Tuesday, December 24, 2019

Two Songs, Hannah and Mary

Two songs, one from the Old Testament and one from the New Testament, draw comparisons - with good reason.  “Hannah’s Song” appeared in 1 Samuel 2:1-10, and is regarded in Judaism as the prime model for how to pray.  A thousand years later, “Mary’s Song of Praise” was preserved in the Gospel of Luke (Luke 1:46-55).

Hannah giving her son Samuel to the priest by Jan Victors, 1645. According to the biblical account, Hannah sang her song when she presented Samuel to Eli the priest. 

Hannah’s Song

1 Samuel 2:1-10 (KJV)

And Hannah prayed, and said, My heart rejoiceth in the Lord, mine horn is exalted in the Lord: my mouth is enlarged over mine enemies; because I rejoice in thy salvation.

There is none holy as the Lord: for there is none beside thee: neither is there any rock like our God.

Talk no more so exceeding proudly; let not arrogancy come out of your mouth: for the Lord is a God of knowledge, and by him actions are weighed.

The bows of the mighty men are broken, and they that stumbled are girded with strength.

They that were full have hired out themselves for bread; and they that were hungry ceased: so that the barren hath born seven; and she that hath many children is waxed feeble.

The Lord killeth, and maketh alive: he bringeth down to the grave, and bringeth up.

The Lord maketh poor, and maketh rich: he bringeth low, and lifteth up.

He raiseth up the poor out of the dust, and lifteth up the beggar from the dunghill, to set them among princes, and to make them inherit the throne of glory: for the pillars of the earth are the Lord's, and he hath set the world upon them.

He will keep the feet of his saints, and the wicked shall be silent in darkness; for by strength shall no man prevail.

The adversaries of the Lord shall be broken to pieces; out of heaven shall he thunder upon them: the Lord shall judge the ends of the earth; and he shall give strength unto his king, and exalt the horn of his anointed.

Mary’s Song

Madonna del Magnificat, is a painting of circular or tondo form by the Italian Renaissance painter Sandro Botticelli (1445-1510). It is now in the galleries of the Uffizi, in Florence.  The work portrays the Virgin Mary crowned by two angels. She is writing the opening of the Magnificat on the right-hand page of a book; on the left page is part of the Benedictus. In her left hand she holds a pomegranate.

This version of the Magnificat, adapted from Luke’s Gospel, appears in the Book of Common Prayer:

My soul doth magnify the Lord.

And my spirit hath rejoiced in God my Saviour.

For he hath regarded: the lowliness of his handmaiden: For behold, from henceforth: all generations shall call me blessed.

For he that is mighty hath magnified me: and holy is his Name.

And his mercy is on them that fear him: throughout all generations.

He hath shewed strength with his arm: he hath scattered the proud in the imagination of their hearts.

He hath put down the mighty from their seat: and hath exalted the humble and meek.

He hath filled the hungry with good things: and the rich he hath sent empty away.

He remembering his mercy hath holpen his servant Israel:

As he promised to our forefathers, Abraham and his seed for ever.

Glory be to the Father, and to the Son: and to the Holy Ghost;

As it was in the beginning, is now, and ever shall be: world without end. 


Sunday, December 22, 2019

Celebrating Saint Anastasia, the Deliverer from Potions

Today is the day of celebration for the life and service of Saint Anastasia, the “Deliverer from Potions.”

The holy and most brave martyr Anastasia lived in Rome at the time of the Emperor Diocletian (284-305). She was the daughter of a pagan, by the name of Praetextatus. Her mother, however, whose name was Fausta, was a Christian and so Anastasia was taught the faith in Christ by her. And, moreover, Fausta gave her daughter into the care of Chrysogonos, a godly and devout man, who taught her the Scriptures.

Anastasia married a pagan called Puplius though she felt no uxorial love for him, because he did not believe in Christ. And so she would not agree to conjugal relations with him, but rather pretended to be constantly ill. He did not realize, but Anastasia was secretly doing tasks which were pleasing to God: she wore a tunic that was simple and cheap, would meet with women who had various needs and provide them with all possible assistance. Moreover, accompanied by a single servant, she would go to prisons where Christians were being held, suffering for Christ, and would bring them great relief: she would undo their chains, anoint their wounds and gently sponge away the blood; she would also provide them with appropriate and necessary food.

One day, however, her husband Puplius was told about all this and he had his wife imprisoned. Anastasia was very sad about this, because it interrupted her God-pleasing efforts. Later, however, as Puplius was on a voyage somewhere, his ship foundered and he was drowned during a mighty storm. Free now of all hindrance, Anastasia first of all distributed her belongings among the poor. Then, less fearful than she had been, she offered her services to those who were suffering for Christ: she collected the holy relics of those who had been killed and gave them an orderly burial; she strengthened many in the faith; and she prepared them for martyrdom for Christ.

Because of these activities and her faith in Christ, Anastasia was arrested by the pagans and, after being interrogated and tortured by various local leaders, was thrown into the sea, together with other women. But by the miraculous intervention of God, she was saved and washed up on the coast. The governor who had given the order for her to be drowned was furious when he learned that the saint had come to no harm. He therefore instructed the executioners to tie her to wooden stakes and light a fire all around her, to burn her, an order they carried out to the letter. And so the holy martyr Anastasia ended her life and was crowned by the Lord with the unfading garland of martyrdom.

Dismissal Hymn:

Your lamb cries out to You Jesus in a loud voice: “I long for You, my Bridegroom, and seeking You, I struggle. I am crucified and buried with You in Your baptism. I suffer for You, that I may reign with You and I die for You that I may live in You. Accept me, who am offered to You with longing, as a spotless sacrifice to You”. Through her intercessions, save our souls, by Your mercy.

Rather in the same way as the Dismissal Hymn for Saint Nicholas is used for a number of other hierarchs, this apolytikio is sung for many female martyrs.

It is likely that she was actually martyred in Sirmium, a prosperous imperial city in Serbia (today Sremska Mitrovica in Vojvodina) where she had gone, possibly with her mother, to comfort Christians there. This is entirely probable: between 251 and 285, eight Roman emperors were born in the city or in the surrounding district, and Diocletian himself was from neighbouring Dalmatia. It seems that she went to Sirmium from Aquileia, where she left her mentor Chrysogonos, who was later martyred there.

By a curious coincidence “Sirmium” is derived from the verb “to flow” and means something like “wetlands”; Aquileia was a town at the head of the Adriatic, near lagoons. Some time between 458 and 471, her relics were transferred to a church in Constantinople dedicated to the Resurrection (Anastasis) of Christ, which was then renamed for Saint Anastasia. Later the head and a foot were sent to the Patriarchal Monastery of Saint Anastasia, at Vasilika, near Thessaloniki. On the night of 23 April, 2012, however, they were stolen in a well-planned raid. Some of the miscreants were brought to trial in Thessaloniki in July 2013 and were sentenced to 10 years imprisonment, but the relics have yet to be recovered. Her name “Deliverer from Potions” is connected to her protection from poisons and other harmful substances

Apolytikion of Great Martyr Anastasia of Rome in the Fourth Tone

O Lord Jesus, unto Thee Thy lamb doth cry with a great voice: O my Bridegroom, Thee I love; and seeking Thee, I now contest, and with Thy baptism am crucified and buried. I suffer for Thy sake, that I may reign with Thee; for Thy sake I die, that I may live in Thee: accept me offered out of longing to Thee as a spotless sacrifice. Lord, save our souls through her intercessions, since Thou art great in mercy.

Kontakion of Great Martyr Anastasia of Rome in the Second Tone

When they that are found in trials and adversities flee unto thy church O Anastasia, they receive the august and wondrous gifts of divine grace which doth abide in thee; for at all times, O Saint of God, thou pourest forth streams of healings for the world.

A writer for the Orthodox Church in America https://www.oca.org/saints/lives/1999/12/22/103609-greatmartyr-anastasia-the-deliverer-from-potions-her-teacher-mar gives another account of her life:

The Great Martyr Anastasia the Deliverer from Potions, a Roman by birth, suffered for Christ at the time of Diocletian’s persecution of Christians. Her father was a pagan, but her mother was secretly a Christian. Saint Anastasia’s teacher in her youth was an educated and pious Christian named Chrysogonus. After the death of her mother, her father gave Saint Anastasia in marriage to a pagan named Publius, but feigning illness, she preserved her virginity.

Clothing herself in the garb of a beggar, and accompanied by only one servant, she visited the prisons. She fed, doctored and often ransomed captives who were suffering for their faith in Christ. 

