Arrival of fourteen Ioway Indians in London—Their lodgings in St. James’s Street—The Author visits them—Their portraits and names—Mr. Melody, their conductor—Jeffrey Doraway, their interpreter—Landlady’s alarm—Indians visit the Author’s Collection in the Egyptian Hall—Arrangement to dance in the Collection—The Doctor (Medicine or Mystery man) on top of the Hall—Their first drive in a bus—Doctor’s appearance outside—Indians’ first impressions of London—Lascars sweeping the streets—Man with a big nose—The Doctor ...
Arrival of fourteen Ioway Indians in London—Their lodgings in St. James’s Street—The Author visits them—Their portraits and names—Mr. Melody, their conductor—Jeffrey Doraway, their interpreter—Landlady’s alarm—Indians visit the Author’s Collection in the Egyptian Hall—Arrangement to dance in the Collection—The Doctor (Medicine or Mystery man) on top of the Hall—Their first drive in a bus—Doctor’s appearance outside—Indians’ first impressions of London—Lascars sweeping the streets—Man with a big nose—The Doctor lost, and found on the housetop—Their first exhibition in Egyptian Hall—Eagle-dance—The Doctor’s speech—Great amusement of the ladies—His description of the railroad from Liverpool to London—War-dance, great applause—The “jolly fat dame”—She presents a gold bracelet to the Doctor by mistake—Her admiration of the Roman-nose—War-whoop—Description of—Approaching-dance—Wolf-song, and description of—Great amusement of the audience—Shaking hands—Mistake with the bracelet.
The event which I spoke of at the close of my last chapter—the arrival of another party of Indians—was one which called upon me at once for a new enterprise, and I suddenly entered upon it, again deferring the time of my return to my native land.
The “fourteen Ioway Indians,” as report had said, had arrived, and were in apartments at No. 7, St. James’s Street, with their interpreter. This party was in charge of Mr. G. H. C. Melody, who had accompanied them from their own country, with a permission gained from the Secretary at War to bring them to Europe, which permission was granted in the following words:—
War Department, Washington City, Sept. 14th, 1843.
In answer to your application relative to Mr. Melody’s making a tour to Europe with a party of Ioway Indians, as well as to a similar one on his behalf from the Rev. Wm. P. Cochran, of Marian County, Missouri, I beg leave to say, that it has not been usual to grant any permissions of the kind, and the verbal instructions to the Agents, Superintendents, &c. have been against permitting such tours, for the reason, I presume, that the persons having them in charge are usually men who merely wish to make money out of them by exhibitions, without taking any care of their habits or morals, or inducing them to profit by what they see and hear upon their route.
In the present case, however, I do not think that the evils usually to be apprehended will occur, from the character of Mr. Melody, and the mode in which the Indians are proposed to be selected. This I understand is to be done by the Chief, White Cloud, with the full assent of the individuals thus selected, and their continuance on the tour to be their own act.
Under all the circumstances, I suppose all the Department can do, is to allow Mr. Melody and the Chiefs of the tribe to do as they please, without imposing the usual or any prohibition.
I am, yours, very truly,
J. M. Porter,
Secretary at War.
Vespasian Ellis, Esq.
Washington City, Sept. 1843.
Under this letter you are authorised to make any arrangement with the Chief of the tribe of Indians that you and he may please to make; and the War Department agrees, in consideration of your well-known integrity of character, not to interfere with the arrangement which you and the Chief or the Indians may make.
Your obedient Servant,
Mr. Melody called upon me immediately on his arrival in London, and I went with him to see his party, several of whom I at once recognized as I entered their rooms. On seeing me they all rose upon their feet and offered me their hands, saluting me by their accustomed word, “How! how! how! Chip-pe-ho-la!” and evidently were prepared for great pleasure on meeting me. White Cloud, the head chief of the tribe, was of the party, and also the war-chief Neu-mon-ya (the Walking Rain). These two chiefs, whose portraits were then hanging in my collection, had stood before me for their pictures several years previous in their own village, and also one of the warriors now present, whose name was Wash-ka-mon-ya (the Fast Dancer). These facts being known, one can easily imagine how anxious these good fellows had been, during a journey of 2000 miles from their country to New York, and then during their voyage across the ocean, to meet me in a foreign land, who had several years before shared the hospitality of their village, and, to their knowledge, had done so much to collect and perpetuate the history of their race. They had come also,