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p. 83


The following quotation from Bartram 1 gives another mythic tale, which is added by way of supplement.

"The river St. Mary has its source from a vast lake, or marsh, called Ouaquaphenogaw, which lies between Flint and Oakmulge rivers, and occupies a space of near 300 miles in circuit. This vast accumulation of waters in the wet season appears as a lake, and contains some large islands or knolls of rich high land, one of which the present generation of the Creeks represent to be a most blissful spot of the earth; they say it is inhabited by a peculiar race of Indians, whose women are incomparably beautiful; they also tell you that this terrestrial paradise has been seen by some of their enterprising hunters, when in pursuit of game, who being lost in inextricable swamps and bogs, and on the point of perishing, were unexpectedly relieved by a company of beautiful women, whom they call daughters of the sun, who kindly gave them such provisions as they had with them, which were chiefly fruits, oranges, dates, etc., and some corn cakes, and then enjoined them to fly for safety to their own country; for that their husbands were fierce men, and cruel to strangers; they further say that these hunters had a view of their settlements, situated on the elevated banks of an island, or promontory, in a beautiful lake; but that in their endeavors to approach it they were involved in perpetual labyrinths, and, like enchanted land, still as they imagined they had just gained it, it seemed to fly before them, alternately appearing and disappearing. They resolved, at length, to leave the delusive pursuit and to return; which, after a number of inexpressible difficulties, they effected. When they reported their adventures to their countrymen, their young warriors were inflamed with an irresistible desire to invade, and make a conquest of, so charming a country, but all their attempts have proved abortive, [they] never having been able again to find that enchanting spot, nor even any road or pathway to it; yet they say that they frequently meet with certain signs of its being inhabited, as the building of canoes, footsteps of men, etc. They tell another story concerning the inhabitants of this sequestered country, which seems probable enough, which is, that they are the posterity of a fugitive remnant of the ancient Yamases, who escaped massacre after a bloody and decisive conflict between them and the Creek nation (who, it is certain, conquered, and nearly exterminated that once powerful people), and here found an asylum, remote and secure from the fury of their proud conquerors."


83:1 Wm. Bartram, Travels, Dublin, 1793, pp. 24-26. This tale was made the subject of a poem by the Poetess Felicia Hemans.

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