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Constitution of the Indian Mind

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

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down, the mats and clothing to make, fuel to bring for the fire, and the field to till.

But all this probably made no more than her fair proportion of toil and exposure, when we consider the sufferings and danger and fatigue which fell to the lot of the husband in his hunting and fishing expeditions. The privations which the men sometimes endured in their long tramps through the forests, especially amid the snows and storms and intense cold which reigned in all the northern forests for so large a portion of the year, were indescribably great, especially since the indomitable pride of the hunter often prevented his returning home, however urgent his own personal necessities might be, without having first obtained his game. Instances have been known of the Indians wandering in the woods until they have become perfectly exhausted, and of their then lying down and perishing with hunger, rather than go home to a starving family, without the means of supplying them with food.


Polygamy prevailed to some extent among the Indian tribes. Of course, since the number of the sexes is everywhere so nearly equal, this practice can never be carried to any very great extent in

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