These notes record all the editorial emendations to the first edition
of The Huron Chief in the present text. Each entry contains the reading of the
present text before the ] and the reading of the first edition after the
]. Thus Preface, 50 Tales and Traditions ] Tales
and Traditions indicates that in line 50 of Kidds Preface the word
and has been italicized in the present text where it was not so in the first
edition. Emendations of Kidds Latin spellings and quotations have been made on the
authority of the texts in the Loeb Classical Library series.
||Tales and Traditions ] Tales and Traditions
||ONGUE-HONWE ] ONGUS-HONWE
||Rule added between these lines.
Voyages from Montreal,
through the Continent of North America, to the Frozen and Pacific Oceans ] voyages
from Montreal, through the Continent of North America, to the Frozen and Pacific Oceans.
||Rule added between these lines.
||shadow ] shadows
||The following note to M***T**N has been
deleted: Vide, the address to the REV. POLYPHEMUS, towards the end of this
] BARTHOLEMEW CASA
||Burgoyne ] Borgoyne
||Rule added between these lines.
||plaiting ] painting
||wished-for ] wished for
||TUDORS ] Tudors
||Irish Melodies] Irish Melodies
||Aborigines ] Aboriginies
||numera ] numero
||speculating times. ] speculating mes.
||paley ] palely
||in his residens ] in hoc residens
||Jura dabat] Jura dabit
||Rule added between these lines.
||COLDEN ] COLDON
||prophecy, she ] prophecy. she
||Rule added between these lines.
The primary purpose of these Explanatory Notes is threefold: to explain
or identify words and phrases that might be obscure to modern readers of The Huron
Chief; to elucidate, where possible, the historical and mythical components of
Kidds Preface, poem and copious footnotes; and to call attention to words, phrases,
and passages in Kidds work that allude to, or as the case may be, derive from the
works of other writers.
In this last category, the Explanatory Notes
are intended to complement the Introduction, where emphasis is placed less on verbal and
phrasal echoes than on the large patterns, assumptions and attitudes that link The
Huron Chief, not only with later works in the Canadian continuity, but also with the
writers and ideas of the early nineteenth century and earlier. Quotations from Moore,
Byron, Macpherson (Ossian), Milton and Popethe writers most frequently echoed in the
diction, tone and poetic texture of The Huron Chiefare from A.D.
Godleys edition of The Poetical Works of Thomas Moore (Oxford: Oxford
University Press; London: Humphrey Milford, 1929); John Jumps corrected edition of
Frederick Pages Byron: Poetical Works in the Oxford Standard Authors series
(London: Oxford University Press, 1970); the three volume edition of The Poems of
Ossian, translated by James Macpherson with engravings by James Fittler from pictures
by Henry Singleton (London: James Miller, John Murray, John Harding, 1805); and Merritt Y.
Hughes new edition of Paradise Lost (Indianapolis: Odyssey, 1962). Other
quotations are from standard or definitive editions of the poets works. Translations
of the classical authors from whom Kidd quotes in his footnotes are taken from the volumes
of the Loeb Classical Library.
As intimated in the Introduction and affirmed
by the Explanatory Notes, Kidd makes heavy levies, especially in the footnotes to The
Huron Chief, on the writings of several explorers and travellers of his own day and
earlier. Whenever possible his debts to these writers have been substantiated by
quotations either from an original edition of their work or from a facsimile reprint. An
exception to this rule is provided by John Heckewelders History, Manners and
Customs of the Indian Nations who once Inhabited Pennsylvania and the Neighbouring States,
where the text that has been cited is the New and Revised edition of William C.
Reichel (Philadelphia: The Historical Society of Pennsylvania, 1876; rpt. New York: Arno,
1971). (Since Kidd almost certainly got his Heckewelder, like his Colden and Loskiel,
through Buchanan, this substitution of a widely available edition of the History for
the [at least in Canada] very rare first edition will, it is hoped, seem both justifiable
and practical.) The editions of Buchanan, Henry, Mackenzie, Longmore and Tudorthe
other North American writers upon whom Kidd makes the heaviest leviesquoted in the
Explanatory Notes are as follows: James Buchanan, Sketches of the History, Manners, and
Customs of the North American Indians (London: Black, Young, and Young, 1825);
Alexander Henry, Travels and Adventures in Canada and the Indian Territories, between
the Years 1760 and 1776 (New York: I. Riley, 1809) reprinted in the March of
America Facsimile Series, No. 47 (Ann Arbor: University Microfilms, 1966); and Alexander
Mackenzie, Voyages from Montreal on the River St. Lawrence, through the Continent of
North America, to the Frozen and Pacific Oceans, in the Years 1789 and 1793. With a
Preliminary Account of the Rise, Progress, and Present State of the Fur Trade of that
Country (London: T. Cadell, June and W. Davies, Cobbsett and Morgan and W. Creech at
Edinburgh, 1801), as also reprinted in the March of America Facsimile Series, No. 52 (Ann
Arbor: University Microfilms, 1966); George Longmore, Tales of Chivalry and Romance (Edinburgh:
James Robertson; London: Baldwin Cradock and Joy, 1826); and William Tudor, Letters on
the Eastern States, 2nd. ed. (Boston: Wells and Lily, 1821). It may be observed here
that William Pedens edition of Thomas Jeffersons Notes on the State of
Virginia (Chapel Hill: University of North Carolina Press, 1955) makes readily
accessible the textual changes discussed below in the note to l. 736n.
In attempting to assay the biographical,
literary, historical and mythological backgrounds and components of The Huron Chief, use
has been made of a great many general and specialized works. Carl F. Klincks
Adam Kidd: An Early Canadian Poet, Queens Quarterly, 65 (Autumn,
1958), 495-506 has been as useful in the compilation of these notes as it was in
establishing the co-ordinates for the Introduction. Among the many reference books that
have been more-or-less continually to hand while the notes to The Huron Chief were being
compiled, several works deserve mention here as being, simply, invaluable: The
Encyclopaedia Britannica (1911), The Columbia Encyclopedia (1963), the Biographical
Dictionary of the Indians of the Americas (1983), the Dictionary of National
Biography, the Dictionary of Canadian Biography, the Macmillan Dictionary of
Canadian Biography (1978), Sir Paul Harveys Oxford Companions to English
Literature (1946) and Classical Literature (1937) and, of course, the Oxford
English Dictionary. In addition to these general reference books, a number of specific
works deserve special mention here for their contribution to the Explanatory Notes of
information in the two areas of North American and Huron Indian history: the Documentary
History of Dunmores War, 1774 edited by Reuben Gold Thwaites and Louise Phelps
Kellogg (1905; rpt 1974); Thirty Thousand Miles with John Heckewelder, edited by
Paul A.W. Wallace (1958); James Athearn Jones Traditions of the North American
Indians: Being a Second and Revised Edition of Tales of an Indian Camp (1830;
rpt. 1970); Samuel G. Drakes Biography and History of the Indians of North
America from its First Discovery (10th. ed., 1843); Carl F. Klincks Tecumseh:
Fact and Fiction in Early Records (2nd. ed., 1978); andfor the centrally
important history (and pre-history) of the HuronsLAbbé Lionel Saint-George
Lindsays Notre-Dame de la Jeune-Lorette en la Nouvelle-France: étude historique (1900),
Arthur Edward Jones entry on the Huron Indians in The Catholic
Encyclopedia (1910), W. Vernon Kinietzs The Indians of the Western Great
Lakes, 1615-1 760, (1940), J. M. Lemoines Picturesque Quebec: A Sequel to
Quebec Past and Present (1882), Elizabeth Tookers An Ethnography of the Huron
Indians, 1615-1649 (1964), Marguerite Vincent Tehariolinas La Nation Huronne:
son histoire, sa culture, son ésprit (1984) and Bruce G. Triggers The Huron:
Farmers of the North (1969), The Children of Aataentsic: A History of the Huron
People to 1660 (1976), and Natives and Newcomers: Canadas Heroic
Age Reconsidered (1985). Also valuable have been the major articles on the
Huron, Iroquois and other tribes in the volume (15) on the Northeast edited by
Trigger in the Handbook of North American Indians under the general editorship of
W. C. Sturtevant.
A final category of information included in
these Explanatory Notes is the annotations in the copy of The Huron Chief, and Other
Poems which was apparently owned by Job Deacon (1794-1850), one of Kidds fellow
divinity students in Quebec and later an Anglican priest in Adolphustown in what is now
Ontario. Deacons copy of The Huron Chief and Other Poems, which is signed on
the title page Job Deacon 4th Oct. 1830, is in the Baldwin Room at The
Metropolitan Toronto Public Library. The annotations in it have been assumed to be by
Where an Explanatory Note contains suggestions and materials
contributed by Charles R. Steele of the University of Calgary this is indicated by
The Huron Chief The background and implications of Kidds
title can perhaps best be explained by approaching its two componentsthe Huron and
(1) The Huron. Although there is evidence that, in pre-historic times,
the Huron tribe (who spoke the Wyandot language of the Iroquoin family) was widely
dispersed over South-Central Ontario, by historic times the Huron had . . . moved
from their separate territories into the Northern part of Simcoe County to form a single
population cluster. . . near the shores of Georgian bay... on Lake Huron (Trigger, Children,
I, 164). In the early seventeenth century, they probably numbered upwards of 20,000 and
were engaged in continual conflict with their enemies, the Iroquois. In 1649, as a result
of famine and an invasion by the Iroquois, the Huron diaspora took place, with members of
the tribe fleeing to the west, south and east. (It was at this time that Father Jean de
Brébeuf and other Jesuits, who had established a mission among the Huron in the 1620s,
were killed by the Iroquois.) In 1650 some Hurons arrived at Quebec, where, in the
remaining years of the century, they settled for a time at Quebec City, the Ile
dOrléans, Sillery, Beauport, and Ancienne Lorette. Their final settlement, which
has survived to the present, was at Jeune Lorette, which Kidd apparently visited in May,
1829 (see The Huron Chief, l. 673n.). Throughout the eighteenth century the
Wyandot [as the Huron who remained in the Upper Great Lakes region came to be known]
played an important role in the struggle between the French and British, and later between
the British and the Americans, for control of Michigan and the Ohio Valley (Trigger,
Children, II, 825). In both the American Revolution and the War of 1812, Wyandot
Indians and Huron Indians from Quebec fought for the British. Today remnants of the
Huron race (The Huron Chief, 672) are found in various parts of Canada and
the United States, notably in Quebec and Oklahoma.
(2) The Chief. Basing their conclusions primarily on French sources,
most modern scholars agree that there were . . . two principal kinds of chiefs . . .
in Huron Society: . . . civil chiefs who were concerned with problems of peace and
everyday life . . . and . . . war chiefs, who were concerned exclusively with
military matters (Trigger, The Huron, p. 69). Since each clan segment in a
given Huron village had two such chiefs, in a settlement such as Lorette there were
several civil and war chiefs, one or two of whom held the title of Grand Chief (or Premier
Chef)Kidds head chief (673n.). According to Trigger, . . .
civil chieftainships [sachemships] were hereditary in particular lineages . . ., and
each . . . officeholder [assumed] the ceremonial name of his predecessor. . .
(The Huron, pp. 69-70), a fact which may have contributed to the confusion
discussed in the note to 1. 673n., below. By implication, LeMoine in Picturesque Quebec,
p. 456, identifies Kidds Huron Chief with Francois-Xavier Picard Tahourenché
(1810-1883), who was chief of the Lorette Hurons from 1840 to 1870, when he was named
Grand Chief (see Tehariolina, La Nation Huronne, pp. 83-84). But, as indicated in
the Introduction, pp. xxiv-xxxvi, the most important Huron Chief in the background of
Kidds poem is Nicholas Vincent Tsaouenhohi (or Tsawenhoni, the
SAWENNOWANE of the Preface, 57), who was Grand Chief of the Hurons at Jeune
Lorette from 1811 to 1844. On the basis of the resemblance between the frontispiece to The
Huron Chief, and Other Poems and the 1825 lithograph of Nicholas Vincent
Isawanhonhi (sic), both of which show the Huron Chief wearing the medallion
presented to him in 1825 in England by George IV (see Introduction, pp. xxxiv-xxxvi),
there would seem to be grounds for associating, if not identifying, Tsaouenhohi with
Kidds Skenandow, a name appropriated from the famous Oneida Chief Skenandoa
(Schenandoah, Shenondoa, Scanondo, Skennondon) who died on March 11, 1816 (see the notes
to ll. 134, 142n. and 190 below and the Introduction, pp. xx-xxi). That Nicholas Vincent
Tsaouenhohi was a Christian Chief (caption to the lithograph) may provide
further grounds for associating or identifying him with the Christ-like Skenandow of The
Huron Chief Two other Chiefs at Lorette who might have contributed aspects of
themselves to Kidds composite portrait of the Huron Chief are the (hitherto only
conjecturally identified) Oui-a-ra-lih-to mentioned in the note to l. 673 (see the
explanatory note below) and a less shadowy figure who is not, however, mentioned anywhere
in The Huron Chief and who died over a month before the date given by
KiddMay, 1829 (673n.)for his visit to the venerable patriarch
Oui-a-ra-lih-to at Lorette. The death of Gabriel Vincent Owawandaronhey on March 20, 1829
is recorded as follows in The Quebec Gazette for April 6, 1829:
On friday the 20th ult. at Indian Lorette, near the city, Wen-wha-dahronhé
or Gabriel Vincent, the third chief of the Hurons residing at that village: he was the
only remaining Indian of the village who had descended in a direct line, without
intermixture of blood, from the original tribe inhabiting the borders of Lake Huron: he
was also one who retained most of the habits, and the only one who reared his family in
the use of the language, of his forefathers, the younger inhabitants of the village now
speaking the French language only and not understanding their own. After a successful and
arduous chace [sic] on snow shows [sic] of 3 elks, on the south side of the
river, he was attacked by a pleurisy, and passing three days in the woods unassisted,
disease had taken firm hold of him, so that a few days sickness carried him off at
57, yet in the prime of life.
