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The Coming of the Europeans

American History, Volume I: Aboriginal America (New York: Sheldon, 1860)


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THE COMING OF THE EUROPEANS. 279

of life to which they had thus been ushered, and have gone back into the woods, and relapsed hope- lessly into their former condition.

FIXEDNESS OF THE INDIAN TASTES AND HABITS.

There are remnants of many of the ancient tribes existing at the present day in various parts of our country, but they live by themselves, a marked and -separate race, with nothing changed except the external circumstances by which they are sur- rounded. They live in huts still, as their ances- tors did three hundred years ago. It is only the covering that is changed—the birch bark, which has failed, being replaced with canvass, or with slabs obtained from the white men. They sit upon the ground around their wigwam fire, just as of old, and are occupied in the same species of em- ployment, only that they make baskets instead of canoes, and bows and arrows to sell as toys, or to be used by children in shooting at coppers for a prize, instead of for the service of hunters in the chase. Even their garments retain in a great measure the forms of the old national costume, though made now of blankets and calico, instead of the skins of beasts, and adorned with glass beads instead of wampum. They come with the wares which they make to sell into the white



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