When her servant told Publius about everything, he subjected his wife to a beating and locked her up at home. Saint Anastasia then began to correspond secretly with Chrysogonus, who told the saint to be patient, to cleave to the Cross of Christ, and to accept the Lord’s will. He also foretold the impending death of Publius in the sea. After a certain while Publius did indeed drown, as he was setting out with a delegation to Persia. After the death of her husband, Saint Anastasia began to distribute her property to the poor and suffering.

Diocletian was informed that the Christians who filled the prisons of Rome stoically endured tortures. He gave orders to kill them all in a single night, and for Chrysogonus to be sent to him at Aquileia. Saint Anastasia followed her teacher at a distance.

The emperor interrogated Chrysogonus personally, but could not make him renounce his faith. Therefore, he commanded that he be beheaded and thrown into the sea. The body and severed head of the holy martyr were carried to shore by the waves. There by divine Providence, the relics were found by a presbyter named Zoilus who placed them in a coffer, and concealed them at his home.

Saint Chrysogonus appeared to Zoilus and informed him that martyrdom was at hand for Agape, Chione and Irene (April 16), three sisters who lived nearby. He told him to send Saint Anastasia to them to encourage them. Saint Chrysogonus foretold that Zoilus would also die on the same day. Nine days later, the words of Saint Chrysogonus were fulfilled. Zoilus fell asleep in the Lord, and Saint Anastasia visited the three maidens before their tortures. When these three martyrs gave up their souls to the Lord, she buried them.

Having carried out her teacher’s request, the saint went from city to city ministering to Christian prisoners. Proficient in the medical arts of the time, she zealously cared for captives far and wide, healing their wounds and relieving their suffering. Because of her labors, Saint Anastasia received the name Deliverer from Potions (Pharmakolytria), since by her intercessions she has healed many from the effects of potions, poisons, and other harmful substances.

She made the acquaintance of the pious young widow Theodota, finding in her a faithful helper. Theodota was taken for questioning when it was learned that she was a Christian. Meanwhile, Saint Anastasia was arrested in Illyricum. This occurred just after all the Christian captives there had been murdered in a single night by order of Diocletian. Saint Anastasia had come to one of the prisons, and finding no one there, she began to weep loudly. The jailers realized that she was a Christian and took her to the prefect of the district, who tried to persuade her to deny Christ by threatening her with torture. After his unsuccessful attempts to persuade Saint Anastasia to offer sacrifice to idols, he handed her over to the pagan priest Ulpian in Rome.

The cunning pagan offered Saint Anastasia the choice between luxury and riches, or grievous sufferings. He set before her gold, precious stones and fine clothing, and also fearsome instruments of torture. The crafty man was put to shame by the bride of Christ. Saint Anastasia refused the riches and chose the tools of torture.

But the Lord prolonged the earthly life of the saint, and Ulpian gave her three days to reconsider. Charmed by Anastasia’s beauty, the pagan priest decided to defile her purity. However, when he tried to touch her he suddenly became blind. His head began to ache so severely that he screamed like a madman. He asked to be taken to a pagan temple to appeal to the idols for help, but on the way he fell down and died.

Saint Anastasia was set free and she and Theodota again devoted themselves to the care of imprisoned Christians. Before long, Saint Theodota and her three sons accepted a martyrdom. Her eldest son, Evodus, stood bravely before the judge and endured beatings without protest. After lengthy torture, they were all thrown into a red-hot oven.

Saint Anastasia was caught again and condemned to death by starvation. She remained in prison without food for sixty days. Saint Theodota appeared to the martyr every night and gave her courage. Seeing that hunger caused Saint Anastasia no harm whatsoever, the judge sentenced her to drowning together with other prisoners. Among them was Eutychianus, who was condemned for his Christian faith.

The prisoners were put into a boat which went out into the open sea. The soldiers bored holes in the boat and got into a galley. Saint Theodota appeared to the captives and steered the ship to shore. When they reached dry land, 120 men believed in Christ and were baptized by Saints Anastasia and Eutychianus. All were captured and received a martyr’s crown. Saint Anastasia was stretched between four pillars and burned alive. A certain pious woman named Apollinaria buried her body, which was unharmed by the fire, in the garden outside her house.

In the fifth century the relics of Saint Anastasia were transferred to Constantinople, where a church was built and dedicated to her. Later the head and a hand of the Great Martyr were transferred to the monastery of Saint Anastasia [Deliverer from Potions], near Mount Athos.

Sunday, December 8, 2019

Leftist Utopia Foretold

Drag Queen "Story Hour" at the public library

His crystal ball was working pretty well when Paul Harvey prepared his 1966 commentary, "If I Were the Devil."  And half of America thinks it is just dandy:

If I were the prince of darkness, I would want to engulf the whole world in darkness. I’d have a third of its real estate and four-fifths of its population, but I would not be happy until I had seized the ripest apple on the tree — thee.

So, I would set about however necessary to take over the United States.

I’d subvert the churches first, and I would begin with a campaign of whispers.

With the wisdom of a serpent, I would whisper to you as I whispered to Eve: “Do as you please.”

To the young, I would whisper that the Bible is a myth. I would convince the children that man created God instead of the other way around. I’d confide that what’s bad is good and what’s good is square.

And the old, I would teach to pray after me, “Our Father, which are in Washington …”

Then, I’d get organized, I’d educate authors in how to make lurid literature exciting so that anything else would appear dull and uninteresting.

I’d peddle narcotics to whom I could. I’d sell alcohol to ladies and gentlemen of distinction. I’d tranquilize the rest with pills.

If I were the devil, I’d soon have families at war with themselves, churches at war with themselves and nations at war with themselves until each, in its turn, was consumed.

And with promises of higher ratings, I’d have mesmerizing media fanning the flames.

If I were the devil, I would encourage schools to refine young intellect but neglect to discipline emotions.

I’d tell teachers to let those students run wild. And before you knew it, you’d have drug-sniffing dogs and metal detectors at every schoolhouse door.

With a decade, I’d have prisons overflowing and judges promoting pornography. Soon, I would evict God from the courthouse and the schoolhouse and them from the houses of Congress.

In his own churches, I would substitute psychology for religion and deify science. I’d lure priests and pastors into misusing boys and girls and church money.

If I were the devil, I’d take from those who have and give to those who wanted until I had killed the incentive of the ambitious.

What’ll you bet I couldn’t get whole states to promote gambling as the way to get rich?

I’d convince the young that marriage is old-fashioned, that swinging is more fun and that what you see on television is the way to be.

And thus, I could undress you in public and lure you into bed with diseases for which there are no cures.

In other words, if I were the devil, I’d just keep right on doing what he’s doing.

Thursday, November 28, 2019

Thursday, November 21, 2019

Advice to the Young

For a refreshing contrast to the indoctrination perpetrated by today's educational institutions, one should revisit Noah Webster's politically incorrect "Advice to the Young" published in 1832.   

Noah Webster (1758 - 1843)

 1. My young friends, the first years of your life are to be employed in learning those things which are to make you good citizens, useful members of society, and candidates for a happy state in another world. Among the first things you are to learn are your duties to your parents. These duties are commanded by God, and are necessary to your happiness in this life. The commands of God are, "Honor thy father and thy mother." - "Children, obey your parents in all things." These commands are binding on all children; they cannot be neglected without sin. Whatever God has commanded us to do, we must perform, without calling into question the propriety of the command.

2. But the reasonableness of this command to obey parents is clear and easily understood by children, even when quite young. Parents are the natural guardians of their children. It is their duty to feed, clothe, protect, and educate them; and for these purposes it is proper and necessary that parents should have authority to direct their actions. Parents therefore are bound by duty and by right to govern their children; but the exercise of this right is to be regulated by affection. Parents have implanted in them a tender love for their offspring, which induces them to exercise authority over them with kindness.

3. It is proper that parents should be intrusted with the instruction of children, because children have every thing to learn, and parents are older and have gained a knowledge of what their children want to know. Parents have learned what is right, and what is wrong; what is duty, and what is sin; what is useful and what is hurtful to children and to men. And as children pass the first years of their life with their parents, they may be continually learning from their parents what is necessary or useful in their concerns of life.

4. It is not only proper that children should obey their parents, but their obedience should be prompt and cheerful. A slow, reluctant obedience, and that which is accompanied with murmurings, is not acceptable to parents nor to God. A sense of duty should make a child free and ready to comply with a parent's command; and this will always be the case where the child entertains a due respect for his parents. Love and respect render obedience easy and cheerful, and a willing obedience increases the confidence of parents in their children, and strengthens their attachment to them. But a cold and unwilling obedience, with a murmuring disposition, alienates affection, and inclines the parent to rigor and severity in exercise of his authority.

