And he was continually endeavoring to draw the figures of trees, men, mountains, houses, cattle, geese, ducks, and turkeys, with a piece of chalk, on barn doors or on the floor. In these old times the Mohawk Indians were still numerous in Pennsylvania. Every year a party of them used to pay a visit to Springfield, because the wigwams of their ancestors had formerly stood there.
The major had consequently resolved to avoid them both, and to strike boldly into the mountains, until he should reach the Susquehanna, cross that stream on its flood wood, and finding one of its tributaries that flowed in from the eastward, by following its banks to the high land, which divides the waters of the Mohawk from this latter river, place himself on a route that would obliquely traverse the water-courses, which, in this quarter of the country, have all a general north or south direction.
The road follows the Mohawk River, which flows through scenes changing from fields, waving with plenty, to rocks and woods; gentle slopes, covered with cattle, are divided from each other by precipices 500 feet high. Around the little falls there is a character of beauty as singular as it is striking.
He picked wild flowers for her; he played on the bone pipe and sang sentimental songs in the twilight; he roamed the hills with her, gathering the loose quartz crystals that the Indians believed to be the tears of stricken deer, save on Diamond Rock, in Lansingburgh, where they are the tears of Moneta, a bereaved mother and wife; and in fine weather they went boating on the Mohawk above the rapids.
My fellow travellers having light luggage, got themselves and it into a hut at the other side of the lock; but I, having heavy baggage, which it was impossible to carry across, was compelled to remain on the banks, between the canal and the Mohawk, all night.
Guided by the frightened squaws, they crossed the Mohawk on the ice, toiling through the drifts amid the whirling snow that swept down the valley of the darkened stream, till about eleven o'clock they descried through the storm the snow-beplastered palisades of the devoted village. Schenectady was the farthest outpost of the colony of New York.
After the conquest of New Sweden, in 1655, the possessions and claims of the Dutch in our country extended from the Connecticut River to the Delaware River, and from the Mohawk to Delaware Bay. Geographically, they cut the English colonies in two, and hampered communication between New England and the South.
On the east at their very door lay the valley of the Mohawk and the Hudson. From the western fringe of their territory they could advance quickly to Lake Erie, or descend the Ohio into the valley of the Mississippi.
"I shall try to deserve in some small way the great name you have conferred upon me." "One can but do his best," said the Mohawk gravely. But Willet rejoiced openly in the distinction that had been bestowed upon his young comrade, saying that some day it might be carried out with formal ceremonies by the Mohawk nation, and was a fact of great value.
The New York Central exhibit shows the old Mohawk and Hudson train, a model of the first locomotive sot a-goin' on the Hudson in 1807 with a boundin' heart and a tremblin' hand by Robert Fulton, and which wuz pushed off from the pier and propelled onwards by the sneerin', mockin', unbelievin' laughs of the spectators as much as from the breezes that swept up from the south.