I STARTED FROM Santa Fe with Hugh Glenn on his return to Toas, whence he was to go with me to St. Louis. On arriving at the Spanish village of San Domingo, about thirty miles north of Santa Fe and five from the Indian village of St. John, we stopped by invitation, at the house of the parish Priest, where the principal citizens visited us during the evening. Here I was somewhat astonished to hear Glenn, late at night, tell the Priest that he wished to be baptised and join the Church. He said in answer to the Priest's questions, that he had entertained this intention for a long time before coming to this country; that he had endeavored to instruct himself in relation to the tenets of the Church, and produced a Catholic book, called the "Pious Guide." The Priest told him to reflect on the subject and pray to the Almighty for light. In the morning Glenn appeared with a very sanctimonious face, and repeated his request. The Priest questioned him on the Catholic faith and the noviciate answered very intelligently. It being Sunday, they went to the Church to have the ceremony of baptism performed on the new convert. Leroy, one of his company, acted as God-father, and the Priest procured a very respectable old lady of the place to act as God-mother. The saintly Colonel Glenn looked the very picture of sanctity during the performance of the rite; and he afterwards made a good penny by the operation. The people were very fond of their new convert, and showered honors and presents on Col. Glenn. He was talking of coming back from the States with goods for this market, and many of the inhabitants entrusted him with mules and money to make purchases for them, of which they never heard again. Among his religious rewards was a lot of the finest Indian blankets. The Colonel was a great and good man among the people from this time and bore the cross of his religion with edifying humility.
On the next day we reached Toas, a small settlement near the mountains, in a beautiful and fertile valley through which the Rio Grande flows and offers most valuable inducements to the manufacturer by its water power; but none are here found with sufficient enterprise to seize the offer. The country in the hands of the Americans would bloom like a garden, while now it languishes in a state of half wilderness--half cultivation.
Leaving Toas with eighty-three horses and mules, with Glenn and his company who had about sixty, we travelled in one day half way over the mountains, stopping at night in the middle of the pass. Here we were overtaken by some Spaniards with a mule load of bread, biscuit, sugar, chocolate and other delicacies, all sent as a present to the godly Glenn by his God-mother. He took them, I suppose, with pious thankfulness, much as a hog takes the acorns that fall to him from an oak tree-- without ever looking up. On my return to St. Louis I heard of Glenn's sneers and ridicule of the clergy of New Mexico. The truth concerning them was bad enough, but I was astonished to hear them villified and abused by the so lately converted Col. Glenn. He changed his religion more rapidly than his clothes, and made each change a profitable speculation to himself. Such pliability of conscience may serve a temporary purpose to its fortunate possessor, but I have found very few of my countrymen, thank God, so base as to practice hypocrisy to the alarming extent to which this sordid miscreant carried its exercise.
On the next day we marched to the foot of the mountain over which we had travelled for about fifty miles, with the utmost ease through a regular and even pass with a very gradual ascent half the distance and thence with an equally gradual descent. There are three principal routes over the mountains to New Mexico. One below San Miguel, by which I went to Santa Fe, and which is easily passible for a large army without danger of surprise. The second, through which I was now returning to the States, and the third, a few miles to the north of this last and of Toas, are both excellent passes for travellers and emigrants, but would not admit of an army in the face of an enemy. They are quite narrow and closed in by mountains of a great height and by numerous defiles, which in possession of an enemy would present great obstacles to an invading army. McKnight, who came through the northern pass, informed me that it was much better than this, near Toas. These three passes are all of slight elevation, and present a gradual ascent and descent for about fifty miles, of no difficulty to the passenger and his teams. The most northern pass will probably become the great outlet of American emigration to California.
