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Constitution of the Indian Mind

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


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OF THE INDIAN MIND. 261

CRUELTY.

The American Indians, like all other savages, were extremely cruel in the treatment of prison- captured in war. They took great delight in torturing them, and often burnt them alive. Whether any palliation for these enormities can be derived from. the fact that such inflictions produced less exquisite pain in sufferers of their race than they would have done in ours, we will not undertake to say. At any rate, it is known that prison- ers subjected to such treatment bore their tortures with most astonishing fortitude. Sometimes, indeed, such suffering was voluntarily incurred, der the impulse of some exalted sentiment of generosity, or other strong emotion.

THE FATHER DYING FOR HIS SON.

An account is given of an Indian who belonged to a tribe that was involved in some quarrel with neighboring tribe, and one day when he came home from his hunting he found his wife in a state extreme anguish and terror from the fact that a party of the enemy had come suddenly upon the wigwam during the absence of the father, and had made a prisoner of the oldest son, and carried him away.



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