That the words of friendship might be
transmitted safely through the wilderness, the red men revered the peace-pipe.
The person of him that travelled with it was sacred; he could disarm the young warrior as by a spell, and secure himself a fearless welcome in every cabin.
Each village also had its calumet, which was adorned by the chief with eagles' feathers, and consecrated in the general assembly of the nation.
The envoys from those desiring peace or an alliance, would come within a short distance of the town, and, uttering a cry, seat themselves on the ground.
The great chief, bearing the peace-pipe of his tribe, with its mouth pointing to the skies, goes forth to meet them, accompanied by a long procession of his clansmen, chanting the hymn of peace.
The strangers rise to receive them, singing also a song, to put away all wars, and to bury all revenge.
As they meet, each party smokes the pipe of the other, and peace is ratified.
The strangers are then conducted to the village; the herald goes out into the street that divides the wigwams, and makes repeated proclamation that the guests are friends; and the glory of the tribe is advanced by the profusion of beards meat, and flesh of dogs, and hominy, which give magnificence to the banquets in honor of the embassy.
But, if councils were their recreation, war alone was the avenue to glory.
All other employment seemed unworthy of human dignity; in warfare against the brute creation, but still more against man, they sought liberty, happiness, and renown; thus was gained an honorable appellation, while the mean and the obscure among
them had not even a name.
Hence to ask an Indian his name was an offence: a chief would push the question aside with scorn; for it implied that his deeds and the titles conferred by them, were unknown.