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The Secretary of War to the Rev. Samuel Kirkland.

December 20th, 1791. SIR: At a conference held by Colonel Pickering with the Senecas, and all the other Six Nations (excepting the Mohawks) at the Painted Post, in the month of June last, it was agreed that certain chiefs should repair to Philadelphia, during the time of Congress being in session, in order to carry into execution certain principles, tending to the civilization of the said Indians.

Colonel Pickering now writes to those chiefs at Buffalo Creek, and other places, inviting them to repair here.

In his invitation, he has invited Captain Brandt; perhaps this may not be a sufficient inducement for him to come. You will, therefore, write to him in your own name, assuring him that you will pledge yourself for his safety and welcome reception.

Immediately on your return to Oneida, you will send Indian runners to the several chiefs who are named by Colonel Pickering.

You are explicitly to understand, that the presence of a few of the principal chiefs is desired.

You will appoint Geneseo as the place for you to meet the said chiefs, with whom you will proceed directly to this city, by way of Tioga and Luzerne county.

Your knowledge of the language and customs of the Indians, a confidence in your character and integrity, induces me to place an entire reliance on you relatively to this business.

That you will send faithful and intelligent messengers, particularly to Captain Brandt, from whom you will endeavor to obtain an explicit answer.

That you will meet the said Indians at Geneseo, at the time you shall appoint, which ought to be as soon as convenient.

That you will make suitable provision for them at Geneseo, and thence on the route to this city.

That you will take all due care that they are not insulted on the road, but kindly received.

That you will inform me, in due season, of their number, and when they will arrive in this city, in order that suitable accommodations may be provided for them.

1American State Papers, Indian Affairs, Vol. I, p. 226.

That you will keep the accounts of the expenditures upon the road, in a fair and clear manner; taking receipts for every expenditure, so that every shilling may have a proper voucher annexed thereto.

In order to enable you to execute this business in a proper manner, I have directed that the sum of three hundred and fifty dollars be placed in your hands, for which you will be held accountable.

Besides defraying your necessary expenses, while in the actual execution of this business, you shall have a reasonable compensation for your trouble, which shall be settled and paid upon the issue of the business in this city. I shall depend upon receiving your communications upon all necessary occasions; and particularly, I shall wish to obtain as early information as possible of the effect which the late defeat of our army has had upon the minds of the Six Nations, particularly the Senecas.

You will not fail, upon all proper occasions, to impress on the minds of all Indians, so that the sentiment may be diffused far and wide, that the President of the United States and Congress are highly desirous of being the protectors, friends and ministers of good, to all peaceably disposed Indians; and, at the same time, they will punish all murderers and disturbers of the peace of the frontiers.


The Secretary of War to the Seneca Chiefs, January 7th, 1792,



BROTHERS: Open your ears and hear the words of your friend, for it is by General Washington's order, the Great Chief of the United States, I speak to you.

The unfortunate defeat of our troops at the Westward, does not dishearten the United States, and I hope it does not you. It is true, we lament the blood that has been spilt in a war, which you know we wished to avoid. You know this, as well from the mouth of our great chief, General Washington, as from the endeavors of Colonel Procter, whom I sent to you last spring.

American State Papers, Indian Affairs, Vol. I, p. 226.

But the number of men we have lost, we can easily replace; and, therefore, although the continuance of the war will be troublesome, yet, in the long run, we must conquer.

The United States have wished to be at peace with the Miami and Wabash Indians; but they have refused to listen to our invitations, and have continued to murder our people.

Brothers: The United States must, and will protect their frontier inhabitants; and if much evil befall the bad Indians, they will have brought it upon themselves.

General Washington regards you as our fast friend, and he will take care of you. Lieutenant Jeffers tell us you have been threatened by the bad Indians; if this should be the case, had you not better remove near his garrison? or shall we build a fort near where you are, to which you may resort in case of danger? Speak, for we wish to consider you and your people as part of ourselves.

I have sent you a few presents, to replace those things which some bad people plundered you of last spring. Receive them as an earnest of the good will of the United States; and let us know what other articles you wish, and they shall be sent you.

Let nothing shake your friendship: for, be assured, we only seek to do that which is right and just. (L. S.) Given, &c.

H. KNOX, Secretary of War.


The Secretary of War to the Rev. Samuel Kirkland.

January 9th, 1792. SIR: I have received a letter from General Schuyler, dated the ist instant, informing me that he had persuaded Good Peter and French Peter to return with you; I therefore expect this letter will reach you at Genesee. I hope this ardently, because Captain Hoops, who left Genesee lately, saw there the Farmer's Brother, with whom he had much conversation.

The Farmer's Brother informed me of a great council about to be held at Buffalo creek, the decrease of the present moon. It is all important to know the object of this council; I conjure, you, therefore, to spare no pains nor expense to gain this information, and let me know the result by an express. I hope you

'American State Papers, Indian Affairs, Vol. I, p. 226.

I hope you will go to that council; and knowing the kindness of the General Government, that you will exert yourself that no wrong measures be taken.

I hope, earnestly, that you will succeed in bringing the chiefs to this city with you. I consider this as highly important at this time. I know, when the Indians are persuaded of the good intentions of the United States to them, that they will use their highest exertions for peace. Let me hear from you as early as possible.

I am, sir, yours, &c.


The Secretary of War to the New-Arrow, Cornplanter, Big-Log, and

Other Seneca Chiefs."

February 10th, 1792. BROTHERS: I sent a message to you on the 7th day of last March, by Lieutenant Jeffers. I hope you received that message, and the goods therein mentioned.

Your situation is such, and the bad Indians are so hostile, that it is the desire of the President of the United States, that the NewArrow, the Cornplanter, and two other principal chiefs, should immediately repair to Philadelphia, in order to decide on the measures which shall best promote the common good of the Senecas and the white people. This invitation is to extend to Captain Snake, and one or two other influential chiefs of his tribe, residing on the Alleghany.

We have invited the Farmer's Brother, and other chiefs, who reside at Buffalo creek, to repair here, in order to convince them how much it will be for their interest to consider themselves as the fast friends of the United States.

Although we have a full conviction of the friendship of the NewArrow, the Cornplanter, and the other chiefs and warriors residing on the Alleghany, yet we should like them to be present at the

American State Papers, Indian Affairs, Vol. I, p. 228.

proposed meeting with the chiefs from Buffalo creek, so that all our proceedings may be marked with the highest openness and truth.

But you are to judge how far you may with safety leave your families, for the time you must necessarily be absent, in order to repair here.

If you should judge your families would not be safe, then we will concur in the best arrangements to secure them, as we should to secure our own women and children.

Let us know, immediately, your intention, because, if you cannot come and receive the words which I have to speak to you in the name of the President of the United States, I must commission some person to repair to you with another message, and some further propositions concerning your own safety, and to cement our friendship.

I send you this message by Captain Waterman Baldwin, who will accompany you to this city; or who, in case of your declining to come, will be the bearer of your message. Given, &c.

H. KNOX, Secretary of War.


The Secretary of War to Captain Joseph Brandt.1

February 25th, 1792. SIR: Colonel Pickering, who had some communications with the Senecas, and others of the Six Nations, during the two last years, was duly authorized to invite you to visit this city, in order to consult you upon the best means of civilizing and advancing the happiness of the Indians. Some information has been recently received from Mr. Kirkland, intimating your disposition to perform the visit, but declining to do it upon the former invitation, as not being sufficiently explicit.

American State Papers, Indian Affairs, Vol. I, p. 228.

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