Page:A French Volunteer of the War of Independence.djvu/91

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OF THE WAR OF INDEPENDENCE.


Albany, we went up Mohawk River to the house of Mr. Johnston, whose residence was close to the huts of the various tribes known under the names of Tuscaroros, Oneidas, etc. We were prepared with the usual presents required to conciliate them, and in this case it might be said that little presents cement great friendships. Our gifts, which they thought magnificent, consisted of woollen blankets, little mirrors, and, above all, plenty of paint, which the savages esteem highly and use to paint their faces. There was also some gunpowder, lead, and bullets, and some silver crowns of six francs bearing the effigy of the King of France, who is known to these savages, by tradition, as the "Great Father."

About two thousand Indians, men and women, came to the appointed rendezvous, and thanks to our presents and the "fire water" which we distributed, the treaty was easily concluded. I was very anxious to observe the manners and customs of these people, who were a great novelty to me, but at the end of a few days I had