5. Hence it is a primary duty of children, and as much their interest as it is their duty to "Honor their father and mother." This honor not only forbids the child to disobey his parents but it forbids all rudeness and ill manners towards them. Children should manifest their respect for their parents in all their actions. They should be modest and respectful in their company, never interrupting them in conversation, nor boldly contradicting them: they should address them as superiors, and yield to their opinions and admonitions. This subordination of children to their parents is the foundation of peace in families; contributes to foster those kindly dispositions, both in parents and children, which are the sources of domestic happiness, and which extend their influence to all social relations in subsequent periods of life.

 6. Among the first and most important truths which you are to learn, are those which relate to God and religion. As soon as your minds become capable of reasoning, or excited by curiosity to know the causes of things, you will naturally inquire who made the world, who made you, and why were you made? You will understand, by a moment's thought, that the things around you cannot have made themselves. You will be convinced that a stone or a mass of earth cannot have made itself, as it has no power in itself to act or move; it must then have had a creator, some being that had power to act or move, and to bring the stone into existence.

7. You observe that plants and trees grow, but they do not grow in winter, when it is cold; some degree of heat is necessary to their growth. You conclude then that wood and vegetable matter in itself has not the power of growth or increase. You see various animals, as dogs, and horses, but you know that they cannot create themselves; the first animal of every kind must then have had a creator, distinct from the animal itself. You see houses, and barns and ships, but you know that they did not make themselves; you know they are made by men. You know also that you did not create yourselves; you began to exist at a time which you cannot remember, and in a manner of which you have no knowledge.

 8. From such familiar observations and reflections, children may be convinced, with absolute certainty, that there must be a being who has been the creator of all things which they see. Now when you think that of all the substances about you, not one can have been its own creator, and when you see the vast multitude of things, their variety, their size, their curious forms and structures, you will at once conclude that the Being who could make such things must possess immense power, altogether superior to the power of any being that you see on the earth. You will then be led to inquire who is this Being, and where is he.

 9. Here not only children, but the wisest philosophers are brought to a stand. We are compelled to believe that there is a Being of vast and unlimited power, who has created whatever we see; but who he is or where he is, we cannot know by our own observation or reason. As we cannot see this Being, we cannot, by the help of reason, know anything of his manner of existence, or of his power, except what we learn from his works, or from revelation. If we had been left to gather all of our knowledge of the creator from his works, our knowledge of him must have been very imperfect. But the creator has not left mankind in ignorance on this subject. He has graciously revealed his character to man; and his revelations are recorded in a book, which by way of eminence, is called the Bible.

10. From the Bible we learn that God is a Spirit; hence we cannot see him. Spirit is not visible to human eyes. Yet we need not wonder that a substance which is invisible should possess amazing power. We cannot see the air or wind; yet we know by observation, that this fine, subtle fluid is a substance that supports our life, and when in rapid motion, it has immense force. We conclude then that a Being, consisting of pure heart, may possess all the power necessary to the formation of the sun, moon, and stars, and every thing that we can see or feel. This great Being, in our language, is called God. He is a spirit that extends through the universe.

 11. The scriptures inform us that God is not only all-powerful, but all-wise: and his wisdom is played in admirable structure of whatever he has made; in the adaptation of every thing to its proper uses; in the exact order and beautiful arrangement and harmony of all parts of creation.

The scriptures inform us also that God is a benevolent Being. "God is love," and we have abundant evidence of this truth in the works of creation. God has not only made man and animals, but he has furnished the earth with every thing that is necessary for their support and welfare. The earth is stocked with plants, which are food for the animals, of various kinds, as well as for man; and plants and animals furnish man with food and clothing and shelter from the inclemency of the weather. The sea and the rivers and lakes are also stocked with animals that supply food and other conveniences for man. The earth contains inexhaustible stores for supplying the wants and desires of living creatures.

 12. We learn also from the Bible that God is a holy Being; that is, he is perfectly free from any sinful attributes or dispositions. If God was a wicked or malevolent Being, he would have contrived and formed every thing on earth to make his creatures miserable. Instead of this, we know from observation as well as experience, he has made every thing for their comfort and happiness. Having learned from the scriptures and from the works of creation, the character of God, and that he is your creator; the next inquiry is, in what relation do you stand to your maker, and what is his will respecting your conduct.

 13. The first and most important point to be decided in your minds is that God is your Supreme or Sovereign Ruler. On this point, there can be no room for doubt; for nothing can be more evident than that the Being who creates another, has a perfect, indisputable right to govern him. God has then a complete right to direct all the actions of the beings he has made. To the lower animals God has given certain propensities, called instincts, which lead them to the means of their own subsistence and safety.

14. Man is a being of a higher order; he is furnished with understanding or intellect, and with powers of reason, by which he is able to understand  what God requires of him, and to judge of what is right and wrong. These faculties are the attributes of the soul, or spiritual part of man, which constitutes him a moral being, and exalts him to a rank in creation much superior to that of any other creature on earth.

15. Being satisfied that God is your creator and rightful governor, the next inquiry is, what is his will concerning you; for what purpose did he make you and endow you with reason? A wise being would not have made you without a wise purpose. It is very certain that God requires you to perform some duties, and fill some useful station among other beings.

16. The next inquiry then is, what you are to do and what you are to forbear, in order to act the part which your maker has assigned to you in the world. This you cannot know with certainty without the help of revelation. But here you are not left without the means of knowledge; for God has revealed his will, and has given commands for the regulation of your conduct.

 17. The Bible contains the commands of God; that book is full of rules to direct your conduct on earth; and from that book you may obtain all you want to know, respecting your relation to God, and to your fellow men, and respecting the duties which these relations require you to perform. Your duties are comprised in two classes; one including such as are to be performed directly to God himself; the other, those which are to be performed directly to your fellow men.

18. The first and great command is, to love the Lord your God with all the heart and soul and mind and strength. This supreme love to God is the first, the great, the indispensable duty of every rational being. Without this no person can yield acceptable obedience to his maker. The reasonableness of this command is obvious. God is a Being of perfect excellence, and the only being of which we have any knowledge, who possesses this character. Goodness or holiness is the only source of real happiness; it is therefore necessary to be holy in order to be happy. As the character of God is the only perfect model of holiness, it follows that all God's creatures who are intended to be happy, must have the like character. But men will not aim to possess the character of holiness, unless they love it as their chief good. Hence the necessity of loving God with supreme affection.

19. Sin is the source of all evil. If sin was admitted into heaven, it would disturb the happiness of the celestial abode. Hence God has determined that no sinner shall be admitted into heaven. Before men can be received there, they must be purified from sin and sinful propensities. As this world is a state in which men are prepared for heaven, if prepared at all, it is indispensible that while they are in the world, they must be purified in heart, their evil affections must be subdued, and their prevailing dispositions must be holy. Thus when they are sanctified, and supreme love to God prevails in their heart, they become qualified for the enjoyment of bliss with God and other holy beings.

20. It is true, that in this world, men do not become perfectly holy; but God has provided a Redeemer whose example on earth was a perfect model of holy obedience to God's law, which example men are to imitate as far as they are able; and God accepts the penitent sinner's cordial faith in Christ, accompanied with sincere repentance, and humble submission and obedience to his commands, in the place of perfect holiness of character.

21. The duties which you owe directly to God are entire, unwavering faith in his promises, reverence of his character, and frequent prayer and worship. Unbelief is a great sin, and so is profaneness, irreverence, contempt of his character and laws, neglect of prayer and of worship, public and private. All worship of images, and saints is an abomination to God; it is idolatry which is strictly forbidden in the Bible; and all undue attachment to pleasures, the amusements, and honors of the world, is a species of idolatry.

22. The second class of duties comprehends all such as  you are bound to perform to your fellow men. These duties are very numerous, and require to be studied with care. The general law on this subject, is prescribed by Christ in these words, "Thou shalt love thy neighbor as thyself." You are bound to do that to others which you desire them to do to you. This law includes all the duties of respect to superiors, and of justice and kindness to all men.

 23. It has already been stated to you, that you are to obey your parents; and although obedience to other superiors may not always be required of you, yet you are bound to yield them due honor and respect in all the concerns of life. Nothing can be more improper than a neglect or violation of this respect. It is a beautiful anecdote, recorded of the Spartan youth, that in a public meeting, young persons rose from their seats, when a venerable old man entered the assembly. It makes no difference whether the aged man is an acquaintance or a stranger; whoever he may be, always give him the precedence. In public places, and at public tables, it is extreme rudeness and ill manners, for the young to thrust themselves into the highest and best seats.

24. The law of kindness extends also to the treatment of equals. Civility requires that to them all persons should give a preference; and if they do not accept it, the offer always manifests good breeding, and wins affection. Never claim too much; modesty will usually gain more than is demanded; but arrogance will gain less. Modest, unassuming manners conciliate esteem; bold, obtrusive manners excite resentment or disgust.

