Note 1. Canto I.

As the Reader may be unacquainted with the ceremonies and superstitions of the Indian tribes of North America, the following note can in some degree explain the peculiarities of those customs, which are alluded to in the Poem, and which were made known to the Author during his residence in Canada, where it was written.

The Great Spirit whom the Indian addresses on all occasions for favourable interpositions of his fate, is termed by him, Manitou, or Maneto, and means an irresistible Almighty Being, who is great and bountiful; they have, however, their impressions of an Evil one, whom they designate by Matchamanitou; when they wish therefore to contrast their ideas of the two, they distinguish the good and great One by the term Kashamanitou, in contradistinction to the other,—the word Kasha signifying, good, and Matcha, evil. Their superstitions are strong, which is the case with all uncivilized beings; and having amongst them individuals of greater cunning than the rest, who pretend to the endowments of supernatural powers of prophecy, (as in the instance of the "Prophet of the Shawanee tribe, the brother of Tecumthe,") the success of any measure depends in their ideas, altogether on the influence of this person who brings it forward,—who is deemed wise in their generation, and whom they suppose gifted with these supernatural talents, yielding implicitly to his suggestions. Their sacrifices take place also at the suggestions of this person, or of any Chief of great weight amongst them, and the object is generally to obtain success in pursuits of hunting or fighting; these sacrifices are accompanied with prayers, dancing, singing, &c. The ceremony is attended with various forms and violent gestures, which are carried on around the pole, on which the offering, such as a buck, or any wild animal is suspended, or round the fire where it is to be roasted or burnt, where gum and resin is also thrown at intervals by the gifted person, which flames forth, and forms a part of their augury. They have words which they sing or howl together, the import of which is always hunting or fighting, and is a constant repetition of tones and words; their only accompaniment is the tambourine, formed of dried skin or parchment. The Shawanee tribe is noted for the greatest number of its ritual ceremonies, which are unknown amongst the other Southern tribes. [back]


Note 2. Canto III.

The Author is happy in observing, that since these Stanzas were written, the foundation stone of a monument, to the memory of this gallant soldier has been laid; and it is to be hoped, that those feelings which should attend the remembrance of such an heroic deed, will be evinced in the liberal subscription to record his valour and devotedness. Why has no reward of a similar nature been paid to the memory of the immortal Wolfe, on the plains of Abraham? to whose valour and talent Great Britain owes her Colonies of North America, as she does equally their preservation, in the outset of the last war, to the first efforts of the gallant Brock. [back]


Note 3. Canto III.

A copy of the original speech of Tecumthe, obtained from a person who was present, when he made it, and noted down by the hand of the Interpreter, is in the possession of the Author, but as it would only be adding a document which nobody could understand, and every one must pay for, it has been withheld from insertion; it agrees in point of general remark with the one versified, but in nothing more. [back]


Note 4. Canto III.

The aboriginal name of this river is the Essecune-seepe, changed by the settlers into the Thames, which modern appellation the Author has in this instance preferred making use of, for a reason which the lines themselves will best explain. [back]


Note 5. Canto III.

This action was fought at the settlement of the Moravian Village, on the banks of the Thames. [back]