Page:The History of the American Indians.djvu/247

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An Account of the Cheerake Nafh'n-.

In the year 1749, I came down, by the invitation of the governor of South-Carolina, to Charles-Town, with a body of our friendly Chikkafah Indians : one of his majefty's furgeons, that very day we arrived, cut off the wounded arm of a poor man. On my relating it to the Indians, they were Ihocked at the information, and faid, " The man's poverty fhould have in duced him to exert the common (kill of mankind, in fo trifling an hurt ; cfpecially, as fuch a butchery would not only disfigure, but difable the poor man the reft of his life-, that there would have been more humanity in cutting off the head, than in fuch a barbarous amputation, becaufe it is much better for men to die once, than to be always dying, for when the hand is loft, how can the poor man feed himfelf by his daily labour By the fame rule of phyftc, had he been wounded in his head, our furgeons fhould have cut that off, for being unfortunate." I told the benevolent old warriors, that the wifdom of our laws had exempted the head from fuch fevere treatment, by not fettling a reward for the fevering it, but only fo much for every joint of the branches of the body, which might be well enough fpared, without the life; and that this medical treatment was a ilrong certificate to recommend the poor man to genteel lodgings, where numbers belonging to our great canoes, were provided for during life. They were of opinion however, that fuch brave hardy fellows would ra ther be deemed men, and work for their bread, than be laid afide, not only as ufelefs animals, but as burdens to the reft of fociety.

I do not remember to have feen or heard of an Indian dying by the bite of a make, when out at war, or a hunting ; although they are then often bitten by the nrfoft dangerous fnakes every one carries in his fhot-ponch, a piece of the beft fnake-root, fuch as the Seneeka^ or fern-fnake-root,- or the wild hore-hound, wild plantain, St. Andrew's crofs, and a variety of other herbs and roots, which are plenty, and well known to thofe who range the American woods, and are expoied to fuch dangers, and will effect a thorough and fpeedy cure if timely applied. When an Indian per ceives he is ilruck by a fnake, he immediately chews fome of the root, and having fwallowed a fufficient quantity of it, he applies fome to the wound , which he repeats as occafion requires, and in proportion to the poifon the fnake has infufed into the wound. For a ihort fpace of time, -there is a terrible conflict through all the body, by the jarring qualities of

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