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“ notwithstanding the French Commissioners took all the Pains possible to carry Home the French, that were Prisoners with the Five Nations, and they had full Liberty from the Indians, few of them could be persuaded to return. “Nor, he has to admit, is this merely a reflection on the quality of French colonial life, “for the English had as much Difficulty” in persuading their redeemed to come home, despite what Colden would claim were the obvious superiority of English ways:
No Arguments, no Intreaties, nor Tears of their Friends and Relations, could persuade many of them to leave their new Indian Friends and Acquaintance; several of them that were by the Caressings of their Relations persuaded to come Home, in a little Time grew tired of our Manner of living, and run away again to the Indians, and ended their Days with them. On the other Hand, Indian Children have been carefully educated among the English, cloathed and taught, yet, I think, there is not one Instance, that any of these, after they had Liberty to go among their own People, and were come to Age, would remain with the English, but returned to their own Nations, and became as fond of the Indian Manner of Life as those that knew nothing of a civilized Manner of Living. And, he concludes, what he says of this particular prisoner exchange “has been found true on many other Occasions.”
Benjamin Franklin was even more pointed: When an Indian child is raised in white civilization, he remarks, the civilizing somehow does not stick, and at the first opportunity he will go back to his red relations, from whence there is no hope whatever of redeeming him. But when white persons of either sex have been taken prisoners young by the Indians, and have lived a while among them, tho’ ransomed by their Friends, and treated with all imaginable tenderness toprevail with them to stay among the English, yet in a Short time they become disgusted with our manner of life, and the care and pains that are necessary to support it, and take the firstgood Opportunity of escaping again into the Woods, from whence there is no reclaiming them.
There was always the great woods, and the life to be lived within it was, Crevecoeur admits, “singularly captivating,” perhaps even superior to that so boasted of by the transplanted Europeans. For, as many knew to their rueful amazement, “thousands of Europeans are Indians, and we have no examples of even one of those aborigines having from choice become Europeans!”
This message is the catalyst for an intellectual awakening among the population, accompanied by the feeling that something old and familiar has been uncovered.
The power of this message to move an individual is due to the psychological fact that, although repression shuts down deep thinking, tribal ideas continue to push for entrance into consciousness.
"Shortly after crossing into the Congo we entered the forest, and for the first time I felt real fear... For the forest was evil. I felt it as soon as I saw it...
I made up my mind that I would make it my work to bring the heathen out of the forest, to give them sunlight, to show them how to live in God's open world..."
"It was wonderful to see the forest coming down on all sides. I could feel the power of Satan receding as every tree fell... He [Amboko] did not even like cutting down the forest, he said it will bring misfortune, unless we were going to use the ground for plantations... He said we should have at least some trees standing for shade, and for the protection of the soil...
We tried to make gardens and fill them with flowers, but they soon withered and died. The baked earth made admirable tennis courts, tough... And it was good to be able to relax and forget for a while that one was in Africa, surrounded by heathens. I had tried to make friends with them but it was impossible, and it always will be, at least for many years to come...
In the kitchens they used to give away food without my permission, to all their friends and relatives. When I chided them they asked me if I had not taught them to share whatever they had, that more will always be given to them by the Lord..."
The Pawnee - "They were a well-disciplined people, maintaining public order under many trying circumstances. And yet they had none of the power mechanisms that we consider essential to a well-ordered life. No orders were ever issued...Time after time I tried to find a case of orders given and there were none. Gradually I began to realize that democracy is a very personal thing which like charity, begins at home. Basically it means not being coerced and having no need to coerce anyone else. The Pawnee learned this way of living in the earliest beginning of his life. In the detailed events of every day as a child, he began his development as a disciplined and free man or as a women who felt her dignity and her independence to be inviolate"
"The Creeks are just honest, liberal and hospitable to strangers; considerate, loving and affectionate to their wives and relations; fond of their children; industrious, frugal, temperate and persevering; charitable and forbearing. I have been weeks and months among them and in their towns, and never observed the least sign of contention or wrangling: never saw an instance of and Indian beating his wife, or even reproving her in anger. In this case they stand as examples of reproof to the most civilized nations . . . for indeed their wives merit their esteem and the most gentle treatment, they being industrious, frugal, loving and affectionate . . .Their internal police and family economy. . .incontrovertibly place those people in an illustrious point of view: their liberality, intimacy and friendly intercourse with one another, without any restraint of ceremonious formality; as if they were even insensible of the use of necessity of associating the passions of affections of avarice, ambition or covetousness. . . How are we to account for their excellent policy in civil government; it cannot derive its influence from coercive laws, for they have no such artificial system."