It is not beyond the bounds of possibility that this obituary with its
reference to the borders of Lake Huron and its intimations of a dying Huron
culture, provided part of the impetus for Kidds visit to Lorette in May, 1829 or,
indeed, part of the inspiration for The Huron Chief itself.
Where are our Chiefs of old? . . . OSSIAN The epigraph to
The Huron Chief and Other Poems is adapted from a note to Croma: A
Poem, one of the Ossianic Fragments . . . first published by James Macpherson
(1736-1796) in 1760. The note purports to translate an extempore composition
dating from a thousand years later than Ossian, the legendary Gaelic warrior
and bard who is supposed to have lived in Ireland in the third century. A
description of night set in northern Scotland, the extempore
composition concludes with a contribution from . . . a chief, who was a poet
himself. After a description of night turning to day, the chief provides what could
almost be the programme for The Huron Chief (though note that Kidd substituted
Heroes for the Kings of the Chiefs second sentence): Where
are our chiefs of old? Where our kings of mighty name? The fields of their battles are
silent. Scarce their mossy tombs remain. We shall also be forgot. This lofty house shall
fall. Our sons shall not behold the ruins in grass. They shall ask of the aged,
Where stood the walls of our fathers? Raise the song and strike the harp; send
round the shells of joy. Suspend a hundred tapers on high. Youths and maids begin the
dance. Let some grey bard be near me to tell the deeds of other times; of kings renowned
in our land, of chiefs we behold no more. Thus let the night pass until morning shall
appear in our halls. Then let the bow be at hand, the dogs, the youths of the chase. We
shall ascend the hill with day; and awake the deer.
Kidds poems are alliteratively dedicated to Thomas Moore
(1779-1852), the Irish-born poet whose work was renowned in the early nineteenth-century
for its musicality, its exoticism and its patriotism, as well as for its truculent
attitude to hypocritical authority on both sides of the Atlantic, particularly in Britain
and the United States. Most famous perhaps for his Irish Melodies (1807-1835), the
series of volumes that established his reputation as Irelands most POPULAR . .
. POWERFUL, AND PATRIOTIC POET, Moore was also well-known for the oriental tales of Lalla
Rookh (see the note to Preface, 10-11 below, and also Qs letter in Appendix A),
and, to a lesser extent for The Twopenny Post-Bag (1813), a collection of satires
directed at George, the Prince of Wales (later George IV), and for Loves of Angels (1823),
a long poem treating the loves of three fallen angels for mortal women. He was also famous
for his Life of his friend Lord Byron (1830), a work that was receiving much
coverage in the Canadian popular press at the time of the publication of The Huron
Chief. As several of the following notes make clear, Moores impact on Kidd is
especially evident in the debt of The Huron Chief to Poems Relating to America, a
series of poems (originally published in 1806 as part of the collection entitled Odes
and Epistles) in which Moore, like his ARDENT ADMIRER, finds much to
criticize in American society and much to praise in the North American landscape.
BYRON George Gordon, Lord Byron
(1788-1824), was both popular and notorious in Kidds day. His poems (Kidd refers
only to Childe Harold [see Preface, 10], but other works such as the Hebrew
Melodies , Manfred  and Don Juan [1819-1824] also lie behind
The Huron Chief) were widely read on both sides of the Atlantic and exercised a
considerable influence on Colonial Canadian poetry. As intimated in the Introduction pp.
xiii, Byrons work and life were also subjected to moral censure both before and
after his death (of fever, as he was going to join the fight for Greek independence from
the Ottoman empire).
||cull Gather, collect.
Helicon The mountain in Greece that
is regarded as the home of the muses. Kidds reference to banks indicates
that he may have been thinking of Hippocrene and Aganippe, the sacred springs that rose on
baccalia Latin: a kind of laurel abounding in berries.
A crown of laurel is traditionally bestowed on poets as a sign of distinction. (C.R.S.)
Pliny . . . Vesuvius Pliny
the Elder (A.D. c. 23-79) was a Roman naturalist who died of asphixiation near Vesuvius,
the volcano in southern Italy where he had gone to investigate the eruption that buried
Pompeii and other towns.
the Canadas The Constitutional Act
of 1791 divided the old province of Quebec into Lower Canada (corresponding roughly to
present-day Quebec) and Upper Canada (corresponding roughly to present-day Ontario).
||surge A large wave; a great rolling swell of water.
In Childe Harolds Pilgrimages (1812-1818)
and Lalla Rookh (1817) the protagonists are both travellersChilde Harold in
Europe and Lalla Rookh in the near East. But while Byrons hero travels extensively
by boat (see, for example, I, xiiff.), Moores heroine travels by land and only
dreams, in The Fire Worshippers, that she was sailing on [the] Eastern
Ocean, where the sea-gypsies . . . enjoy a perpetual summer in wandering from isle to isle
. . . Kidd seems to be using magnificent Gondolas in a general sense to
mean ornate and exotic vessels.
dramatic poem Byrons Manfred
is subtitled A Dramatic Poem, as is Camala in The Poems of
||the days of the American Revolution 1775-1783.
MOHICANS, . . . NARAGANSETTS . . . DELAWARES
These three tribes, all of the Algonquian linguistic stock, were
among the original inhabitants of the Northeastern United States. By Kidds day they
were either nearly or totally extinct: the Mohegans, who had numbered over two thousand in
the middle of the seventeenth century, had practically disappeared by the early nineteenth
century; the Narragansetts, who had numbered some five thousand in 1674, had dwindled to
eighty in 1832; and the Delawares, who were also once a powerful tribe, had suffered a
similar fateindeed, one remnant of them, the survivors of a group that had been
converted to Christianity by Moravian missionaries, fled to Ontario after their settlement
at Gnadenhutten was brutally attacked by white American freemen in 1782. James
Fenimore Coopers The Last of the Mohicans (1826) is the most famous literary
treatment of the fate that befell the Indians who were driven by the demands of white
settlement from their homes and hunting-grounds. . . .
will scarcely leave a memorial Cf.
Tudor, Letters pp. 279-280; the unfortunate race [The Indians] . . . is
mouldering away, and at no remote period will have no existence but in history. . . . So
many tribes and nations have disappeared, leaving no other than . . . miserable vestiges,
so that they and their language have become extinct. . . . Klinck (p. 502) argues
that the Letters of William Tudor (1779-1817), the Massachusetts businessman,
legislator and man of letters who founded and first edited (1815-1817) the North
American Review, lie centrally in . . . the background of the Mountain-Skenandow
symbolism in The Huron Chief, and it is certainly true that Tudors
Letter XII On the Past, Present, and Future State of the Indians (pp. 279-305)
embodies attitudes similar to those in Kidds Preface and poem. It is doubtful,
however, that Kidd would have agreed with Tudors claim that The policy of the
federal government [of the United States] has been, from the beginning, influenced by
humane views towards the natives. . . (p. 295).
the once mighty rulers of the vast American
regions Cf. Tudor, Letters, p. 280: . . . the original
possessors of this magnificent country. . . .
Many of the Indian Tribes have emigrated into Canada
. . . Following the American Revolution, numbers of Mohawks and Cayugas (tribes that
remained strongly loyal to Britain), as well as smaller groups from other tribes, settled
in Ontario near Brantford and the Bay of Quinte (C.R.S.); see also the note to 1. 26,
Polyphemus The cyclops, or one-eyed
giant, in Homers Odyssey who lived on an island (usually identified with
Sicily) and near a mountain (Mount Aetna). He imprisoned Ulysses and his companions in his
cave and devoured some of them. The rest blinded him when he was in a drunken torpor and
made their escape. For the identification of Polyphemus with Archdeacon George Jehoshaphat
Mountain (the dangerous Mountain of Preface, 40-44), the superintendent of
Kidds divinity studies, see the Introduction, pp. xi and xiii. See also the
Introduction, pp. xxxii and xxxvii for a discussion of the fate of the lines
addressed to the Rev. Polyphemus (Preface, 43), lines which do not in fact appear
amongst the miscellaneous poemsin The Huron Chief volume.
cloud-capped brows of a dangerous Mountain . . .
poetic feeling See Longmore, Lord Byron, Tales, p.
292: LORD BYRON was essentially a Poet in every meaning of the word. In the journal
of his life, we find him during the days of his boyhood wandering along the hills of
Scotia, indulging his dawning intellect in all the feelings which her cloud-capt
mountains, and romantic glens could draw forth. Longmores essay on Byron also
appeared in the Canadian Magazine in July, 1824.
||liberal Generous; open-hearted.
Tales and Traditions of the Indians
As mentioned in the Introduction, p. xii, this volume was never published; however, an
excerpt From the unpublished manuscripts of ADAM KIDD, ESQ., Author of the
Huron Chief entitled RED JACKET. The Celebrated Indian Chief did
appear in the Kingston Chronicle for March 26, 1831, as well as in other Canadian
local descriptions . . .
Kidds catalogue of the majestic scenery of the Canadas
reveals the influence of the nearly-ubiquitous aesthetic of the sublime in its approving
emphasis on the wilder, larger and more irregular features of the country.
There is no evidence that The Huron Chief was
translated into any Indian languages. As discussed in the earlier note to the title of the
poem, SAWENNOWANE is probably Kidds transcription of the Huron name of
Nicholas Vincent Tsaouenhohi (or Tsawenhoni or Isawanhonhi), who was the head Chief of the
Hurons at Jeune Lorette from 1811 to his death in 1844.
Hurons banks The banks of
Lake Huron, bounded on the north and east by present day Ontario and on the west by
Michigan. Compare Kidds opening lines with Moore, To the Honourable W.R.
Spencer from Buffalo, Upon Lake Erie (in Poems Relating to America), 117:
. . . as wandring upon Eries shore. . . .
||Nor heard a sound, save . . . / . . . birds
that tapped the hollow tree Cf. Moore, Ballad Stanzas (in
Poems Relating to America), 7-8: . . . I heard not a sound / But the
woodpecker tapping the hollow beech-tree. Moores Ballad Stanzas,
with their emphasis on rural peace and innocept love in a North American (probably
Canadian) environment, lie very much in the background of the opening stanzas of The
Huron Chief. For Kidds hollow tree, however, see also the second
paragraph of the note to 1. 238f., below. In Gertrude of Wyoming or the Pennsylvanian
Cottage (1809), I, xxn. Thomas Campbell glosses the dove as an Indian emblem of
||owlets Diminutive of owls; small owls or young
Edens daughters In this
phrase and the ensuing lines, Kidd not only indicates an awareness of the etymological
roots of Eden in the Hebrew word for pleasure or delight but also mixes Biblical
terminology with a conception of history deriving from the Greek myth of an original
golden race. See H.N. Fairchilds The Noble Savage: a Study in
Romantic Naturalism (1928) for the concept of the Golden Age as a component and
concomitant of the notion of the Noble Savage which is so central to Kidds poem.
great Spirit In an essay On
the Religion of the Indian Tribes of North America in Buchanans Sketches,
S.F. Jarvis observes that North American Indians . . . acknowledge one Supreme
Being, whom they denominate the Great Spirit, or the Master of Life. . . .
All agree that . . . the Great Spirit . . . is the master, creator, and governor of the
world (p. 227). See also Buchanan, Sketches, pp. 19, 20, 38, 62 and 68 for
references to the Great Spirit.
Cf. The Appendix on The Five Nations in
Buchanans Sketches, pp. 335-336 where the third edition (1755) of The
History of the Five Indian Nations of Canada (first published in 1727) by Cadwallader
Colden (1688-1776) is quoted as follows: The Five Nations consist of so many
tribes or nations joined together, without any superiority of the one over the other. . .
