"In my opinion, it was chiefly owing to their deep contemplation in their silent retreats in the days of youth that the old Indian orators acquired the habit of carefully arranging their thoughts.
They listened to the warbling of birds and noted the grandeur and the beauties
of the forest. The majestic clouds -- which appear like mountains of granite
floating in the air -- the golden tints of a summer evening sky, and all the
of nature possessed a mysterious significance.
All this combined to furnish ample matter for
reflection to the contemplating youth."
Francis Assikinack (Blackbird)
Arch Rock on Mackinac Island
How Ioscoda and His Friends
Met the White Men from the East
and Journeyed Across the Great Waters
"Often in the stillness of the night, when all nature seems asleep about me,
there comes a gentle rapping at the door of my heart.
I open it and a voice inquires,
"Pokagon, what of your People?
What will their future be?
My answer is:
Mortal man has not the power to draw aside the veil of unborn time to tell
the future of his race. That gift belongs of the Creator alone.
But it is given to him to closely judge the future
by the present...and the past."
Simon Pokagon (1830-1899) Potawatomie
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