25. As mankind are all one family, the rule of loving our neighbor as ourselves, extends to the performance of all duties of kindness to persons of all nations and all conditions of men. Persons of all nations, of all ranks, and conditions, high and low, rich and poor, and all sects or denominations, are our brethren, and our neighbors in the sense that Christ intended to use the word in his precept. This comprehensive rule of duty cannot be limited by any acts of our own. Any private association of men for the practice of contracting the rule, and confining our benevolence  to such associations, is a violation of the divine commands. Christ healed the sick, and the lame, without any regard to the nation or sect to which they belonged.

 26. One of the most important rules of social conduct is justice. This consists positively in rendering to every person what is due to him and negatively, in avoiding every thing that may impair his rights Justice embraces the rights of property, the rights of personal liberty and safety, and the rights of character.

27. In regard to property, you are to pay punctually all your just debts. When a debt becomes payable to another, you cannot withhold or delay payment without a violation of his right. By failure or delay of payment, you keep that which belongs to another. But the rule of justice extends to every act which can affect the property of another. If you borrow any article of your neighbor, you are to use it with care and not injure the value of it. If you borrow a book or any utensil, and injure it, you take a portion of  your neighbor's property. Yet heedless people who would not steal twenty five cents from another, often think nothing of injuring a borrowed utensil, to twice or five times that amount.

28. In like manner, one who takes a lease of a house or land, is bound to use it in such a manner as to injure it as little as possible. Yet how often do the lessees of real estate, strive to gain as much as possible from the use of it, while they suffer the buildings and fences to go to ruin, to the great injury of the owner! This is one of the most common species of immorality. But all needless waste and all diminution of the value of the property in the hands of a lessee, proceeding from negligence, amounts to the same thing as the taking of so much of the owner's property without the right. It is not considered as stealing, but it is a species of fraud that is as really immoral as stealing.

29. The command of God, "Thou shalt not steal," is very comprehensive, extending to the prohibition of every species of fraud. Stealing is the taking of something from the possession of another clandestinely for one's own use. This may be done by entering the house of another at night, and taking his property; or by taking goods from a shop secretly or by entering upon another's land and taking his horse or his sheep. These customary modes of stealing are punishable by law.

30. But, there are many other ways of taking other men's property secretly, which are not so liable to be detected. If a stone is put into a bag of cotton intended for a distant market, it increases the weight, and the purchaser of the bag who pays for it at its weight, buys a stone instead of it weight in cotton. In this case, the man who first sells the bag knowing it contains a stone, takes from the purchaser by fraud as much money as the weight of the stone produces, that is, as much as the same weight of cotton is worth. This is as criminal as it would be to enter his house and steal so much money.

 31. If butter or lard is put up for foreign or distant market, it should be put up in a good state, and the real quality should be as it appears to be. If any deception is practiced, by covering that which is bad by that which is good or by any other means, all the price of the article which it brings beyond the real worth, is so mush money taken from the purchaser by fraud, which falls within the criminality of stealing. If a buyer of the article in Europe or the West Indies is thus defrauded, he may never be able to know who has done the wrong; but God knows and will punish the wrong doer. It is immoral to cheat a foreigner as to cheat a neighbor.

32. Not only property in money and goods is to be respected; but the property in fruit growing in orchards and gardens. A man's apples, pears, peaches, and melons are as entirely his own, as his goods or coin. Every person who climbs over a fence or enters by a gate into another's inclosure without permission is a trespasser; and if he takes fruit secretly, he is a thief. It makes no difference that a pear or an apple or a melon is of small value; a man has as exclusive a right to a cent or a melon as he does to a dollar, a dime or an eagle.

33. If in a country where apples are abundant, men do not notice the taking of a few apples to eat, yet this indulgence is not to be considered as giving a right to take them. Where the injury is trifling, men in neighborhoods may do such things by consent. But there are many species of fruit so rare as to be cultivated with so much labor and protected with care. Such fruit is often valued even more than money. The stealing of such fruit is one of the most common crimes, and as disgraceful to a civilized and christian people as it is common. Let every man or boy who enters another's inclosure and steals his fruit be assured he is guilty as one who enters another's house and takes the same value in money.

34. If in making payment or counting money, a mistake occurs by which a sum falls into your hands, which belongs to another person, you are as such bound by moral duty to correct the mistake and restore the money to the rightful owner, as you would be not to take it by theft. If persons suppose that because this money falls into their hands by mistake, and the mistake may never be known to the person who has the right to the money; this makes no difference in the point of morality; the concealment of the mistake and the keeping of the money are dishonest, and fall within the command "Thou shalt not steal."

35. When a man is hired to work for another by the day, the week or the month, he is bound to perform what he undertakes; and if no particular amount of labor is promised, he is bound to do the work that is ordinarily done in such cases. If a man hired to do a day's work spends half the day in idleness, he defrauds his employer of a part of his due; that is of one half the value of the day's labor. If the price of labor is one dollar for the day, then to waste half the day in idleness is to defraud the employer of half a dollar from his chest.

36. When a mechanic contracts to build a house or a ship, he is bound to perform the work in the manner which is promised. If he performs the work slightly, and with workmanship inferior to that which is promised and understood at the time of contracting, he defrauds his employer. Neglect of duty, in such a case, is as essentially immoral as the positive act of taking property from another without his consent.

37. The adulteration of liquors and drugs is extremely criminal. By adulteration, the value of a thing is diminished; and if an adulterated liquor or drug is sold for that which is genuine, a fraud is committed on the purchaser. The adulteration of wines is one of the most common and flagrant immoralities in commercial countries. The adulteration of drugs may be even more iniquitous, for then the physician cannot rely on their effects in healing the sick. All classes of people, but especially the common people, are continually subjected to frauds by such adulterations. A glass of genuine unadulterated wine is scarcely found, and foul mixtures are often used as medicines, for no pure wine is to be had in the neighborhood.

38. The modes used to defraud men in the kind or in the quantity or quality of commodities offered for sale, are almost innumerable. They extend to almost every thing in which fraud is not easily detected. This is a melancholy picture of the state of society; exhibiting unequivocal evidence of the depravity of men. It shows that the.love of money is the root of all evil - a principle so powerful in the human heart as to overcome all regard to truth, morality and reputation.

39. In all your dealings with men, let a strict regard to veracity and justice govern all your actions. Uprightness in dealings secures confidence and the confidence of our fellow men is the basis of reputation, and often a source of prosperity. Men are always ready to assist those whom they can trust; and a good character in men of business often raises them to wealth and distinction. On the other hand hypocrisy, trickishness, and want of punctuality and of fairness in trade often sink men into meanness and poverty. Hence we see that the divine commands, which require men to be just, are adapted to advance their temporal as well as spiritual interest.

40. Not only are theft and fraud of all kinds forbidden by the laws of God and man, but all kinds of injury or annoyance of the peace, security, rights and prosperity of men. The practice of boys and of men, who do mischief for sport, is as wrong in morality as it is degrading to the character. To pull down or deface a sign-board; to break or deface a mile-stone; to cut and disfigure benches or tables, in a school house, court house or church; to place obstacles in the highway; to pull down or injure fences; to tarnish the walls of houses or the boards of a fence, and similar tricks that injure property or disturb the peace of society, are not only mean but immoral. Why will rational beings indulge in such feats of mischief and folly? Men are not made to injure and annoy one another; but to assist them; not to do harm, but to do good; not to lessen but to increase the prosperity and enjoyments of their fellow men.

41. But you are required to be just not only to the property, but to the reputation of others. A man's reputation is dearer to him than his property, and he that detracts from the good name of another is as criminal as the thief who takes his property. Say nothing of your neighbor maliciously, nor spread reports about him to lessen his reputation. On the other hand vindicate his conduct in all cases when you can do it with a clear conscience. If you cannot defend it, remain silent.

42. Nor are you to be less careful of the rights of others, than of their reputation, and property. By the laws of creation, and by our civil constitution, all men have equal rights to protection, to liberty, and to free enjoyment of all the benefits and privileges of government. All secret attempts, by associations or otherwise to give one set of men or one party, advantages over another, are mean, dishonorable and immoral. All secret combinations of men to gain for themselves or their party, advantages in preferments to office, are trespasses upon the rights of others.

43. In every condition of life, and in forming your opinions on every subject, let it be an established principle in regulating your conduct, that nothing can be honorable which is morally wrong. Men who disregard or disbelieve revelation often err from the true standard of honor, by substituting public opinion or false maxims for the divine laws. The character of God, his holy attributes, and perfect law constitute the only models and rules of excellence and true honor. Whatever deviates from these models and rules must be wrong, and dishonorable. Crime and vice are therefore not only repugnant to duty, and to human happiness; but are always derogatory to reputation. All vice implies defect and meaning in human character.