. They are known by the names of Mohawks, Oneydoes, Onondagas, Cayugas and Sennekas. Each
of these nations is again divided into three tribes or families, who distinguish
themselves by three different anns or ensigns; the Tortoise, the Bear, and the Wolf; and
the Sachems, or old men of these families put their ensign or marks of their family to
every public paper when they sign it. . . . The Five Nations think themselves superior to
the rest of mankind, and call themselves Ongue-honwe; that is, men surpassing all
others. The five confederated nations (who became the Six Nations in the
early eighteenth century through the addition of the Tuscarora) are also known as the
Iroquois Confederacy or the Iroquois League. A scholar and political leader in New York in
the first half of the eighteenth century, Cadwallader Colden was one of the earliest
students of the Five Nations.
Council-fire The fire around which
the Indians assembled for consultation and deliberation. Cf. Buchanan, Sketches, p.
23 (Buchanan is quoting the Rev. Heckewelder; see note to 1. 65n., below): . . .
where the council fire was yet burning bright, [the white men] put it out, and
extinguished it with our own blood. . . . Buchanan gives the act of extinguishing
the council fire a figurative sense in a note to this passage: Putting the fire
out: Murdering them or their people, where they assemble for pacific purposes, where
treaties are held, &c.
fairy Enchanted; illusory. Cf.
Moore, The Fire-Worshippers, Lalla Rookh, III, 104-106: Like
those who . . . discover / In the lone deep some fairy shore, / Where mortal never trod
before. . . .
||hallow Sanctify; reverence.
roe A poeticism: Kidd is referring,
not to the smaller European and Asian roe deer, but to the North American white-tailed
deer. See also his references at l. 467 to the musk-roe and 1. 594 to the
bounding roe. (C.R.S.)
Sumach A plant native to North
America, the sumach turns a brilliant red in the fall but is, of course, green in the
spring and summer. Cf. Moore, Ballad Stanzas (in Poems Relating to America),
13: By the shade of yon sumach, whose red berry dips. . . .
||laving Bathing, washing.
||transport Ecstasy, rapture.
MORANKA No information about an
Indian of this name has yet come to light. It is possible that the name is an invention of
Kiddsan adaptation, perhaps, of MOKANNA, the
Prophet-Chief of dazzling brow in the opening of Lalla Rookh,
the Spirit See the note to 1. 21 of
||Sol Latin, and a poeticism: the sun.
gush of the fountain Cf. Moore,
Ballad Stanzas (in Poems Relating to America), 14: In the gush of
the fountain, how sweet to recline. . .
John Gottlieb Ernestus Heckewelder (1743-1823) was a
Moravian missionary who worked to bring his Churchs particular strain of practical,
subjective, democratic and fundamentally Scriptural Christianity to the Delawares and
Mohegans. His attachment to these tribes, and his antagonism to their traditional enemies,
the Iroquois, can be strongly felt in his Account of the History, Manners, and Customs
of the Indian Nations Who Once Inhabited Pennsylvania (1819) and A Narrative of the
Mission of the United Brethren Among the Delaware and Mohegan Indians (1820). Although
Kidd may, as Klinck suggests (p. 501), have taken this note and other materials directly
from Heckewelder, there is a greater likelihood that his quotations from the Moravian
missionary were gleaned from Buchanan, who is . . . copious in [his] extracts from
the Rev. Authors pages (p. xn.) in his Sketches . . .; indeed, Buchanan
begins his chapter on Indian Relations of the Conduct of the Europeans towards
Them with the following quotation from Heckewelders Account . . . (p.
76): Long and dismal, says the reverend author whose work I have so often alluded
to, are the complaints which the Indians make of European ingratitude and injustice. They
love to repeat them, and always do it with the eloquence of nature, aided by an energetic
and comprehensive language, which our polished idioms cannot imitate. Often I have
listened to these descriptions of their hard sufferings, until I felt ashamed of being a white
man (p. 18).
Our wigwams are plundered, our homes are no more
Cf. Moore, The Fire-Worshippers, Lalla rookh, III, 54: Her throne
had fallnher pride was crushd / Her sons were willing slaves, nor
blushd, / In their own land,no more their own. . . .
shivered Broken or split in small
fragments. Cf. Byron, Don Juan, I, xxxvi: . . . all his household gods lay
shiverd around him. . . .
pyre A heap of inflammable
materials, usually for the purpose of burning a dead body.
Cf. Moore, To the Lady Charlotte Rawdon, From the
Banks of the St. Lawrence (in Poems Relating to America), 69f.: . . .
oft my flight I take / Over Hurons lucid lake . . . the light canoe, / . . .
reflected . . . / Looks as if it hung in air.
Æolus In Homers Odyssey Aeolus
is a friend of the gods who gives Ulysses a leather bag containing the winds that would
have impeded his voyage. On account of this, Aeolus came to be regarded by the Greeks and
Romans as the god of the winds. He was supposed to have kept the winds in a cave on the
to obtrude To thrust (ones
self) prominently forward without solicitation: to intrude.
The bliss of tearsoft felt like joy
This is a commonplace paradox of the literature of sensibility, and one which Kidd
reiterates in various formulations later in the poem, for example in 11. 311, 1101-1106
and 1203-1204. (C.R.S.)
A hoary Chief Skenandow; see the
notes to the title and 11. 142n. and 190n. If Kidds Skenandow can be identified at
least in part with the Oneida chief of the same name who died in 1816 at the age of a
hundred and twenty, then he can be seen as hoary in two senses: his hair is
presumably grey or white (the literal meaning of hoary) and he is from a
remote period in the past (the figurative meaning of the term). That Skenandows
speech sounds like a whisper of an angel (1. 136) may suggest that the
narrator is encountering the spirit of the dead chief, or just an old man.
Chieftain . . . mountain See
the Introduction, p. xvii for a discussion of the mountain/Mountain opposition in The
Klinck (p. 500) cites the Utica Patriot for
March 19, 1816, as quoted by William W. Campbell, The Border Warfare of New York,
During the Revolution; or The Annals of Tryon County. (1849), pp. 265-267, as the
source for the speech given in this note. But it is more likely that Kidd found the speech
in Buchanan, Sketches, p. 178: A distinguished Oneida Chief named Skenandou,
having yielded to the teaching of his minister, (the Rev. Mr. [Samuel] Kirkland,) and
lived a reformed man for fifty years, said, in his 120th year, just before he died [on
March 11, 1816; Klinck, p. 500], I am an aged hemlock. The winds of one
hundred years have whistled through my branches. I am dead at the top.
SireIm not the indians foe Cf.
Campbell, Gertrude of Wyoming, I, xv: Christian! I am the foeman of thy foe
Whereas Kidds line is spoken by the narrator to the Huron Chief, Campbells is
spoken by an enemy of the Hurons to a white settlera fact that points to the very
different conception of the Huron in The Huron Chief and Gertrude of Wyoming;
see also the note to l. 1413, below.
||verdure Green vegetation.
mutual converse Milton frequently
employs the word mutual in describing Adam and Eve before the fall; see for
example, Paradise Lost, IV, 727-728 (. . . our mutual help / And mutual love
) and, by way of contrast, IX, 1187 (. . . in mutual accusation . . .). At the
close of To Thomas Hume, Esq., M.D., From the city of Washington (in Poems
Relating to America), 87f. Moore sings the praises of converse with a
Candour Openness, frankness,
kindliness; freedom from prejudice or malice. Cf. l. 1381 below.
SKENANDOW Klinck (p. 500)
conjectures the existence of an actual Huron or Wyandot chief called Skenandow who was
. . . a descendant of the Huron refugees from Iroquois persecution who stayed in the
West instead of finding shelter at Lorette, near Quebec city. While it is just
possible that such a chief existed and that Kidd met him, see the notes to 11. 134 and
142n. above for evidence pointing to the likelihood that Kidd intended the reader to
associate his Huron chief with Skenandoa (c. 1696-1816), the distinguished Oneida
Chief who could well be said to have been . . . known afar, / When first the
white man felt the rage, / Of Indians, in defensive war (190-192).
plaintive Mournful; expressive
The maid, revered Ta-poo-ka;
see the note to l. 238, below.
Zephyr In Greek mythology,
Zephyrus or Zephyr was the personification of the west wind.
freedom Frankness, openness.
SIOUX The presence of a Sioux
warrior in Southwestern Ontario seems anomalous. The Sioux were located west of the
Mississippi River, in the Western plains regions of Canada and the United States. Kidd may
have been misled by the appearance of the Sioux in a list containing several eastern
Indian tribes in Buchanan, Sketches, p. 156 or he may have read in George
Proctors (or George Longmores) Lucubrations of Humphrey Ravelin, Esq. (1823;
see the note to l. 1317n., below) that the Sieues lived . . . on the
shores of Lake Huron (p. 350). A third possibility is that Kidd was misled by the
fact that a common Huron family name at Lorette was (and is) Sioui; indeed, Tehariolina, La
Nation Huronne, p. 79, reproduces an 1825 lithograph of three Chiefs from Jeune
Lorette, one of whom is Elie Sioui (another is Nicholas Vincent Tsaouenhohi). It is
notable that his metre here and elsewhere in the poem (ll. 949, 1107, 1398 and 1446)
apportions two syllables to the word Sioux, as do the alternative spellings of
Sieues or Sieu. It should also be noted that the Huron family name
Sioui carries three syllables.
TA-POO-KA The story of the love of
the Sioux warrior Alkwanwaugh (see note to 1. 667, below)for the maiden Ta-poo-ka is very
likely based on an anecdote drawn from Henry Rowe Schoolcrafts Narrative Journal
of Travels . . . from Detroit through the Great Chain of American Lakes to the
Sources of the Mississippi River (1821), p. 330 and entitled Constancy of an
Indian Girl in Buchanans Sketches, pp. 179-180: In passing
thro Lake Pepin our interpreter pointed out to us a high precipice . . . from which
an Indian girl, of the Sioux nation, had, many years ago, precipitated herself in a fit of
disappointed love. She had given her heart, it appears, to a young chief of her own tribe,
who was very much attached to her, but the alliance was opposed by her parents, who wished
her to marry an old chief [Kidds aged Chief (285)], renowned for his
wisdom and influence in the nation. As the union was insisted upon, and no other way
appearing to avoid it, she determined to sacrifice her life in preference to a violation
of her former vow; and while the preparations for the marriage feast were going forward,
she left her fathers cabin [She from her fathers cabin stole . .
., l. 290], without exciting suspicion, and before she could be overtaken threw
herself from an awful precipice, and was instantly dashed to a thousand pieces. Such an
instance of sentiment is rarely to be met with among barbarians, and should redeem the
name of this noble-minded girl from oblivion. It was Oo-la-i-ta. (It may also be
observed that such an instance of sentiment is probably the product of acculturation and,
in any case, would be more likely to apply to a patrilineal Sioux than to a matrilineal
Iroquoian group; Huron parents could suggest but would not insist upon a marriage.)
The fact that Kidds maiden is called Ta-poo-ka and, in a
later note (821n.) described as a touchstone for . . . everything that was
beautiful.She was the idol of the Nationevery young heart worshipped
her, may provide grounds for associating her with the beautiful Tatoka
who has many lovers but place[s] her affections upon a youth
called Karkapaha (of whom her father initially disapproves because he has performed
no valiant deeds in war) in The Mountain of Little Spirits, a
cognate of the tale in Schoolcraft that Kidd could have encountered in James Athearn
Jones, Tales of an Indian Camp (1829), which was reprinted in Traditions of the
North American Indians (1830), II, 207-222. As its title suggests, The Mountain
of Little Spirits also contains a supernatural element, as do The
Maidens Rock (II, 131-140) and The Lake of the White Canoe (III,
1-31), two other cognate legends in Tales of an Indian Camp which may be behind the
Ta-poo-ka story in The Huron Chief. The Maids Rock is essentially
the same tale as Schoolcrafts Constancy of an Indian Girl, but its
heroine is named Winona and she sings a Dirge in loosened verse
before plunging to her death from a precipice beside Lake Pepin. The Lake of the
White Canoe is largely given over to a rhythmical tale of the chief of the
Roanokes (III, 9) concerning two star-crossed lovers named Pequida . . .
/ The fairest of the fair and Annawan, the Brave (III, 12) who enter the
spint world and haunt the lake from which the tale derives its name. In his Introduction
to the second edition of his work, Traditions of the North American Indians, I,
xxv, Jones notes that the tradition behind The Lake of the White Canoe
furnished Thomas Moore with the subject of the ballad entitled The Lake of the
dismal Swamp in Odes and Epistles (1806).
