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subjugated or destroyed by the Seminoles. The Coloosas, the last remnant of those Florida Indians, had been driven to some of the Keys lying near the southern extremity of the peninsula. “ Even here the water did not protect them against the inroads from the Creeks ; and, in 1763, the remnant of this people, consisting of about eighty families, left this last possession of their native land and went to the Havanna." *
The accounts of the attempt by the French, in the years 1562 – 1567,4 to make a settlement on the coast of Florida and Georgia, prove also clearly that the Indians in that quarter, instead of being united under a confederate government, were divided into a number of small, independent tribes, always at war with each other. None of those now remains, unless some may bave been incorporated in the Creek confederacy. The few words which have been preserved of their language appear, with two exceptions, foreign to the Muskhogee and to the Choctaw. Those two are Antipola. Bonnason, by which the Indians greeted the French, on their arriving amongst them the second time, and which meant “ Friends.” Itapela in Choctaw means “allies," literally, “They help each other.” I In the Muskhogee inhisse is his friends,” and ponhisse, “our friends.”'S
If we were to place implicit faith in the accounts given by Garcilaso de la Vega of the number of Indians in various places, we should infer a greater population than was found to exist one hundred and fifty years later. Considering the sources from which he derived his information, the proneness of common soldiers to swell the number of enemies, and the habitual and notorious exaggerations of the Spaniards of his time, we will in that respect give the preference to the more sober statements of the Portuguese narrator, who kills only two thousand five hundred Indians by the fire and sword at the storming of Mauvila, whilst Garcilaso swells the number to eleven thou
* B. Romans' Florida, page 291. He calls the Keys, Vacos and Huyso, and represents the tribe as a set of most inhuman wreckers.
† For an able discussion of the places where the French attempted to make settlements, see Holmes's Annals, a work of great merit, research, and correctness.
| Choctaw Vocabulary.
Ś These two words, Antipola, Bonnason, are from Lescarbot. I have not seen the original relation of Laudonnière.
In another place, at Cofaqui or Patofa, the last inhabited district before the arrival of the Spaniards at Cofachiqui, the Cacique, who was very friendly, gave them, according to Garcilaso, four thousand warriors, to escort them and four thousand retainers to carry their supplies and clothing. It must be observed that the total amount of their baggage was such, that, on their departure from Anhayca, each soldier carried his supply on his back. On the seventh day of their march through an uninhabited country, the army was arrested by the termination of the path which they had followed thus far. They were then within twelve leagues of the first village in the province of Cofachiqui, and not one of the eight thousand Indian allies could point out the proper direction, which at last was discovered by the Spaniards themselves. And the Indian chief assured De Soto that none of his followers had ever been in that place, and that in their wars with the Indians of Cofachiqui, those of Cofaqui had never passed over their own frontiers. Whether any one Indian warrior has ever been found ignorant of the way to an enemy's village, hardly one hundred and fifty miles distant, and through a country offering no particular obstacle, we are able to judge. According to the Portuguese narrator, De Soto had demanded only six hundred Indians; and when he found himself at a loss which way to pursue, he had no other guide but a young Indian they had brought from Appalache, and who confessed that he did not know where he was. “ The Indians of Patofa (or Cofaqui) bad been sent back as soon as provisions began to be scarce,” though the poor men showed a great deal of trouble to leave the Christians before they saw them in a good country. The numbers, as stated in the Portuguese relation, are not on the whole inconsistent with a population nearly the same as at this time. The greatest apparent exaggeration is perhaps that of the Cacique of Ocute sending two thousand Indians to De Soto with a present of some provisions.
Whatever opinion may be entertained of the respective population of the four great southern nations three hundred, and one hundred and fifty years ago, it appears certain that
* Yet Garcilaso did not intend to impose on his readers, or exc
xceed, according to his knowledge, the bounds of credibility. Born in Peru, he was deceived by an erroneous analogy, and saw nothing extraordinary in the accounts given to him of eight to twelve thousand Indians collected together.
their habits and social state had not, during that interval, undergone any material alteration. They were probably as ferocious, but less addicted to war than the northern Indians. Those of New England, the Iroquois tribes, the Sauks and Foxes, had perhaps made equal progress in agriculture ; but, generally speaking, the southern depended more on the cultivation of the soil, and less on hunting than the Algonkin Lenape tribes. We find the Spaniards under De Soto feeding almost exclusively on maize, and complaining of the want of meat. Two hundred years later, Bernard Romans says, that near one half of the Choctaws have never killed a deer during their lives, and that, whilst in their country, he had but two or three opportunities of eating venison in as many months. Those southern tribes have also remained respectively united together as one nation. The Choctaws and Chicasas are the only exception of any importance ; and the Muskhogees, as has been seen, incorporated, instead of exterminating subordinate tribes.
