Page:A Topographical Description of the State of Ohio, Indiana Territory, and Louisiana.djvu/233

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from which the River Saint Mary takes its rise. It is called a lake, or rather a marsh, three hundred miles in circumference. The account given of these Indians, borders too much on romance to deserve much credit. The lake or marsh is called Ouaquaphenoga. " In wet seasons it appears like an inland sea, and has several large islands of rich land ; one of which the present generation of Creek Indians represent as the most blissful spot on earth. They say it is inhabited by a peculiar race of Indians, whose women are incomparably beautiful. They tell that this terrestrial paradise has been seen by some enterprising hunters, when in pursuit of their game, who being lost in inextricable swamps and bogs, and on the point of perishing, were unexpectedly relieved by a company of beautiful women, whom they call daughters of the sun, who kindly gave them such provisions as they had with them ; consisting of fruit and corn cakes, and then enjoined them to fly for safety to their own country, because their husbands were fierce men, and cruel to strangers. They further say, that these hunters had a view of their settlements, situated on the elevated banks of an island, in a beautiful lake ; but in all their endeavours to approach it, they were involved in perpetual labyrinths, and, like enchanted land, still as they imagined they had just gained it, it seemed to fly before them ; and having quitted the delusive pursuit, they with much difficulty effected their retreat.

" They tell another story concerning this sequestered country, which seems not improbable, which is, that the inhabitants are the posterity of a fugitive remnant of the ancient Yamases, who escaped massacre, after a bloody and decisive battle between them and the Creeks, (who, it is certain, conquered and nearly exterminated that once powerful people), and here formed an asylum, remote and secure from the fury of their proud conquerors. The River Saint Mary and Sitilla, which fall into the Atlantic, and the beautiful Little Juan, which empties into the bay of Appalachi, at Saint Mark's, are said by Bartram, to flow from this lake."[1]

  1. See Ouaquaphenogaw, American Gazetteer.