Chocorua





This beautiful alp in the White Mountains commemorates in its name a

prophet of the Pequawket tribe who, prior to undertaking a journey, had

confided his son to a friendly settler, Cornelius Campbell, of Tamworth.

The boy found some poison in the house that had been prepared for foxes,

and, thinking it to be some delicacy, he drank of it and died. When

Chocorua returned he could not be persuaded that his son had fallen

victim to his own ignorance, but ascribed his death to the white man's

treachery, and one day, when Campbell entered his cabin from the fields,

he found there the corpses of his wife and children scalped and mangled.



He was not a man to lament at such a time: hate was stronger than sorrow.

A fresh trail led from his door. Seizing his rifle he set forth in

pursuit of the murderer. A mark in the dust, a bent grass blade, a torn

leaf-these were guides enough, and following on through bush and swamp

and wood they led him to this mountain, and up the slope he scrambled

breathlessly. At the summit, statue-like, Chocorua stood. He saw the

avenger coming, and knew himself unarmed, but he made no attempt to

escape his doom. Drawing himself erect and stretching forth his hands he

invoked anathema on his enemies in these words: A curse upon you, white

men! May the Great Spirit curse you when he speaks in the clouds, and his

words are fire! Chocorua had a son and you killed him while the sky

looked bright. Lightning blast your crops! Winds and fire destroy your

dwellings! The Evil One breathe death upon your cattle! Your graves lie

in the war-path of the Indian! Panthers howl and wolves fatten over your

bones! Chocorua goes to the Great Spirit. His curse stays with the white

man.



The report of Campbell's rifle echoed from the ledges and Chocorua leaped

into the air, plunging to the rocks below. His mangled remains were

afterward found and buried near the Tamworth path. The curse had its

effect, for pestilence and storm devastated the surrounding country and

the smaller settlements were abandoned. Campbell became a morose hermit,

and was found dead in his bed two years afterward.





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