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You will, therefore, immediately repair to the Cornplanter's residence, which is upon a branch of the Alleghany river, near the creek called Oil Creek, and make known to him your intentions, and deliver him the speech herewith delivered you for the Senecas, and others of the Six Nations.
It is possible he may not be at home, in which case it will be important to despatch, instantly, runners for him; or in case he should be counselling at Buffalo creek, with the other parts of the nation, it may be proper for you to repair thither.
You are to endeavor, by all possible means, to induce the Cornplanter, and as many other of the chiefs as possible, to go with you upon your mission to the Miami and Wabash Indians; and you will remember, that it is of the highest importance that you should set off without the least delay.
Having obtained, as companions, the chiefs of the Senecas, and others, you will proceed by land or water, as shall be judged best, to Sandusky, upon lake Erie, where reside the Wyandot and Delaware tribes of Indians. These tribes are our friends, and in treaty with us, which, as far as is known, has been well observed by them.
You have also herewith delivered to you, two messages, one to each of the said tribes, written by General St. Clair, who made the treaties with them at fort Harmar, in January, 1789.
You will inform them of the object of your journey, and desire that they will appoint some of their chiefs to accompany you, agreeably to the general desire in his messages.
You will proceed from the Wyandots and Delawares, directly to the Miami town, where you will assemble the Indians together, and speak to them in the style beforementioned.
If you succeed in persuading them to accompany you to fort Washington, you will set out immediately with them, sending Captain Houdin, and such chiefs of all the tribes present as shall be agreed upon, to the Wea or Ouiatanon towns, on the Wabash, and to the other tribes on that river and its vicinity, in order to persuade them also to repair to a treaty at fort Washington.
But, if, after using all your arguments to induce the Miami Indians to repair to fort Washington, you should fail, you must leave them, and with the friendly Indians who may accompany you, repair to fort Washington.
Let it be strongly impressed upon your mind, that every moment after you set out upon your journey must be most industriously employed: for you must, if within the limits of possibility, be at fort Washington by the 5th of May next, whether you succeed or not. This is of the highest importance, as it is connected with collateral arrangements.
The great retardment to be apprehended, will be at the Cornplanter's residence, or other parts of the Seneca nation; but you will endeavor to render your stay as short as possible.
A knowledge of your character induces a confidence, that you will execute the high trust reposed in you with all due despatch and address.
Your mission requires an acquaintance with human nature and the art of managing the hopes and fears of an uncivilized race of men. You will be careful not to promise more than is reasonable to the Indians who may accompany you, and all your promises of that sort shall be complied with.
Your business with the Miami and Wabash Indians will be to persuade them to repair to fort Washington, where they shall be treated kindly and justly; but you are not authorized to particularize to them any terms.
Considering the nature of the service, it is proper to be explicit as to the terms you are to receive from the public, which are as follows:
ist. Your reasonable expenses shall be borne by the public, and upon this point you will be careful to set down your expenses daily, in order that a judgment may be found thereon, when your accounts are to be settled.
2d. As a reward for your services, you shall be allowed the sum of five dollars for each day, while you are actually employed on this business.
3d. If you succeed in bringing the real chiefs of the Miami and the Wabash Indians to a treaty at fort Washington, you shall receive the further sum of five hundred dollars.
4th. In case you should, in the course of the business, be wounded, or disabled from obtaining a livelihood by your personal exertions, attempts will be made to obtain for you a pension of a lieutenant colonel-commandant, wounded in the service of the United States.
5th. And in case you should unfortunately lose your life in the course of this business, the same attempts will be made to obtain the pension of seven years' half-pay of a lieutenant-colonel commandant, to your orphan children.
Captain Michael Gabriel Houdin, a French officer of reputation, who served in the late war in the Massachusetts line, will accompany you in the prosecution of this business; and in case of any misfortune to you, by sickness or otherwise, he is to take these instructions, and pursue them, as if given to himself.
Captain Houdin is to be allowed his expenses, and two dollars per day, as a reward for his services. And in case he should be wounded or disabled, endeavors shall be used to obtain him a pension of a captain, wounded in the military service of the United States.
I have issued my warrant upon Joseph Howell, to pay you six hundred dollars, on account of your and Captain Houdin's expenses, and for which sum you are regularly to account.
