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which took a number of French prizes. The booty being shared, he has now an agent here enquiring, by an advertisement in the Gazette, for those who suffered the loss, in order to make them, as far as in him lies, restitution. This conscientious man is a Quaker. The Scotch presbyterians were formerly as tender; for. there is still extant an ordinance of the town-council of Edinburgh, made soon after the reformation, "forbidding the purchase of prize goods, under pain of losing the fredom of the burgh for ever, with other punishment at the will of the magistrate; the practice of making prizes being contrary | to good conscience, and the rule of treating Christian brethren as we would wish to be treated; and such goods are not to be sold by any godly men within this burgh. The race of these godly men in Scotland is probably extinct, or their principles abandoned, since, as far as that nation had a hand in promoting the war against the colonies, prizes and confiscations are believed to have been a considerable motive.
It has been for some time a generally received opinion, that a military man is not to inquire whether a war be just or unjust; he is to execute his orders.
All princes who are disposed to become tyrants must probably approve of this opinion, and be willing to establish it; but is it not a dangerous one ? since, on that principle, if the tyrant commands his army to attack and destroy, not only an unoffending neighbour nation, even his own subjects, the army is bound to obey. A negro slave, in our colonies, being commanded by his master to rob or murder a neighbour, or do any other immoral act, may refuse, and the magistrate will protect him in his refusal. The slavery then of a soldier' is worse than that of a negro! A conscientious officer, if not restrained by the apprehension of its being imputed to another cause, may indeed resign rather, than be employed in an unjust war; but the private men are slaves for life; and they are per: haps incapable of judging for themselves. We can only lament their fate, and still more that of a sailor, who is often dragged by force from his honest occupation, and compelled to imbrue his hands in, perhaps, innocent blood. But methinks it well behaves merchants (men more enlightened by their education, and perfectly free from any such force or obligation) to consider .well of the justice of a war, before they voluntarily engage a gang of ruffians to attack their fellow.merchants of a neighbouring nation, to plunder them of their property, and perhaps ruin them and their families, if they yield it; or to wound, maim, or murder them, if they endeavour to defend it. Yet these things are done by Christian merchants, whether a war be just or unjust; and it can hardly be just on both sides. They are done by English and American merchants, who, nevertheless, complain of private theft,
and hang by dozens the thieves they have taught by 1 their own example.
r. It is high time, for the sake of humanity, that a stop, were put to this enormity. The United States of America, though better situated than any European nation to make profit by privateering ( most of the trade of Europe,
with the West Indies, passing before their doors ) are, as far as in them lies, endeavouring to abolish the practice, by offering, in all their treaties with other powers, an article, engaging solemnly, that, in case of future war,
no privateer shall be commissioned on either side; and that unarmed merchant-ships, on both sides, shall pursue their voyages unmolested. This will be a happy improvement of the law of nations. The humane and the just cannot but wish general success to the proposition. With unchangeable esteem and affection,
I am, my dear friend,
REMARKS CONCERNING THE SAVA
GES OF NORTH-AMERICA.
Printed in the Year 1784.
Savages we call them, because their manners differ from ours, which we think the perfection of civility: they think the same of theirs,
Perhaps, if we could examine the manners of different nations with impartiality, we should find no people so rude, as to be without any rules of politeness; nor any so polite, as not to have some remains of rudeness.
The Indian men, when young, are hunters and warriors; when old, counsellors; for all their government is by the council or advice of the sages; there is no force, there are no prisons, no officers to compel obedience, or inflict punishment. Hence they generally study oratory, the best speaker having the most influence. The Indian women till the ground, dress the food, nurse and bring up the children, and preserve and hand down to posterity the memory of public transactions. These employments of men and women are accounted natural and honourable. Having few artificial wants, they have abundance of lei. sure for improvement by conversation. Our laborious manner of life, compared with theirs, they esteem slavish and base; and the learning on which we value ourselves, they regard as frivolous and useless. An instance of this occurred at the treaty of Lancaster, in Pennsylvania, anno 1744, between the government of Virginia and the Six Nations. After the principal business was settled, the
commissioners from Virginia acquainted the Indians by a speech, that there was at Williamsburg a college, with a fund, for educating Indian youth; and that if the chiefs of the Six Nations would send down half a dozen of their sons to that college, the government would take care that they should be well provided for, and instructed in all the learning of the white people. It is one of the In. dian rules of politeness, not to answer a public proposition the same day that it is made: they think it would be treating it as a light matter, and that they show it respect by taking time to consider it, as of a matter important. They therefore deferred their answer till the day following; when their speaker began, by expressing their deep sense of the kindness of the Virgina government, in making them that offer; for we know, » says he, “that you highly esteem the kind of learning taught in those colleges, and that the maintenance of our young men, while with you, would be very expensive to you. We are convinced therefore, that you mean to do us good by your proposal; and we thank you heartily. But you, who are wise, must know, that different nations have different conceptions of things; and you will therefore not take it amiss, if our ideas of this kind of education happen not to be the same with yours. We have had some experience of it: several of our young people were formerly brought up at the colleges of the northern pro. vinces; they were instructed in all your sciences; but when they came back to us, they were bad runners, ignorant of every means of living in the woods, unable to bear either cold or hunger, knew neither how to build a cabin, take a deer, or kill an enemy, spoke our language imperfectly, were therefore neither fit for hunters, war. riors, or counsellors; they were totally good for nothing. We are however not the less obliged by your kind offer, though we decline accepting it: and to show our grate. ful sense of it, if the gentlemen of Virginia will send us a dozen of their sons, we will take great care of their education, instruct them in all we know and make men of them,
Having frequent occasions to hold public councils, they have acquired great order and decency in conducting them. The old men sit in the foremost ranks, the warriors in the next, and the women and children in the hindmost. The business of the women is to take exact notice of what passes, imprint it in their memories, for they have no writing, and communicate it to their children. They are the records of the council, and they pre. serve tradition of the stipulations in treaties a hundred years back; which, when we compare with our writings, we always find exact. He that would speak, rises, the Test observe a profound silence. When he has finished and sits down, they leave him five or six minutes to recollect, that, if he has omitted any thing he intended to say, or has any thing to 'add, he may rise again and de
liver it. To interrupt another, even in common conversation, is reckoned highly indecent. How different this is from the conduct of a polite British house of commons, where scarce a day passes without some confusion, that makes the speaker hoarse in calling to order; and how different from the mode of conversation in many polite companies of Europe, where if you do not deliver your sentence with great rapidity, you are cut off in the middle of it by the impatient loquacity of those you converse with, and never suffered to finish it!