At the end of our two days journey from Toas we encamped at the foot of the mountain near large piles of stones placed on each side of a ravine or gully. These were in shape like immense walls, from ten to sixty feet in length, about ten wide, and from four to six feet in height. They were the tombs of Camanche Indians, who had been massacred at this place many years before by the Spaniards. An old man in Santa Fe whom I employed about my store, informed me of the circumstances of this cold blooded butchery, in which he as a Spanish soldier took part. It happened when my informant was about twenty years of age, which was a few years previous to our revolutionary war. According to his account, the Spaniards and Camanches had been at war with each other for many years with various fortune on both sides, when the Spanish authorities determined to offer peace to their enemies. For this purpose they marched with a large army to this place of tombs, and encamped, whence they sent out heralds to the Camanches with an invitation to the whole nation to come in and smoke the pipe of peace and bury the hatchet of war forever. The unsuspecting Indians came in pursuant to the invitation, and brought their women and children to the number of several thousands. The council was held and a solemn treaty formed which one side hoped and expected would be inviolate forever. They smoked the pipe of peace and of brotherhood. Every thing betokened lasting harmony, and for three days an apparently friendly and cordial intercourse took place between the two powers. During this time the Spaniards insidiously bought up all the bows and arrows, and other arms of the Indians, at very high prices, and the third day found these simple children of nature stripped of their arms and entirely defenceless, in the midst of their treacherous enemies. Then ensued a scene of murder exceeding in atrocity even the celebrated slaughter of Glenco, which occurred in Scotland a few years before this, and under very similar circumstances. The Spaniards having surrounded the Indians, fell suddenly, at a concerted signal upon them and killed all without regard to age or sex. The women and children clung to their protectors, who would not leave them and could not fight, and thus they were all slaughtered together. The bloody work continued most of the day and the dead were left in large heaps over the ground. The drain or gully, between the stone walls ran with blood on this terrible day, as the old Spaniard told me, like a spring freshet. Not a man, woman or child was spared; and my informant supposed that the example had deterred all the tribes of Camanches from making war on the people of Santa Fe from that day to this. The citizens of this town may have been exempt from attack, but we have always heard of the incursions of these tribes on the Spanish settlements, and conduct like this of the Spaniards near Toas would, and did sow deep the seeds of incurable hate which have frequently germinated since in bloody retributions. The countrymen of the slaughtered Indians afterwards erected the stone walls near to which we were now encamped, and which covered a large extent of ground, as tombs and monuments for the dead. Their power was greatly broken by the loss of so many warriors and the nation was a long time in recovering its former strength.
On the next morning after crossing the mountain we entered the prairies, which were frequently quite broken and uneven. The spurs of the mountains were covered with pine and cedar. Directing our course to the northeast, in four days we struck the Arkansas a considerable distance from its head. On the next day, and the seventh since leaving Toas, Col. Glenn, who marched in advance of me, sent back a man with the news that the "Camanches were ahead." I hastened forward with the McKnights, and found Glenn stretched out on his blanket in a cold sweat and shaking with fear as if he had the ague. I asked, where are the Indians? "Oh there they are, hid behind that willow bar." I searched and found nothing, when Glenn again cried out, "Oh there they are," pointing to two men riding towards us on the opposite or north side of river, and also to a company of about two lodges, or twelve Indians going from us to the north-west. I soon perceived that the two men first seen were white, and one crossed the river to our company. They were a company of about twelve from Boone's Lick, of whom one was named Cooper, on their way to Santa Fe. Glenn, as much frightened as before, now insisted that the Indians whom we had seen had gone off to bring up their companions to attack us in the night. He had his horses and mules tied together and ordered his company to prepare for action. I determined to allow my horses to separate for grazing, and in looking for a good place for herding them, I espied and shot a buffalo under the cliff. This brought up all my company and a part of Glenn's to ascertain the cause of the shot, while Glenn was crying out to them, "Come back, you'll all be killed by the Indians." When I returned to the camp I told him to send some of his men for a part of the buffalo, if he wanted any meat. "No, I want no meat and I will not travel with men so rash as to fire their guns while so near the Indians." In the morning we took up our march, with one of Cooper's party on his return St. Louis, and with Glenn in advance, who, intent on getting out of danger, soon outtravelled us. About two o'clock one of his men returned at full speed, calling to us to hurry on-- "here are two thousand Pawnees." On overtaking Glenn I found two Indians, who said the main army would soon be with them. I had brought with me from Toas two Mexican Indians who wished to go to the United States.
