The buck in the grove was sleet and fat 

The corn was ripe and tall ; 

Grapes clustered thick on the vines ; 

And the healing winds of the north 

Had left their cells to breathe 

On the fever'd cheeks of the Roanokes, 

And the skies were lit by brighter stars 

Than light them in the time of summer 

Then said the father of the maid, 

"My daughter, hear 

A bird has whispered in my ear, 

That, often in the midnight hour, 

They who walk in the shades, 

The murky shades, dim, dark, shades, 

Shades of the cypress, pine, and yew, 

That tower above the glassy lake, 

Will see glide past their troubled view 

Two forms as a meteor light, 

And will note a white canoe, 

Paddled along by two, 

And will hear the words of a tender song, 

Stealing like a spring- wind along ; 

Tell me, my daughter, il either be you ? 



Then down the daughter's cheek 

Ran drops like the summer rain, 

And thus she spoke : 

Father, I love the valiant Annawan ; 

Too long have we roam'd o'er the rocky 

And through the woody hollow, [dell, 

And by the river brink, 

And o'er the winter snows, 

To tear him from my heart ; 

Too long have we sat by the summer rill, 

To watch the buck as he comes to drink, 

And to see the beaver wallow, 

To live from him apart 



My father hears." 
"Thou lov'st the son of my foe, 
And know'st thou not the wrongs 
That foe hath heaped on me. 
The nation made him chief- 
Why made they him a chief? 



Had his deeds equal' d mine ? 
Three were the scalps on his pole- 
In my smoke arc nine ; 
I had fought with a Cherokee ; ' 
I had stricken a warrior's blow, 
Where the waves of Ontario roll ; 
I had borne my lance where he dare not 
I had looked on a stunted pine [go. 

In the realms of endless frost, 
And the path of the Knistenau 
And the Abenaki crost. 
While the .Red Oak planted the land. 
It was mine to lead the band." 
Since then we never spoke, 
Unless to utter reproach, 
And bandy bitter words ; 
We meet as two hungry eagles meet, 
When a badger lies dead at their feet 
Each would use a spear on its foe, 
Each an arrow would put to his bow, 
And bid its goal be his foeman's breast. 
But the warrior's interpose, 
And delay the vengeance I owe. 
Thou hearest my words 't is well. 

Then listen to my words : 
The soul of Maqua never cools ; 
His ire can never be assuag'd 
But with the smell of gore. 
I thirst for the Red Oak's blood ; 
I live but for revenge ; 
Thou shalt not wed his son : 
Choose thee a mate elsewhere, 
And see ye that ye roam no more 
By night o'er the rocky dell, 
And through the woody hollow, 
But when the sun its eyelids closes, 
See that thine the example follow." 

And the fathcrof the youth 
Spake thus unto his son : 
" A bird has whispered in my car, 
That when the stars have gone to rest, 
And the moon her eyelids hath clos'd. 
Who walk beside the lake 



110 



THE LAKE OF THE WHITE CANOE. 



Will see glide past their troubled view 

Two forms as a meteor light, 

And will note a white canoe, 

Paddled along by two, 

And will hear the words of a tender song 

Stealing like a spring- wind along ; 

Tell me, my son, ii either be you ? 

Then answer' d the valiant son, 

" Mine is a warrior's soul, 

And mine is an arm of strength ; 

I scorn to tell a lie ; 

The bird has told thee true. 

And, father, hear my words : 

I now have come to man's estate ; 

who can bend the sprout of the oak, 

Of which my bow is made ? 

Who can poise my choice of spears, 

To me but a slender reed ? 

I fain would build myself a lodge, 

And take to that lodge a wife ; 

And father, hear thy son 

I love the Maqua's daughter." 

"Thou lov'st the daughter of my foe ; 

And know'stthounot the taunts 

His tongue hath heap'd on me ; 

The nation made me chief, 

Ajid thence his ire arose ; 

Thence came foul wrongs and blows, 

And neither yet avenged. 

He boasted that his fame exceeded mine : 

Three, he said, were the scalps on my pole 

While in his lodge were nine 

He did not tell how many I struck, 

Nor spoke of my constancy, 

When the Nansemonds tore my flesh, 

With burning pincers tore ; 

And he said he had fought with a Chero- 

Aud had struck a warrior's blow, [kee, 

Where the waves of Ontario roll, 

And had borne his lance where I dare not 

And had looked on a stunted pine [go; 

In the realms of endless frost, 

And the path of the Knistenau 



And the Abenaki crost. 
While, bitter taunt ! cruel taunt ! 
And for it I'll drink his blood, 
And eat him broil' d on fire 
The Red Oak planted his land, 
It was his to lead the band. 



"And listen further to my words 
My wrath can never be assuaged ; 
Thou shalt not wed his daughter, 
Choose thee a wife elsewhere ; 
Choose thee one anywhere, 
Save in the Maqna's lodge. 
The Nansemonds have maidens fair, 
With bright black eyes, and long black 
And voice like the music of rills ; [locks 
The Chippewa girls of the frosty north 
Have feet like the nimble antelopes, 
That bound on their native hills ; 
And their voice is like the dove's in spring 
Take one of those doves to thy cage ; 
But see no more by day or night, 
The Maqua warrior's daughter." 
And haughtily he turned away. 

