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acknowledged and undisputed allegiance of the English Sovereign until the termination of the war of 1756, would exclude from the horizon no inconsiderable part of what is proper to the province of inquiry. Further; from the early visits of the French to this projection of the continent, where it was their policy to make a permanent establishment, whether as a counterpoise to the English or for the simple purpose of extended empire and commercial consequence, from the conciliatory and successful intercourse which they cultivated with the natives, the superior facility with which they entered into the modes of Indian life, and the tact with which they discovered the shades of Indian character, from the familiarity with which they accommodated themselves to the habits and identified themselves with the interests of these ignorant and yet not intractable sons of the forest-from all these combined means of influence and knowledge in their affairs, as well as from the direct share which the French sustained in the work of colonization, and from the natural relations and perpetual effects springing out of their juxtaposition to the Anglo-American settlements on the Atlantic, there is a fund of valuable information to be found among the narratives of the French adventurers and historians, such as Lescarbot, Charlevoix, etc.; and this class of authorities, contained in a foreign language, is to be consulted with no less care, nor, it may be added, with less advantage, than the accounts of Smith, and Gorges, and Josselyn.
The papers bequeathed by Governor Lincoln bear evidence that he omitted no means, and neglected no opportunities that could avail him for acquiring all the appropriate knowledge which belongs to the treatment of the above mentioned topics; and that he had access to sources which do not lie within the familiar range nor come within the ordinary reach of those, who, whether as readers or writers, possess a competent general acquaintance with the early affairs and local antiquities of New England. If, as may be the case, there are others whose longer devotion to Indian researches has been rewarded by the most extensive acquirements, and who upon particular branches of the subject may possess a more profound and universal learning, those enlightened minds would not be prone to undervalue the contributions capable of being furnished by these papers to the stock of general information; and it may at least be said, that an abundant collection of materials in relation to the interesting subjects referred to, exhibit the proofs of a patient, partial, and persevering labor on the part of the historian, in the cherished employment of his mind at hours disengaged from public service or reserved from professional duty, for several years of his life ; and that he has embodied a large quantity and rare variety of important information concerning the characteristics and circumstances, the dialect, religion, and fate of the aboriginal inhabitants of this broad promontory of the North American Continent.
These productions of his pen are obviously impressed with the tastes, opinions, and feelings of their benevolent and accomplished author. To those who regard these natives of the land as leaves scattered by the winds
of autumn, while these papers may shed a lingering and pensive light upon the relics of that unfortunate and vanishing race once among us —
- which may be grouped under the general denomination of Abenaquis—not without a humane and friendly leaning in their favor, they are nevertheless marked with the reflective traits of a sensible and philanthropic philosophy, keeping in view as a point of paramount importance the advance of the best principles of progressive moral and social improvement.
It was apparently the design of Mr. Lincoln to have prepared these materials, which he had taken so much pains to collect, for publication; and it is probable that this intention was on the eve of being performed at the period when the execution of any literary purpose was necessarily interrupted and for a season postponed by the very general call of his fellow citizens to the cares of chief magistracy. From that point of time it does not appear that he was able to resume any regular portion of the attention he had been fond of bestowing upon this favorite occupation; and dying before his term of office was completed, it became scarcely possible to present the whole of his productions to the public with the advantage which they could have properly received only from his own revision. It is to be trusted that the main body of these valuable materials will not be quite lost ; and the public may be warranted perhaps to place a reliance on those who were nearest to the deceased Governor Lincoln in the affinities of affection or the congenial and elevating associations of the mind, that they shall be presented in such a shape as may be suitable for their preservation. If we are not disappointed in the hope, which we permit ourselves to entertain, that his friends will not allow the work to be frustrated, the historical composition to which we have referred may be anticipated to constitute a prominent article in the ensuing volume.