It is worth noting that in Charles Sangsters The
Angel Guest and Other Poems, ed. Frank Tierney (1977), pp. 57-59 there is a poem
enttled Tapooka which contains a probable echo of The Huron Chief 262-264
(. . . Great Chiefs assembled from afar, / Who, having to MANITTO prayed, /
Salute the beauteous bridal-star): Great Chiefs from the wilds afar / .
. . have prayed to Manitou freely / And saluted the Bridal Star (p. 58). Both Kidd
(l. 946) and Sangster refer to Ta-poo-ka as the loved. It is also worth noting
that Sangsters poem, which ends with The maid and her brave Sioux lover /
Returned from the Spirit-Isle in a white canoe (p. 59), appears in both
Edward Hartley Dewarts Selections from Canadian Poets (1864), pp. 243-246 and
William Douw Lighthalls Songs of Great Dominion (1889) pp. 45-48 as
TaapookaaA Huron Legend. As Charles R. Steele notes, the legend of the
white canoe is also treated in the title poems of Alan Sullivans The White Canoe
and Other Verse (1891) and James D. Edgars The White Stone Canoe. A Legend of
the Ottawas (1885).
jubilee An occasion for joyful
celebration or general rejoicing.
|263 and n.
to MANITTO prayed Kidds note
on the Manitto repeats almost verbatim a passage quoted in Buchanans Sketches, p.
231 from the History of the Mission of the United Brethren among the Indians in North
America (1794), p. 39 by George Henry Loskiel (1740-1814), another Moravian
missionary. The passage continues: When they perform a solemn sacrifice, a manitto,
or a head as large as life, is put upon a pole in the middle of the house. But they
understand by the word manitto, every being to which an offering is made,
especially all good spirits. . . . The manittoes are also considered as tutelar
spirits. Buchanan, Sketches, p. 233 also quotes the description of the household god
from the Voyages from Montreal Through the Continent of North America (1801), pp.
c-ci by Alexander Mackenzie (1764-1820), the Scottish-born fur-trader and explorer of the
Canadian North and West, that constitutes the second part of Kidds note.
bridal star Probably Venus,
commonly known as the evening or morning star and traditionally associated with love and
marriage (see for example, Milton, Paradise Lost, VIII, 5 19-520: . . . bid
haste the Evning Star . . . to light the bridal Lamp).
fire-flies See the note to l. 911,
cabin While Indians are often
imagined as living in wigwams, the Hurons lived in rectangular long-houses and, by the
nineteenth century, had begun to inhabit single family dwellings that could well have been
described as cabins. (C.R.S.)
festive pleasures, unconfined Cf.
Byron, Childe Harolds Pilgrimage, III, xii: On with the dance! let joy
be unconfined; / No sleep till morn, when Youth and Pleasure meet. . . .
spirit-bride See the note to 1.
throbs Violent pulsations of the
Europes pomp . . . groves of pine
Cf. Moore, To the Lady Charlotte Rawdon, From the Banks of the St. Lawrence
(in Poems Relating to America), 37-39: . . . there are miracles, which man, /
Cagd in the bounds of Europes pigmy span, / Can scarcely dream of. . . .
poor GOLDSMITH Oliver Goldsmith (c.
1730-1774), the Irish-born author whose poem The Traveller, or a Prospect of Society (1764)
contains the lines: . . . press the bashful stranger to his food / And learn the
luxury of doing good (21-22).
These lines present a conventional Rousseauistic (and
Romantic) conception of the corrupting effect of artifice and civilization on the natural
man and the natural world. (C.R.S.)
Noble . . . Charter-school
Under the auspices of the Charter Society (founded in 1733), schools were established in
Ireland to provide Protestant education for the Catholic poor. Either Kidd is confused in
thinking that Charter Schools were establishments for the children of the aristocratic and
wealthy or he means the passage as an indictment of the members of the Charter
Societythose who belong to the Charter-school of thought. It is also
possible that Kidd had in mind here those chartered companies (such as the Hudsons
Bay Company) and their constituent members which were given monopolies for trade or
colonization in areas of North America and elsewhere, and which exercised wide powers over
the inhabitants of those areas. Still anotherand perhaps most
likelypossibility is that Kidd was thinking of the Schools of the Royal Institution
for the Advancement of Learning that were established by Royal Charter in 1801 by Bishop
Jacob Mountain. The Royal Grammar Schools in Quebec and Montreal were among those
supervised by the Royal Institution, as were the so-called National Schoolsschools
founded under the auspices of the National Society for the Education of the Poor in the
Principles of the Established Church. One of the trustees of the Royal Institution was
Charles James Stewart, a son of the Earl of Galloway (and thus a noble), who
was Bishop of Quebec from 1826 to 1837.
mutual converse See the note
to l. 181, above.
Kidds note is taken from Buchanans account
in Sketches, pp. 26-32 of a visit in 1819 to the house of Miss Brandt
and her brother (the descendants of Joseph Brant [1747-1807] the famous Mohawk chief) in
Upper Canada. After the observations that Kidd quotes almost verbatim, Buchanan continues:
. . . as the Indian never makes a show of civility, but when prompted by a genuine
feeling, so he thinks others are actuated by similar candour. I really feel ashamed when I
consider how severe a rebuke this carries with it to us who boast of civilization, but who
are so much carried away by the general insincerity of expression pervading all ranks,
that few indeed are to be found who speak just what they wish or know. This duplicity is
the effect of what is termed a high state of refinement (pp. 30-31).
spicy clime Sweet-scented place,
aromatic region, with a possible allusion to the spicy Forest and spicy
Shrub of Eden in Milton, Paradise Lost V, 298 and VIII, 517.
glass of time An hour-glass for the
measurement of time; a clock.
Hail, hail to the Chieftain Cf. Sir
Walter Scott, The Lady of the Lake, II, xix, i: Hail to the Chief who in
darkles Shows itself darkly,
possibly with anger or scorn. Cf. Byron, Don Juan, VI, ci: . . . . her proud
brows blue veins [began] to swell and darkle.
|427 and n.
This quotation from Cadwallader Coldens History
of the Five Nations of Canada (see the note to 1. 22n., above) appears in Buchanan, Sketches,
downy hilly (a down is a grassy
hill), and also, perhaps, feathery soft (down being, of course, the soft underplumage of a
Ulysses . . . Calypso Kidd
here conflates two characters and episodes from Homers Odyssey: on the island
of Aeaea, the enchantress Circe makes Ulysses half forget his native home on
Ithaca; on the island of Ogygia, the enchantress Calypso, despite his resistance to her
blandishments, detains him for seven years. (C.R.S.)
polished Polite, refined, cultured.
Horn As the note to l. 1275 makes
clear, a rattle: . . . the Chief who conducted the ceremony, [held] in his hand a
horn filled with small pebbles . . . See the note to l. 1275, below.
KEMANA No reference has yet been
discovered to an Indian woman of this name.
Kidd condenses the fourth stanza of Horace, Odes,
II, xii (11. 13-16):
me dulcis dominae Musa Licymniae
cantus, me voluit dicere lucidum
fulgentes oculos et bene mutuis
fidum pectus amoribus. . . .
C.E. Bennett in Horace: the Odes and Epodes, p. 135 translates this stanza as
follows: Me the Muse has bidden to celebrate the sweet singing of Mistress Licymnia,
her brightly flashing eyes, and her heart right faithful in mutual love. . . . One
of the finest Roman poets, Horace (65-8 B.C.) dedicated the first three books of
his Odes to . . . his friend Maecenas, the confidential advisor
to Octavian, and a generous patron of literature (ibid., p. viii). Licymnia
is Horaces pseudonym for Terentia, the wife of Maecenas.
my woes seem quite forgot Cf.
The Fire-Worshippers, Lalla Rookh, III, 313-315: If aught could
make this soul forget / The bond to which its seal is set, / Twould be those
eyes. . . .
SLIEVEGALLIN Klinck (pp. 495-496)
calls attention to the reference to Slievegallion (a mountain with an altitude of 1,735
feet) in The Hibernian Solitary, a poem which appears towards the end of The
Huron Chief and Other Poems:
When . . . I strayed, reckless of earth-born caves,
Oer the proud summit of Slievegallin fair
Mountain renowned in songby me adored
I cast my eye towrds that loved Cot below
Home of my childhoodseat of blissful hours:
But now that homes no more, nor inmates dear,
Nor blissful hoursfor gones my every joy!
Klinck comments of Kidds childhood: He had lived, we learn from
his notes (pp. 200 and 211), in the romantic townland [or village] of Tullinagee,
in the parish of Desertlyn, near Moneymore, in the southern part of the county of Deny
[Londonderry, in what is now Northern Ireland]. . . . In this setting his poetic feeling
had first been stirred. Kidd used the name Slievegallin as a nom de plume for
some letters printed in the Montreal press in 1829 (see Appendix C), and for various poems
published in the Quebec Mercury (October 25, November 22, December 27, 1822,
January 10, 1823, August 23, 1825), in the Canadian Courant (May 21, August 6 and
August 10, 1825) and in the Canadian Spectator (September 10, 1825). The Bard
of Slievegallin. A Fragment, signed A.K., appeared in the Canadian Spectator for
July 2, 1825. See also the Canadian Freeman for September 9, 1828 and the Quebec
Mercury for July 7, 1831 for explicit links between Kidd and Slievegallin.
mantled braes Covered slopes. Cf.
The Hibernian Solitary, The Huron Chief, and Other Poems, p. 209 where
Kidd describes the slopes of Slievegallin as daisied banks.
For discussions of this stanza, see Klinck, pp. 496-498
and Introduction, pp. xiii-xiv.
I hate all whining cant Cf. Moore,
To the Lord Viscount Forbes, From the City of Washington (in Poems Relating
to America), 129: . . . how I hate thy cant! Moore also anticipates Kidd
by rhyming cant with rant in the ensuing line.
By hill, by dale, by grot, or fountain
Cf. Longmore, Tecumthé, in Tales, p. 138: And all around, hill,
valley, bower, and grot. . . .
weighing or balancing one thing against another; equivocation (?).
Muse . . . MNEMOSYNE
In Greek mythology, Mnemosyne is the personification of memory and the mother of the
Muses, the goddesses of literature and the arts and, by extension, the sources of
inspiration for writers and artists. A Titaness (rather than a Persian Nymph),
Mnemosyne brought forth the Muses, not to Jupiter (a Roman god), but to Zeus.
jetty Black, dark. See also the
note to l. 1555, below.
soul . . . shining through
The idea of the eyes as windows of the soul goes back at least to the middle of the
fourteenth century. (C.R.S.)
Kidd is quoting verbatim from Mackenzies
description of the Knisteneaux [Cree] women of the Canadian Northwest in his Voyages,
harp As l. 563 indicates,
Kiddwho obviously considered himself part of the Irish bardic traditionemploys
harp here in its traditional (and resonantly Irish) association with poetry. See also
Introduction, p. xxxix, n. 4.
moulder Decay, rot.
unfurled Unrolled, unfolded.
perchance Possibly, maybe.
oak . . . decay See the note
to l. 142n..
in my boy-hoods cheerful hour, I ye loved to
stray Cf. Longmore, Tecumthté, in Tales, p. 88: Recalling
pastimes, when I lovd to stray / In youths diversion. . . .
In his Examples of the Knisteneaux and Algonquin
Tongues, Voyages, p. cviii Mackenzie gives the Algonquin word for squirrel
as Otchi ta mou.
Cf. Moore, The Fire-Worshippers, Lalla
Rookh, III, 279-280 (. . . from childhoods hour, / Ive seen my
fondest hopes decay . . .) for this and the two preceding stanzas.
See Henry Home, Lord Kaimes (1696-1782), Sketches
of the History of Man (1778; rpt. 1968), 150: Upon the whole, it is computed by
able writers, that the present inhabitants of America amount not to a twentieth part of
those who existed when that continent was discovered by Columbus. This decay is ascribed
to the intemperate use of spirits, and to the small-pox, both of them introduced by the
Europeans. See also Bartholomew de Las Casas (1474-1566), The Spanish Colonie
(1552; trans. 1583; rpt. 1966), seg. A2v-r: . . in y space of y said 40
yeeres . . . the Spaniards doen to death . . . more than twelve Millions of soules, men,
women, and children. And I verilie do believe ... that there are dead more than fifteen
Millions of soules; seg. Ar: They made certayne Gibbets . . .
every one enough for thirteane, in honour of our Saviour and his twelve Apostles . .
