Here Lived and Loved Another Race of Beings

A kayak trail through cypress, Spanish Moss and a tanin-stained blackwater swamp. Okefenokee National Wildlife Refuge, Georgia. Middle Fork canoe trail. March 5, 2017. © Please don’t steal my images. Download and use legally at

In an 1825 oration, early American poet ​Charles Sprague beautifully laments the  extirpation of the American Indian that once roamed the lands like the Okefenokee:

“Not many generations ago, the rank thistle nodded in the wind, and the wild fox dug his hole unscared. Here lived and loved another race of beings. Beneath the same sun that rolls over your head, the Indian hunter pursued the painting deer; gazing on the same moon that smiles for you, the Indian lover wooed his mate. Here the wigwam blaze beamed on the tender and helpless, and the council fire glared on the wise and daring. Now, they dipped their noble limbs in yon sedgy lakes, and now, they paddled the light canoe along yon rocky shores. Here they warred; the echoing whoop, the bloody grapple, the defying death song all were here; and when the tiger-strife was over, here curled the smoke of peace. Here, too, they worshipped; and from many a dark bosom went up a fervent prayer to the Great Spirit. He had not written His laws for them on tables of stone, but He had traced them on the tables of their hearts. They knew not the God of Revelation, but the God of the universe he acknowledged in everything around him.”


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