Thursday, 28 March 2013


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.

1 comment:

elmo iscariot said...

Thank you for posting these. I've been enjoying them quite a bit.