Saturday, 30 March 2013

Which is Which?

Some of these flintlock pistols are reproductions and some are antiques, can you tell which is which? The NSW police commissioner can't, and neither can the local police. In fact the majority if not all of the local police don't even know what a muzzle-loader is and have no interest in them. Recently when I tried to hand in an illegal reproduction muzzle-loading pistol they told me they were not interested and told me to take it home again!!!
So if the police don't care, and the commissioner of police can't tell an antique from a non antique, why are we being given a hard time over this issue? Why can we own, but not use an antique gun without license, without registration and without a permit to purchase, and yet we can not own a copy of an antique flintlock pistol without an "H" class license (!), registration and a permit to purchase?! I mean these are one and the same except for the manufacturing date.
So this is an open letter to the NSW Police Commissioner. Sir, can you tell the difference? And if so what is the difference? what is the difference between flintlocks made after 1900ad and flintlocks made before 1900ad ? Why are post 1900ad flintlocks classed the same as breech-loading semi-autos and revolvers and pre 1900ad flintlock pistols are not? I would really like to know. I mean if I am not allowed to legally own one, I would like to know why.

If you chose number 2 as a reproduction, sorry but you are wrong. It does look different, but it is an original. This you see is how absolutely stupid the NSW firearms legislation is regarding flintlock firearms. I had to take mine to a gunsmith to get them authenticated because the police officer who checked my guns could not tell a breech-loader from a muzzle-loader or an antique from a non antique. So here they are giving me a hard time over my antique long guns, and at the same time telling me to take an illegal repro back home with me because they did not want it! They are not even going to charge the chap who illegally sent it to me claiming it was an antique!!!

So what people say is absolutely true, the police are actually protecting the criminals and yet persecuting honest law abiding citizens. Just what in hell are we supposed to do about that?


By Robert Griffing.

The next day was the 9th day of April, and thirteenth day that I had been their prisoner. The chief Indians and warriors that day held a general council, to know in what manner and way to dispose of me. They collected in the cabin where I lived. While they were in council their dinner was cooking. There were about ten in number, and they all sat down on the floor in a circle, and then commenced by their interpreter, Nicholas Coonse.
 The first question they asked me was, "Would I have my hair cut off like they cut theirs?" I answered "No." The second question they asked me was, "If I would have holes bored in my ears and nose and have rings and lead hung in them like they had?" I answered "No." The third question they asked me was, "If I could make hats?" (I had a large bag of beaver fur with me when they took me prisoner; from that circumstance I suppose they thought I was a hatter.) I answered "No." The fourth question they asked me was, "If I was a carpenter?" and said they wanted a door made for their cabin. I answered "No." The fifth question they asked me was, "If I was a blacksmith; could I mend their guns and makes axes and hoes for them?" I answered "No." The sixth question they asked me was, "If I could hoe corn?" I answered "No". The seventh question they asked me was, "If I could hunt?" I answered. "No. I could shoot at a mark very well, but I never hunted any." Then they told Coonse to ask me how I got my living; if I could do no work. I thought I had out-generalled them, but that question stumped me a little. The first thought that struck my mind, I thought I would tell them I was a weaver by trade, but a second thought occurred to my mind, I told Coonse to tell them I made my living by writing. The Indians answered and said it was very well. The eighth question they asked me was, "If I had a family?" I answered "Yes, I had a wife and three children." The ninth question they asked me was, "If I wanted to go home to see my wife and children?" I answered "Yes," They said, "Very well, you shall go home by and by." The tenth question they asked was, "If I wanted a wife then?" I answered "No," and told them it was not the fashion for the white people to have two wives at the same time. They said, very well, I could get one if I wanted one, and they said if I staid with them until their corn got in roasting ears, then I must take a wife. I answered them yes, if I staid that long with them. They then told me that I might go anywhere about in the town, but not go out of sight of the town, for if I did, there were bad Indians round about the town and they would catch me and kill me, and they said they could run like horses; and another thing they said, don't you recollect the Indians that took you prisoner and cut a lock of hair out of the crown of your head. I told them yes. Then they told me in consequence of that, if you attempted to run away, you could not live eight days. If you will stay with us and not run away, you shall not even bring water to drink. I told them I wanted to go home to my family, but I would not go without letting them know before I went. They said, very well. They appeared well pleased with me and told me again I might go anywhere about in the town, but not go out of sight of the town. 

