Open main menu

Page:Sketch of Connecticut, Forty Years Since.djvu/46

This page has been proofread, but needs to be validated.
34
SKETCH OF CONNECTICUT,

sometimes containing two rooms, with a chimney of stones, and admitting comparative comfort. Trees, loaded with small apples, yielded their spontaneous refreshment to those, who never cultured the young sapling when the parent stock decayed.

Their situation afforded conveniences for their favourite employment of fishing; and a few boats in their posssession, enabled them to pursue their victims into the deep waters.

The females were more easily initiated into the habits of civilized life. These, they readily saw diminished their labours, and augmented their consequence. Still the prerogative of dominion, entrusted to man by his Maker, is tenaciously cherished by the American Indian. He slowly yields, to the courtesy of example, the custom of making his weaker companion the bearer of burdens, and the servant of his indolence. In this perishing tribe, the secondary sex were far the most docile, whether religious truth, or domestic economy were the subjects of instruction.

Still the distaff, the needle, and the loom were less congenial to their inclinations, than the manufacture of brooms, mats, and baskets. In the construction of the latter, considerable ingenuity was often manifested; and their extensive knowledge of the colouring matter, contained in the juices of plants and herbs, enabled them to adorn these fabrics with all the hues of the rainbow. Bending beneath a load of these fabrics, and often the