A Son of the Middle Border

Hamlin Garland speaks of what it was like living with Native Americans in Wisconsin as a young boy in 1864.

Only two people lived above us (from the valley), and over the height to the north was the land of the red people, and small bands of their hunters used occassionally to come trailing down across our meadow on their way to and from LaCrosse, which was their immemorial tradepost.

Sometimes they walked into our house, always without knocking_but then we understood their ways. No one knocks at the wigwam of a red neighbor, and we were not afraid of them, for we were friendly, and our mother often gave them bread and meat, which they took (always without thanks) and ate with much relish while sitting beside our fire. All this seemed very curious to us, but as they were accustomed to share their food and lodging with one another so they accepted my mother’s bounty in the same matter-of-fact fashion.  ‘Home from the War’