44. In whatever laudable occupation you are destined to labor, be steady in an industrious application of time. Time is given to you for employment, not for waste. Most men are obliged to labor for subsistence; and this is a happy arrangement of things by divine appointment; as labor is one of the best preservatives both of health and of moral habits. But if you are not under the necessity of laboring for subsistence, let your time be occupied in something which shall do good to yourselves and your fellow men. Idleness tends to lend men into vicious pleasures: and to waste time is to abuse the gifts of God.

45. With most persons, the gaining of property is a primary object, and one which demands wisdom in planning business, and assiduous care, attention and industry in conducting it. But it is perhaps more difficult to keep property than to gain it; as men while acquiring property are more economical and make more careful calculations of profit and loss, than when they hold large possessions. Men who inherit large possessions are particularly liable to waste their property, and fall into poverty. The greatest hereditary estates in this country are usually dissipated by the second or third generation. The sons and grandsons of the richest men are often hewers of wood and drawers of water to the sons and grandsons of their father's and grandfather's servants.

 46. As a general rule in the expenditure of money, it is safest to earn money before you spend it, and to spend every year less than you earn. By this means, you will secure a comfortable subsistence, and be enabled to establish your children in some honest calling; at the same time, this practice will furnish the means of contributing to the wants of the poor, and to the promotion of institutions for civilizing and Christianizing heathen nations. This is a great and indispensable duty.

47. In your mode of living, be not ambitious of adopting every extravagant fashion. Many fashions are not only inconvenient and expensive, but inconsistent with good taste. The love of finery is of savage origin; the rude inhabitant of the forest delights to deck his person with pieces of shining metal, with painted feathers, and with some appendage dangling from the ears or nose. The same love of finery infects civilized men and women, more or less in every country, and the body is adorned with brilliant gems and gaudy attire. But true taste demands great simplicity of dress. A well made person is one of the most beautiful of all God's works, and a simple, neat dress displays this person to the best advantage.

48. In all sensual indulgences be temperate. God has given to men all good things for use and enjoyments; but enjoyment consists in using food and drink only for nourishment and sustenance of the body, and all amusements and indulgences should be in moderation. Excess never affords enjoyment; but always brings inconvenience, pain or disease. In selecting food and drink, take such as best support the healthy functions of the body, avoid as much as possible, the stimulus of high-seasoned food; and reject the use of ardent spirits, as the most fatal poison.

49. When you become entitled to exercise the right of voting for public officers, let it be impressed on your mind that God commands you to choose for rulers, just men who will rule in the fear of God. The preservation of a republican government depends on the faithful discharge of this duty; if the citizens neglect their duty and place unprincipled men in office, the government will soon be corrupted; laws will be made, not for the public good, so much as for selfish or local purposes; corrupt or incompetent men will be appointed to execute laws; the public revenues will be squandered on unworthy men; and the rights of the citizens will be violated or disregarded. If a republican government fails to secure public prosperity and happiness, it must be because the citizens neglect the divine commands, and elect bad men to make and administer the laws. Intriguing men can never be safely trusted.

50. To young men I would recommend that their treatment of females should be always characterized by kindness, delicacy and respect. The tender sex look to men for protection and support. Females when properly educated and devoted to their appropriate duties, are qualified to add greatly to the happiness of society, and of domestic life. Endowed with finer sensibilities than men, they are quick to learn and to practice the civilities and courtesies of life; their reputation requires the nice observance of the rules of decorum; and their presence and example impose most salutary restraints on the ruder passions and less polished manners of the other sex. In the circle of domestic duties, they are cheerful companions of their husbands; they give grace and joy to prosperity; consolation and support to adversity. When we see an affectionate wife devoted to her domestic duties, cheering her husband with smiles, and as a mother, carefully tending and anxiously guarding her children and forming their minds to virtue and to piety; or watching with conjugal or maternal tenderness over the bed of sickness: we cannot fail to number among the chief temporal advantages of Christianity, the elevation of the female character. Let justice then be done to their merits; guard their purity; defend their honor; treat them with tenderness and respect.

 51. For a knowledge of the human heart, and the characters of men, it is customary to resort to the writings of Shakespeare, and of other dramatic authors, and to biography, novels, tales and fictitious narratives. But whatever amusement may be derived from such writings, they are not the best authorities for a knowledge of mankind.  The most perfect maxims and examples for regulating your social conduct and domestic economy, as well as the best rules of morality and religion, are to be found in the Bible.  The history of the Jews presents the true character of man in all its forms.  All the traits of human characters, good and bad; all the passions of the human heart; all the principles which guide and misguide men in society, and depicted in that short history, with an artless simplicity that has no parallel in modern writings.  As to maxims of wisdom or prudence, the Proverbs of Solomon furnish a complete system, and sufficient, if carefully observed, to make any man wise, prosperous and happy.  The observation, that "a soft answer turneth away wrath," if strictly observed by men, would prevent half the broils and contentions that inflict wretchedness on society and families.

 52. Let your first care, through life, be directed to support and extend the influence of the christian religion, and the observance of the sabbath.  This is the only system of religion which has ever been offered to the consideration and acceptance of men, which has even probable evidence of a divine original; It is the only religion that honors the character and moral government of the Supreme Being; it is the only religion which gives even a probable account of the origins of the world, and of the dispensations of God towards mankind ; it is the only religion which teaches the character and laws of God, with our relations and our duties to him : it is the only religion which assures us of an immortal existence; which offer the means of everlasting salvation, and consoles mankind under the inevitable calamities of the present life.  

 53. But were we assured that there is to be no future life, and that men are to perish at death like the beasts of the field; the moral principles and precepts contained in the scriptures ought to form the basis of all our civil constitutions and laws. These principles and precepts have truth, immutable truth, for their foundation; and they are adapted to the wants of men in every condition of life. They are the best principles and precepts, because they are exactly adapted to secure the practice of universal justice and kindness among men; and of course to prevent crimes, war and disorders in society. No human laws dictated by different principles from those in the gospel, can ever secure these objects. All the miseries and evils which men suffer from vice, crime, ambition, injustice, oppression, slavery and war, proceed from their despising or neglecting the precepts contained in the Bible.

54. As the means of temporal happiness, then, the christian religion ought to be received, and maintained with firm and cordial support. It is the real source of all genuine republican principles. It teaches the equality of men as to rights and duties; and while it forbids all oppression, it commands due subordination to law and rulers. It requires the young to yield obedience to their parents, and enjoins upon men the duty of selecting their rulers from their fellow citizens of mature age, sound wisdom and real religion -  "men who fear God and hate covetousness." The ecclesiastical establishments of Europe which serve to support tyrannical governments, are not the christian religion, but abuses and corruptions of it. The religion of Christ and his apostles, in its primitive simplicity and purity, unencumbered with the trappings of power and the pomp of ceremonies, is the surest basis of a republican government.

55. Never cease then to give to religion, to its institutions and to its ministers your strenuous support. The clergy in this country are not possessed of rank and wealth; they depend for their influence on their talents and learning, on their private virtues and public services. They are the firm supporters of law and good order, the friends of peace, the expounders and teachers of christian doctrines, the instructors of youth, the promoters of benevolence, of charity, and of all useful improvements. During the war of the revolution, the clergy were generally friendly to the cause of the country. The present generation can hardly have a tolerable idea of the influence of the New England clergy, in sustaining the patriotic exertions of the people, under appalling discouragements of the war. The writer remembers their good offices with gratitude. Those men therefore who attempt to impair the influence of that respectable order, in this country, attempt to undermine the best supports of religion; and those who destroy the influence and authority of the Christian religion, sap the foundations of public order, of liberty and of republican government.

56. For instruction then in social, religious and civil duties resort to the scriptures for the best precepts and most excellent examples for imitation. The example of unhesitating faith and obedience in Abraham, when he promptly prepared to offer his son Isaac, as a burnt offering, at the command of God, is a perfect model of that trust in God which becomes dependent beings. The history of Joseph furnishes one of the most charming examples of fraternal affection and filial duty and respect of a venerable father, ever exhibited in human life. Christ and his apostles presented, in their lives, the most perfect example of disinterested benevolence, unaffected kindness, humility, patience in adversity, forgiveness of injuries, love to God and all mankind. If men would universally cultivate these religious affections and virtuous dispositions, and with as much diligence as they cultivate human science, and refinement of manners, the world would soon become a terrestrial paradise.