Glenn knowing that the Pawnees were at war with the Spaniards, said these Mexicans would be killed on the coming up of the Pawnee army, and implored us to let them be killed "peaceably" and not endanger the whole party by any unnecessary resistance. I replied that these Indians were under my protection and should not be hurt. In a short time we saw the whole army pouring over the bend or knowe before us, which for half a mile was red with them, all afoot, except three, and every man carrying a rope lasso or cabras in his hand. Again did Glenn shake as with the ague, and the cold sweat stood on his face in drops. "Oh they are coming, they are coming," said he. One of their three horsemen rode past our band, then returned and halted at some distance as for a parley. I told Glenn to get up from the ground where he was lying and go out to speak with this Indian. No, no, said he, we shall be shot down if we go out there. The creature's courage and senses seemed to have left him together. I went out with McKnight, shook hands with the Chiefs and brought them in among our men who spread buffalo skins on the ground for their reception, while I prepared the pipe which we smoked together. The leader of this army was a brother of the head Chief of the Pawnee nation, and one of the finest formed and best looking men I have ever seen. He was six feet in height, with large and powerful limbs, a large head, with a well developed front, and keen dark hazel eyes. His manner was dignified and commanding, and he evidently possessed the confidence of his tribe. There was something in him that at once drew out my heart towards him and secured my esteem and respect. He was now going, he told me, down to the country of the Camanches, Arrippahoes and other tribes, near the Salt Plains, to conclude treaties of peace. They had been out ten days from their country and would have passed this place five days before had not this Chief been taken sick. He now looked feverish and weak. After smoking, the whole party of Indians, to the number of one thousand, gathered around us and four of them marched my Mexican friends into the circle and placed them before the Chief above mentioned, who was sitting on the ground. All the Indians except this Chief declared that these two were Mexicans and therefore their enemies, and many called for their scalps. A Kioway Chief made a violent speech against them. He understanding the Spanish language, desired them to speak with each other. They remained silent, he then requested me to make them speak. I appeared not to understand, but said they were my men and under my protection. The Kioway then walked close to the Mexicans and in a friendly manner and confidential tone he said: "You are Spanish Indians, are you not? You can tell me; I am your friend. You know I am a Kioway; we are not at war with you. We are friends. You are a Spanish Indian are you not? The Mexicans looked like condemned criminals during this shower of questions, and one of them looking up and meeting the eye of the Kioway, slighly nodded an affirmative to the last question. Instantly that Chief clapped his hands and exclaimed: "Do you hear that, they acknowledge it--they are Spaniards, these are the men who have been murdering your women and children; kill them--kill them." I placed myself before the Mexicans to defend them, and told the Pawnee Chiefs they should not be killed, and the older Chiefs cried out, "come, come, go and get some wood and make fires. Kill some buffalos and get something to eat." This entirely changed the current. Loosing sight of their Mexican enemies, they ran off with a shout in obedience to their Chief and scattered over the prairies on my horses which I loaned them. Away they went in all directions and soon returned with an abundance of buffalo meat.
When they had disappeared, the Chief who had so soon dispersed them looked at me with a smile and said, pointing to the two Mexicans, "they are Spanish Indians I know; but they are with you and shall not be hurt. Last winter my brother went to Washington and saw our Great Father there. He said a great many things to my brother and made him a great many presents. And what he said went into his ear, and my brother told it again to me and it went into my ear and down to my heart. Our Great Father told my brother to treat all Americans well who visited his country, and my brother promised the Great Father, in the name of the whole nation, that we would do as he wished us to do towards the Americans. You and your friends are safe. You shall not be hurt." This Chief told me of some of his exploits as a warrior, one of which, then the latest, I will relate. His nation were at war with the Osages and in the fall before he had approached near to one of their largest villages with a war party, too small however, to risk an attack. He concealed himself and his men behind a large mound in the prairie at some distance from the village, and sent forward eight well mounted Pawnees to reconnoitre. A large party of Osages gave chase to these eight, who retreated before them to the mound and then separated, four going to the right and four to the left around the mound, and were followed by their enemies who rushed blindly into the ambuscade. Our hero, the Pawnee, now gave the war whoop, and fell upon the Osages, whose jaded horses were unable to carry them out of danger. A hundred of the Osages were killed in the fight or rather flight, and our hero, the Pawnee Chief, felt all the pride and pleasure of a Spartan in relating the triumph of his craft and valor.