Friday, 29 March 2013

Making a Hammer Stall & Documentation.

A hammer stall, also known as a hammer cap, is a leather device like a thumb stall which is placed over the hammer on a flint lock as a safety measure. With the stall in place, the flint in the jaws of the cock can not strike the hammer face, and therefore prevents accidental discharge of the gun. Although the hammer stall seems to have been mainly used by the military in the 18th century, it is possible that civilians and militia could have used them. To date, I have been unable to find any original images or originals in museum collections. Being made of leather it is possible that none have survived, though I would have thought that some of the larger military arms collections would still have intact stalls.


Items used for leather-work  From top and left to right: A leather palm pad, used to push the needle through the leather if it is a tight fit. I did not need to use this when making this Hammer Stall; an awl, beeswax for waxing the linen thread; needle, and linen thread.

Further research has shown that "Boot" may not be a period term. Hammer stall or hammer cap or even in one case the term "Thumb stall" was used. The term "Frizzen" is apparently a 19th century term derived from a similar German word.

On this one I placed the suspension tab on the back half of the stall because I had more of that leather, I was using scraps. But the tab can go on the back or the front half.

Here you can see a hammer stall I made some years ago for my fusil. The stall is in place on the hammer or steel.

Thursday, 28 March 2013

The Parts of an 18th Century Flint Lock.

A-Upper limb of mainspring
B- Lower limb of mainspring
C- Mainspring retainer hook
D- Tumbler hook of mainspring
E- Cup of tumbler
F- Tail of Hammer
G- Tumbler axle/pivot
H- Hammer
I- Face of Hammer
J- Pan
K- Flash guard
L- Cock
M- Lower Cock jaw
N- Upper Cock jaw
O- Cock screw
P- Bridle
Q- Sear pivot screw 


A- Lock plate
B- Feather of Hammer spring
C- Hammer spring screw
D-Mainspring retainer stud
E- Hammer spring
F- Tail of Hammer
G- Hammer pivot screw
H- Hammer
I-Face of Hammer
J- Pan
K- Flash guard
L- Cock
M- Lower Cock jaw
N- Upper Cock jaw
O- Cock jaw screw
P- Sear spring screw tip
Q- Tail of lock plate
R- Sear pivot screw tip

S- Tumbler screw.