.; A4v: . . . they taught their houndes, fierce dogs, to tear them
in pieces . . .; and B4v for the story of the Cuban Indian (which Kidd
translates into dialogue form) who decided . . . that hee would not go to heaven,
but that hee would go to hell, to the ende, not to come in the place where such people
[Spaniardes] should be . . . Another translation (by J[ohn] P[hillips]) of the work
of de Las Casas (a Dominican friar known as the Apostle of the Indians)
appeared in 1656 as The Tears of the Indians . . .; it contains graphic
illustrations of the cruelties perpetrated by the Spanish on the Indians. The Corsini
mentioned at the end of Kidds note is probably Filipo Corsini, who published an
Italian translation of a history of Mexico during the colonial period by Antonio de Sulis
y Rivadeneyra (1610-1686): Istoria della conquista del Mexico . . . (1783).
prescribe Decide; ordain.
Sire A respectful title used
in addressing a king or other sovereign prince, here an Indian chief.
vesper-bell The bell that summons
worshippers to evening service (vespers). Cf. Byron, Don Juan, III, cii-cviii for a
(facetious) paean to twilight complete with vesper bell that may have
influenced this portion of The Huron Chief.
first repenting . . . In
this stanza Kidd appears to be conflating events that occur in the last three books of
Miltons Paradise Lost where, after the fall, Adam confides to Eve his
thoughts and plans, receives through the Archangel Michael a vision of the future and
feels to an extent . . . the balm of sweet relief, / When rescued from his load of
grief. Cf. Moore, To the Lady Charlotte Rawdon, From the Banks of the St.
Lawrence (in Poems Relating to America), 34-36: . . . where the first
sinful pair / For consolation might have weeping trod, / When banishd from the
garden of their God. Kidds vision here, as elsewhere in The Huron Chief,
is post-Edenic. (C.R.S.)
The opening clause of this note (They generally
make feasts and sacrifices . . . ) summarizes the opening sentences of a paragraph
in Mackenzies Voyages, pp. xcix-c. Most of the remainder of the paragraph
is quoted verbatim by Kidd. Buchanan, Sketches, p. 245 quotes the same passage
from Voyages, but includes Mackenzies reference (significantly omitted by
Kidd) to sacrifices by the Knisteneaux Indians of dogs, [preferably] . . . very fat
. . . milk-white . . . ones.
Natures God In this
phrase and the surrounding passage, Kidd (perhaps with an eye on some common deistic
assumptions) asserts a traditional, Humanistic link between Creator and Creation, a link
which makes possible the methodology of ascent and revelation described in ll. 644-648.
Cf. Pope, An Essay on Man, IV, 327-340:
See! the sole bliss Heavn could on thee bestow;
Which who but feels can taste, but thinks can know:
Yet poor with fortune, and with learning blind,
The bad must miss; the good, untaught, will find;
Slave to no sect, who takes no private road,
But looks thro Nature, up to Natures God;
Pursues that Chain which links th immense design,
Joins heavn and earth, and mortal and divine;
Sees, that no being any bliss can know,
But touches some above, and some below;
Learns, from this union of the rising Whole,
The first, last purpose of the human soul;
And knows where Faith, Law, Morals, all began,
All end, in LOVE of GOD, and LOVE of MAN.
Tribe See the note to the title of The
Huron Chief, above.
snow-bird Any one of a number of
species of small birds seen mainly during the winter.
In the margin above and to the right of this line Job
Deacon has written: perverted taste to be first attracted by a Squaw!
ALKWANWAUGH No Sioux warrior of
this name has come to light, but see The Huron Chief, 1107-1114 for Kidds
assertion that he was related through his mother to the famous Huron warrior Atsistari
(see following note). It is possible that Alkwanwaugh is Kidds transcription of
Ahihathenha (Stanislas Kostka), one of the Chiefs at Jeune Lorette in the 1820s (See
Tehariolina, La Nation Huronne, pp. 79 and 161).
|673 and n.
Kidd is confusing Eustache Atsistari (c. 1602-1642),
frequently spelled Ahatsistari; see Dictionary of Canadian Biography, I) and
Shastaretsi (16?- 1685). The former was indeed a distinguished [Huron]
warrior: in 1641, the year before his torture and death at the hands of the
Iroquois, he led a band of fifty Huron which claimed to have scattered a force of 300
Iroquois and captured some of them (Trigger, Children, II, 659). Shastaretsi,
who flourished in 1676, was the head Chief (capitaine) of the Hurons at
Sillery and Notre-Dame de Foy; he died in 1685 after . . . the remnant of the
Nation (The Huron Chief, 670) had settled at Ancienne Lorette in 1673-1697.
According to Tehariolina, La Nation Huronne, p. 81, the head Chief of the
Hurons during the war of 1759 (presumably the French-English conflict that led to
the fall of Quebec in that year) was Thomas Martin Thodatoouan, a name difficult to
reconcile with Kidds Tsa-a-ra-lih-to, which sounds a little more like Tsaouenhohi,
the name assigned, in fact to Thomas Martin in the brief oral history of the Hurons that
was transcribed . . . en 1825 par Vincent Sasennio [et] conservé par labbé
P. Vincent (see Lindsay, Notre-Dame de la Jeune-Lorette, p. 265). (Could
Kidds source(s) have been the same as Sasennios, or, indeed, Sasennios
transcription itself?) Of Kidds Oui-a-ra-lih-to nothing can at present be said with
certainty; perhaps he was one or other of Gaspard Picard Ondiaralete or Petit Etienne
Ondiarelate, both of whom were Huron Chiefs at Lorette in the eighteen twenties (see
Tehanolina, pp. 76 and 141); the age of neither of these men is known, however, and there
is no evidence to suggest that either one of them was the oldest Chief of the
village of Lorette. The matter is further complicated when attention is turned to
the question of which of the Huron Chiefs at Lorette served with the British General John
Burgoyne (1722-1792) during the American War of Independence in 1775-1777. Burgoyne, it
may be recalled, led a poorly-equipped and out-numbered force to defeat at Saratoga on
October 17, 1777. Letter XXIII in Adam Hodgson, Letters from North America, Written
During a Tour in the United States and Canada (1824), I, 376-384 contains an . .
. extract from the journal of one of [his] fellow travellers [on a Steam-boat, on
the St. Lawrence in August, 1820], who left [him] at Montreal to visit Quebec;
and on his return, found on board the steam-boat one of the Indian chiefs, belonging to
the village of Loretto [sic]. Part of this extract sheds a murky light on the
matter at hand: We have on board one of the Indian chiefs, who walked in the
procession at Loretto, and his daughter, a genteel young woman. He speaks the English
language. He said he knew General Washington, and had dined with him twice; and that the
General had made him a present of a very good horse. . . . The story of the horse was thus
explained: Vincent [the name of the Huron chief] commanded a body of Indians, at the
capture of Burgoyne, and was made a prisoner with that General. The horse had been taken
by him from the Americans; and hence he called him not his own, but Washingtons.
This information I obtained from others on board. The excerpt goes on to
characterize the chief as an anti-Catholic (and a tippler) who claimed to have been
educated at Hampshirea claim that identifies him with Louis Vincent
Saouatanan, who studied at Dartmouth College in Hanover, New Hampshire (see Tehariolina,
p. 159). Although Lindsay, pp. 275-278 records that Hurons from Lorette fought for the
French against the British at the Battles of the Plains of Abraham (1759) and Saint Foy
(1760), he makes no mention of Burgoyne s Saratoga Campaign. Vu la privation
de documents, he says sadly, lhistoire miitaire de Lorette est fort
difficile à tracer (p. 275). Nonetheless, see Robert S. Allen, The
British Indian Department and the Frontier in North America, 1755-1830, Canadian
Historic Sites, Occasional Papers in Archaelogy and History, No. 14 (Ottawa: Indian
and Northern Affairs, 1775) for a knowledgeable and valuable survey of British-Indian
relations during the period covered by The Huron Chief, and LeMoine, Picturesque
Quebec, p. 464, for the observation that In 1776, Lorette sent its contingent of
painted and plumed warriors to fight General Burgoynes inglorious campaigns.
This very date of life Presumably
1829-1830, when The Huron Chief was written and published, though see Introduction,
pp. xx-xxi for a discussion of the handling of time in the poem.
LOGAN John Logan (c. 1725-1780),
who was half Cayuga and half white, was a leader of the Iroquois tribes living along the
Ohio and Scioto rivers in the mid-to-late eighteenth century. In 1774 a group of white
settlers massacred a large number of Indians, including several of Logans relatives
(though not, by some accounts, his . . . wives and children all.. . as stated
in 1. 729). Although the Cayuga chief had to that point been an advocate of
peace (710) and the white mans friend (716), he was,
in Kidds words (736n.), . . . so deeply enraged at this unprovoked cruelty,
that he determined to seek revenge, . . . by attacking nearby white settlements.
These attacks (in which many whites were killed) helped to precipitate what is called Lord
Dunmores Warthe Indian Campaign led by John Murray, the fourth Earl of Dunmore
(1732-1809) against the Indians. A force under the command of Andrew Lewis defeated the
Indians at Point Pleasant at the mouth of the (Great) Kanawha river (see 736n.), and
Dunmore negotiated a peace with the Indians in the Scioto valley. Refusing to participate
in the peace negotiations, Logan delivered a speech (not directly to Lord Dunmore but
through an interpreter, John Gibson) which subsequently became both famous and
controversialfamous as an example of Indian oratory (it was praised on this count by
Thomas Jefferson in his Notes on the State of Virginia [1787; rpt. 1800], VI), and
controversial for its attribution of the murder of Logans family to Colonel Michael
Cresap (see the note to 1. 736n. below). Logan is reputed to have served with the British
during the American Revolution and to have died a drunkard.
the Mingos story The story of
Logan who, though of mixed white-Indian blood (see preceding note), was a leader of the
Mingo, a tribe often known as the Iroquois of the Ohio to distinguish them
from the Iroquois of New York.
Lord Dunmore See the note to 1.
685. The Earl of Dunmore was the Governor of Virginia from 1771 to 1775, and a vigorous
defender of the Western frontier of Britians American colomes.
Although it makes no explicit reference to Colonel
Cresap (see the notes to ll. 685 and 736n.), Logans speech in The Huron Chief is
essentially a stanzaic rendition of the version of the speech recorded in Jefferson, Notes
on the State of Virginia (1800), VI: . . . [Logan] sent by a messenger the
following speech to be delivered to Lord Dunmore: I appeal to any white man to say,
if ever he entered Logans cabin hungry, and he gave him not meat; if ever he came
cold and naked, and he clothed him not. During the course of the last long and bloody war,
Logan remained idle in his cabin, an advocate for peace. Such was my love for the whites,
that my countrymen pointed as they passed, and said, Logan is the friend of the
white men. I had even thought to have lived with you, but for the injuries of one
man. Col. Cresap, the last spring, in cold blood, and unprovoked, murdered all the
relations of Logan, not sparing even my women and children. There runs not a drop of my
blood in the veins of any living creature. This called upon me for revenge. I have sought
it: I have killed many: I have fully glutted my vengeance. For my country, I rejoice at
the beams of peace. But do not harbour a thought that mine is the joy of fear. Logan never
felt fear. He will not turn on his heel to save his life. Who is there to mourn for
Logan?Not one. Jefferson remarks of this speech that it challenges
the whole orations of Demosthenes and Cicero, and of any more eminent orator, if
Europe has furnished more eminent. . . . Jeffersons rendition of Logans
speech, and his account(s) of the events leading up to it (see the note to l. 736n.
below), were widely quoted, as, for example in Campbell, Gertrude of Wyoming, III,
Job Deacon (presumably) has placed a cross in the
margin beside this line.
destructive war Pope, Essay on
Man, 184: Destructive War See also Longmore, Tecumthé, in Tales,
p. 127: Destructive War!
Perfidy Treachery; the
violation of friendship, allegiance or faith.
This speech appears with slight variation (Kidds
opening sentence elaborates the in their words of the original to in the
words of the white men) in Buchanan, Sketches, pp. 24-25, where it is
attributed to . . . a great chief of the Delaware nation . . .
Colonel Michael Cresap (1742-1745): the Maryland
frontiersman and Indian fighter who was made solely responsible by Jefferson in the 1787
(and earlier) editions of Notes on the State of Virginia, VI for the massacre of
Logans family: Cresap and his party concealed themselves on the bank of the
river, and the moment the canoe [of women and children, with only one man] reached the
shore. . . killed every person in it. This happened to be the family of Logan, who had
long been distinguished as a friend of the whites. In An Appendix Relative to the
Murder of Logans Family in the 1800 edition of the Notes, Jefferson,
after surveying the evidence surrounding the murders, revised his account of the incident
so as to deflect full responsibility from Cresap: Captain Michael Cresap, and a
certain Daniel Greathouse, leading . . . parties, surprized, at different times,
travelling and hunting parties of the Indians, having their women and children with them,
and murdered many. Among these were unfortunately the family of Logan, a chief celebrated
in peace and war, and long distinguished as the friend of the whites. That Kidd was
familiar with the 1800 (or a later) edition of Jeffersons Notes is indicated
by the mention in his note of a hunting party (the original version makes no
mention of hunting parties); however, his failure to mention Greathouse
suggests that he was unconvinced by the partial exoneration of Cresap and, perhaps,
familiar with Jeffersons earlier account of the incident, either in the edition of
1787 or, more likely, in the edition of 1800, where it co-exists with the revised version
in the Appendix. In any event, Kidds description at the end of his note
of Logans decision to seek revenge and of the constituent forces in the ensuing
battle is taken almost verbatim from Jefferson, Notes, VI.
lifes party coloured glass An
obscure phrase, but presumably the eye or eyeball which is party- (or parti-)
colouredthat is, partly of one colour and partly of another (variegated).
