Cherokee Phoenix


Published July, 29, 1829

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In their last treaty with the Florida Indians, the government of the United States agreed to allow $1,000 a year for the support of a teacher among them at Tampa Bay; Gov. Duval states that a council being called, the Indians declined receiving a teacher, because, 'as far as observation extended, learning had made those Indians who received it, `great rascals', having enabled them to sign away the lands of the rest without their knowledge or consent. They say also that the Great Spirit intended them for warriors and hunters and give in proof the following tradition.--N.Y. Obs.

The Great Spirit, they say, first made the black man, but did not like him; he then made the red man; was better pleased with him, but not entirely satisfied, he then made white man, and was very much pleased with him. He then summoned all three in his presence. Near him were three great boxes, one containing hoes, axes, and other agricultural and working implements. In another were spears, arrows, tomahawks, 'c. and in the third, books, maps, charts, 'c. He called the white man first, and had him choose. He advanced attentively surveyed each of the boxes, passed by that filled with working implements, and drew near that in which were tomahawks, spears, 'c. Then the Indian's heart sunk within him. The white man however passed it, and chose that in which were books, maps, 'c., Then they say the Indian's heart leaped for joy. The red man was next summoned to make his choice. He advanced, and without any hesitation choose the box containing the war and hunting implements. The other box was therefore left for the black man. The destinies of each were thus fixed, and it was impossible to change them.- They inferred, therefore, that learning was for the white man, war and hunting for the Indian, and labor for the poor negro.