The next morning after breakfast, they all left that camp; they put all their property into a large perouge and moved by water up the Wabash river to the old Kickapoo trading town, about ten miles from their sugar camp; they sent me by land and one Indian with me. When we had got about half way to the town, we met with a young Frenchman; his name was Ebart; I was very well acquainted with him in the Illinois country; he spoke tolerably good English. The Indian then left me, and I went on to the
town with the young Frenchman; I got to the town before the Indians arrived with their perouge, and the young Frenchman showed me their cabin, and told me to stay there until they would come, that they would be there in a few minutes. I there met with an English trader, a very friendly man, whose name was John McCauslin; he was from the north of England; we made some little acquaintance. He was a Freemason and
appeared very sorry for my misfortune and told me he would do everything in his power to befriend me and told me I was with good Indians, they would not hurt me. He inquired of me where I lived and asked if I had a family. He then told me of the circumstance of the Indians killing one of their own men that day they caught me. He said it was a fact, he was a bad Indian and would not obey the commands of his captain and that he was still determined to kill me. My Indian family soon arrived and
cleared up their cabin and got their family ready. They were a smart, neat and cleanly family, kept their cabin very nice and clean, the same as white women, and cooked their victuals very nice. After dinner wasover, there came four Indians in the old chief's cabin. Two of them werethe old chief's brother's children. They appeared to be in a very fine
humor. I did not know but that they belonged to the same family and town. They had not been there more than one hour, until the old chief and the four Indians sat down on the floor in the cabin and had a long discourse about an hour and a half. Then all got up. The old chief then told me I must go with those Indians. I told him I did not want to go.
He then told me I must go; that they were his children and that they were very good Indians; they would not hurt me. Then the old chief gave me to the oldest brother, in place of his father who was killed about one year before by the white people; he was one of their chiefs. Then the four Indians started off and I with them; they went down to the
lower end of the town and stopped at an Indian cabin and got some bread and meat to eat. They gave me some. I did not go into the Indian cabin. They had not been in the cabin more than ten or twelve minutes before the old chief's young squaw came up and stood at the door. She would not go in. I discovered the Indians laughing and plaguing her. She looked in a very ill humor; she did not want them to take me away. They
immediately started from the cabin and took a tolerably large path that led into the woods in a pretty smart trot. The squaw started immediately after them. They would look back once in a while, and when they would see the squaw coming they would whoop, hollow and laugh. When they got out of sight of the squaw they stopped running and traveled in a moderate walk. When we got about three miles from the town, they stopped
where a large tree had fallen by the side of the path and laid high off
the ground. They got up high on the log and looked back to see if the
squaw was coming. When the squaw came up she stopped and they began to plague her and laugh at her. They spoke in English. They talked very vulgar to the squaw. She soon began to cry. When they got tired plaguing her, they jumped off the log and started on their road in a trot, and I ran with them. The squaw stood still till we got most out of sight. They would look back and laugh and sometimes hollow and whoop, and appeared
to be very much diverted. They did not run very far before they slackened in their runnings. They then walked moderately until they got to their town, which was three miles further from the tree they stopped at. We got into their town about one hour and a half before the sun set.
That same evening the squaw came in about half an hour after we arrived. I met with a young man that evening who had been taken prisoner about eighteen months before I was taken. His name was Nicholas Coonse (a Dutchman), then about 19 years of age. He heard I was coming, and he came to meet me a little way out of town. He was very glad to see me and I to see him, and we soon made up acquaintance. Coonse and myself were
to live in one cabin together. The two brothers that I was given up to, one of them claimed Coonse and the other claimed me. They both lived in the same cabin. When the squaw arrived, she came immediately to our cabin and stood outside at the door; she would not come in. I noticed the Indians plaguing and laughing at her; she looked very serious. About sunset, Coonse asked me if I wanted a wife. (He could not speak very
good English, but he could speak pretty good Indian.) I told him no. He then told me if I wanted one I could have one. I asked him how he knew that. He said, "There is a squaw that wants to marry you," pointing at her. I told him I reckoned not. He says, "Yes. Indeed, she tus; she came after you a purpose to marry you." I told Coonse I had a wife, and I did not want another one. He says, "O, well, if you want her you can haf her." She stood by the door for some time after dark. I did not know when she went away; she said two days and three nights before she returned home. I never spoke a word to her while she was there. She was a very handsome girl, about 18 years of age, a beautiful, full figure and handsomely featured, and very white for a squaw. She was almost as
white as dark complexioned white women generally are. Her father and mother were very white skinned Indians.
Olive Oatman, 19th century Indian captive.

Wednesday, 27 March 2013

A Scouting Trip.

Last weekend my wife and I had to go scouting for wood. Being a forest and not woodland the trees are fairly close together so we had to find a route where by we could get the wagon in. We could have gone up the flats in the bottom of the valley, but there is a header stream that runs through this valley and the ground is soft and easily damaged.
We cut our way through to each fire wood source as we went, and occasionally stopped to take in the view and see what we could find. These images are from that fire wood scouting trip.
Ryvardenia Cretacea, a bracket fungi used as tinder. This one on a Stringybark Tree.

On the ground beneath the same tree we found another bracket fungi from last year which had fallen from the tree.

Two more bracket fungi growing on a Mountain Gum.

In the cleft in this Stringybark Tree, center of photo, is a bees nest.

A section of bark has been removed from this tree with an iron axe. Possibly to make a shelter or a cover for something.

There are three scars around this tree where it looks as though it has been cut with a stone axe, taking off two sections of bark. The third cut is quite high, so someone would have had to climb this tree to remove this bark.

