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Thomas Butler Gunn Diaries: Volume 6, page 85, August 18-19, 1853

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Identifier: DX04107829

Title: Thomas Butler Gunn Diaries: Volume 6, page 85, August 18-19, 1853

Description: Describes witnessing a native dance at Fond du Lac, Wisconsin.


eagles feathers, and mostly some sort of weapons. One a rusty cavalry sabre, another a holster pistol, (which he snapped in the endeavor to fire, during the dance which followed,) others knives, guns, and tomahawks. Two squatted and beat the tambourines, and the rest in circle commenced the dance, sometimes moving with grotesque hip-agitations, othertimes following each other, howling shrilly, and monotonously all the time. But our paddle-wheels after much ineffectual turnings now move round, and we are off into the stream. The savages half drunken, and are furious at their dance not being recompensed, and run down the green swampy banks of the river fleetly for some ten minutes. One fellow squatting at his tent door raised his gun, and levelled at some six or seven of us on the top of the upper deck roof. Most of ‘em scatter, I deeming he was bravado-ing defied him in Anglo Saxon, democratic manner, thumb to nose tip, other thumb to little finger and gyrating contempt of him. I didn’t think he’d fire, or it he did that he’d hit. They say he snapped his lock once). Previous to this three canoes had been purchased, two at $5, one at $10. On downwards through the green banks and beautiful wild river, the sun setting tranquilly on the hills behind, and fall green firs, pine and spruce mirrored in the tranquil water, till we reach the sandbar, where we lie aground, and where I write this present days Chronicle; and now purpose going to bed. The violin is going merrily in the after cabin, darkey player and barber is shouting out “Ladies Chain" and it’s 1/2 past 10, or 11.

19. Friday. Lying stranded fast just out inside the bar. Captain and crew have been working hard all night, the ballasting

Rights: NoC-US


Dates: 1853-08-18

Type(s): Diary

Maker/Creator: Gunn, Thomas Butler, 1826-1903

Subjects: Sand bars
Ojibwa Indians
Great Lakes (North America)
Indians of North America


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