Two portions have in the mean time been selected for publication in the present volume, in the state in which they were left, one of which relates to the language spoken by the Indians, and the other to the missions established by the Catholics among the Indians in this section of the country. It appeared that these were capable of being extracted without disadvantage, and may perhaps afford a taste of the remainder. It may be remarked as an opinion of him to whom we owe the benefit of these researches, that the French evinced an integrity and purity in relation to the interests of the Indian population, particularly in regard to their religious concerns, beyond any credit that could be assumed to the English for any political or proselyting services in their behalf. Such, it is plain enough, was the impression upon the minds of the natives themselves.
We are indebted to the pen of a friend well acquainted with the subject of his remarks for the following characteristic notice in regard to the gifted and lamented individual, who has accomplished so much to illustrate and adorn the objects of this Historical institution.
The papers here presented to the public are selected from a work which occupied much of the time and attention of the late Governor Lincoln, during many of the later years of his life. The subject is one in which he took a deep interest, and he spared no pains or labor in collecting the materials and endeavoring to make the work as perfect as the circumstances would permit. He searched every document to which he could obtain access; he explored every page of history, which might afford a hint or an illustration of the task he had undertaken; he visited all those spots in this state, rendered in any way remarkable for events connected with the early history of the primitivo race, who once inhabited the places where civilization has now usurped the wildness of uncultivated nature. His very study bore testimony to the zeal he felt and the interest which he took in this subject, not merely by its books, but by the ornaments with which it was decorated. It was hung around with the branching antlers of the Moose, the Caribou, and the Deer; and its walls ornamented by a map of the Umbagog lakes, delineated on birch bark by one of the natives; over which hung a full length portrait of one of these ancient lords of the soil. Nothing was neglected that might serve to throw light upon the manners, character, habits, and disposition of our Indians. For this purpose he sought to obtain, both at home and abroad, all those documents that might be supposed to contain information upon this subject. He visited the neighboring Provinces, exploring their records for facts that might elucidate the task he had undertaken ; and that he might add to all this the benefit of observation and experience, he visited the Indian settlements, and sought information by intimacy and intercourse with them. In this way he had collected something of a dictionary of their language, and was fond of comparing its structure with that of ancient and modern languages, and tracing the analogies and discrepancies between them. His enthusiasm for whatever related to Indian character and manners, 'I believe to have been inspired by his own peculiar feelings and principles. The strong and pervading character of his mind was a love of nature, and consequent upon this, the love of liberty and hatred of oppression. This made him fly with such alacrity from the busy walks of life and the hum of men to the retirement of the country, and even to the solitude of the wilderness. Some weeks or months in each year he was fond of devoting to rambling in the woods, and holding converse with nature and her simple children. Our rugged but sublime scenery he dwelt upon with enthusiasm, and loved to draw comparisons between the eternal hills, the lakes, rivers, and forests of our State, and the splendid dwellings and cities of human art, but little to the advantage of the latter. It was this love of nature, combined with his hatred of oppression and sympathy for the suffering, that first inspired him with a fondness for Indian history. For the Indian in his pride of power and savage independence he would have felt simple emotions of admiration, somewhat allayed by those traits and tendencies in their nature which detract
from the kindlier sensibilities their condition would otherwise excite. But when he looked upon them as strangers in the land of their forefathers; when he saw how they were wasted in numbers and degraded in character before the deadly warfare and more deadly intercourse of the white man ;when he looked back to all that they were as lords of the forest, and then turned to their present condition, humbled and calumniated as they have been,-made the victims of ambition, cupidity, apd cruelty, he felt for them as he always did for the injured and oppressed, and their very vices seemed to him to serve only as memorials of their wrongs.
If there was anything that could arouse to indignation his naturally mild and gentle disposition, it was oppression. No matter how it was protected by law or usage
- no matter under what form it presented itself — he was its constant and unceasing foe. He was the advocate of as entire freedom of thought and action as human society can endure. This was not theory and sentiment alone, but a living principle by which he was actuated, and which led him to extend to others the same liberty which he claimed for himself. There were few men who could bear difference of opinion or even contradiction with more patience. Always ready to listen calmly, and prompt to acknowledge error when exposed, his mind was peculiarly fitted for that most important of all intellectual operations, the search after truth.