We encamped at night in company with the Indians, the Chief lying near me, and in the morning nothing had been disturbed. I made presents of tobacco to the Indians and selecting one of my best horses and a Spanish saddle, bridle and rope, and leading him up to the Chief, who had no horse of his own, I presented him with this one and the trappings. The Chief appeared ashamed at not having any thing to give in return, and said, "if you ever come again to my country, I will have two horses ready for you." I told him to treat all Americans well when visiting his country, and to protect them from their enemies. He appeared greatly affected and at parting, embraced me with both arms.
After proceeding about a mile on our way we saw about thirty Indians running towards us and Glenn took another fright, said that these were coming to kill the two Mexicans, and again prayed me to give them up "peaceably." I said no, and the McKnights swore they would die themselves, rather than desert any of their comrades. They, with the rest of my company formed a circle around the Mexicans, while Glenn and his men hurried forward, and I stopped to speak with the advancing Indians. These were a hunting party belonging to the Pawnee army, who had not seen us before, having just returned from hunting, and now came to shake hands with us. They overtook Glenn for the same friendly purpose and then returned in high spirits to their countrymen. Glenn now pushed on in a trot and soon went out of my sight where he has remained from that day to this. He sold his fur in St. Louis, went to Cincinnati, and cheated me out of his debt to me, as I ought to have expected him to do after his previous cowardice and hypocricy.
We now kept our course down the Arkansas, and on the next day crossed to the north bank of the river. One of my trunks fell into the river in crossing, and some rhubarb dissolving, became mixed with my shirts, journal, invoice and other papers in the trunk, and entirely destroyed them. The writing was obliterated from the papers, and my journal which I had kept since leaving home was rendered useless. My memory, which was always very retentive of events and incidents, enables me to supply this loss with sufficient accuracy.
On the third day after parting with the Pawnees we found the prairie strewed with buffalo skeletons, and saw at a distance in a bend of the river, a company of men wearing hats. I learned afterwards that this was a company of traders bound for Santa Fe, who had been robbed by the Osages. Supposing it to be Glenn's company, I passed on without hailing them, and encamped at night in a small grove in the edge of the prairie. We secured the horses and prepared our camp with care against an attack from Indians, who were evidently in our vicinity. One-half of our band slept while the rest stood as sentinels. In the morning about an hour before day a sound of violent crying and lamentation was heard, such as is customary with the Indians when bewailing the loss of a near relation. This is usually continued from early dawn till sun-rise, when they end in a sobbing hiccough like that of children after long crying. A mounted Indian soon after day light, circled around the camp and stopped at a distance of a quarter of a mile. I cried out Mawhatonga, (long knife). The Indian repeated the word interrogatively, Mawhatonga? The Indians call the whites Longknives, from their swords. On my answering howai, (yes ) this Indian came into our camp and informed me that an Osage village was near by, and that Chouteau, Tonish and Pelche, French traders, were with them. I started with the Indian for the village and came in view of it on ascending a hill a short way from the camp, where my companion went off at full speed, shouting at the top of his voice, and soon brought out the whole village with Chouteau and other French traders to meet me. A large company of Indians passed me to meet the company with the horses behind, and by their shouts and tumultuous riding gave my drove a stampede which made the earth shake beneath them. Chouteau invited me to breakfast with him, assuring me that my horses, which were now out of sight, would be recovered. I partook with him of a dish of coffee, the first I had tasted in twelve months, and of bread and other luxuries of civilization, which brought before my mind all the comforts of home to which I had been so long a stranger. After returning from Chouteau's marqui, about noon, we discovered that four horses and