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Michigan CHAPTER 10

Effect Upon the Indians of the Lake Region

Before setting out upon any important enterprise they indulged in incantations and diabolical formulas and called upon imaginary dieties for assistance. Just at this time there arose a great prophet among the Delawares who was imbued with the strong spirit of religious exaltation such as at various periods in the history of the world has produced remarkable and sometimes far-reaching results. This prophet went up and down among the tribes repeating his lurid dreams. He warned his people that they had fallen from their high estate through the demoralization which followed their contact with the white race. There was much obvious truth in this. He counselled them to discard all the arts which they had gained from the whites, throw away their arms and clothing and return at once to their natural and simple mode of life. They must purify their natures if they would commend themselves to the great spirit. He was a powerful and vigorous preacher and a greatly effective one, too. His discourses produced tremendous excitement and the Indians gathered from far and near in large encampments to listen to his exhortations.
This crusade against the white race, preached so effectively at this psychological moment, was the spark which set fire to the tinder. The natives were in a tumult of excitement. They were inclined to follow the advice of the prophet and return to their primitive ways of living. Their resentment against the white man who had come into their country unasked, and who showed a disposition to stay and make himself at home, was still more inflamed. It was not long until this disturbed condition showed omnious signs, as has been already intimated. The threatened attack upon Detroit and other posts, the massacre at Michilimackinac, the scalping of traders and travelers by scattered parties here and there, were surface indications of the seething ferment in the minds of the savages.

Michigan


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