Tuesday, 26 March 2013


We traveled
about ten miles that evening before we reached the place they resided.
They were then living at a sugar camp, where they had made sugar that
spring, on the west bank of the Wabash, about ten miles below the old
Kickapoos' trading town, opposite to the Weawes town. We arrived at
their sugar camp about two hours in the night. They then gave me to an
old Kickapoo chief, who was the father of the Indian that carried the
gun, and the squaw, and the father-in-law of the funny Indian. The old
chief soon began to inquire of me where I lived, and where the Indians
caught me. I told him. He then asked me if they did not kill an Indian
when they took me prisoner. I told him no, there was no body with me but
one man and he had no gun. He then asked me again, if the Indians did
not kill one of their own men when they took me. I told him I did not
know; the captain told me they did, but I did not see them kill him. The
old chief then told me that it was true, they did kill him, and said he
was a bad Indian, he wanted to kill me. By this time the young squaw,
the daughter of the old chief, whom I traveled in company with that
evening, had prepared a good supper for me; it was hominy beat in a
mortar, as white and as handsome as I ever saw, and well cooked; she
fried some dried meat, pounded very fine in a mortar, in oil, then
sprinkled sugar very plentifully over it. I ate very hearty; indeed, it
was all very good and well cooked. When I was done eating, the old
chief told me to eat more. I told him I had eat enough. He said no, if I
did not eat more I could not live. Then the young squaw handed me a
tincupful of water, sweetened with sugar. It relished very well. Then
the old chief began to make further inquiries. He asked me if I had a
wife and family. I told him I had a wife and three children. The old
chief then appeared to be very sorry for my misfortune, and told me that
I was among good Indians, I need not fear, they would not hurt me, and
after awhile I should go home to my family; that I should go down the
Wabash to Opost, from there down to the Ohio, then down the Ohio, and
then up the Mississippi to Kaskaskia. We sat up until almost midnight;
the old chief appeared very friendly indeed. The young squaw had
prepared a very good bed for me, with bearskins and blankets. I laid
down and slept very comfortably that night. It appeared as though I had
got into another world, after being confined and tied down with so many
ropes and the loss of sleep nine nights. I remained in bed pretty late
next morning. I felt quite easy in mind, but my wrists and legs pained
me very much and felt very sore. The young squaw had her breakfast
prepared and I eat very hearty. When breakfast was over this funny
Indian came over and took me to his cabin, about forty yards from the
old chief's. There were none living at that place then but the old
chief, his wife and daughter. They lived by themselves in one cabin and
the old chief's son and son-in-law and their wives in another cabin, and
a widow squaw, the old chief's daughter, lived by herself in a cabin
adjoining her brother and brother-in-law. None of them had any children
but the old chief. A few minutes after I went into this funny Indian's
cabin he asked me if I wanted to shave. I told him yes, my beard was
very long. He then got a razor and gave it to me. It was a very good
one. I told him it wanted strapping. He went and brought his shot-pouch
strap. He held one end and I the other end. I gave the razor a few
passes on the strap, and found the razor to be a very good one. By this
time the old chief's young squaw had come over; she immediately prepared
some hot water for me to shave, and brought it in a tincup and gave it
to me, and a piece of very good shaving soap. By the time I was done
shaving the young squaw had prepared some clean water in a pewter basin
for me to wash, and a cloth to wipe my hands and face. She then told me
to sit down on a bench; I did so. She got two very good combs, a coarse
and a fine one. It was then the fashion to wear long hair; my hair was
very long and very thick and very much matted and tangled; I traveled
without my hat or anything else on my head; that was the tenth day it
had not been combed. She combed out my hair very tenderly, and then took
the fine one and combed and looked over my head nearly one hour. She
then went to a trunk and got a ribbon and queued my hair very nicely.
The old chief's son then gave me a very good regimental blue cloth coat,
faced with yellow buff-colored cloth. The son-in-law gave me a very good
beaver macaroni hat. These they had taken from some officers they had
killed. Then the widow squaw took me into her cabin and gave me a new
ruffled shirt and a very good blanket. They told me to put them on; I
did so. When I had got my fine dress on, the funny Indian told me to
walk across the floor. I knew they wanted to have a little fun. I put my
arms akimbo with my hands on my hips, and walked with a very proud air
three or four times backwards and forwards across the floor. The funny
Indian said in Indian that I was a very handsome man and a big captain.
I then sat down, and they viewed me very much, and said I had a very
handsome leg and thigh, and began to tell how fast I ran when the
Indians caught me, and showed how I ran--like a bird flying. They
appeared to be very well pleased with me, and I felt as comfortable as
the nature of the case would admit of.



Historic Mansker's Station.FREE

Saturday, 23 March 2013

"Camp Bear Rocks" By Robert Griffing.

My thanks to http://flintlockandtomahawk.blogspot.com.au for this painting.


Mohawk prisoner halter. Found in 1746.

