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Dinsdale, Matthew / Matthew Dinsdale papers, 1836-1897: Folder 1

[Transcribed journal entries],   pp. [1]-13 PDF (10.5 MB)


Page 9

9,
suppose is over a mile from one end to the other, and made an attempt to
count the wigwams, but from their irregularity and grouping it was a work
of considerable difficulty, however I got an idea of the number and suppose
there was about two hundred.  The scene altogether reminded me of Capt. Cooks
visit to the islands of the Pacific.  Groups of half naked brown children,
crying infants, growling lank dogs, wild looking Indians, standing in bands,
or walking and riding about, and laboring squaws reminded me that I was in
a simple world, and far, far, from the place I once called my home.
I must not omit the canoes the Indians use.  As they are much upon the water
I expect every family has one.  There was a great number drawn upon the shore
and I assure you they gave quite an interest to the scene.  They are of two
kinds; one is made of the bark of beech and are beuatiful in shape and appearance;
the other is made out of trees, and all of one piece.--- --- The weather
being cold fires were made in the street of the village, and were quite in
keeping with every other object; and about half a doz large trees were drawn
together and a fire started in the centre; after dark from 6 to 12 persons--mostly
Indians-- would gather round these fires to talk and smoke.  While walking
about I noticed one group very much in character--on one side there was the
dark forrest on the other the open lake above the dark and threatening sky
and around the cold wind was blowing and there was the picture before me--a
huge blazing fire at the extreme end of one of the logs just facing me stood
a Menominee covered with trinkets as ornaments, and there he exhibited himself
or rather his finery--has he had a lesson from some one, or is he a brother
in vanity?  And on each side of the fire stood several others with their
blankets drawn close round them

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