Thursday, October 3, 2019

Aborigines of South Carolina - 4

A book by Robert Mills, published in 1826, offers some unusually detailed insights on the native people of the Palmetto State, and especially the Catawba Indians.  Following is a passage from Statistics of South Carolina: Including a View of Its Natural, Civil, and Military History, General and Particular:

Among; the Catawbas at the present day, some adults no doubt may be found, exhibiting an intelligent mind, and an aptness to receive instruction. Should this even not be the case, we may be assured that their children can be taught.

It is truly to be desired, that our legislature should institute an inquiry into this momentous subject, and direct a commission to go into the nation, (composed of such men as are known to be respected by the Indians,) and consult with the chiefs, and such influential individuals, as may be among them upon the best plan to be pursued to effect the object under consideration, and report the same to them at an early day, so that the interesting work of instruction may be commenced and carried on with vigour and perseverance, under the auspices of the state.

What an honour to South Carolina would it be, to rescue this last remaining of the numerous and powerful tribes of the aborigines of this state, from total annihilation! The act would shed a lustre on the character of the state, rescue its honor from the minutest stigma, connected either with the claims of justice or gratitude, which this nation have upon it.

The Catawbas, in the zenith of their glory, were a noble race. In war they were fearless of enemies—in address surpassed by none. Their warriors often traversed the Blue ridge of mountains in all its difficulties, to wreak their vengeance upon the Six Nations in the northern parts of America. An instance or two of their heroism and address, will suffice to exhibit the character of this people.

A party of Seneca Indians, came to war against the Catawba; bitter enemies to each other. In the woods, the former discovered a sprightly Catawba warrior, hunting, in their usual light dress. On his perceiving; them, he sprung off for a hollow rock, four or five miles distant, as they intercepted his running homewards. He was so extremely swift, and skilful with the gun, that he killed seven of them in the running fight, before they were able to surround and take him.

They carried him to their country in sad triumph; but though he had filled them with uncommon grief and shame, for the loss of so many of their kindred, yet the love of martial virtue, induced them to treat him, during their long journey, with a great deal more civility, than if he had acted the part of a coward.

The women, and children, when they met him, at their several towns, beat and whipped him, in as severe a manner as the occasion required, according to their law of justice, and at last he was formally condemned to die by the fiery tortures. It might reasonably be imagined from what he had for some time gone through, being fed with a scanty hand, a tedious march, lying at night on the bare ground, exposed to the changes of the weather, his arms and legs extended in a pair of rough stocks, and suffering such punishments on his entering into their hostile towns, as a prelude to those sharp torments for which he was destined, would have so impaired his health, and effected his imagination as to have sent him to his long sleep, out of any more sufferings.

Probably this would have been the case with the major part of the white people, under similar circumstances; but I never knew this with any of the Indians. And this cool-headed, brave warrior, did not deviate from their rough lessons of martial virtue, but acted his part so well, as to surprise and sorely vex his numerous enemies

For when they were taking him unpinioned in their wild parade, to the place of torture, which lay near to a river, he suddenly dashed down those who stood in his way, sprung off, and plunged into the water, swimming underneath like an otter, only rising to take breath, till he made the opposite shore.

He now ascended the steep bank; but though he had good reasons, to be in a hurry, as many of the enemy were in the water, and others running every way like blood-hounds in pursuit of him; and the bullets flying around him from the time he took to the river, yet his heart did not allow him to leave them abruptly, without taking leave of them in a formal manner in return for the extraordinary favors they had done, and intended to do him; after moving round, and exhibiting several signs of contempt, he put up the shrill war-whoop, and darting off in the manner of a beast broke loose from its torturing enemies, he continued his speed so as to run, by about midnight of the same day, as far as his eager pursuers were two days in reaching.

There he rested till he discovered five of those Indians who had pursued him, and he lay hid a little way off their camp, till they were sound asleep. Every circumstance of his situation occurred to him, and inspired him with heroism. He was naked, torn, and hungry, and his enraged enemies were come up with him. But there was everything now to relieve his wants, and a fair opportunity to save his life, and get great honor, and sweet revenge, by cutting them off. Resolution, a convenient spot, and sudden surprise, would effect the main object of all his wishes, and hopes.

He accordingly creeped towards them, took one of their tomahawks, and killed them all on the spot. He then chopped them to pieces, in as horrid a manner, as savage fury could excite, both through national and personal resentment. He stripped off their scalps, clothed himself, took a choice gun, and as much ammunition and provisions as he could well carry in a running march, set off afresh, with a light heart, and did not sleep for several successive nights, only when he reclined, as usual, a little before day, with his back to a tree.

As it were by instinct, when he found he was free from the pursuing enemy, he made directly to the very place where he had previously killed seven of his enemies. He digged them up, scalped them, burned their bodies to ashes, and went home in safety, with singular triumph. Other pursuing enemies came on the evening of the second day, to the camp of their dead people, where the sight gave them a greater shock than they had ever known before. In their chilled war council, they concluded that as he had done such surprising things in his defence before he was captivated, and since that, in his naked condition, and was now well armed, if they continued the pursuit he would spoil them all, for he surely was an enemy wizard. And therefore they returned home.

Friday, August 30, 2019

The Shawnees Come to the Carolinas

Let’s examine the migrations of the Shawnee Indians through the American Southeast in the 17th century and consider their impact on this region.


The Ohio Valley is considered the ancestral homeland of the Shawnee, but in the centuries prior to their removal to Kansas (in the 1830s), various divisions of the Algonquian-speaking ethnic group inhabited a wide range of territory, from Pennsylvania to Georgia. 

The prehistory of the Ohio Valley is extraordinarily rich, notably the extensive earthworks and artwork associated with the Hopewell Culture beginning approximately 2000 years ago.  The culture arising 1000 years ago, typified by advances in agriculture and the construction of effigy mounds is called the Fort Ancient culture.  Fort Ancient shared some characteristics of the Mississippian culture that flourished to the west and the south of the Ohio Valley, but the linkages (if any) in the development of those two cultures are unclear.

Also unclear are connections between the native groups encountered by early European explorers in the mid-16th century and the so-called “tribes” that colonists interacted with in the late 17th to early 18th centuries and thereafter.  The Spaniard Hernando de Soto was exploring the Southeast ca. 1540, simultaneous with the Frenchman Jacques Cartier’s exploration of the St. Lawrence River.  De Soto encountered numerous “chiefdoms” in the course of his travels, and there is no neatly delineated, one-to-one correspondence between those chiefdoms and the tribes known to early colonists 150 years later.   Although the De Soto expedition crossed the Southern Appalachians, there is no definite evidence that any of the people he encountered were distinctly “Cherokee” (an appellation that did not come into use until the 18th century).

Similarly, the first known use of the word “Shawnee” was in 1728.  The people we now identify as Shawnee had a word in their language - ša·wano·ki – that (might have) meant “southerners.”  And we are told that is the basis for the term Shawnee.  However, at least 50, and perhaps 75 different words have been applied to the Shawnee or to the smaller bands of the Shawnee people.  Various Shawnee groups that traveled south were identified as Shawano and Savannah, just to mention two.

The list of unanswered (and very likely, unanswerable) questions about ethnogenesis, etymology and other aforementioned issues only gets longer and longer.  Coming across little clues makes the quest for answers more tantalizing, and also more frustrating.  Here’s just one example relating to the origins of the Shawnee:  The story is told that Chief Opechancanough (who led the Algonquian-speaking Powhatans in a massacre of Jamestown, Virginia settlers on March 22, 1622) had a son named Sheewa-a-nee, who resettled a Powhatan party to the Shenandoah Valley where their descendants became a part of the Shawnee tribe.

Maybe.  Maybe not.

Early in the 17th century, the French traders were orchestrating the fur trade in the Great Lakes region and dealing with native people for pelts.  The French tended to insinuate themselves into native culture (more so than their Spanish or English counterparts) and this helped to extend their range of business dealings.  Before long, the fur trade became a complex web of interactions among the French and the native groups of the Great Lakes region and beyond.


Beginning in the 1630s, the Iroquois set out to displace other native groups (particularly Algonquians).  Game in the original Iroquois domain had been depleted by overhunting, and so they sought to overtake the richer hunting grounds of the Algonquians.  The so-called Beaver Wars, or French and Iroquois Wars, dragged along from 1642 – 1698.  Pressure from the Iroquois prompted the Shawnee to start abandoning the Ohio Valley in the 1660s.  At least four groups of Shawnee dispersed to other locations: two of these groups moved southward toward the Cherokee, with one group (Chillicothe and Kispoko Shawnee) settling on the Cumberland in the Cumberland Basin and another (Hathawekela Shawnee) moving to the upper Savannah River.  These groups had the blessing of the Cherokee (or were at least tolerated) because they served as a buffer against Cherokee enemies (the Chichasaws and Cartawbas, respectively).