The politeness of these savages in conversation is in deed carried to excess,, since it does not permit them to contradict or deny the truth of what is asserted in their presence. By this means they indeed avoid disputes; but then it becomes difficult to know their minds, or what impression you make upon them. The missionaries who have attempted to convert them to christianity, all complain of this as one of the great difficulties of their mission. The Indians hear with great patience the truths of the gospel explained to them, and give their usual tokens of assent and approbation: you would think they were convinced. No such matter, It is merely civility.
A Swedish minister, having assembled the chiefs of the Sasquehannah Indians, made a sermon to them, acquainting them with the principal historical facts on which our religion is founded; such as the fall of our first parents by eating an apple, the coming of Christ to repair the mischief, his miracles and suffering, etc. When he had finished, an Indian orator stood up to thank him. “What you have told us, » says he, "is, all very good. It is indeed bad to eat apples, It is better to make them all into cyder. We are much obliged by your kindness in coming so far, to tell us those things which you have heard from your mothers. In return, I will tell you some of those we have heard from ours.
« In the begioning, our fathers had only the flesh of animals to subsist on, and if their hunting was unsuccessful, they were starving. Two of our young hunters having killed a deer, made a fire in the woods to broil some parts of it. When they were about to satisfy their hunger, they beheld a beautiful young woman descend from the clouds, and seat herself on that bill which you see yonder among the Blue Mountains. They said to each other, it is a spirit that perhaps has smelt our broiling venison, and wishes to eat of it: let us offer some to her. They presented her with the tongue: she was pleased with the taste of it, and said, Your kindness shall be rewarded. Come to this place after thirteen moons, and you shall find something that will be of great benefit in nourishing you and your children to the latest generations. They did so, and to their surprise, found plants, they had never seen before; but which, from that ancient time, have been constantly cultivated among us, to our great advantage. Where, her right hand had touched the
ground, they found maize; where her left hand had touch:
ed it, they found kidney beans; and where her backside on har sat on it, they found tobacco. » The good missio
nary, disgusted with this idle tale, said, “What I have delivered to you were sacred truths, but what you tell me is mere fable, fiction and falsehoods. The ludian, offended, replied, « My brother, it seems your friends have not done you justice in your education, they have not well instructed you in the rules of common civility. You saw that we, who understand and practice those rules, believed all your stories, why do you refuse to believe ours ? »
• When any of them come into our towns, our people are apt to crowd round them, ganze upon them, and incomvode them where they desire to be private; this they esteem great rudeness, and the effect of the want of in. struction in the rules of civility and good manners. We have, » say they, was much euriosity as you, and when you come into our towns, we wish for opportunities of looking at you; but for this purpose we hide ourselves behind bushes, where you are to pass, and never intrude ourselves into your company. »
Their manner of entering one another's villages has likewise it rules. It is reckoned uncivil in travelling strangers, to enter a village abruptly, without giving notice of their approach. Therefore, as soon as they arrive within hearing, they stop and halloo, remaining there till invited to enter. Two old men usually come out to them, and lead them in. There is in every village a vacant dwelling, called the strangers' house. Here they are placed, while the old men go round from hut to hut, acquainting the inhalitants, that strangers are arrived who are probably hungry and weary; and every one 'sends them what he can spare of victnals, and skins to repose on. When the strangers are refreshed, pipes and tabacco are brought: and then, 'but not before, conversation begins, with enquiries who they are, whither bound, what news, etc., and it usually ends with offers of service, if the strangers have occasion for guides, or any necessaries for continuing their journey; and nothing is exacted for the entertainment.
The same hospitality, esteemed among them as a principal virtue, is practised by private persons; of which Conrad Weiser, our intrepreter, gave me the following instance, He had been naturalized among the Six Na. tions, and spoke well the Mohuck language. through the Indian country, to carry a message from our governor to the .council ' at Onondago, he called at the habitation of Canassetego, an old acquaintance, who em. braced him, spread fars for him to sit on, and placed before him some boiled beans and venison, and 'mixed some rum and water for his drink. When he was well refreshed and had lit his pipe, Canassetego began to converse with him: asked how he had fared the many years since they had seen each other, whence he then came, what