several articles belonging to me and McKnight and a keg of Chouteau's powder had been stolen by the Indians. Chouteau raged and stormed like a mad man and threatened to abandon the nation forever and stop all the American trade with them, unless they produced the stolen articles and abstained from molesting the property of his friends. At last two of the horses were brought up. Chouteau commanded them to return the rest of the missing goods, which however, could not be found. The Conjuror now appeared with his wand lined with bells, which he carried jingling through the village. When he started, Chouteau remarked that the lost goods would certainly be found by him; as the Indians had no hope of concealing any thing from their medicine man. The wand carried him directly towards the place of concealment, and the thieves to avoid detection soon brought up the goods which they had fortunately found. Two of my horses were lost beyond recovery. I remained with Chouteau that day till evening, and was treated by him and his French companions, like a brother. I saw a singular instance of Indian revenge, while here, which will illustrate their stern and inflexible sense of wrong. An old Osage was sitting on the ground when a younger Indian with a rope in hand stopped before him and said: "You struck me one blow when I was a boy, I will now return it." The sitting Indian without a murmur bent his head and body forward to receive the justice which awaited him, while the avenger of youthful wrongs drew two large knots in his rope, and after swinging it around his head several times, brought it down with all his weight upon the back of his old enemy. The knots seemed to sink into his back their whole depth. Leaping up in a furious rage, the culprit rushed at the executioner, seized the rope and endeavored to wrest it from him, claiming one blow in return. As the pain subsided they became friends and thought no more of the old feud. "An eye for eye and a tooth for a tooth," is strictly their motto. The blow which he had received when a boy, had rankled in this Indian's heart for ten or twenty years, and now having paid it back with interest, he was satisfied and happy. Their method of curing diseases is very similar to the operations of our animal magnetizers. The Conjour or Medicine man has an old cloth, which they supposed possessed the charm and power to restore health. With this majic cloth assisted by other Indians in the same exercise, he rubs the patient from head to foot, in manner similar to the passes of the magnetizers, on their subjects. This is continued until the patient acknowledges himself relieved, or relief is proved to be hopeless.
My company started forward before me, and I remained behind till evening with Cunigam, for the purpose of finding the two missing horses, which were among the best. Failing in this, I with my companion, followed in the track of the company. Before we had gone far a black cloud gathered over our heads, with thunder and lightning in terrific grandeur. We hastened forward till night, when the storm broke upon us in torrents of rain which deluged the earth. We lay in the rain all night, and in the morning the river had risen above the banks, and nearly reached our place of sleeping. The marks of the muddy water and leaves was visible in a straight line on my companion as he lay asleep in a gully which the flood had washed without waking him. We saw, a little distance off, our company, encamped on the spot occupied by the Osages, the night but one before. Pursuing our course down the river, we came to the Little Arkansas, which enters the main river from the north, and crossing it, we encamped on its bank which is here very high. The river rose twenty feet during the night from the heavy rains which had just fallen. Here we left the Arkansas, which goes to the south, after making what is called the great northern bend. We travelled to the northeast, the rain falling abundantly, and came to a creek we were unable to cross. We encamped on its bank for that night, and the next morning before starting, some thirty Osages came up with some goods which they had stolen from a party of Santa Fe traders on the Arkansas above, and offered to us for sale. Our refusal to buy incensed them greatly, and they blustered and bullied around us until we showed them plainly how little we were effected by their bravado. One seized a belt of McKnight's, who wrenched it out of his hands and struck him with it a tremendous