October 4th. At ten o'clock, the hour appointed for the council,
the Indians, headed by their chiefs, arrived; and after shaking us all by
the hand took their seats. There were about one hundred Ottoes, seventy
Missouries, and fifty or sixty Ioways. They arranged themselves, agreeably
to their tribes, on puncheon benches, which had been prepared for them,
and which described a semicircle, on the chord of which sat the whites,
with Major O'Fallon and his interpreters in the centre [sic].
Sentinels walked to and fro behind the benches; and a handsome standard
waved before the assembly. The council was opened by a few rounds from the
howitzers. A profound silence reigned for a few minutes, when Major
O'Fallon arose, and in a very animated and energetic manner addressed his
Indian auditors. Suitable replies were given by Shonga-tonga, the Crenier
and others, with all the extravagant gesticulation which is one of the
prominent features of Indian oratory.
At the termination of the council, presents were made of blankets,
kettles, strouding, tobacco, guns, powder and ball,
&c. The Big Horse and the Crenier only were acknowledged as chiefs, and to
the latter, who did not possess a large medal, one was given in exchange
for a smaller one which he possessed. No chief was acknowledged amongst
the Missouries, as it was the wish of Major O'Fallon to extinguish as much
as possible national prejudices between these two nations or tribes.
Cut-nose now presented to the agent his crow and bison robe
ornamented with hieroglyphicks [sic]. The Little Black Bear
presented his robe of white wolf and bison skin, and a pair of handsome
leggings. The Black Bird presented a robe and the serrated instrument of
music before mentioned, observing, significantly that the latter was then
the only weapon he possessed with which he could defend his father.