Old-time travelers and modern Indian fighters agree that there was no braver man on earth, alive or in history, than the Redman. Courage was the virtue he chiefly honored. His whole life and training were with the purpose of making him calm, fearless and efficient in every possible stress or situation.
Father Lafitau said of the Eastern Indians, in 1724:
"They are high-minded and proud; possess a courage equal to every trial; an intrepid valor; the most heroic constancy under torments, and an equanimity which neither misfortune nor reverses can shake." (Moeurs des Sauv. Amer).
"An Indian meets death, when it approaches him in his hut, with the same resolution he has often faced him in the field. His indifference relative to this important article, which is the source of so many apprehensions to almost every other nation, is truly admirable. When his fate is pronounced by the physician, and it remains no longer uncertain, he harangues those about him with the greatest composure." (Carver's "Travels Among the Sioux," 1766-9; p. 261).
"The greatest insult that can be offered to an Indian, is, to doubt his courage." (J. D. Hunter, "Captivity"; 1798-1816; p- 301).
" These savages are possessed with many heroic qualities, and bear every species of misfortune with a degree of fortitude which has not been outdone by any of the ancient heroes either of Greece or of Rome." (Carver's "Travels Among the Sioux," 1766-9; pp. 221-2).
None of us are likely to question the Redman's prowess when we remember for example that Black Hawk with 40 warriors utterly routed 270 American riflemen in 1832, Chief Joseph in 1877 with inferior weapons beat the American soldiers over and over again with half their number, and in 1878 Dull Knife with 69 warriors fought and defied 2000 American troops for over four months.