Page:Popular Science Monthly Volume 41.djvu/604

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586
THE POPULAR SCIENCE MONTHLY.

THE DELAWARE INDIAN AS AN ARTIST.
By Dr. CHARLES C. ABBOTT.

WHEN a considerable collection of the stone and bone handiwork of the Delaware Indians has been brought together, and with this material before us we picture to ourselves the people in possession of the country when first visited by the Dutch and Swedes, and afterward by the English, the thought arises that considerable importance must be given to a chance remark of Peter Kalm, who spent the winter of 1748-'49 in New Jersey to wit: "At the first arrival of the Swedes in this country, and long after that time, it was filled with Indians. But as the Europeans proceeded to cultivate the land, the Indians sold their land, and went further into the country. But in reality few of the Indians really left the country in this manner; most of them ended their days

PSM V41 D604 Common forms of arrow points from new jersey.jpg
Fig. 1.—Common Forms of Arrow-points from New Jersey.

before, either by wars among themselves, or by the small-pox, a disease which the Indians were unacquainted with before their commerce with the Europeans, and which since that time has killed incredible numbers of them." Again, our author states: "The Indians formerly, and about the time of the first settling of the Swedes, were more industrious and laborious in every branch of business than they are now." In other words, they were not known at their best, even by those who had earliest opportunities of observing them, and what they habitually used and constantly produced, perhaps, but a century or two before the advent of the European, was far superior to their cleverest handiwork in the seventeenth century. The European had to do with a diseased, discouraged, and disappearing people. It is safe to assert that history, as pertaining to the Delaware Valley, would have been