Page:The Cambridge History of American Literature, v3.djvu/166

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Travellers and Explorers, 1846-1900

that his religion forbade the accumulation of wealth and the enjoyment of luxury. To him as to other single minded men in every age and race, from Diogenes to the brothers of Saint Francis, from the Montanists to the Shakers, the love of possessions has appeared a snare, and the burdens of a complex society a source of needless peril and temptation. It is my personal belief after thirty-five years experience of it, that there is no such thing as Christian Civilization. I believe that Christianity and modern civilization are opposed and irreconcilable and that the spirit of Christianity and of our ancient religion is essentially the same. ... Since there is nothing left us but remembrance, at least let that remembrance be just.

With reference to the treachery of the whites, at times, in the treatment of Indians it is permissible to refer the reader to the Massacre of Cheyenne Indians, 38th Congress, 2nd Sess., House Doc., Jan. 10th, 1865, wherein the Committee on the Conduct of the War, Benjamin F. Wade, Chairman, reports on an unprovoked attack by Colorado militia on a Cheyenne village in which sixty-nine, two thirds women and children, were killed and the bodies left on the field.

The Indian side of much of the trouble of the years following 1861 may be read in "Forty Years with the Cheyennes," written by George Bent for The Frontier, a Colorado Springs monthly. Bent's mother was Owl Woman of the Southern Cheyennes, and his father, Col. William Bent, the widely known proprietor of Bent's Fort on the Arkansas, also called Fort William. Young Bent left school to join the Confederate army, was captured, paroled, and sent to his father. He then went to his mother's people and remained with them.

There was at least one American of early Western days who looked on the Indian with more sympathy. This was George Catlin, now famous for his paintings and books. Thanks to a kind Providence, not to our foresight, his invaluable painted records of a life that is past are now the property of the United States. Thomas Donaldson gives an exhaustive review of Catlin, his paintings in the National Museum, and his books in Part V, Report of the U. S. National Museum(1885).

We are not here concerned with Catlin's paintings and only note his literary output. His Letters and Notes on the Manners and Customs of the North American Indians, Written During