Page:The History of the American Indians.djvu/299

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An Accomit of the Choktah Nation. 287

were kindeft to thofe who mod infulted and injured them , and, that the fureft way for the red people to get plenty of prefents, was not to deferve them, but to aft the murdering part of the ill-hearted Muikohge. In confirmation of their flrong invectives, they recited above feventy inftances of the Muikohge having murdered the Englifli, not only with impunity, but with filent approbation ; as they foon afterward received large prefents, which muft be either as a due for the bloodlhed, or tribute given through fear. They enumerated fome facts, which were attended with fhocking circumtfances : as, an innocent mother of good report, and two of her little children, put to (low torture in boiling water j and feveral of the like nature, which the Mufkohge themfelves had informed them of in a way of boafting, and to induce them to imitate their mifchievous, but profitable example. While we bear any cool premeditated acts of Indian hoftility with that crouching bafe behaviour, fuch paffive con duct will ferve only to tempt the Indians to advance in their favourite fcience of blood, and commence a general war. For cowards they always infult and defpife, and will go any diftance to revenge the blood of one of their tribe, eVen that of an old woman.

As it was confidently reported, that a military government would be con tinued by us in Weil Florida, till it was thick fettled, the French inhabitants imagining that event could not happen till doom' , -day, moftly retired to New Orleans, in order to mun luch a tyrannic police. They were afraid of being impriibned, and whipped, at the Governor's caprice, and even for things unnoticeable in the eye of the law ; for as he ruled imperial over the foldiery, he would expect all his orders to be readily obeyed by every other perfon, without any hefitation. Such things are too com mon in a military government, and it v/as fatally experienced in this. In order to eftablifh his abfolute power, as the merchants, and other gentlemen at Mobille, of generous principles dcfpifed it, he found a plea to contend with one of them, though it was both illegal, and entirely out of his element. A Choktah having bought a fmall brafs-kettle of one of the principal mer chants of that place, was perfuaded by a Frenchman, to return it, bring the value to him, and he would give him a better one in its (lead ; for there happened to be a very fmall crack of no confequence, and fcarcely dif- cernible, juft above the rim. The Indian accordingly went to return it ; but the gentleman would not receive it, as it was good, and fairly fold at

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