Meanwhile, the Piqua Shawnee moved east and found refuge with the Delaware people in southern Pennsylvania and another group moved west towards the Illinois country, where they became known to the French as the Chaouesnon.

The Shawnee arrived on the Savannah River at about the same the British establish Charleston, South Carolina as a center of trade with the back country.  As did most other tribes, the Shawnee (or “Savannah” Indians) were active in trading deerskins and slaves captured from rival tribes for whiskey and guns. The Westo, also recently arrived in South Carolina, were fierce trade partners and posed a threat to the frontier colonists, so in 1680 the British armed the Savannahs for a successful attack on the Westo.  But then, relations between the Savannahs and the British unraveled.


Relations between the Savannahs and the Cherokees also soured.  One item keeps showing up in numerous books and other sources, stating that during the winter of 1692, the Shawnee raided a Cherokee village while its warriors had gone on a hunting trip and sold the women and children into slavery.   

This factoid, and the references to the welcome mat rolled out by the people we know today as “Cherokee” caught my attention.  Where is the documentation to support the claim that Cherokees welcomed the Shawnee refugees from the Ohio Valley?  Where, precisely, was the village attacked by the Shawnee in 1692?  Where is the evidence for this incident?

Here is a start.  “An Historical Account of the Rise and Progress of the Colonies of South Carolina and Georgia, Volume 1” was published in 1779 and it contained this passage:

In the year 1693, twenty Cherokee chiefs waited on Governor Smith [in Charleston], with presents and proposals of friendship, craving the protection of government against the Esaw [Catawba] and Congaree Indians, who had destroyed several of their towns, and taken a number of their people prisoners. They complained also of the outrages of the Savanna [Shawnee] Indians for selling their countrymen, contrary to former regulations established among the different tribes; and begged the governor to restore their relations, and protect them against such insidious enemies. Governor Smith declared to them, that there was nothing he wished for more than friendship and peace with the Cherokee warriors, and would do everything in his power for their defence: that the prisoners were already gone, and could not be recalled; but that he would for the future take care that a stop should be put to the custom of sending them off the country.

Likely, if one would dig deep enough into the colonial records, details of this meeting could be recovered.  Chances are, you would not find “Cherokee” mentioned in the minutes of that meeting.  As is so often the case, “Cherokee” was adopted in accounts published long after the events described. 

One example of this is the so-called “Treaty of 1684.” As a recent history text puts it: “In 1684 the Cherokee chiefs made their first treaty with the English of Carolina…”

Well, sort of.

Actually, the agreement involved representatives from two Indian villages, Keowee and Toxaway.  One of the older sources describing this treaty was a 1901 book, “Indian Territory, Descriptive, Biographical and Genealogical” by D. C. Gideon:

The colonial records of South Carolina show that a treaty was entered into with the Cherokees as early as 1684. The names affixed to this treaty appear below, and each, instead of the usual cross-mark, signed with a hieroglyphic peculiarly his own, or that of his clan. This treaty was made when the Cherokees were supposed to hold as hunting grounds almost the whole of Florida, Georgia, the Carolinas, Tennessee and Kentucky. The names attached to this treaty are: Corani, the Raven of Toxawa; Canacaught, the great conjurer of Keowa; Sinnawa, the Hawk, head warrior of Toxawa; Nellogitihi, of Toxawa; Gohom-a, of Keowa; Gorheleka, of Toxawa.

Again, it would help to find the actual documentation from the colonial records, which almost 
certainly did NOT contain the term “Cherokee.” The exact terms of this treaty would be an interesting read.

James Mooney, in “Myths of the Cherokee” [1900] described one of the first mentions of the Shawnee newcomers in the colonial records:

In 1693 some Cherokee chiefs went to Charleston with presents for the governor and offers of friendship, to ask the protection of South Carolina against their enemies, the Esaw [Catawba], Savanna [Shawnee/Shawano], and Congaree, all of that colony, who had made war upon them and sold a number of their tribesmen into slavery. They were told that their kinsmen could not now be recovered, but that the English desired friendship with their tribe, and that the Government would see that there would be no future ground for such complaint. The promise was apparently not kept, for in 1705 we find a bitter accusation brought against Governor Moore, of South Carolina, that he had granted commissions to a number of persons "to set upon, assault, kill, destroy, and take captive as many Indians as they possible [sic] could," the prisoners being sold into slavery for his and their private profit. By this course, it was asserted, he had "already almost utterly ruined the trade for skins and furs, whereby we held our chief correspondence with England, and turned it into a trade of Indians or slave making, whereby the Indians to the south and west of us are already involved in blood and confusion."

Later, we will look at the ongoing strife between the Shawnee and the Cherokee.


…long before there is an Asheville, of course.

Some evidence suggests that during this time period, the turn of the 18th century, the Shawnee were residing near the confluence of the Swannanoa and French Broad Rivers in present-day Asheville.  Foster A. Sondley, in his 1922 history, ASHEVILLE AND BUNCOMBE COUNTY, discusses the toponymy bearing on this matter:

The Indians had no name for the Swannanoa River. That by which it is known is due to white men. Numerous origins have been given as those of the word, Swannanoa. Sometimes it is said to be a Cherokee word meaning "beautiful"; sometimes a Cherokee word meaning "nymph of beauty"; sometimes a Cherokee attempt to imitate the sound made by the wings of ravens or vultures flying down the valley; sometimes a Cherokee attempt to imitate the call of the owls seated upon trees on the banks of the stream; and one writer, J. Mooney, says that the word Swannanoa is derived, by contraction, from two Cherokee words, Suwali Nun-nahi, meaning "Suwali Trail," that, is trail to the country of the Suwali, Suala, or Sara Indians, who lived in North Carolina at the eastern foot of the Blue Ridge, and that this trail ran through the Swannanoa Gap. None of these is correct.

"Swannanoa" does not mean "beautiful" or "nymph of beauty" and does not resemble the sound made by a raven or vulture in flying or any call of any North Carolina owl, and is not a Cherokee word and could not be produced by any contraction of "Suwali' Nun-nahi." It is merely a form of the word "Shawano," itself a common form of "Shawnee," the name of a well-known tribe of Indians. These Shawanoes were great wanderers and their villages were scattered from Florida to Pennsylvania and Ohio, each village usually standing alone in the country of some other Indian tribe. They had a village in Florida or Southern Georgia on the Swanee or Suanee River, which gets its name from them. Another of their towns was in South Carolina, a few miles below Augusta, on the Savannah River which separates South Carolina from Georgia. This was "Savannah Town," or, as it was afterwards called, "Savanna Old Town." The name of "Savannah," given to that river and town, is a form of the word "Shawano," and those Indians were known to the early white settlers of South Carolina as "Savannas." The Shawanoes had a settlement on Cumberland River near the site of the present city of Nashville, Tennessee, when the French first visited that region. From those Indians these French, who were the first white men who went there, called the Cumberland River the "Chouanon," their form of Shawano. Sewanee in the same State has the same origin.

These Shawano Indians had a town on the Swannanoa River about one-half mile above its mouth and on its southern bank, when the white hunters began to make excursions into those mountain lands. Between 1700 and 1750 all the Shawanoes in the South removed to new homes north of the Ohio River where they soon became very troublesome to the white people and were answerable for most of the massacres in that region perpetrated in that day by Indians, especially in Kentucky, it being their boast that they had killed more white men than had any other tribe of Indians. Their town at the mouth of the Swannanoa River had been abandoned before 1776, but its site was then well known as "Swannano." At that time the river seems not to have been named; but very soon afterwards it was called, for the town and its former inhabitants, Swannano, or later Swannanoa River. One of the earliest grants for land on its banks and covering both sides and including the site of the present Biltmore, calls the stream the "Savanna River."


If you accept this timeline, it means the Shawnee had moved away from the French Broad years before any white pioneers began to settle the area. However, some local histories suggest otherwise.  Joseph Marion Rice came to the Swannanoa Valley in the early 1780s.  We are told that he stayed with Shawnee Indians on a tributary of the Swannanoa River, and subsequently purchased 200 acres of land from them. Details of the transaction are sketchy.  The Swannanoa settlement had been abandoned by the Shawnee, and it seems likely that Rice’s companions were a Shawnee hunting party encamped temporarily up the mountain from the French Broad River.  Unfortunately for Rice, the new state government would not recognize an Indian land grant, and Rice had to purchase the land a second time, from the state.  He became a well-known farmer, hunter, trapper and operator of a stock stand, and was the namesake for a Buncombe County community called Riceville.
His notoriety is preserved on a marker at the Bull Creek Overlook of the Blue Ridge Parkway.  Rice was known as the man who, in 1799, killed the last buffalo seen in the area.