Manitoulin Island in Lake Huron is the largest
freshwater island in the world. Its name refers to the spirits or Manitous (see the note
to 263 and n., above) that were believed to dwell on the islands in the archipelago of
which Manitoulin Island is a part. Kidds note is based on Henry, Travels and
Adventures, p. 36n.: The name Manitoualin, implies the residence of Manitoes,
or genii, a distinction very commonly attributed to the islands, and sometimes to the
shores, of Lake Huron and Superior. . . .
Eastern bowers . . . Hinda
Kidd is referring to the heroine of The Fire-Worshippers, the tragic third
tale in Moores Lalla Rookh. Hinda is an eastern princess (and the inhabitant
of a bower [see Lalla Rookh, IV, 144, 197 etc.]) who falls in love with
a Fire-Worshipper, an implacable enemy of her Moslem father. Since both lovers perish,
Kidds allusion to their story presages disaster for the lovers in The Huron Chief
Saint Clair The Saint Clair river connects Lake Huron
at its southern tip with Lake Saint Clair, which in turn flows into Lake Erie through the
bark Barque: a sailing vessel of
Beside and below this stanza, Job Deacon has written:
It was thine own foolish wayward inclination and not a Mountain Demon,
that has blighted thy prospects. Justice to the illustrious dead, whom thy
heartless calumny cannot reach, requires this much to be said. The living is able, if
inclined, to justify his own conduct; but I apprehend is too conscious of his integrity,
and too exalted in mind, to condescend to notice your base scurrility contained in this
inharmonious doggerel. By the illustrious dead Deacon
presumably means Jacob Mountain (1749-1825), the first Anglican Bishop of Quebec, and by
The living presumably George Jehoshaphat Mountain (1789-1863), the son of
Jacob Mountain and himself the third Anglican Bishop of Quebec.
dome A poeticism: tent,
COOSEA No Indian woman of this
name, either historical or mythological, has yet come to light.
TA-POO-KA See the note to
Job Deacon has written beside this stanza: a Swan
appears beautiful on water but I know not how graceful its air or carriage is on
KEKAPOO No historical or
mythological Indian of this name has to date been discovered. Kidd appears to have given
to an individual a version of the name of the Kikapoo or Kickapoo tribe, which opposed the
Americans in the American Revolution and, as followers of Tecumseh, in the War of 1812. In
the early part of the nineteenth century, the Kickapoo were forced to leave Illinois
(where they had earlier moved from Wisconsin) and to migrate first to Missouri and then to
Kansas. Many Kickapoo have also lived for a long time in Mexico. A legend entitled
The Caverns of the Kickapoo appears in Jones, Traditions, II, 201-205.
Spirit See the note to l. 21,
|853-854 and n.
The pair have passed through Lake Saint Clair and are
moving down the Detroit river towards Lake Erie.
Tehariolina, La Nation Huronne, p. 132 (and see
also Tsaouenhohis 1829 map, pp. 138-139) confirms that Ladaouanna (Kidds
LADAUANNA) was the Huron word for the St. Lawrence. In his comparison of the
. . . impatient waters of the ST. LAWRENCE [to] . . . the white foaming horses of
Ossian . . . Kidd seems to be conflating Ossian (who has waves with white
heads, backs of foam and so on, but no white foaming horses)
and Moore (whose ODonohues Mistress [in Irish Melodies]
contains waves that are white horses). The impudent BUCHANAN to
whom Kidd refers later is none other than James Buchanan (1772-1851), the author of the Sketches
upon which The Huron Chief makes considerable levies. In 1830 (and at the time
of the publication of his Sketches in 1824), Buchanan was the British Consul in New
York, a post that he held until 1843, when he retired to Niagara Falls, Canada (where he
is buried in Lundys Lane Cemetery). According to A.W. Patrick Buchanan, K.C., The
Buchanan Book: The Life of Alexander Buchanan. Q.C., of Montreal, Followed by an Account
of the Family of Buchanan (1911), p. 231, James Buchanan . . . was a warm
advocate of Free Trade, and in favour of opening the River St. Lawrence to all
nations. His specific plan, which Kidd obviously considered despicable, was set out
in pamphlets published in 1822 and 1841. In the interests of . . . upholding . . .
the power of the [British] crown and interests of the empire on [the North American] . .
. continent it called for, amongst other things, the routing of American wheat
destined for Britain through Canada (Wheat . . . imported . . . at any point west of
Kingston . . . to be admitted into England as Canada-wheat) and the redefinition of
the Great Lakes and the St. Lawrence as waters under the control, not of the young
colony of Canada, but of the empire (Let this noble river, and those inland
seas, be regarded as the navigable waters of the empire, and not as private river).
Afford the citizens of [the United States] all the advantages the proposed measures
assuredly yield them, he argued, and they must become a changed people before
they will sacrifice them (Proposed Measure for Admission of Grain from All
Countries into Great Britain Addressed to His Grace the Duke of Wellington , pp.
7 and 13). Kidds supplementary note refers to the boundary commissions that were
established under the treaty of Ghent at the close of the War of 1812 to settle disputes
over the border between the United States and British North America. It is worth noting
that on the same page of the March 12, 1830 issue of The Brockville Gazette and General
Advertiser as Kidds letter to William Buell (see Introduction, pp.
xxxii-xxxiii), Buchanan defends himself of misrepresenting Canadas interests .
. . in relation to the West India Trade, and free navigation of the St. Lawrence. . .
Job Deacon has underlined velvet shore in
this line and written beside it This is an odd term.
Kidd quotes verbatim from Henry, Travels and
Adventures, p. 296.
Job Deacon has placed an x after
enchanting power and written: there must be something understood here to
make up the senseand I think it to be, were here after enchanting
Syren Siren: in classical
mythology, a fabulous creature, female or part female, who has the power to send men to
their destruction. In the Odyssey, xi, Ulysses recounts the story of how he and his
men successfully resisted the lure of the Sirens.
For one, whom all but one forgot
Cf. Byron Childe Harolds Pilgrimage, I, v: . . . he . . . / Had
sighd to many though he loved but one / And that loved one, alas! could neer
Cf. Mackenzie, Voyages, p. 39: Their
canoes. . . . are made of the bark of the birch-tree and fir-wood, but of so light a
construction, that the man whom one of these light vessels bears on the water, can, in
return, carry it over land without any difficulty. It is very seldom that more than one
person embarks in them, nor are they capable of receiving more than two. See also
Henry, Travels and Adventures, p. 14: To each canoe there are eight men. . .
. every man is privileged to put on board [a bag weighing forty pounds].
fire-flies See Moore, The
Lake of the Dismal Swamp, 6: . . . her fire-fly lamp I soon shall see
and Jones, The Lake of the White Canoe, Tales, III, 26: A
solitary, twinkling light / It seems a fire-fly lamp. . . .
In Voyages, p. cix, Mackenzie gives
Athick as the Knisteneaux word for frog. Cf. The description of tree frogs in
Loskiel, History, p. 89: Their colour so exactly resembles that of the tree,
to which they attach themselves, that they are hardly to be distinguished from it. In some
places they assemble in such numbers in summer, that the ears of the passengers are almost
stunned with their croaking. The Moira River enters Lake Ontario at Belleville,
between Toronto and Kingston. Camelion: chameleon.
Job Deacon has placed an x between
slow advanced and written in the margin: x should be slowly and
advanced should be moved to preserve the measure.
Beside this stanza, Job Deacon has written: This
is certainly finely conceived and well expressed.
luxury Intense enjoyment.
evening star See the note to l.
pine-knots An American usage:
pine-wood used as a fuel.
Cf. Mackenzie, Voyages, p. 37: They always
keep a large quantity of the fibres of willow bark, which they work into thread on their
thighs. Their nets are from three to forty fathoms in length. . . . They likewise make
lines of the sinews of the rein-deer, and manufacture their hooks from wood, horn, or
bone. A note on the same page describes Watape (Kidds WATTAP): Watape is
the name given to the divided roots of the spruce-fir. . . . different parts of the bark
canoes are . . . sewed together with this kind of filament. See also Henry, Travels
and Adventures, p. 14: The small roots of the spruce-tree afford the wattap,
with which the bark [of the canoes] is sewed. . .
down Hair. The skins are presumably
from young animals.
seraph An angel of the
Chippewas The Chippewa or Ojibwa
Indians belong to the Algonquian linguistic stock. At one time, in the middle of the
eighteenth century, they inhabited and controlled the area from Southern Ontario to the
Turtle Mountains. They fought for the British in the War of 1812, and in Kidds day
were living peacefully in Ontario and Manitoba, as well as in the United States. The
Mississaugas were a branch of the Ojibwa.
Henry, Travels and Adventures, p. 198: The
Chipeways of Chagouemig are a handsome well-made people; and much more cleanly, as well as
much more regular in the government of their families, than the Chipeways of Lake Huron.
The women have agreeable features, and take great pains in dressing their hair, which
consists in neatly dividing it on the forehead and top of the head, and in plaiting and
turning it up behind.
See Buchanan, Sketches, pp. 335-336 (the
Appendix on The Five Nations from Coldens History . . .) for a
description of the central role of . . . the Sachems, or old men [civil chiefs] . .
. in all [the] public affairs.. . of each Indian Nation. See also the note, above,
to the title of The Huron Chief.
some future poets page
Charles R. Steele suggests that Kidd may have been thinking here of his own projected Tales
and Traditions of the Indians (Preface, 50). See also the note to 1. 1656, below.
wonted Customary, usual.
native Innate or natural, as
opposed to artificial or affected.
See the note to l. 264, above.
MILTONS bower Eden, as
described in Paradise Lost, IV, V, VIII and IX which treat in whole or in part of
Paradise before the fall. See especially Paradise Lost, IV, 690 and VIII, 510 for
the blissful nuptial bower of Adam and Eve, and IV, 309-311 for the
pre-lapsarian love-making of the couple. Milton twice refers to the river Euphrates in Paradise
Lost (I, 420, XII, 114), but he does not name it explicitly in IV, 220-240, the
passage describing the River large and the four main streams in
Eden. The Euphrates is one of the largest rivers in the near East.
Alpine hill Alp: one of the range
of mountains in France and Switzerland.
lily A possible reference to the
lilies of the field in Matthew 6.28 which neither toil nor
spin but possess a natural beauty and grace.
feathered tribe is a periphrasis deriving
from James Thomson, Winter, The Seasons, 793 (featherd
Game) and similar phrases. Kidds description of the humming-bird in that note
and stanza may owe a debt to Loskiel, History, p. 94.
bliss Kidds use of
bliss here and elsewhere (for example, ll. 33, 214,1218, and 1625) recalls
Miltons use of the word in his descriptions of Heaven and, especially, Eden in Paradise
Lostfor example in IV, 508 and 728, VIII, 522 and IX, 411. Bliss is also one of
Moores favourite words.
western star A poetic term locating
the Indians path of independence in Canadas westindeed, in
what would become Canada West (Ontario).
Kidds note is taken virtually verbatim either
from Buchanan, Sketches, p. 22 (where it is part of a quotation from Heckewelder)
or, less likely, directly from Heckewelder. Buchanan notes the Council house here
means, Connexion Districtthat is, an Indian community or assembly
(see the note to l. 24, above).
OU-KA-KEE No Indian chief of
this name has to date been discovered. Interestingly enough, Mackenzie, Voyages, p.
cix gives O ma ka ki as the Algonquin word for frog.
frowning Gloomy, threatening.
ALKWANWAUGH . . . ATSISTARI. . .
. See the notes to II. 667 and 673 and n., above.
unenclosed, park-like terrain (see also l. 1133).
Kidd may have had a particular Indian victory in mind,
but which one is not clear.
spousal love Pope, Odyssey, XVIII,
334: Till Hymen lights the torch of spousal lovethat is,
pliant Readily yielding; easily
sail . . . canoe Henry, Travels
and Adventures, p. 14: The canoes are worked . . . occasionally, with a
Although the opening line of Kidds quotation of
Horace, Odes, IV, 45-48 contains a slight variation on the standard text (it
usually reads Tum meae, siquid . . .), the remainder of the quotation is
substantially accurate. Bennet translates the lines as follows: Then, if I have
aught deserving to be heard, the best powers of my voice shall swell the acclaim, and
happy at Caesars coming home, Ill sing: O glorious day, with honour to
be mentioned! Iulus was the son of Mark Antony.
