Open main menu

Page:Sketch of Connecticut, Forty Years Since.djvu/65

This page has been proofread, but needs to be validated.

extended over a yoke of oxen, two cows, and sundry swine, riches heretofore unknown among the unambitious sons of Mohegan.

He was also a patient, and comparatively skilful agriculturist. He had a supply of the implements of husbandry, for himself and sons, and availed himself of the labours of the plough, which his countrymen, either from dislike of toil, or jealousy at innovation, too generally neglected. The corn of John Cooper might be known from that of his neighbours, by its tall, regular ranks, and more abundant sheaves. Its interstices were filled with the yellow pumpkin, and the green crooked-neck'd squash, and its borders adorned with the prolific field bean. A large stack of hay furnished the winter food of his animals, as he had not yet aspired to the luxury of a barn. He was regarded by some of his brethren with a suspicious eye; not that they envied his possessions, for they had not learned to place wealth first on the list of virtues. But they imagined that he approximated too closely to the habits of white men, whom if they regarded as friends, they could not wholly forget had been invaders. They conceived poverty to be less degrading than daily toil, and thought he could not be a true Indian, who would not prefer the privations of one, to the slavery of the other. But John found patient industry favourable not only to his condition but to his character. His regular supply of necessary articles removed those temptations to intemperance, which arise from the alternation of famine