The tenth day we traveled five or six miles in the morning. We got within a quarter of a mile of a new town, on the west bank of the Wabash river, where those warriors resided, about nine o'clock, and made a halt at a running branch of water, where the timber was very thick, so that they could conceal themselves from the view of the town. Then they
washed themselves all over and dressed themselves with paint of different colors. They made me wash, then they painted me and said I was a Kickapoo. Then they cut a pole and pealed it, painted it different colors and stuck the big end in the ground, and cleared a ring around the pole for to dance in. 
The fifth night they cut a lock of hair out of the crown of my head about as thick as my finger, plaited it elegantly and put it in their conjuring bag, and hung that bag on the pole they contemplated dancing around, and said that was their prisoner, and I was a Kickapoo, and must dance with them. When they all got ready to dance, the captain gave three very loud halloes, then walked into the ring and the rest all followed him. They placed me the third next to the captain; they then began to sing and dance. When we had danced about half an hour, I saw several old men, boys and squaws come running to where we were dancing. When there were a considerable number of them collected, the captain stepped out of the ring and spoke to the squaws. He told them to carry his and the other warriors' budgets to the town; the captain then joined the other warriors and me in the dancing ring; he marched in the front and we danced and sung all the way from there into the town. Some of the old Indian warriors marched upon each side of us, and at times would sing and dance until we got into their town. We
continued dancing until we got through the town to the war-post, which stood on the west bank of the Wabash river; danced round that about twenty minutes; they then marched into the town, took all the cords off me, and showed me a cabin, told me to go in there, they were good Indians, they would give me something to eat; I need not fear, as they would not hurt me. I accordingly went in, where I received a plenty to eat and was treated very kindly. The warriors went into other cabins and feasted very greedily. We had not eat anything that morning nor the night before. 
About one hour and a half before the sun set the same evening, the warriors went out to the war-post again to dance. They took me with them; several other Indians were present. They had danced about half an hour when I saw two Indian men and a squaw riding a horseback across the Wabash river, from the east side; they came to where we were dancing. One of the Indians had a handkerchief tied around his head and was carrying a gun; the other had a cocked hat on his head, and had a large sword. The warriors never let on that they saw them, but continued dancing about fifteen minutes. After the two Indians and squaw came up the warriors quit dancing, and went to them and shook hands; they appeared very glad to see each other. The captain of the warriors then talked with them about half an hour, and appeared to be very serious in their conversation. The captain then told me I must go with them two Indians and squaw. The sun was just then setting; the two Indians looked very much pleased. I did not want to go with them, as I knew not where they were going, and would have rather remained with the warriors that took me, as I had got acquainted with them, but the captain told me I must go with the two Indians and squaw, and that they were very good Indians. The Indian that had the sword rode up to a stump and told me to get up behind him on his horse; I did so with great reluctance, as I knew not where they were going; they looked very much like warriors.
However, they started off very lively, and the Indian that I was riding behind began to plague and joke the squaw about me; she was his sister-in-law. He was an Indian that was full of life and very funny. When I got acquainted with him I was well pleased with him. 

Thursday, 21 March 2013


"Proofs of our Courage" By Andrew Knez Junior.

The sixth day we traveled about thirty miles, and had nothing to eat
that day.

The seventh day we traveled about twenty-five miles; they killed a doe that day. She had two fawns in her, not yet haired. They stopped about four o'clock in the evening, and cooked the doe and her two fawns, and eat the whole up that night. They gave me part of a fawn to eat, but I could not eat it, it looked too tender. I eat part of the doe.

The eighth day we traveled about twenty-five miles, and had nothing to
eat that day.