The original Skenandow was a life-long friend to the
American colonists, either assisting them against the British or remaining neutral during
their conflicts with the Iroquois. See the notes to ll. 134, 142n. and 190 above for
further discussions of Skenandow as an historical figure and as a fictional character in
No printed source has yet been discovered for this
note; it may conceivably be Kidds own.
cloys Gratifies to excess.
type Symbol; prefigurement.
Cf. Henry Travels and Adventures, p. 300:
Many travellers have described the marriages of the Indians. . . . The lengthy
quotation in the middle of this note occurs, with no substantial differences, in the
chapter entitled Attempts Recently Made to Lead the Indian Tribes to Admit Teachers
of Christianity among Them; with Observations thereon, and Hints to Missionaries, p.
103. The Indian heroes listed by Kidd at the end of his note all figure in
Buchanan Sketches, particularly in the sections entitled Feelings and Views
of the Indians at the Present Hour, with Some Specimens of their Recent Oratory (pp.
37-64) and Remonstraces of the Indians to the Government of the United States in
1790 (pp. 118-145). Pontiac (c. 1720-1769) was the Ottawa chief who inspired the
siege of Detroit in 1763 as part of a widespread campaign against the British in
1763-1765; Corn Planter (c. 1732-1836) was a Seneca chief (and half-breed) who supported
the British against the rebels in the American War of Independence and later favoured
friendship with the whites (at least until 1820 when he apparently had a change of heart);
Logan (c. 1725-1780) was an Iroquois leader (for further details of his life, see the
notes to ll. 685, 692 and 697-752, above); Atsistari (c. 1602-1642) was a distinguished
Huron warrior (see the note to l. 673 and n., above); Skenandow (c. 1704-1816) was an
Oneida chief and a friend of the whites (see the notes to ll. 1227-1232, above); Red
Jacket (c. 1758-1830) was a Seneca chief who moved from urging hostility towards the
whites to attempting to forge lasting peace with them ( he visited George Washington in
1792 and supported the Americans in the War of 1812); Tecumseh (c. 1768-1813) was, of
course, the Shawnee chief whose life-long resistance to the Americans led to his death
while fighting for the British at the Battle of the Thames in 1813 (see also the note to
l. 1317n., below). Omaha is not an individual but a tribe which, in the face of pressure
from American colonists, migrated ever westwards from the Ohio valley in the course of the
eighteenth and nineteenth centuries. The identity of TSA-WA-WAN-HI is
uncertain, but Kidd is probably referring to one or another (or all) of three Huron
chiefs: Ignace Tsawenhohi (Tsaouenhohi) (?-1693), who was head Chief at Ancienne Lorette
and Jeune Lorette from 1685 to 1693; Paul Picard Tsawenhohi (?- 1747), who was head chief
at Jeune Lorette between 1693 and 1747; and José Vincent Tsawenhohi (?-1811), who was
head chief of the Hurons between 1776 and the succession in 1811 of Nicholas Vincent
Tsawenhohi (Tsaouenhohi), the Huron chief who appears to have inspired Kidds poem
(see Introduction and the note to the title of The Huron Chief, above).
foul disorder Milton, Paradise
Lost, VI, 387-388: . . . deformed rout / Enterd, and foul disorder. . .
. This allusion to the . . . impious War in Heavn . . . (I,
43), serves, like the ensuing lines, to place the Sectarianism of competing missionaries
(Creeds-men) on the side of Satan in a vicious and violent travesty of
the true Christian way (Religions pathway) practiced by Gods
natural servants, the Indians. See also the letter reproduced in Appendix C. (C.R.S.)
The first paragraph of this note is taken from
Tudors Letters, p. 294n. Kidd quotes Tudor quite accurately, though he does
change the punctuation of the original, and he does omit two sentences, the first an
illustration of the lack of sympathy among the whites for the Indian (Shortly
afterwards he went to some of the inhabitants and said to them, When white mans
child dieIndian man he sorryhe help bury himwhen my child dieno
one speak to meI make his grave aloneI can no live here) and the
second Tudors concluding observation (What energy and depth of feeling does
this specimen of Indian character exhibit!). Kidds views on the fondness of
Indians for their children and relatives doubtless owes debts to
Buchanans chapter on their Attachment to, and Education of, their
Children in Sketches, pp. 65-73 and to Mackenzies account of their
affection for, and care of, the elderly in Voyages, p. cxxviii: The
Chipewayans have been accused of abandoning their aged and infirm people to perish, and of
not burying their dead; but these are melancholy necessities, which proceed from their
wandering way of life. They are by no means universal, for it is within my knowledge, that
a man, rendered helpless by the palsy, was carried about for many years, with the greatest
tenderness and attention, till he died a natural death. In the Advertisement to the
fifth number of the Irish Melodies, Moore does allude in passing to . . .
those Indians, who put their relatives to death, when they become feeble . . . (Irish
Melodies and Other Poems, with a Melologue upon National Music to which are appended the
Original Advertisements to the Melodies, and the Prefatory Letter on Music , p.
216). Kidds comments on the ill treatment of the Indians in Georgia probably refers
to the attempt in 1828 by the government of that state to appropriate the lands of the
Cherokee. In 1829, the newly-elected American President, Andrew Jackson (see the note to
l. 1589n., below) informed the Cherokees that they had either to acquiesce to the Georgia
government or leave the state. The Indians appealed to the United States Supreme Court
and, in 1832, won exemption from Georgia law.
Juvenal, the Roman author whose name is synonymous with
fierce satire, flourished in A.D. 98-128. G.G. Ramsay translates the passage quoted by
Kidd from Juvenals Satire, XIII, 26-27 as follows: For honest men are
scarce; hardly so numerous as the gates of Thebes, or the mouths of the enriching
An extensive search has failed to identify conclusively
Kidds Captain W[illia]ms. A number of British naval officers were given land in the
Bay of Quinte area near Kingston on Lake Ontario, and several Williams appear in documents
of the area and period.
scarlet-bird The cardinal or a
scarlet tanager. (C.R.S.)
fabled harp The Aeolian harp,
which produces music when the wind passes through its strings. (C.R.S.)
Persians soul Moores Lalla
Rookh is set in Persian lands (I, 2) and contains several instances of the
mystical devotion described by Kidd in the ensuing lines.
See Heckewelder, Account, pp. 208-210 and
Loskiel, History, p. 104 for accounts of Indian dances that parallel Kidds
note. See also Tehariolina, La Nation Huronne, pp. 341-382 for a detailed account
of Huron music and dancing. Tehariolina, p. 358 quotes Ernest Gagnon in Lindsays, Notre-Dame
de Ia Jeune-Lorette, p. 258 to the effect that all the secular music of the Hurons was
accompanied by two instrumentsthe Chichigouane, a rattle consisting of
an oxs horn partly filled with pebbles or small bones (Kidds horn filled
with small pebbles) and the tambourine, described by Kidd as being . . . made
of dressed deer-skins, fixed on a round hoop. . . . In Greek mythology, Pan is the
god of herds and shepherds who originated in Arcadia. He is credited with inventing the
shepherds flute from the reed into which the nymph Syrinx was changed to escape his
But hush! . . . It is an enemy!to arms
Cf. Byron, Childe Harolds Pilgrimage, III, xxi-xxii: But hush! hark a
deep sound strikes like a rising knell! . . . Arm! Arm! it isit isthe
cannons opening roar! and Moore, The Fire-Worshippers, Lalla
Rookh, III, 116: But, hark!that war-whoop on the deck. . . .
doubtful seemed the day Cf. Milton,
Paradise Lost, VI, 423: . . . Who have sustaind one day in doubtful
fight. . . .
empurpled Made purple; reddened.
The literature on Tecumseh, the famous Shawnee chief
who was born in 1768 in Old Piqua, Ohio and killed on October 5, 1813 at
Moraviantown on the Thames River near what is now London, Ontario, is very extensive, and
can be approached through Carl F. Klincks Tecumseh: Fact and Fiction in Early
Records (1961; rpt. 1978), a collection of documents with commentaries and a
bibliography. Benjamin Drakes Life of Tecumseh (1841) may also be usefully
consulted, as may the descriptions of Tecumseh (not collected by Klinck) in Buchanan, Sketches,
60f. and Heckewelder, Account, 295f. Kidds description of Tecumseh, who was
widely known as the Napoleon of the West (see James Hall, Sketches of
History, Life, and Manners in the West , I, 98), probably draws on
various sources: however, it contains several distinctive features, including the
erroneous implication that the Chief was present at the Battle of Tippecanoe on the
banks of the Wabash in 1811, the assertion that he was appointed head
Chief of the Hurons and the anecdote concerning his son, which point towards a
specific source for much of his note: the account of Tecumsehs last years in the
essay entitled Indian Warfare in the Lucubrations of Humphrey Ravelin, Esq.
(1823), pp. 338-359. (In George Longmore: A New Literary Ancestor, Dalhousie
Review, 59 [Summer, 1979], 281-282, Mary Lu MacDonald has argued that George Proctor
may be one of Longmores pseudonyms.) Reprinted with some omissions (notably the
controversial story that the . . . skin was flayed from [the Chiefs] lifeless
corpse, and made into razor strops . . . [p. 358] by the Americans), as The
Argument to Longmores Tecumthé, a Poetical Tale (December, 1824 in The
Canadian Review and Literary and Historical Journal and 1826 in Tales of Chivalry
and Romance), Proctors (or Longmores own) slight account of
Tecumthé (p. 337) is echoed by Kidd both verbally and factually; for example,
Proctor notes that the Indians denominated the Americans Long
Knives, gives the figure of near three thousand as the number of
Indian fighting-men who assembled at Detroit in the spring of 1813 and
guesses the age of Tecumsehs son at about fourteen or fifteen. . . . To
Proctor, probably by way of Longmores Tales of Chivalry and Romance, Kidd
adds details of the Battle of the Thames (where, by nearly all accounts, thirty-three
Indians were killed), and a negative assessment of General Henry Proctor (17?-1822), the
British Commander on the western front and at Moraviantown, who was court-martialled for
his behavior at the baffle, and suspended from the army for six months without pay.
the other shore Presumably the
southern, and American, shore of Lake Erie.
pondrous Ponderous: heavy;
Etna Volcano on the island of
Sicily. Cf. Campbell, Gertrude of Wyoming, I, viii: . . . Etnas
fires . . . and III, xx: . . . fire oerhung / The bandit groups in one
Vesuvian glare. . . .
feathered dart Poeticism: arrow.
See Longmore, Tecumthé, in Tales, p. 122: To hurl the well-directed
dart / Against each foemans panting heart.
sable Dark; black.
The idea of having the Indians take three
Christian prisoners may have been suggested to Kidd by two passages in Buchanan, Sketches:
Three American prisoners were one day brought in by fourteen warriors . . .
(p. 173) and (an Indian Sachem is speaking) We have now observed the Governors
orders in bringing the three other Christian prisoners . . . (p. 343). As suggested
in the Introduction, p. xxxviii, Kidds Christian foe-men, three
constitute an unholy trinity.
Ramsay translates this quotation from Juvenal, Satire,
I, 147-148 as follows: To these ways of ours Posterity will have nothing to add. . .
Kidds note is a slight reworking of W.E.
Cormacks statement at the formation of the Boeothick Institution on October 2, 1827,
as reported in the Royal Gazette on November 13, 1827 (and subsequently in various
Canadian newspapers). For the full text of Cormacks statement, see James P. Howley, The
Beothucks or Red Indians: The Aboriginal Inhabitants of Newfoundland (1915; rpt.
1976), pp. 182-183. The account of the slaughter of the Beothuk that Kidd accredits was
based in Micmac tradition and has been treated with scepticism by modern scholars,
including Howley; see Frederick W. Rowe, Extinction: the Beothuks of Newfoundland (1977),
pp. 102-103. And see Howley, 169-232 and Rowe, pp. 61-80 for accounts of the discovery and
death in St. Johns on June 6, 1829 of Shanawdithit (Nancy), the last of the
Beothuks. Preconcerted: Arranged beforehand.
lost Morally or spiritually ruined;
damned. Kidds note quotes Mackenzie, Voyages, p. xcvii.
candid Honest. Cf. l. 183.
hapless pair Milton, Paradise
Lost, X, 342-343: . . . the hapless Pair [Adam and Eve] / Sat in thir sad
discourse and various plaint. . . .
paley Paly (poeticism): pale.
fiend A demon; the devil; a person
with devilish qualities. Milton describes Satan as the fiend throughout Paradise
Lost. And see particularly IX, 75 where Satan is . . . involvd in
rising Mist. . . . (C.R.S.)
