Considerations by the Way
An early American immigrant lives among the Indians for a time.
We shall not presume to anticipate the judgment of our fellow-citizens throughout the Union on these important letters, by interposing any comments of our own.—Four Letters on the Important Subject of Government, 1802.
Of Eating and Entertainment.
WHOMSOEVER commeth in when they are eating, they offer them to eat of that which they have, though but little enough prepar’d for themselves. If any provision of fish or flesh come in, they make their neighbours partakers with them.
If any stranger come in, they presently give him to eate of what they have; many a time, and at all times of the night (as I have fallen in travell upon their houses) when nothing hath been ready, have themselves and their wives, risen to prepare me some refreshing.
The observation generall from their eating, &c.
IT is a strange truth that a man shall generally finde more free entertainment and refreshing amongst these Barbarians, then amongst thousands that call themselves Christians.
1. COURSE bread and water’s most their fare;
O Englands diet fine;
Thy cup runs ore with plenteous store
Of wholesome beare and wine.
2. Sometimes God gives them Fish or Flesh,
Yet they’re content without;
And what comes in, they part to friends
and strangers round about.
3. Gods providence is rich to his,
Let none distrustfull be;
In wildernesse, in great distresse,
These Ravens have fed me.
—Roger Williams, A Key Into the Language of America (1643).