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Henry Rowe Schoolcraft

Collection Summary Creator: Schoolcraft, Henry Rowe, 1793-1864 Title: Papers of Henry Rowe Schoolcraft 1788-1941 (bulk 1820-1856) Size: 25,000 items; 90 containers plus 1 oversize; 28 linear feet; 69 microfilm reels Repository: Manuscript Division, Library of Congress Abstract: Author, ethnologist, explorer, geologist, glass manufacturer, and Indian agent. Correspondence, journals, articles, books, manuscripts of magazines, poetry, speeches, government reports, Indian vocabularies, maps, drawings, and other papers reflecting Schoolcraft's career as a glass manufacturer, mineralogist on an exploring expedition in the Ozark Mountains, geologist on the Cass expedition to the Northwest Territory, leader of expeditions throughout the Great Lakes region, member of Michigan's legislative council, Indian agent, superintendent of Indian affairs for Michigan, ethnologist, and author of works concerning the Iroquois of New York state and other Indians of North America.


THE PIONEER.

SPRING awakens the wilds of the west, 
  Gruff winter has ceased his roar, 
For the green leaf hath burst the bud 
  Of our white-limb?d sycamore. 

And fairest of wood flowers blow, 
  Where prowls the sly raccoon, 
And the sumac hath trim?d its bough 
  In the glass of the clear lagoon. 

There?s a sound in the upper air, 
  The rush of a thousand wings,
?Tis our brave summer bird he?s away 
  With his songs to the northland springs. 

And hark!?tis the cheer of our bold pioneer, 
  He?s away in our venturesome van, 
He is bluff, he is rough, but he?s made of the stuff 
  That?s widening the world for man. 

Free and fearless he treads, thro? prairies and glades, 
  His face to the set of the sun, 
The red man and brute may his passage dispute, 
  But his charter?s his axe and his gun.

Far, far from his home, where wild buffaloes roam, 
  See his crackling camp-fire shine, 
While he halloos aloud to the forest and flood, 
  ?This slice of the world it is mine!? 

Let thirty long years, with their comforts and cares 
  Pass, as thousands have passed before, 
Then as evening sets in, let us eye him again 
  As he sits by his cottage door. 

There are deep furrows now, in that cheek and that brow, 
  Still he?s stalwart, stout, and hale, 
By his side take a rest?he is proud of a guest 
  And list to a squatter?s tale. 

?The first time I plodded this plain, 
  I was six feet and rising of twenty, 
Being raised on the mountains of Maine 
  Ye may guess that the boy wasn?t dainty. 

?My neighbours?then wild cat and bear, 
  Were brutish and sometimes uncivil, 
But my sleeping companion old Tear 
  He fear?d neither bull, bear, or devil. 

?On the ground floor old Tear and I fix?d, 
  We?d the ?might is right? title to take it, 
The squirrels and coons had the next, 
  The turkeys they rented the attic.
	
?We had room in our lodge, ye?ll suppose, 
  It was airy tho? none of the cleanest; 
The rafters were sturdy old boughs, 
  Well shingl?d with leaves of the greenest. 

?Our summer arrangements got thro?, 
  I began for to think of December?s; 
So some jolly old settlers I slew, 
  And penn?d in a patch with their members. 
	
?We?d corn soon, and deer came in flocks, 
  I was carpenter, farmer, and hunter; 
So when old Johnny Frost shook his locks, 
  We?d a cabin to keep out the winter. 

?Soon movers came tumbling in, 
  And squatted without e?er a ?thank ye;? 
Well, Tear and I thought it no sin, 
  To be swapping a bear for a Yankee. 
	
?Ye?11 guess then the trunk and the limb 
  Of our forest Goliahs got shattered; 
And daylight look?d bloody and grim, 
  As they blaz?d and their ashes we scatter?d. 
	
?While cabin and corn crib arose, 
  Like tents of the mighty invader; 
And craftsmen came following close, 
  With preacher, and doctor, and trader.  
	
?Then clubbing the means and the mind, 
  Together all pulling and drawing; 
A lively young creek we confin?d, 
  And set it to grinding and sawing. 
	
?Frame fabrics then rose in a twink, 
  For stores and for matters domestic; 
We?d one temple for talk and for drink, 
  Another for things ecclesiastic. 
	
?Thus chopping and cropping ahead, 
  Continually scratching and scheming; 
What a gash in the forest we?ve made! 
  While drones are a drowsing and dreaming. 
	
?Our youngsters, too, rise in the ranks, 
  Ourselves we grow bigger and bigger; 
I?ve got shares in your railroads and banks, 
  And a seat in the State Legislature,?
Hew Ainslie [1792-1878]