In John Swanton’s standard reference book on the Indian tribes of North America [1953], he discusses the Saluda Indians, likely a band of the Shawnee who lived in central South Carolina during the latter part of the 17th century:

Saluda. Meaning unknown.  Connections.- These are uncertain but circumstantial evidence indicates strongly that the Saluda were a band of Shawnee, and therefore of the Algonquian stock.  Location.- On Saluda River.

History.- Almost all that we know regarding the Saluda is contained in a note on George Hunter's map of the Cherokee country drawn in 1730 indicating "Saluda town where a nation settled 35 years ago, removed 18 years to Conestogo, in Pensilvania." As bands of Shawnee were moving into just that         region from time to time during the period indicated, there is reason to think that this was one of them, all the more that a "Savana" creek appears on the same map flowing into Congaree River just below the Saluda settlement. 

Population.- Unknown.  Connection in which they have become noted.- The name Saluda is preserved by Saluda River and settlements in Saluda County, S. C.; Polk County, N. C.; and Middlesex County, Va.


In Myths of the Cherokee, James Mooney has an extensive discussion of the ongoing war between the Cherokee and the Shawnee.  But this is just a very incomplete list of the documented conflicts between the two groups:

Among the most inveterate foes of the Cherokee were the Shawano, known to the Cherokee as Ani'-Sawänu'gï, who in ancient times, probably as early as 1680, removed from Savannah (i.e., Shawano) river, in South Carolina, and occupied the Cumberland river region in middle Tennessee and Kentucky, from which they were afterward driven by the superior force of the southern tribes and compelled to take refuge north of the Ohio. On all old maps we find the Cumberland marked as the "river of the Shawano." Although the two tribes were frequently, and perhaps for long periods, on friendly terms, the ordinary condition was one of chronic warfare, from an early traditional period until the close of the Revolution. This hostile feeling was intensified by the fact that the Shawano were usually the steady allies of the Creeks, the hereditary southern enemies of the Cherokee. In 1749, however, we find a party of Shawano from the north, accompanied by several Cherokee, making an inroad into the Creek country, and afterward taking refuge among the Cherokee, thus involving the latter in a new war with their southern neighbors (Adair, Am. Inds., 276, 1775). The Shawano made themselves respected for their fighting qualities, gaining a reputation for valor which they maintained in their later wars with the whites, while from their sudden attack and fertility of stratagem they came to be regarded as a tribe of magicians. By capture or intermarriage in the old days there is quite an admixture of Shawano blood among the Cherokee.

According to Haywood, an aged Cherokee chief, named the Little Cornplanter (Little Carpenter?), stated in 1772 that the Shawano had removed from the Savannah river a long time before in consequence of disastrous war with several neighboring tribes, and had settled upon the Cumberland, by permission of his people. A quarrel having afterward arisen between the two tribes, a strong body of Cherokee invaded the territory of the Shawano, and, treacherously attacking them, killed a great number. The Shawano fortified themselves and a long war ensued, which continued until the Chickasaw came to the aid of the Cherokee, when the Shawano were gradually forced to withdraw north of the Ohio.

At the time of their final expulsion, about the year 1710, the boy Charleville was employed at a French post, established for the Shawano trade, which occupied a mound on the south side of Cumberland river, where now is the city of Nashville. For a long time the Shawano had been so hard pressed by their enemies that they had been withdrawing to the north in small parties for several years, until only a few remained behind, and these also now determined to leave the country entirely. 

In March the trader sent Charleville ahead with several loads of skins, intending himself to follow with the Shawano a few months later. In the meantime the Chickasaw, learning of the intended move, posted themselves on both sides of Cumberland river, above the mouth of Harpeth, with canoes to cut off escape by water, and suddenly attacked the retreating Shawano, killing a large part of them, together with the trader, and taking all their skins, trading goods, and other property. Charleville lived to tell the story nearly seventy years later. As the war was never terminated by any formal treaty of peace, the hostile warriors continued to attack each other whenever they chanced to meet on the rich hunting grounds of Kentucky, until finally, from mutual dread, the region was abandoned by both parties, and continued thus unoccupied until its settlement by the whites.

According to Cherokee tradition, a body of Creeks was already established near the mouth of Hiwassee while the Cherokee still had their main settlements upon the Little Tennessee. The Creeks, being near neighbors, pretended friendship, while at the same time secretly aiding the Shawano. Having discovered the treachery, the Cherokee took advantage of the presence of the Creeks at a great dance at Itsâ'tï, or Echota, the ancient Cherokee capital, to fall suddenly upon them and kill nearly the whole party. The consequence was a war, with the final result that the Creeks were defeated and forced to abandon all their settlements on the waters of the Tennessee river.

Haywood says that "Little Cornplanter" had seen Shawano scalps brought into the Cherokee towns. When he was a boy, his father, who was also a chief, had told him how he had once led a party against the Shawano and was returning with several scalps, when, as they were coming through a pass in the mountains, they ran into another party of Cherokee warriors, who, mistaking them for enemies, fired into them and killed several before they discovered their mistake.

Schoolcraft also gives the Cherokee tradition of the war with the Shawano, as obtained indirectly from white informants, but incorrectly makes it occur while the latter tribe still lived upon the Savannah. "The Cherokees prevailed after a long and sanguinary contest and drove the Shawnees north. This event they cherish as one of their proudest achievements. 'What!' said an aged Cherokee chief to Mr Barnwell, who had suggested the final preservation of the race by intermarriage with the whites. 'What! Shall the Cherokees perish! Shall the conquerors of the Shawnees perish! Never!'"

Tribal warfare as a rule consisted of a desultory succession of petty raids, seldom approaching the dignity of a respectable skirmish and hardly worthy of serious consideration except in the final result. The traditions necessarily partake of the same trivial character, being rather anecdotes than narratives of historical events which had dates and names. Lapse of time renders them also constantly more vague.

On the Carolina side the Shawano approach was usually made up the Pigeon river valley, so as to come upon the Cherokee settlements from behind, and small parties were almost constantly lurking about waiting the favorable opportunity to pick up a stray scalp. On one occasion some Cherokee hunters were stretched around the camp fire at night when they heard the cry of a flying squirrel in the woods--tsu-u! tsu-u! tsu-u! Always on the alert for danger, they suspected it might be the enemy's signal, and all but one hastily left the fire and concealed themselves. That one, however, laughed at their fears and, defiantly throwing some heavy logs on the fire, stretched himself out on his blanket and began to sing. Soon he heard a stealthy step coming through the bushes and gradually approaching the fire, until suddenly an enemy sprang out upon him from the darkness and bore him to the earth. But the Cherokee was watchful, and putting up his hands he seized the other by the arms, and with a mighty effort threw him backward into the fire. The dazed Shawano lay there a moment squirming upon the coals, then bounded to his feet and ran into the woods, howling with pain. There was an answering laugh from his comrades hidden in the bush, but although the Cherokee kept watch for some time the enemy made no further attack, probably led by the very boldness of the hunter to suspect some ambush.

On another occasion a small hunting party in the Smoky mountains heard the gobble of a turkey (in telling the story Swimmer gives a good imitation). Some eager young hunters were for going at once toward the game, but others, more cautious, suspected a ruse and advised a reconnaissance. Accordingly a hunter went around to the back of the ridge, and on coming up from the other side found a man posted in a large tree, making the gobble call to decoy the hunters within reach of a Shawano war party concealed behind some bushes midway between the tree and the camp. Keeping close to the ground, the Cherokee crept up without being discovered until within gunshot, then springing to his feet he shot the man in the tree, and shouting "Kill them all," rushed upon the enemy, who, thinking that a strong force of Cherokee was upon them, fled down the mountain without attempting to make a stand.

Another tradition of these wars is that concerning Tunâ'ï, a great warrior and medicine-man of old Itsâ'tï, on the Tennessee. In one hard fight with the Shawano, near the town, he overpowered his man and stabbed him through both arms. Running cords through the holes he tied his prisoner's arms and brought him thus into Itsâ'tï, where he was put to death by the women with such tortures that his courage broke and he begged them to kill him at once.

After retiring to the upper Ohio the Shawano were received into the protection of the Delawares and their allies, and being thus strengthened felt encouraged to renew the war against the Cherokee with increased vigor. The latter, however, proved themselves more than a match for their enemies, pursuing them even to their towns in western Pennsylvania, and accidentally killing there some Delawares who occupied the country jointly with the Shawano. This involved the Cherokee in a war with the powerful Delawares, which continued until brought to an end in 1768 at the request of the Cherokee, who made terms of friendship at the same time with the Iroquois. The Shawano being thus left alone, and being, moreover, roundly condemned by their friends, the Delawares, as the cause of the whole trouble, had no heart to continue the war and were obliged to make final peace.