Several causes may be assigned for those differences. Surrounded on three sides by the Mississippi and the sea, they had Jess room to wander or to subdivide themselves. Their country, particularly that of the Choctaws, supplied them with less game ; whilst, in a more southern climate, a greater quantity of agricultural products may be procured with less labor. Yet, although the men may to some extent have assisted the women in the cultivation of the ground, the greater part of the labors of the field still fell upon the latter; and so long as this is the case, the means of subsistence will continue to be insufficient to promote any
limited increase of population.
The Indians, as individuals, have preserved a much greater degree of independence than is compatible with a more advanced state of civilization. They will hardly submit to any restraints; and it is well known that the nominal title of chief confers but little power, either in war or peace, on their leaders, whose precarious authority depends almost entirely on their personal talents and energy. Yet we find that nominal dignity of Chief, Sachem, Mingo, or King, to have been, but with few exceptions, amongst all the Indians, not only for life but hereditary.* But another institution, belonging to all the
* Generally, but not universally, by the female line. The hereditary
southern, and of which traces may be found amongst the northern nations, deserves particular consideration.
Independent of political or geographical divisions, that into families, or clans has been established from time immemorial. At what time, and in what manner, the division was first made, is not known. At present, or till very lately, every nation was divided into a number of clans, varying in the several nations from three to eight or ten, the members of which respectively were dispersed indiscriminately throughout the whole nation. It has been fully ascertained, that the inviolable regulations, by which those clans were perpetuated amongst the southern nations, were, first, that no man could marry in his own clan ; secondly, that every child belongs to his or her mother's clan. Among the Choctaws, there are two great divisions, each of which is subdivided into four clans; and no man can marry in any of the four clans belonging to his division. The restriction amongst the Cherokees, the Creeks, and the Natches, does not extend beyond the clan to which the man belongs.
There are sufficient proofs that the same division into clans, commonly called tribes, exists amongst almost all the other Indian nations. But it is not so clear that they are subject to the same regulations which prevail amongst the southern Indians. According to Charlevoix, “ most nations are divided into three families or tribes. One of them is considered as the first and has a kind of preëminence. Those tribes are mixed without being confounded. Each tribe has the name of an animal. Among the Hurons, the first tribe is that of the Bear; the two others, of the Wolf and the Turtle. The Iroquois nation has the same divisions, only the Turtle family is divided into two, the Great and the Little.”*
The accounts are not so explicit with respect to the Lenape tribes. Mr. Heckewelder indeed says, that the Delawares were divided into three tribes; but one of them, the Wolf or Minsi,
principle may have had its origin in the primitive Patriarchal government. A chief is wanted in a state of society which is one of perpetual warfare with the adjacent tribes. Whatever cause may be assigned for the fact, the most ancient accounts and traditions agree in representing barbarous people, when first appearing as independent communities, under a kingly government. The heroic times of Greece, and the petty kings, cotemporary with Abraham, are familiar to all.
Vol. III. p. 266,
had altogether separated from the other, and was a distinct nation or tribe, and not a clan in the sense now under consideration. According to Mr. Johnston, the Shawnoes have four tribes, the Chillicothe, the Piqua, the Kiskapocoke, and the Mequachake. The first two, from having given names to distinct towns, would seem to be living in separate places; but the fact, that the Mequachake can alone perform the religious ceremonies of the nation, gives it the character of a clan. Whether the Totem, or family name of the Chippeways, descends in a regular manner, or is arbitrarily imposed by the father, has not been clearly explained. But Dr. James informs us, that no man is allowed to change his Totem, that it descends to all the children a man may have, and that the restraint upon
intermarriage which it imposes, is scrupulously regarded. profess to consider it highly criminal for a man to marry a woman whose Totem is the same as his own ; and they relate instances where young men, for a violation of this rule, have been put to death by their own nearest relatives.”* But the Chippeways and kindred tribes are in this manner much more subdivided than the other Indians are into clans. Dr. James
gives a catalogue of eighteen Totems, and says, that many more might be enumerated.
The most direct testimony we have of the similarity, of the institution amongst the northern and southern Indians, is that of Loskiel, in his History of the Moravian Mission.t - The Delawares and Iroquois never marry near relations. According to their own account, the Indian nations were divided into tribes for no other purpose, than that no one might ever either through temptation or mistake, marry a near relation, which at present is scarcely possible, for whoever intends to marry, must take a person of a different tribe.”
That a similar division existed amongst the Sioux tribes, had escaped former observers. But Dr. Say, who resided several weeks among the Omahaws, informs us, that they are divided into two great tribes, the Hongashano, and the Ishtasunda. I The first is divided into eight, and the other into five bands. Each of these derives its name from some animal, part of an animal, or other substance, which is considered as the peculiar sacred object, or medicine, as the Canadians call it, of each band respectively. The most ancient is that of the red maize;
* Tanner's Narrative, p. 313.
+ Part I. Chap. v.