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Then we proceeded to relate the instructions of Congress, which is too tedious to relate, and which they already know; but when we first related it, we failed for interpreters, so that they had not a proper idea of it; they appeared to be very much ruffled in their minds, and adjourned the council to the next day; then it was interpreted properly to them, and they appeared easy in their minds.
ELDEST BROTHERS: You desire us to consider our country and property; we will accept of your advice, and proceed accordingly.
Six NATIONS.—Let us look back to the time of white people coming into this country; very soon began to traffic for land. Soon after, Sir Wm. Johnston was sent as an agent from the King, and he began to purchase at the treaty at fort Stanwix, and purchased all east of the river Ohio.
A few years after this purchase, the people of the States and the King's people broke apart, and we being persuaded to take the King's part, became very bad for us. After a few years, the King was beat; then the States took possession of all the land the English formerly took from the French.
You tell us, we come with the voice of the United States; we do, together with the advice of the King. He tells us, not to throw our minds on either side, but to listen to reason, &c. and remain a people confederated.
SHAWANEE NATIONS.—Now, ELDEST BROTHERS: You come to us with your opinion, and the voice of the United States. It is your mind to put an end to all hostilities. Brothers: now we will relate what took place last fall, in our country. General Washington sent an army into our country, which fell into our hands; their orders was thus, to proceed into our country as far as the Miami towns, to the Glaize; thence to Detroit, but not to molest the King's people, and if the army should meet any people that appeared friendly, to leave them behind their backs without harm.
The President of the United States must well know, why the blood is so deep in our paths. We have been informed, he has sent messengers of peace on these bloody roads, who fell on the way. And now, as he knows that road to be bloody, no communication to take place through that bloody way, as there is a path through the Six Nations' country, which is smooth and easy. If he wants to send the voice of peace, it must pass through this road.
ELDEST BROTHERS: We have been informed, the President of the United States thinks himself the greatest man on this Island. We had this country long in peace, before we saw any person of a white skin; we consider the people of a white skin the younger.
BROTHERS: You inform us it is the wish of the white people, to hold council with us, General Washington being the head-man; we will consent to treat with them; we desire you, our older brothers, to inform General Washington we will treat with him, at the Rapids of Miami, next spring, or at the time when the leaves are fully out.
We consider ourselves still the proper owners of some land on the east side of the Ohio.
But we will deliver up that, for money that has been paid to some individuals, for land on the west side of the river Ohio.
BROTHERS: You have given us a dish and one spoon, desiring the whole combination to eat with them; we accept of them, and shall do accordingly.
We are now about to complete the business you came on. When you return, you will make known to the President, what we have done; it may be, he will not consent to what we have proposed; and if he will not, we must call on you to assist in the heavy burden which will lie on us. We have opened a path for them and pointed out a way, and, if he will not walk in it, we must have your assistance.
Now, OUR ELDEST BROTHERS: When the President came to you, he took you aside to hear what he had to say. He desired you to come to us, and deliver the messages; you have delivered them, and we desire you to deliver the messages we have given you to deliver to him, and desire him to send a message back, what he will do respecting what we have done and concluded on; to forward it to you, and you to us. We will lay the bloody tomahawk aside, until hear from the President of the United States, and when this message comes to us, we will send it to all the different nations. (Speaking on three strings of wampum.)
Speech from the Six Nations to the President.
You sent us on the Westward, with a message of peace to the hostile Indians.
We proceed accordingly to your directions, and was protected, going and coming, by the Great Spirit.
We give thanks to the Great Spirit, that we have all returned safe to our seats.
While we was at the Westward, we exerted ourselves to bring about peace. The fatigues we underwent, are not small. Now, it is our desire for your people, on the Ohio, to lay down their arms, or otherwise it is all in vain, what we have done.
Now, if you wish for peace, you must make every exertion, and proceed through this path, we have directed for you. If peace does not take place, the fault must arise from your people.
We now desire you, brothers, to send forward agents, who are men of honesty, not proud land jobbers, but men who love and desire peace. Also, desire they may be accompanied by some Friend or Quaker, to attend the council.
Wish you to exert yourselves, to forward the message to the Western Indians as soon as possible; and we are taken by the hand, and have agreed, next spring, to attend the council at the Rapids of Miami, when we shall hear all that takes place there.
Hostile Indians to Governor Simcoe.
BROTHERS: We have been informed, the late Governor is a good man; we desire that you will take the Governor by the hand, and lead him to the council next spring. Exert yourselves to get him up, that he may not be backward; that he may sit side and side with the Americans at the time of the council. And when you take him by the hand, desire him to furnish us with provisions necessary for the treaty.
Six Nations to the Governor.
BROTHERS: Now, we have laid all our proceedings before you, which took place at the Westward. You have heard the request of your Western brothers, therefore, wish you to exert yourself to grant their requests.
You informed us, to listen to the voice of peace, wherever we might hear it. Now we hear the voice of peace, we call on you for
. assistance, that we may obtain peace through this Island.
BROTHERS: We now sit here together; you are the man who represents the United States; we have discerned, that too great a degree of pride has subsisted between the two Governments; we desire that it may be laid aside.
When the agents from the United States come forward to the council, we desire they may bring forward all records, plans, maps, and documents, that any way respect the lands purchased from the Indians.
Fish Carrier's Speech.
Desiring this degree of pride, which has heretofore subsisted, may be done away, and that each government will mutually consent and agree on terms of peace.
He informs, that he has always attended treaties, that has been held, and has always wished for peace, and has done all in his power for peace; that he has not advised any hostilities to commence on either side, and, now wishes each government to lay aside all pride and prejudice, and to use their endeavors for peace.
After the council was over, Major Littletrates, who represented Governor Simcoe on that occasion, answered the Indians as follows:
BROTHERS: I shall lay before the governor, your requests; and respecting his furnishing you with provisions, &c. I doubt not but he will do it agreeable to your wishes. And also, to procure all records, plans, and documents, which shall be thought necessary, and to do every thing in his power to bring about a peace, so interesting to the United States, as well as to the British Government.
Speech of the Cornplanter and New Arrow to Major General Wayne.'
CHINUCHSHUNGUTHO, 8th December, 1792. BROTHER: We are glad that our friend, whom you send to us with your friendly message, has arrived safe at our towns, and likewise thank this young man, (the Cornplanter's nephew) who left his hunting to accompany him. He informs us that you are desirous to know what conclusions we came to with the Western Indians. We shall now give you an account of our principal proceedings. We thank the Great Spirit, that we, with the rest of our chiefs, who were at council, have again arrived safe at our towns. According to the promise of our chiefs, made last winter in Philadelphia, we have been to council with the hostile Indians, to endeavor to bring them to a peace. After we arrived at their towns, and had acquainted them that it was the wish of General Washington to be at peace with the whole of the Indians, even those from the rising to the setting of the sun: after they had considered, they all, as one, agreed to make a peace; but as General Washington did not let us know the terms on which he would make peace, it was referred to a council the ensuing spring, where they wish he should be present. They wish it to be considered that they were the first people the Great Spirit seated on this island, for which reason we look on the Americans as children, to call them our younger brethren.
In the spring, we expect to meet them in council, where we can determine on what terms peace shall be made.
1 American State Papers, Indian Affairs, Vol. I, p. 337.