blow over the shoulder. After these Indians left us, we pursued our course on the trail of the Osages. The streams were all full and difficult in crossing, and the game exceedingly scarce. In ten or twelve days, after severe suffering for want of food, we reached the Shoshona or Grand River, where we found corn growing: this was just in the silk without any grain on the ear. We boiled and ate the cob with a hearty relish. Soon after this we were hailed by Indians, who came from the north, and finding we were whites, approached us in a friendly manner and invited us to their village, two miles distant. They laughed at our last meal and promised us something better than corn cobs. We fared well, with them, on hominy, meat and bread, which last was made of flour furnished to them by Mr. Sibley, the factor at Fiery-Prairie Fort. After smoking with these friendly Osages, we proceeded on our way, and with great difficulty crossed the Shoshona, which flowed with the rapidity of a mill race. I hired some Indians to swim our horses and goods tied up in buffalo skins, across, while we followed, some swimming and others in skin boats towed by men and women in the water. I was ferried over by two women and a man, the former swimming with cords between their teeth attached to the boat, and the latter pushing behind, by which means I was safely landed on the shore. Here I found a new party of Indians, who while our party was crossing the river had stolen three of my horses. Continuing our course we crossed a creek on a raft near the White-haired village, which was deserted, and in the evening of the third day after passing the Shoshona, we crossed the Missouri line. Here my brother exclaimed, - "Thank God we are once more in the United States." We encamped for the night, and lay down in fancied security, without setting a guard, and in the morning discovered that a large number of the horses and mules had been stolen. We had not seen any Indians for three days, but had been followed by the prowling Osages, who had now effected their designs upon us. Thirty-eight of my best horses and mules were missing. We followed the thieves to the White-haired village, and found that they had crossed the creek on our rafts, and were now beyond all pursuit. We returned and proceeded on with the remains of my drove. Our next stopping place was Chouteau's trading house on the north side of the Osage river, about six miles from our last, where we found a hospitable reception from the French traders. McKnight and I went to the factory or Government store a few miles above on the river, where we saw a few Indians, the factor, and an interpreter, who advised me to go, or send some persons back to Grand River for my horses, where they would probably be found. I hired him and an Indian, for forty dollars, to return with one of my men to recover the stolen property. In a few days they came back with the news that the thieves had hastened on towards Chermout's village on the Arkansas, where they had probably concealed my chattels. Giving them up for lost, I returned to Chouteau's establishment and endeavored to obtain a skiff for descending the river. Most of my remaining horses were sore on the back or jaded so much as to be unable to carry any burdens. We learned from a blacksmith that there was a missionary station on the river a few miles above, where a good skiff which he had made, could be procured. The two McKnights, the blacksmith, and myself, went up to the station, where we found a small village of about fifty inhabitants, old and young, and a dozen houses. A fine water mill was going up on the opposite or south side of the river. We found the owners of the skiff, related to them our wants and misfortunes, and requested the privilege of buying their skiff. They doubted if they could spare the skiff. We went down to the river and examined the subject of our negotiation, which was a rough made article, of the value in St. Louis of about three dollars. "We have no stuff to make another with, should we let this go," said one of the missionaries. "I have some plank," said the blacksmith, "the same as this was made of, that you may have to make another if you wish it. These men," continued he, "have been very unfortunate, and by letting them have the skiff you will do an act of charity. They can't travel without it;" and I told them I would give any reasonable price for the accommodation. "Well, said the missionary, what would you be willing to give?" Ten dollars.