The ninth day we traveled about fifteen miles. We then arrived at an Indian hunting camp, where they made sugar that spring. About 11 o'clock in the forenoon, we had not yet anything to eat that day. The Indians that lived there had plenty of meat, hominy grease and sugar to eat. They gave us plenty of everything they had to eat. We were very hungry and ate like hungry dogs. When we were satisfied eating, the warriors went into a large cabin and I went with them, and immediately several of their friends came in to see them, both men and squaws, to hear the news. It is a custom with that nation for the squaws to demand presents of the warriors if they have been successful. After some little inquiry the squaws began to demand presents of the warriors; some would ask for
a blanket, some for a shirt, some for a tomahawk; one squaw asked for a gun. The warriors never refused anything that was demanded. The manner in which they made their demand was, they would go up to an Indian and take hold of what they wanted. When the squaws were done with the warriors, there came a squaw and took hold of my blanket; I saw how the game was played, I just threw it off and gave it to her; then there came up a young squaw about eleven or twelve years old and took hold of my shirt, I did not want to let that go, as it was very cold day, and I let on I did not understand what she wanted. She appeared to be very much ashamed and went away. The older squaws encouraged and persuaded her to try it again; she came up the second time and took hold of my shirt again, I still pretended to be ignorant, but she held fast. I knew it
would have to go. One of the warriors then stepped up and told me to let her have it. I then pulled it off and gave it to her. The old squaws laughed very much at the young squaw. I was then quite naked and it was a very cold day; I had nothing on me but moccasins, leggings and breachcloth. We remained there about 3 or 4 hours. The warriors then went out to the post to dance, they invited me to go with them to dance.
I did so, they sung and danced around the war-post for half an hour. The old Indians would sing and dance sometimes out of the ring and appeared very lively. The warriors then marched right off from their dance on their journey. We had not got more than about 50 or 60 yards when I looked back and saw a squaw running with a blanket; she threw it on my shoulders, it fell down. I turned round and picked it up, it was a very
old, dirty, lousy blanket, though it was better than nothing, as the day was very cold. We travelled about five or six miles that evening, then encamped in the woods. I suffered very much that night from the cold.

Dave's ACT: The Rummery's Hill Spotted Quoll

Dave's ACT: The Rummery's Hill Spotted Quoll: A mate of mine in Glen Innes lives on a 100 acre wildlife corridor he has set up as a sanctuary. We chit chat on different issues via YouT...

Gorges' Grouse: This Chart Speaks For Itself

Gorges' Grouse: This Chart Speaks For Itself

The dawn of de-extinction. Are you ready?

Wednesday, 20 March 2013

Southern Cross Free Trappers Newsletter.


The second day we started very early in the morning and traveled about
thirty-five miles, which was the 29th of March.

The third day we traveled about thirty miles, which was the 30th of
March. They killed a deer that day--in the evening they took the
intestines out of the deer and freed them of their contents, when they
put them in the kettles with some meat and made soup, I could not eat
any of it.

The fourth day we traveled about twenty-five miles. We stopped about 3
o'clock in the afternoon at a pond. They staid there all night. They had
some dried meat, tallow, and buffalo marrow, rendered up together,
lashed and hung upon a tree about twenty feet from the ground, which
they had left there in order to be sure to have something to eat on
their return. They killed two ducks that evening. The ducks were very
fat. They picked one of the ducks, and took out all its entrils very
nice and clean, then stuck it on a stick, and stuck the other end of the
stick in the ground before the fire, and roasted it very nice. By the
time the duck was cooked, one of the Indians went and cut a large block
out of a tree to lay the duck upon; they made a little hole in the
ground to catch the fat of the duck while roasting. When the duck was
cooked, they laid it on this clean block of wood, then took a spoon and
tin cup, and lifted the grease of the duck out of the hole and took it
to the cooked duck on the table, and gave me some salt, then told me to
go and eat. I sat by and eat the whole of the duck, and could have eat
more if I would have had anything more to eat, though I had no bread. I
thought I had never eat anything before that tasted so good. That was
the first meal I had eaten for four days. The other duck they pulled a
few of the largest feathers out off, then threw the duck, guts, feathers
and all into their soup-kettle, and cooked it in that manner.

The fifth day we traveled about thirty miles. That night I felt very
tired and sore, my hands, arms, legs and feet had swelled and inflamed
very much, by this time; the tying that night hurt me very much, I
thought I could not live until morning; it felt just like a rough saw
cutting my bones. I told the Indians I could not bear it, it would kill
me before morning, and asked them to unslack or unloose the wrist rope a
little, that hurt me the most. They did so, and rather more than I
expected, so much that I could draw my hands out of the tying, which I
intended to do as soon as I thought the Indians were asleep. When I
thought the Indians were all asleep I drew my right hand out of tying,
with an intention to put it back again before I would go to sleep, for
fear I should make some stir in my sleep and they might discover me.
But, finding so much more ease, and resting so much better, I fell
asleep before I knew it, without putting my hand back into the tying.
The first thing I knew about 3 o'clock in the morning, an Indian was
sitting astraddle me, drawing his tomahawk and rubbing it across my
forehead, every time he would draw a stroke with the pipe of his
tomahawk, he threatened to kill me, and saying I wanted to run away; I
told him to kill away. I would as leave die as live. I then told him I
was not able to run away. He then got off me, and the rest of the
Indians were all up immediately. They then held a short council and
agreed to tie me as tight as ever, and they did so. I got no more sleep
that night. I never asked them to loose my ropes any more.

