Indians of America.- Mr. Flint, in his excellent book, the Geography and History of the Western States, gives a better account of the condition and habits, and a more correct idea of the character of the aborigines of our country than can be found anywhere else. This book will probably fall into the hands of few of our readers, and perhaps we cannot better serve the purposes of our paper than by transplanting into our columns some of the interesting information it contains. The study of the history, geography, and character of our vast country and its inhabitants, may be pursued with advantage by all, and none can be said, at this day, to be fully informed on these interesting subjects. Indeed the knowledge of the people generally, in this particular, is by far too limited.
The greater part of the Indians of the United States dwell in the limits of what Mr. Flint styles the Mississippi Valley, that is, the western states, including Florida, Alabama, Mississippi, Louisiana, Arkansas Territory, Tennessee, Missouri, Illinois, Indiana, Kentucky, and Ohio. The Cherokees, in many respects the most interesting tribe, of whom we have before given some account, have been most successful in imitating the habits and institutions of the whites.- They have looms, ploughs, blacksmiths' shops, slaves, enclosures, barns, taverns, brick dwellings in some instances, public roads, a code of laws, civil divisions, magistrates, 'c. Their laws are severe, energetic, and promptly administered.- Some of their planters have large enclosures, and fine stocks of cattle and horses, and may be considered rich. One chief, whom Mr. Flint mentions, has a dozen slaves, fine teams, ploughs, and looms; he has three wives, and twenty-seven living children. Most of the people of the nation dress in a cloth manufactured entirely by their own hands. There are several missionary establishments among them, and great and increasing attention is paid to education. A printing press has recently been established among them, from which a weekly newspaper is issued.
In the northern parts of Ohio and Indiana is an establishment of the Shawnees, a tribe once very powerful, but now hastening to decay. The Pottawattomies and Kickapoes are in Indiana and Illinois. The Peorias, Kaskaskias, and Cahokias that figured so much in the early French history of this country, are almost extinct. The Wyandots, Chippeways, and Winnebagoes, or Paunts, hunt further to the northwest, extending their range to Lake Superior. The Choctaws, Seminoles, Baton Rouges, Creeks and Chickasaws were powerful tribes before the late war, but in that war received a withering check. The Sacks, or Saukies, as they call themselves, inhabit the country above and below Rock River, and claim the territory of the lead mines. The Iaways are further up the river. The Menomene inhabit the Menomene to Lake Michigan. The Souix are still further up the Mississippi. They are divided into six or seven tribes, with distinct names. Each tribe has also a distinct badge, coat of arms, or what they call totem. On the Missouri are the Osages, Ottos, Missouries, Kanzas, Sawnees, Mandas, Paucahs, Omawhaws, Padoucas, La Plais, or Bald Heads, Tetans, Minnitarees, Arracarees, Snakes, and Blackfoots.- The Quawpaws, on the Arkansas, the remains of many of the ancient tribes, such as the Eatchez, Appalachies, Tensas, Alabamas, Pasgagoulas, Chetimaches, Biloxies, Tunicas, Cados 'c. on the Red River, and a small number of the Carancoaches, (which Mr. Flint says are clearly cannibals) near the Sabinx, about complete the catalogue.
The whole number of Indians in the United States is about one hundred and eighty thousand; the number within the Mississippi Valley, is estimated at one hundred and three thousand.