A narrative of the captivity and adventures of John Tanner, (U.S. interpreter at the Saut de Ste. Marie,): during thirty years residence among the Indians in the interior of North America
Prepared for the press by Edwin James
Recollections of early life. – Capture. – Journey from the mouth of the Miami to Sa-gui-na[*]. – Ceremonies of adoption into the family of my foster parents. – Harsh treatment. – Transferred by purchase to the family of Net-no-kwa. – Removal to Lake Michigan.
First attempt to hunt. – Measles. – Trapping martins. – Emigration to Red River. – Death of my foster father and brother. – Arrival at Lake Winnipek.
Friendly reception among the Indians on the Assinneboin. – Prairie Portage. – Net-no-kwa’s dream, and its fulfillment. – Meet with Pe-shau-ba, a distinguished warrior of the Ottawwaws. – Journey to Kau-wau-koning, and residence there. – Return towards Lake Superior. – War-party against the Minnetauks. – Mouth of Assinneboin river.
Elk hunting. – Beaver and buffalo hunting. – Endangered in killing a buffalo cow. – Fall Indians. – Return to Rainy Lake. – Swamp River and Portage. – The Begwionusko River and Lake. – Honesty and good faith in the intercourse of the Indians. – Hospitality. – Sufferings from hunger. – Red River. – Loss of packs. – Supposed dishonesty of traders. – Rapacity of the traders of the N. W. company. – Disasters following the loss of our peltries.
Medicine hunting. – Indolence of an Indian hunter, and consequent suffering of his family. – Relief from humane traders. – A hunter amputates his own arm. – Moose chase. – Hospitality of Sah-muk, and residence at Rainy Lake. – Carcase of a buffalo cow watched by a bull. – Severe suffering from cold. – My lodge, and most of my property, destroyed by fire.
Failure of an attempt to accompany a war-party to the Missouri. – Removal to Elk River. – Joined in my hunting grounds by some Naudoways, from Lower Canada. – Hospitality of the Crees. – Practice of medicine. – Dispute with a Naudoway. – Band of Tuskwaw-go-nees. – Brine Spring, on Elk River. – I receive a severe injury by falling from my horse. – Involved in difficulty by my foster brother. – Habits of the moose-deer. – Range of the moose, the elk, and the reindeer.
I receive a proposal from a chief to marry his daughter. – Theft and drunkenness. – Manner of pursuing the elk on foot. – Disease and great mortality among the beaver. – Second offer of marriage from an A-go-kwa. – Haunted encampment, called the “place of the two dead men”. – Indian courtship. – Distressing sickness. – Insanity and attempt at suicide. – Gambling. – Several offers of young women in marriage. – My courtship and marriage with Mis-kwa-bun-o-kwa, (the red sky of the morning).
Preparation for a war excursion. – Herds of buffalo heard at a great distance. – Terrible conflicts among the bulls. – Observances of the young warriors. – Ko-zau-bun-ziche-e-gun, or divination to discover the situation of an enemy. – Jeebi-ug, or memorials of deceased friends to be thrown away on the field of battle; and the design of the custom. – War-party broken up by the interference of a rival chief. – Stupidity of the porcupine. – I save the life of my foster brother. – Albino bears. – Waw-be-no. – Marriage of Pi-che-to and Skwa-shish. – Attack of a Sioux war-party, and pursuit to the village at Chief Mountain, and the head of the St. Peters, etc.
Visit to several Assinneboin villages, in pursuit of stolen horses. – Peculiar customs. – I seize a horse belonging to an Assinneboin. – War excursion to Turtle Mountain. – Battle at a village of the Mandans. – Doctrines of the Shawnese prophet. – Drunkenness, and its effects.
Presence of mind and self-devotedness in an Indian mother. – Indian warfare. – Conversation of a chief. – Winter hunt on the Begwionusko River. – Medicine hunting. – Customs, in cases of manslaughter. – Symbolic, or picture writing. – Death of Pe-shau-ba. – Disaster at Spirit Lake, and death of the Little Clam.
Rapacity of the traders. – Revelation of Manito-o-geezhik. – Pretensions of As-kaw-ba-wis. – Credulity of the Indians. – Colony at Red River, planted by the Hudson’s Bay traders. – Large war-party assembled at Turtle Mountain. – Want of discipline.
Superstitions of the Indians. – Violent and unjust prejudice. – Family misfortunes. – Remarkable tenacity of life in the otter, and some other small animals. – Disturbances between the Hudson’s Bay and North West Fur Companies.
Suffering of the Ojibbeways from hunger. – Persecutions of Waw-be-be-nai-sa, and unkindness of my Indian relatives. – Journey to Detroit. – Governor Cass. – Council at St. Mary, on the Miami.
Journey to Kentucky. – Hospitalities of the whites. – Return to Detroit. – Jackson. – St. Louis. – General Clark. – Return to the Lake of the Woods. – Col. Dickson. – Second journey to St. Louis, by Chikago and Fort Clark. – Kindness of the Potawattomies.
Transactions of the agents and clerks of the American Fur Company, in the country about the Lake of the Woods. – Treachery of an Indian woman. – Misfortunes attendant on an attempt to bring my children from the Indian country.