The Sacred Fire Of Nachez

The Indians of the South, being in contact with the civilized races of

Central America, were among the most progressive and honorable of the red

men. They were ruled by intelligence rather than force, and something of

the respect that Europeans feel for their kingly families made them

submit to woman's rule. The valley of Nacooche, Georgia, indeed,

perpetuates in its name one of these princesses of a royal house, for

though she ruled a large tribe with wisdom she was not impervious to the

passions of common mortals. The Evening Star died by her own hand,

being disappointed in love affair. Her story is that of Juliet, and she

and her lover--united in death, as they could not be in life--are buried

beneath a mound in the centre of he valley.

The Indians of that region had towns built for permanency, and possessed

some knowledge of the arts, while in religion their belief and rites were

curiously like those of the Persian fire-worshippers. It was on the site

of the present city in Mississippi which bears their name that the

Natchez Indians built their Temple of the Sun. When it was finished a

meteor fell from heaven and kindled the fire on their altar, and from

that hour the priests guarded he flame continually, until one night when

it was extinguished by mischance. This event was believed to be an omen,

and the people so took it to heart that when the white men came, directly

after, they had little courage to prosecute a war, and fell back before

the conqueror, never to hold their ancient home again.

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