Your route will be from this city to Sunbury, and thence, either directly for that part of the Alleghany where the Cornplanter lives, or to Tioga Point, as you may find best. If you go through Wyoming, inquire for a Captain Baldwin, who has agreed to keep school among the Senecas, on account of the United States.
You will consider your business as a secret, and enjoin the same on Captain Houdin. Provided
should bring the Indians to fort Washington, you will stay there no longer than the treaty shall be accomplished; upon which, you and Captain Houdin will return with all convenient speed to this city.
You will keep a journal of your daily occurrences, and deliver me a copy thereof when you shall deliver the report of your proceedings.
Given at the War Office of the United States, in the city of Philadelphia, this with day of March, 1791.
H. KNOX, Secretary of War.
Correspondence between Colonel Procter and Colonel Gordon.' That, in pursuance of these instructions, Colonel Procter and Captain Houdin departed from Philadelphia on the 12th of March;
1 American State Papers, Indian Affairs, Vol. I, p. 148.
that they arrived at the Cornplanter's the sixteenth day of April; that the Cornplanter conceiving, according to custom, that he must consult the rest of his nation, Colonel Procter and Captain Houdin, with the Cornplanter and his Indians, accordingly repaired to Buffalo creek, near fort Erie, on the lake of that name.
That after various councils and difficulties, from the twentyseventh of April to the twenty-first of May, the council agreed to send a deputation of Indians with Colonel Procter, provided he could obtain a vessel; that he accordingly applied to Colonel Gordon, the commanding officer of Niagara, to be permitted to freight a vessel to transport himself and the Indians who should accompany him, to Sandusky, on the west side of lake Eria.
That copies of his letters and the answers thereto are as follows:
BUFFALO CREEK, 5th May, 1791. Sir: Although I have not the honor of a personal acquaintance, I am, notwithstanding, emboldened to address you by letter, and through the same, to inform you, that I am the person charged with certain messages, from his Excellency, the Secretary of War for the United States, to the Six Nations, and other tribes of Indians, residing near lake Erie, &c. One of those messages is particularly sent to the tribes now unhappily at war with the Americans, and with whom it is the ardent desire of General Washington, the President, that peace should be established, on the most lasting terms of equity and justice to them. My mission is, therefore, to invite them to a treaty with Governor St. Clair, on the Ohio, not far from the country they inhabit. The better to effect so desirable an object, proposals were made to the President, in January last, by certain chiefs, who came, on business of the Six Nations to Philadelphia, viz: that they would appoint in their councils, certain of their head-men to accompany such gentlemen as might be sent into the country of those misguided people, to bring them to terms of amity with the thirteen States. This, sir, you will discover, on reading the Secretary of War's letter to the Six Nations, and committed to my care.
It will be handed you by the Young King, with other public papers, which were delivered Captain O'Beel, for the better information of the nations concerned.
I have therefore to entreat you to conceive the most favorable sentiments on the meaning and intent of those public instruments of writing, as they are founded on the principles of humanity and a regard for the well doing of our fellow men.
And I cannot doubt, but the same motives will invite you to assist in so laudable an undertaking. The effects of which will establish happiness to the British subjects of Canada, &c, as well as to the United States. The favor that I here request at your hand, is to permit me to charter one of your vessels in the lake, for such number of Indians, &c., who may accompany me to Sandusky, on lake Erie. So far as my request meets your approbation, I shall receive much pleasure by your signifying the same by a few lines to, sir, Your most humble servant,
THOMAS PROCTER, COLONEL A. GORDON, Commandant of Fort Niagara, &c. &c.
BUFFALO CREEK, 15th May, 1791. SIR: The fifth instant I had the pleasure of addressing my first letter to you, and delivered the same to the care of Captain William Print, an Indian, to be presented by him; but having received no answer since, I presume it has miscarried through neglect.
The purport of it, was to be permitted to have a passage in one of the vessels on lake Erie for such number of Indians and white men, destined to accompany me to some convenient port on the west end of the lake. The mission that I am charged with, is directed to the Indians, now unhappily at war with the United States, with desires to reclaim them to a peaceable demeanor, before that certain destruction overtakes, which is now pending over them. Mr. Horatio Jones will deliver you my letter, and wait your answer, which I hope will be the granting of my request; and whatsoever expenses may accrue upon this occasion, I shall most cheerfully satisfy the same with the commander; and subscribe myself, sir, Your most obedient and most humble servant,
THOMAS PROCTER. COLONEL A. GORDON, Commandant at Fort Niagara, &C.