"Ho, ho!--I couldn't take that for the skiff, even if I could spare it. But we can't let it go, we want it for crossing the river to the mill. I v(e)ow and declare I can't spare it." I will give you fifteen dollars, said I. "Oh no," whined the philanthropist, "we couldn't take that little, and besides I have no nails to make another with." "I will make nails for you said the blacksmith; that need not be in your way," and again the benevolent trader was headed. "But I v(e)ow I don't know how to spare it," said he. I then offered twenty dollars in specie. "Oh no," said the missionary, "the skiff is worth more than that, but I don't think we can spare it;" and here the negotiation ended, my companions protesting that I had offered too much already. We went up to the village where they had three half-breed children under instruction, and these were all their pupils or converts whom they were paid by Government to instruct--truly a disinterested company of men. Learning that we had arrived from Mexico, a number of them gathered around us with many questions concerning that country, and one asked if they were not in need of missionaries in that country, and whether much good could not be done and many converts made there Robert McKnight replied, "they would convert you into the calaboose d--nd quick, if you were to go among them--you had better stay here." We left then, shaking the dust of the town from our feet and glad to get rid of the canting sharpers. We returned to the trading post, made a few bark canoes, and proceeded down the river; part of our company being in the canoes and the rest afoot with the horses and goods. At the mouth of the Osage, Rogers, the ferryman, informed us that at the village of Cote Sans Desans, on the opposite side of the Missouri, I could procure some perogues of the French inhabitants there. I crossed over to the village and purchased a canoe and perogue for sixteen dollars--loaded them with goods, and with the McKnights I hastened forward to St. Louis. The rest of my company with the horses, joined me soon afterwards. I here heard that Glenn had sold out his fur and gone to Cincinnati. As I remarked before, he has been among the missing to me ever since. His note I will sell for one per cent on the principal.
I learned on the morning of my arrival at St. Louis, that Col. Graham, the Indian Agent, had just started for the Osage country, to pay out annuities to the Osages. The two McKnights pursued and overtook him--gave him a written statement of my losses by that tribe, and claimed compensation, which he undertook to obtain for me. The Osages delivered up twenty-seven of my horses and mules, and said that these were all they had taken. The agent took their words for the fact against the written and sworn statements of the McKnights, which could have been corroborated by the oaths of my whole company, and neglected to retain the amount of what they had cost me in Santa Fe, which was forty dollars each, out of the annuities of the Osages, which were then paid in money. He brought on the twenty-seven, which he recovered as far as the Osage river in Missouri, where he left them, at the house of a man named Rogers, who wrote to inform me in the winter following that they were dying with hunger. Col. Graham had turned them out to go at large, and when two men whom I sent for them, arrived, only sixteen could be found. Four mules which were unable to travel were left, and only twelve horses and mules were brought back; to recover which I expended much more than their value. The agent, Col. Graham, was greatly culpable in not retaining the whole value of the horses stolen, out of the annuities of the Osages. The claim was proved and might and ought to have been secured by him.
In the latter part of July, 1822, I arrived at my home in Monroe county, Illinois, after an absence of fifteen months. I was supposed to be dead by many, and my family were entertaining the most alarming apprehensions for me. The husband and the father only, can appreciate the joy and rejoicing which my coming occasioned, and the cordial welcome I received. After the hardships, exposures and wearing anxieties which I had endured for more than a year, I needed repose and relaxation, and I hoped to enjoy them for a short time. But in this hope I was disappointed. My creditors swarmed around me like bees, and were as clamorous as a drove of hungry wolves. I had brought from Santa Fe about $2500, the sole proceeds of my stock of $12000 with which I had left St. Louis the year before. This sum I immediately paid on my debts, and offered all my remaining property to my creditors; but they wanted money. The Sheriff, the Marshal, and Constables immediately beset me on every side, and seized and sold almost every thing of mine that was levyable. I worked and struggled bravely to emerge from this thick cloud of difficulties. I drove a mill and distillery, and fattened a drove of hogs for which I could find no sale. The way was dark before me and I found more real trouble and corroding care in getting out of debt than I had experienced among the savages. Man in civilized society frequently requires more firmness of mind, constancy, fortitude, and real strength of character than in the most critical and dangerous crisis of a savage state. The poor man, struggling bravely against an accumulation of debt and difficulty, I have always thought, is entitled to more respect than the military chieftain, whose courage is only inflamed by the excitements of war and ambition. Peace has its victories as well as war, and a high state of civilization as it has stronger temptations to evil and higher though less pressing incitements to exertion, so it requires more energy and determined resolution of mind than any other condition of human existence. Many a brave and true man in the peaceful shades of private life will receive a meed of honor equal to that of
Great men battling with the storms of fate
And greatly falling with a falling State.