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[291] known to the Indians as people with a white skin,— their expression,—some Indians who had been out a-fishing, and where the sea widens, espied at a great distance something remarkably large, swimming or floating on the water, and such as they had never seen before. They, immediately returning to the shore, apprised their countrymen of what they had seen, and pressed them to go out with them, and discover what it might be. These together hurried out, and saw, to their great surprise, the phenomenon, but could not agree what it might be; some concluding it to be an uncommon large fish or other animal, while others were of opinion it must be some very large house. It was at length agreed among those who were spectators, that as this phenomenon moved towards the land,— whether or not it was an animal, or any thing that had life in it,—it would be well to inform all the Indians on the inhabited islands of what they had seen, and put them on their guard.

Accordingly, they sent runners and watermen off to carry the news to their scattered chiefs, that these might send off in every direction for the warriors to come in. These arriving in numbers, and themselves viewing the strange appearance, and that it was actually moving towards them,—the entrance of the river or bay, concluded it to be a large canoe or house, in which the Mannitto(great or supreme Being) himself was, and that he probably was coming to visit them. By this time the chiefs of the different tribes were assembled on York Island, and were deliberating on the manner they should receive their Mannittoon his arrival. Every step had been taken to be well provided with

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York Island (Wisconsin, United States) (1)

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