Benevolent himself, he highly estimated this quality in others, and loved to dwell upon the praise due to those who sacrificed their own ease or comfort for the benefit or pleasure of others. It was these amiable qualities as exhibited in the French missionaries, that led him to regard them with perhaps more of favor and warmth of feeling than their character might, when viewed impartially, seem to deserve. For the catholic in his pride of placethundering from the Vatican, or treading on the necks of prostrate kings, he had no sympathy. But for the humble and pious missionary, leaving home and all its comforts, civilization and all its allurements, for the purpose of spreading these advantages and diffusing the blessings of Christianity among the inhabitants of the forest, and with this view taking up their abode among them, and foregoing all those enjoyments and social connections that render life pleasant or even desirable—for such, whatever might be his views of their peculiar tenets and modes of belief, he had the sincerest veneration. It is not necessary to justify or condemn the conduct of our forefathers toward the natives of this country, but after all allowances are made that their peculiar situation might seem to require_after admitting all the palliations that the manners of the age or the law of retaliation can furnish, still there is left much room for the sympathies of the humane and the regrets of the philanthropic, at the miseries that the latter have been called on to endure at the hands of the former - miseries that were not confined to the warrior on the battle-field, nor even to their old men, their wives and helpless children, but were extended to all those who were found among them, no matter with what intentions or how employed. Even the ministers of the gospel of peace were cut down with the savage whom they were en
deavoring to reclaim from, blood and cruelty. To men thus engaged and thus sacrificed, we cannot but accord a merited approbation. The strongest emotions of sensibility are excited for their unhappy fate, and we forget the accidental differences of religious faith, of language, and of country. Such, at least, were the feelings with which the subject of these remarks was wont to regard the characters and lament the fate of those who thus by their life and death gave better evidence of the purity of their faith, than creeds or professions can afford. To contribute in any degree to rescue the memory of such from oblivion, or to assist in dispelling the mists and clouds that prejudice or fanaticism had endeavored to throw around them, was a task in which he delighted and for which he gladly toiled.
GOVERNOR ENOCH LINCOLN.
The two articles which introduce the " Papers" of Gov. Lincoln, which form an interesting portion of this volume, were prepared by two intimate friends of that distinguished gentleman. The “ Prefatory Notice” was from the pen of the Hon. Charles S. Daveis, of Portland, and the additional remarks were written by the late Judge Cole, of the District Court of Maine, who had been a student at law in the office of Gov. Lincoln. They were written near the period of his death, and express a grateful sense of his memory and his merits. To these affectionate memorials, we will add a few biographical facts. Gov. Lincoln was a son of the Hon. Levi Lincoln, of Worcester, a lineal descendant of Samuel Lincoln, of Hingham, who came to this country from Hingham, Eng., in 1637. Mr. Lincoln, the father, was a distinguished lawyer in Worcester, was Attorney General of the United. States, by appointment of Mr. Jefferson, in 1801, and Lieutenant-Governor of Massachusetts in 1807 and 1808. In the latter year he became Governor of the State, on the death of Gov. Sullivan. Lieutenant-Governor Lincoln was an ardent politician of the Democratic school, in which he was followed by all his brilliant and accomplished sons., Only one of these sons now survives, the Hon. Levi Lincoln, of Worcester, who, having filled with distinguished honor the offices of Speaker of the House of Representatives of Massachusetts, Member of Congress, Judge of the Supreme Court of Massachusetts, and Governor of the State, lives in dignified retirement in his native town, at nearly the age of eighty years, honorably discharging the duties of a good and faithful citizen. He left the Democratic party and became a National Republican and Clay Whig, after the feverish excitements of his early life were over.
Enoch, a younger son of the elder Levi, was born in Worcester, December 28, 1788. Having prepared himself for college, he entered sophomore, in 1806, at Harvard, where his grandfather and his two brothers, Levi and Daniel