For a discussion of the significance of various images
in this stanza, see Introduction, pp. xxviii-xxix.
fearless eagle As suggested in
the Introduction, an image with possible American associations. But see also Campbell, Gertrude
of Wyoming, I, xxii. for the eagle as an Indian emblem of a bold, noble, and
blasted pine Cf. Byron, Manfred,
I, ii, 65: . . . like these blasted pines . . ., and Campbell, Gertrude of
Wyoming, I, xv: The hollow peace-tree fell beneath [the Hurons (!)]
screech-owls boding song See
The Alarm of the Great Sentinal in Jones, Traditions, I, 61-71 for the
legend of . . . an old white owl, who had for his lodge a hollow oak in which he
dwelt with his family. On account of the legend that this white owl once wamed their
ancestors of impending danger, . . . the hunters of the Delawares never harm this
wise and good bird. Hollow oaks and a stunted pine appear in
The Lake of the White Canoe in Traditions, III, 11 and 15.
Cf. Buchanan, Sketches, p. 244: . .
.[various precious items] are seen along difficult or dangerous roads, on rocks, and on
the shores of rapids, as so many offerings made to the presiding spirit of the
place; Mackenzie, Voyages, p. c (quoted by Buchanan, p. 245) for the
sacrifice of dogs . . . on the bank of a river or lake . . .; and Moore,
Song of the Evil Spirit of the Woods, 44n. for two quotations referring to
Indian sacrifices by falls and a Cascade. The quotation from Ovid
(43 B.C.-A.D. 18), Metamorphoses, I, 574-576 is translated by Frank Justus Miller
(1916; rpt. 1956) as follows: Here, seated in a cave of overhanging rock, he was
giving laws to his waters, and to his water-nymphs.
Bytown is of course present-day Ottawa See the note to
l. 494, above for some details of Kidds boyhood in Ireland.
fairy Enchanted, in reference to
the waterfall being the bower of a Water-God or, as Buchanan
explains (Sketches, p. 244), a deity who is related but inferior to the Great
unsullied Untarnished; pure.
pinioned Tied, bound.
Council-fire See the note to l. 24, above.
Kidds note paraphrases and conflates comments
made in Mackenzie, Voyages, pp. xcv-xcvii.
Miller translates the words of Hercules (Alcides), the
Greek hero of enormous strength and great compassion, in Ovid, Metamorphoses, IX,
203-204 as follows: And there are those who can believe that there are gods!
asunder Apart; into fragments.
Kidds note is an adaptation (with the addition of
a pointed reference to white Christians) of a passage from Heckewelder, quoted
in Buchanan, Sketches, pp. 20-21.
obsequies Funeral rites.
Embosomed Enclosed, enveloped.
The final sentence of this note appears to be
Kidds own, but the preceding description of the bow and arrow is taken from
Mackenzie, Voyages, p. 206 (a description of the Indians of the Peace river area of
what is now Alberta!)
SACHEMS See the note to l. 1021n.
William James, A Full and Correct Account of the
Military Occurrences of the Late War between Great Britain and the United States of
America (1818), I, 188-189 offers the following account of the treatment of General
James Winchester (1752-1826) by Round-head (?-1812) after the battle of Frenchtown or
Raisin River: Stripped of his shirt and trousers, and suffering exceedingly from the
cold, the American general [Winchester] was found by Colonel Proctor [see the note to 1.
1317n., above], near to one of the Indian fires, in the possession of the Wyandot chief
Round-head. The Indian had decked himself out in the generals great and uniform
coats, waistcoat, and hat; and was so pleased with his new dress, that the British
commanding officer had great difficulty in persuading him to make restitution. In
his Index (II, n.p.) James refers to this as Round-heads Safe delivery of his
prisoner to Colonel Proctor.
Cf. Henry, Travels and Adventures, p. 33:
On the following day, we reached an island [in Lake Huron], called La Cloche,
because there is here a rock, standing on a plain, which, being struck, rings like a
Kidd may be alluding to a particular Indian legend
here, but neither a specific source for the passage nor a specific referent for the
great mountain has yet been discovered.
Cf. Robert McAfee, History of the Late War in the
Western County (1816), p. 272: The Miamies and the Wyandots were on the side of
humanity and opposed the wishes of the others. The dispute between them had become serious
when Colonel Elliot and Tecumseh came down from the batteries to the scene of camage. As
soon as Tecumseh beheld it, he flourished his sword and in a loud voice ordered them
For shame do desist. It is a disgrace to kill a defenoeless prisoner. His
orders were obeyed, to the great joy of the prisoners, who had by this time lost all hopes
of being preserved. In this simple act, Tecumseh displayed more humanity, magnanimity, and
civilization, than Procter with all his British associates in command, displayed through
the whole war on the northwestern frontiers.
In Annal, IX, vi, 5 (308) the early Roman poet
Quintus Ennius (239-169 B.C.) describes the distinguished orator Cethegus (see also
Horaoe, Epistles, II, ii, 117) as the essence of persuasion (see The
Annals of Q. Ennius, ed. Otto Skutsch , pp. 96 and pp.
480-486). Skutsch would amend suadae medulla to Suadaique medulla,
but Kidds phrase has been allowed to stand here since it has precedents in the
quotations of the phrase that are found in Cicero (Suadai, with
Suadae as a conjectured correction) and Quintilian (Suadae
medullam) (see Skutsch, pp. 480-481 and 485-486).
jet Jet is a species of coal which,
when polished, becomes extremely black and shiny.
Kidds note is taken without significant variation
either from Colden, History, p. 3n. or, more likely, from Buchanan, Sketches,
The tree of peace Cf. Colden, History,
p. 51n. and Buchanan, Sketches, p. 346n.: The Five Nations always express
peace by the metaphor of a tree (in Colden the initial letters of Peace,
Metaphor and Tree are capitalized).
Kidd is quoting from The Speech of Corn Plant,
Half Town, and Big Tree, Chiefs of the Seneca Nation in 1791 to the American
President George Washington (1732-1799) as recorded in Buchanan, Sketches, p. 139.
See also Buchanan, Sketches, p. 345ff. and Colden, History, p. 57 for
references to the figure of the chain of friendship.
Cf. Buchanan, Sketches, pp. 344 (and n.)-347:
. . . his Lordship [the then Governor General of Virgima, Lord Howard of Effingham]
having brought two hatchets, proposed to have them buried in token of peace [note:
All Indians make use of a hatchet or axe as an emblem of war]. . . . Then the
Indians desired that the hole might be dug to bury the axes. . . . The Mohawks said there
was no need of burying any on their account, for the . . . chain had never been broken by
them. Character: report of the qualities and habits of a person or persons.
Cf. Mackenzie, Voyages, p. xcii: . . .
their hair [is] black, which is common to all the natives of North America. It is cut in
various forms, according to the fancy of the several tribes, and by some is left in a
long, lank, flow of nature; and p. cxx: They cut their hair in various forms,
or leave it in a long, natural flow, according as their caprice or fancy suggests. The
women always wear it in great length, and some of them are very attentive to its
arrangement. Carolan probably refers to Turlough OCarolan
(1670-1738), the itinerant Irish harper and poet who was known as Carolan. And there may
well be a semi-private joke operating in the reference to a modem Carolan,
since one of Kidds fellow poets in The Irish Shield (see September-December,
1829) styled himself Carolan (see also Introduction, p. xxxix n. 7.) During
Romes republican period, ordinary citizens wore a white outer garment called the toga
virilisliterally, the garment of manhood (it was first put on at
See the note to l. 1565n., above for details of the
speech to Washington by Corn Planter and other Seneca Chiefs that Kidd is quoting here,
almost certainly from Buchanan, Sketches, pp. 135-136.
M. Leduc is the seignior at Les Cédres in
Henry, Travels and Adventures, pp. 9-10; Kidd slightly alters the wording but not
the substance of Henrys account (p. 10) of a conversation with Leduc. Kidds
note opens with a quotation, not from Leduc, but from Titus 1.15.
Wattap See the note to l. 977n.,
General Andrew Jackson (1767-1845) was President of the
United States from 1829 to 1837. In the War of 1812 he distinguished himself by winning
victories over both the British and the Creek Indians. In peace he used his status as a
war hero to champion the causes of the lower and middle classes and to attack the bastions
of wealth and monopoly, becoming in many peoples minds (including, apparently,
Kidds) the incamation of the American democratic spirit. Probably using as his
source The Irish Vindicator for December 22, 1829 (see Introduction, p. xxxii),
Kidd conflates and quite accurately quotes passages from Jacksons First Annual
Message of December 8, 1829. There is irony either in Kidds praise of Jackson or, at
Kidds expense, in the fact that Jackson advocated the removal of the Indians to west
of the Mississippi. On May 28, 1830 Jackson signed the Indian Removal Act, and in
February, 1832 he supported Georgia in its defiance of an American Supreme Court decision
in favour of the Cherokee (see the note to 1. 1256n., above). Both Thomas Moore (see the
note to the Dedication of The Huron Chief) and Basil Hall (1788-1844, the author
of, amongst other things, the three volume Travels in North America ) were
non-AmericansMoore was Irish, Hall was Britishwhose negative assessments of
various aspects of American life (in the Preface and various pieces in Poems Relating
to America and Travels, for example) earned them a certain amount of opprobrium
in the United States. Americas . . . ship-building transaction, to redeem
unfortunate Greece is a reference to the commitment, made but not honoured, by the United
States to supply the Greek nationalists with ships during their struggle for independence
(1821-1829) from the Ottoman Empire. Re opitulandum non verbis: One must give
assistance with action not words (proverbial).
Cf. Buchanan on the eloquence and language of the
Indians in Sketches, pp. 51-52: The style is primitive; the short sentences
teem with power; a serene majesty is spread over the entire composition; and the pathos
searches and melts the very soul.
ranger A rover, wanderer or rake
and, especially in the United States, an armed man. Rangers from Virginia, Kentucky and
elsewhere fought against both the Indians and the British in the War of 1812 and
earlierhence, very likely (and pace Butlers Rangers), Kidds
perjorative use of the term. In this and following lines, Kidd probably intended an
allusion to the activities of Satan who resolves to elude the Angels guarding paradise by
wrapping himself . . . in mist / Of midnight vapor (Paradise Lost, IX,
158-159) and who is not only associated with midnight (see also IX, 58), but also, of
course, the author of the . . . impious War in Heavn . . . (I, 43).
John Macdonell (1768-1850) was a Scottish-born
fur-trader who went to Britains American colonies in 1773 and came to Canada after
the American Revolution. He became a partner in the Northwest Company in 1796 and was put
in charge of the Upper Red River development in 1799 and the Athabasca River department in
1809. He retired in 1812, and settled at Point Fortune on the Ottawa river, where he ran a
store and a boat service and remained for the rest of his life. vestibulum:
walking elements Clouds. Walking is
here used in the now obsolete sense of moving or shifting (not necessarily through the use
of legs) from place to place.
In Lines Written on Leaving Philadelphia
(in Poems Relating to America), Moore recalls the . . . endearments he met, /
As he strayd by the wave of the Schuylldll . . . (3 1-32) river, which
flows through Pennsylvania and enters the Delaware river at Philadelphia. Moore also
remembers spending . . . hours / Where Schuylkill winds his way through banks
of flowers . . . in To the Honourable W.R. Spencer . . ., 99-100.
Indignor quandoque bonus dormitat Homerus:
I also feel aggrieved, whenever good Homer nods
(Horace, Ars Poetica, 359). Cornelius Peter Van Ness (1782-1852), was a
Vermont-born American lawyer, legislator, supreme-court justice and State Governor
(Vermont: 1823-1825) who held at least two positions that brought him into contact with
Canada: he was a customs officer in Vermont during the War of 1812 and, at the close of
the war, he was one of the commissioners charged with establishing the boundary between
the United States and British North America. Shortly after the inauguration of Jackson in
1829, Van Ness was appointed minister to the Court of Spain, a position that
he held for about two years. Cf. Moore, To the Honourable W.K. Spencer From Buffalo,
Upon Lake Erie (in Poems Relating to America), 62n. for sentiments that are
somewhat similar to those expressed in Kidds note. (C.R.S.)
. . . future bards . . . Cf.
the penultimate paragraph of Conlath and Cuthona, the penultimate poem in The
Poems of Ossian: The chief of Mora dies. The vision grows dim on my mind. I
behold the chiefs no more! But, O ye bards of future times, remember the fall of Conlath
with tears. He fell before his day. See also Tudor, Letters, p. 292:
The history of these people [the Indians], long after they shall have become
extinct, will be interesting to our posterity, and furnish subjects for poetry and