Before starting on the trip several of the Indians expressed grave fears that if they trusted themselves to the great waters a horrible death would soon overtake them, and at the last moment it required all our arts of persuasion to induce them to go on board.
Red Shirt explained that these fears were caused by a belief prevalent among many tribes of Indians, that if a red man attempted to cross the ocean, soon after beginning his journey he would be seized of a malady that would first prostrate the victim and then slowly consume his flesh, day after day, until at length the very skin itself would drop from his bones, leaving nothing but the skeleton and this even could never find burial. This gruesome belief was repeated by chiefs of the several tribes to the Indians who had joined me, so that there is little reason for wonder, that with all our assurances, the poor unlearned children of a nature run riot by neglect, should hesitate to submit themselves to such an experiment.
On the day following our departure from New York the Indians began to grow weary and their stomachs, like my own, became both treacherous and rebellious. Their fears were now so greatly intensified that even Red Shirt, the bravest of his people, looked anxiously towards the