formerly displayed in savage pursuits has given place to indolence.
rl'h.- old men say in a tone of pathos : " Our people are getting
out of the old ways and the young folks take no interest in what
our fathers used to do./" Thus the old order has changed, until
now but a few of the tribe still retain the air of the typical Indian.
Some of these have never learned the English language, but
when they are gone the musical tongue of the Catawbas will be
stilled forever; and with this generation will, perhaps, pass away
traditions and conceptions which have traveled down from
tongue to ear through the centuries. The old Indians will talk of
their boyhood days and of how their fathers went on the war-path
against the Cherokees, but when questioned as to the mounds in
the surrounding country, the reply of "Hiawatha" may be
read in their faces :—
" On the grave-posts of our fathers
Are no signs, no figures painted ;
Who are in those graves we know not,
Only know they are our fathers."
The oldest Indian on the reservation is " Uncle Billy George,"
who bears in the Catawba language the name of Corrichee. He
is the only living Indian among those who signed the present
treaty between his tribe and the State of South Carolina. He
says that he signed it "as a witness or somehow that way."
The old man recently remarked to a visitor that sometimes he
could not sleep for thinking about his people. Uncle Billy is a
fragment of the old times and is one of those links which connect us with other days. Here is a sketch of his life in his own
words : —
" I was born in York County on Cowan's plantation, above Ebenezer. I am
about ninety years old. My people would go out from the reservation to work
a year or two—that's when I was born. I came to the reservation when only
a boy. I remember my father. He's dead now, and was buried in Union
County, North Carolina. He was like the old Indians—talked Indian better
than English. Our people talked differently then from now. They ought to
keep up the language the Lord gave them. The language they speak now is
changed a great deal. I was ten or twelve years old when my father died. I
have heard him talk about the Revolutionary War. Some of his people were
in it. He was not himself. My father was fifty or sixty when he died.
" The foreign Indians used to come here and fight with the old Indians.
The last fight was close to Rock Hill, and we went upon them and killed them
out—that was before I was born. My father was in it. He said that the
foreign Indians slipped in and killed some of our people, and when we saw
them we went upon them and killed them.