Cherokee Phoenix


Published January, 26, 1833

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One of the most prominent modern characters in Thatcher's LIVES OF THE INDIANS, is the celebrated Miami, LITTLE TURTLE, called in his own language, NESTECUNNAQUA. Mr. T. gives him, on the authority of Schoolcraft, the credit of doing much to abolish the practice of human sacrifice among the savages of the West. The passage reminds us of a well authenticated anecdote of a young Pawnee Brave, who visited Washington some ten years since.

The Pawnees were at war with another trans-Mississippian tribe, living several days' journey to the South of them. In one of their forays into the enemy's country, a party of warriors captured a beautiful Indian girl, and carried her home in triumph. A council of the Pawnees was called, and the prisoner was decreed to die at the faggot. The fatal pole was raised in the middle of a wide plain near the villages of the tribes; and an immense multitude of all ages and sizes-for the Pawnees are still quite numerous-collected to witness the ceremony.- Just as the flame was about being set around the trembling victim, a gallant young war-chief rushed forward to the pile, leading two fleet horses, thoroughly caparisoned for a journey. He unloosed the bands which confined the prisoner at one stroke of his knife-helped her to mount one of his steeds-mounted the other himself-and, before his countrymen had recovered from their first surprise, had cleared the ring, and was a mile or two on his way to the South. He continued his attendance two days, and then left her within the territory of her own tribe, and with provisions for the residue of the way. On his return home, not a word of reproach was uttered against him. He was popular; and the Pawnees not only thought proper to overlook the liberty he had taken in consideration of his bravery; but they ascribed the act to the inspiration of the Great Master of Life. It is said there has been no instance of sacrifice among them from that day to this.

We have forgotten, if we ever knew this gallant fellow's name; but he was much complimented at Washington, and especially by the ladies of the city, as the PAWNEE BRAVE.- N. Y. Con. Adv.