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Canadian Notabilities, Volume 1 by John Charles Dent
page 1 of 138 (00%)



Few tasks are more difficult of accomplishment than the overturning of the
ideas and prejudices which have been conceived in our youth, which have
grown up with us to mature age, and which have finally become the settled
convictions of our manhood. The overturning process is none the less
difficult when, as is not seldom the case, those ideas and convictions are
widely at variance with facts. Most of us have grown up with very erroneous
notions respecting the Indian character--notions which have been chiefly
derived from the romances of Cooper and his imitators. We have been
accustomed to regard the aboriginal red man as an incarnation of treachery
and remorseless ferocity, whose favourite recreation is to butcher
defenceless women and children in cold blood. A few of us, led away by the
stock anecdotes in worthless missionary and Sunday School books, have gone
far into the opposite extreme, and have been wont to regard the Indian as
the Noble Savage who never forgets a kindness, who is ever ready to return
good for evil, and who is so absurdly credulous as to look upon the
pale-faces as the natural friends and benefactors of his species. Until
within the last few years, no pen has ventured to write impartially of the
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