Night was abroad on the earth : 
Mists were over the face of the moon, 
And the stars were like the sparkling flies 
That twinkle in the prairie glades, 
[n my brother's month of June ; 
And hideous forms had risen ; 
The spirits of the swamp 
Had come from their caverns dark and 
Where the slimy currents flow, [deep 
With the serpent and wolf to romp, 
And to whisper in the sleeper's ear 
Of death and danger near. 



Then to the margin of the lake 

A beauteous maiden came ; 

Tall she was as a youthful fir, 

Upon the river's bank ; 

3er step was the step of the antelope ; 

Her eye was the eye of the doe ; 



THE LAKE OF THE WHITE CANOE. 



Ill 



Her hair was black as a coal-black horse : 

Her hand was plump and small ; 

Her foot was slender and small ; 

And her voice was the voice of a rill in 

Of the rill's most gentle song, [the moon. 

Beautiful lips had she, 

Ripe, red lips, 

Lips like the flow'r that the honey-bee sips 

When its head is bow'd by dew. 



She stood beneath the shade 

Of the dark and lofty trees, 

That threw the image on the lake, 

And waited long in silence there. 

"Why comes he not, my Annawan, 

My lover brave and true ? 

He knows his maiden waits for him 

Beneath the shade of the yew, 

To paddle the lake in her White Canoe." 

But Annawan came not; 

'He has miss' d me sure," the maiden said , 

"And skims the lake alone ; 

Dark though it be, and the winds are high^ 

I'll seek my warrior there." 

Then lightly to her white canoe 

The fair Pequida sprung, 

And is gone from the shore alone. 



Loud blew the mighty winds, 

The clouds were dense and black, 

Thunders rolled among the hills, 

Lightnings flash' d through the shades; 

The spirits cried aloud 

Their melancholy cries, 

Cries which assail the listening ear 

When danger and death are near : 

Who is he that stands on the shore, 

Uttering sounds of grief? 

'T is Annawan, the favor'd youth, 

Detain' d so long lest envious eyes 

Should know wherefore at midnight hour 

He seeks the lake alone. 

He finds the maiden gone, 

And anguish fills his soul, 

And yet, perchance in childish sport, 



She hides among the groves. 

Loudly he calls, "My maiden fair, 

Thy Annawan is here ! 

Where art thou maid with the coal-black 

What does thy bosom fear ? [hair ? 

If thou hast hid in playful mood 

In the shade of the pine, or cypress 

wood, 

If the little heart that so gently heaves 
Is lightly pressing a bed of leaves ; 
Tell me, maiden, by thy voice 
Bid thy lover's heart rejoice ; 
Ope on him thy starry eyes / 
Let him clasp the in his arms, 
Press thy ripe red lips to his. 
Come, my fair Pequida, come !" 

No answer meets the warrior's ears, 
But glimmering o'er the lake appears 
A solitary, twinkling light- 
It seems a fire-fly lamp ; 
It moves with motion quick and strange 
Over the broad lake's breast. 
The lover sprung to his light canoe, 
And swiftly followed the meteor spark, 
But the winds were high, and the clouds 
He could not find the maid, [were dark. 
Nor near the glittering lamp. 

He went to his father's lodge. 

And laid him on the earth, 

Calmly laid him down. 

Words he spoke to none, 

Looks bestow'd on none. 

They bro't him food he would not eat 

They brought him drink he would not 

drink 

They brought him a spear and a bow, 
And a club, and an arrowy sheaf. 
And shouted the cry of war, 
And prais'd him, and nam'd him a Chief, 
And told how the treacherous Nanticokes 
Had slain three Braves of the Roanokes 5 
That a man of the tribe who never ran 
Had vow'd to war on the Red Oak's son 
But he show'd no signs of wrath. 



112 



THE LAKE OF THE WHITE CANOE. 



His thoughts Were abroad in another path. By him who sleeps in that swamp, 



Sudden he sprung to his feet, 

Like an arrow impell'd by a vigorous arm 

"You have dug her grave," said he 4 

"In "a spot too cold and damp, 

All too cold and damp, 

For a soul so warm and true. 

Where, think ye, her soul has gone ? 

Gone to the Lake of the Dismal Swainp, 

Where all night long by a fire-fly lamp, 

She paddles her White Canoe. 

And thither I will go !" 

And with that he took his quiver and bow. 

And bade them all adieu. 

And the youth returned no more ; 
And the maiden returned no more ; 
Alive none saw them more ; 
But oft their spirits are seen 



When the night's dim lamps are veil'd, 
And the Hunter's Star is hid, 
And the moon has shut her lid, 
And the she-wolf stirs the brake, 
And the bitterns start by tens. 
And the slender junipers shake 
With the weight of the nimble bear, 
And the pool resounds with the cayman'a 
plash, [ash, 

And the owl sings out of the boughs of the 
Where he sits so calm and cool, 
And above his head the inuckawiss 
Sing;; his gloomy song, 
And croak the frogs in the pool, 
And he hears at his feet the horn snake's 
Then often flit along [hiss, 

The shades of the youth and maid so true 
That haunt the Lake of the White Canoe. 





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PAT JAN. 21, 1908