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I HAVE already told you, that the white people came to Massachusetts about two hundred years ago. Before they came hither, the only people of the country were Indians. The Indians were a tall, well formed, active people. They had long, black, straight hair, black eyes, and very white, handsome teeth. Their color was brown, a little inclining to red. Their dress was made of the skins of wild beasts; but in warm weather they went almost naked. They used to paint their bodies, and especially their faces, with black, red and white paint. They wore a sort of shoes on their feet, called moccasins, made of the skin of the deer, and ornamented very prettily with shells, feathers and beads. They lived in low smoky huts, called wigwams, which were made in a rude manner of small trees and bushes, and covered with bark, or mats. The wigwam had but one room and no chimney. The fire was made in the middle, and the smoke went out through an open place in the top. The floor of the wigwam was the ground; but the Inans laid down mats and skins to sleep on,



specially in cold weather. They slept with

the feet towards the fire. The Indians had no tame animals about their dwellings. They had no convenient furniture, nor utensils for cooking or eating. They had no chairs, stools nor tables; they had no pots nor kettles, except such as were made of stone. These kettles would not bear the fire, and they boiled their meat by filling them with water, and putting red hot stones into it. They roasted their fish or meat on the bare coals, and held it in their fingers to eat it. They had no salt to eat with their food, and very few vegetables. They raised a few squashes and beans, a little corn and a few other things; but these made up but a small part of their food. They parched their corn and pounded it into meal for bread, which they baked on a flat stone by the fire.

The Indians had no iron; all their tools were made either of stone, of sea shells, of bone, or of hard wood. They cut down trees as well as they could with their poor stone axes. They killed birds and beasts with the bow and arrow; or caught them in a sort of trap. Their arrow heads were made of stone; their bow strings of the sinews of the deer. They caught fish with a hook made of bone or else in a sort of net. They had no ploughs

nor hoes. They dug the earth with a stick or clam shell. The women did the work on the ground, and the men did the hunting and fishing. The Indians were a very ignorant people. They had no books. They could not read nor write a single word. They knew nothing about letters. They knew nothing about the true God and Saviour, and all their thoughts of the future state, that is, the state after death, were very erroneous.

The Indians lived together in tribes, and commonly built their towns by the sides of rivers, ponds, or lakes. An Indian town was only a few wigwams, built near each other. There were three large tribes of Indians in Massachusetts, and a great many small ones; but the whole State, I should think, did not contain near as many Indians, as there are people now in the city of Boston.

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The Indians made very pretty little boats of birch bark, called canoes, in which they' sailed on ponds and rivers and along the shore of the sea. They also made beautiful little. baskets of the twigs of trees, to put their corn and other things in, and mats to sleep on. The Indians were fond of smoking tobacco, and made convenient pipes of stone. They made bows of ash or walnut, which they used

in hunting. They made a kind of beads of a shell which they found on the sea-shore. These beads they strung together, and out of the strings, they made belts. These belts were often very pretty. The beads were called wampum. There were three kinds of wampum, black, red, and white. The Indians valued it highly, and used it as money.

The country was covered all over with thick dark woods: except in the places where the Indians had their little towns. In the woods were a great number of wild beasts and birds which the Indians hunted. It was a dismal country to look at; but the poor Indians liked it, because it was their home, and they knew of no better country.

How long since the only people in Massachusetts were Indians? What is said of the size and appearance of the Indians?

What was their dress made of?

What sort of houses had they?

How did they get a living?

What were their tools made of?

What is said of their towns?

How many Indians were there in Massachusetts ?


THE large animals, which the Indians used to hunt, were the moose, the deer, and the bear.

The moose is a large, tall and rather ugly animal; but the deer is very beautiful. The flesh of both is good for food, and is called venison. They feed upon grass and herbs in the summer, and upon the buds and bark of trees in the winter. They are very fond of the beautiful white lily, that grows in ponds, called the pond lily. There used to be great herds of them in Massachusetts, feeding in the summer, on the meadows along the rivers. The moose is as tall as a horse, and has small straight legs, with hoofs like a sheep. He can run very fast, and when he runs his hoofs make a loud clattering noise. The male has very large branching horns, and what is very remarkable, the horns fall off every year and new ones grow out again. The female has no horns, and is much smaller than the male. The moose is of a dark gray, or black color.

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