Inspiration for Moby Dick.


Tuesday, 19 March 2013


It is a law with the Indians when they go to war, if an Indian will
not obey the counsels and commands of his captain or chief, to kill
them. When their meat was cooked, they ate very hearty, and when they
were done eating, three of the Indians got up, put on their budgets and
started, this young Indian was one of them. I also got up to show a
willingness to be ready. The old chief told me to sit down, and the
three Indians started off. In about three or four minutes after we
started, but varied a little in our course. We had not traveled more
than one hundred yards when we heard the report of a gun. The old chief
then told me that they had killed the Indian that wanted to kill me. The
other two Indians fell in company with us before night. We then traveled
till about 10 o'clock in the night, when we encamped at a large grove of
timber in a prairie, about four miles from the edge of the woods; made
no fire that night. We traveled about forty miles that day. After they
rested a while they sat down to eat their jirk. They gave me some but I
could not eat any. After they were done eating, one of the Indians was
sitting with his back against a tree, with his knife between his legs. I
was sitting facing him with my feet nearly touching his. He began to
inquire of me of what nation I belonged to. I was determined to pretend
that I was ignorant and could not understand him. I did not wish them to
know that I could speak some Indian language, and understand them better
than I could speak. He first asked me in Indian if I was a Matocush,
(that is a Frenchman in English). I told him no. He asked me if I was a
Sagenash, (an Englishman). I told him no. He again asked if I was a
Shemolsea, (that is a long knife or a Virginian). I told him no. He then
asked me if I was a Bostonely, (that is American). I told him no. About
one minute afterwards, he asked me the same questions over again. I then
answered him yes; he then spoke English and caught up his knife in his
hand, and said "you are one dam son of a bitch." I really thought he
intended stabbing me with his knife. I knew it would not do to show
cowardice, I being pretty well acquainted with their manner and ways. I
then jumped upon my feet and spoke in Indian and said manetway, kien,
depaway, in English it is no, I am very good, and clapped my hand on my
breast when I spoke and looked very bold; the other Indians all set up
such ha! ha! and laugh that it made the other Indian look very foolish.
He sat still and looked very sulky. After they had rested a while, they
began to prepare to lay down. They spread down a deer-skin and blanket
for me to lay on. They had tied a rope around my arms above my elbows,
and tied that rope across my back, and a rope around my neck; they then
tied the end of another rope behind to the neck rope, then down my back
to the pinion rope; then they drew my hands forward across my stomach
and crossed my wrists; then tied my wrists very tight; then tied my legs
together, just below my knees; then tied my feet together with a rope
round my ankles; then took a small cord and tied in between my wrists,
and also between my ankles very tight, in order to prevent me from
drawing out my hands or feet; they then took another cord and tied one
end to the neck rope; then to the hand rope; then from the hand rope to
the knee rope; they then took a rope about six feet long and tied one
end to the wrist rope, and the other end to a stake about six feet from
me stretched very tight, and an Indian laid on that rope all night; then
they took another rope about the same length, and tied one end to the
knee rope and the other end to a stake, and another Indian laid on that
all night; then they tied a large half-dressed elk rope, one end to the
back part of the neck rope which made a knot as big as my fist, the
other end they tied to a stake about six feet from my head. When they
finished their tying me, they covered me with a blanket. They tied me in
the aforegoing way nine nights in succession; they had me stretched and
tied so tight, that I could not move one inch to turn or rest myself;
that large knot was on the back of my neck, so that I was obliged to lay
on it all night, and it hurt my neck very much. I never suffered as much
in the same length of time in all my life; I could hardly walk when we
got out to their town. They never made me carry anything except a
blanket they gave me to keep myself warm, when they took all my clothes
from me. The Indians carried a deer-skin and blanket all the way for me
to lodge upon. When my hands and feet became sore with the tying the
Indians would always pull off my moccasins at night and put them on in
the morning, and patch them when they would require it.