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be free from dispute, you may, in order to effect a peace, make such relinquishment.
In case you should be under the necessity of making this relinquishment, it will be left to your discretion whether or not to make the same compensations as are stated for the confirmation of the general boundary established by the treaty of fort Harmar.
But, you are to understand explicitly, that the United States cannot relinquish any of the tracts of land which they have already granted, as marked upon the said map.
In respect to all that has been said, with regard to relinquishment, you will please to understand, that no particular difficulty is intended to be thrown in the way of the relinquishment of any lands westward of the Great Miami, and northward of the Ohio, from the intersection thereof by the Great Miami, except the tract of one hundred and fifty thousand acres, granted to General Clarke.
You will observe, that, as none of the Wabash tribes attended the treaty of fort Harmar, the Western boundary, then established is imperfectly described. In the treaty made by General Putnam, with the said Wabash tribes, on the fourth of October last, the boundaries are not defined. He says, that he understood the Eastern boundary, claimed by the said Wabash Indians, would be described by a line drawn from the Miami village to a creek, a few miles above the falls of the Ohio. But, it is a point of considerable importance, in case of a successful treaty, that a well defined boundary should be established with all the tribes, so that, in future, no misunderstanding should happen on that account.
It will be an object worthy of your attention, to endeavor, as far as shall be consistent with the main design of peace, to form separate contracts, or treaties, relatively to boundaries, with the several tribes to whom the lands actually belong, avoiding, as much as possible, to confirm the idea of an union, or general confederacy of all the tribes, or of any patronage of the whole over the lands of any particular tribes, or subdivisions of tribes. But, as the said Indians are much attached to the idea of a general confederacy, your proceedings, in these particulars, will require peculiar caution and management.
You will, in all your negotiations, carefully guard the general rights of pre-emption of the United States to the Indian country, against all other nations and individuals, as established by the treaty of 1783, with Great Britain. But, in describing these rights to the Indians, you will impress them with the idea that we concede to them, fully, the right and possession of the soil, as long as they desire to occupy the same; but, when they choose to sell any portion of the country, it must be sold only to the United States, who will protect the Indians against all imposition.
In case of a successful treaty, the delivery of all prisoners taken from the United States must be strenuously insisted upon. But it will be left to your judgment, whether a particular compensation shall be stipulated, or not, to the individual owners of such prisoners, as it is well known that they are not considered as the common property of the Indian communities.
While at the treaty, you must endeavor to ascertain, as accurately as may be, the names and numbers of the respective Indian tribes within the limits of the United States, north of the Ohio; and, also, the names of the influential chiefs; their divisions of lands; and all other matters relatively to trade and intercourse with them.
The good understanding which subsists between the United States and the Five Nations of Indians, and the steps they have taken for the purpose of terminating hostilities with the Western Indians, manifested by their journey to the council of Au Glaize the last year, induce the reliance that they will still continue their endeavors to bring about a peace. Many of them will be at the proposed treaty, and you will probably be able to make considerable use of them, to instil into the minds of the hostile Indians favorable dispositions towards the United States.
You will exclude all citizens of the United States from attending the treaty, excepting such as are herein mentioned, and such others as shall actually be in your employ.
It is, however, probable that the British agents, Messrs. Butler and McKee, will be present by the desire of the Indians. To this, you will not object, although you cannot formally admit of them, or any other British agents, as mediators or umpires.
It is understood also from General Hull, that several gentlemen of Governor Simcoe's family are desirous of being present at the treaty, perhaps from motives of curiosity. If this should be the case, you will cordially accede to the idea, upon the ground that, the intentions of the United States being upright, they cannot have the least objection to the presence of any gentleman of the British Government as evidences thereof.
You will forbid all persons from attempting any negotiations with the Indians relatively to the purchase of lands, upon any pretence whatever.
The general form of such a treaty as the Government are desirous of having observed in future, is herewith delivered, to which you will adhere, as far as the same may be suitable to the state of things.
In addition to Jasper Parrish, who is the established interpreter for the United States with the said Five Nations, I have written to James Dean also to accompany you as the principal interpreter of the said Five Nations. His influence among the said Indians, and his knowledge of Indian manners and customs, may be serviceable. It is also expected that Mr. William Wilson and Mr. James Rankin will accompany you, as interpreters of the Shawanese and Delaware tongues. These men have been represented as persons having an extensive knowledge of the characters of the Western Indians, and as men of probity, upon whom reliance may be placed.
Given by the special direction of the President of the United States, at the War Office of the United States, in the city of Philadelphia, this twenty-sixth day of April, one thousand seven hundred and ninety-three.
H. KNOX, Secretary for the Department of War, and having the direction of Indian Affairs.
EXHIBIT 50. The Journal of the Commissioners of the United States, appointed
to hold a treaty at Sandusky, for the purpose of making peace with the Western Indians.?
Tuesday, April 30th, 1793.
The commissioners informed them of the time they expected to proceed from Niagara to Sandusky, and when the treaty was to be opened. They encouraged them to attend the treaty, and mentioned the reliance of the United States on their aid in bringing about a peace.
1American State Papers, Indian Affairs, Vol. I, p. 342.
The chiefs said, that, when some of their men were hunting about Canandaigua, the answer of the President to the speech of the Western Indians arrived, relative to the holding of the treaty. That this answer was deficient, because the British were not invited to attend the treaty; and that it was necessary they should attend, because they originally called the Indians to war against the United States. That, nevertheless, Governor Simcoe had ordered Colonel Butler to attend the treaty. That all the provisions were ready, and that the British seemed now, more than ever, desirous to have peace take place between the United States and the Western Indians, and to give all the assistance in their power in promoting it.
With respect to the President's answer to the Western Indians, the commissioners observed, that he had given such an answer as his wisdom directed, and, therefore, that they could say nothing about it.
The commissioners then sent off a note (by Jasper Parrish, the interpreter, who had just before arrived) to Governor Simcoe, to advertise him of their arrival, and that they would wait
him in the afternoon. To this note the following answer was received:
NAVY HALL. Lieutenant Governor Simcoe presents his complements to Mr. Randolph and Mr. Pickering, and he desires the pleasure of seeing them at Navy Hall as soon as shall be convenient. The Lieutenant Governor had expected the pleasure of their companies to dinner, but must insist upon their taking beds at his house, and of partaking of such accomodations with him, as this settlement can afford.
May 17th. There being no public house at New Ark, (which is the name of the village where the Lieutenant Governor resides, near a mile from Niagara fort, on the opposite side of the river Niagara) and the Lieutenant Governor's invitation being so peremptory, the commisssioners complied therewith, and took lodgings at Navy Hall, which is the name he has given the house in which he dwells, having been formerly occupied by the naval department.
TUESDAY, May 21st, 1793. The commissioners wrote the following letter to General Knox, Secretary of War:
Navy HALL, opposite Niagara, May 21st, 1793. SIR: At the moment of our arrival at the landing, (Queenstown) seven miles above this place, on the 17th, we sent you, by Mr. Thomas Morris, an extract of a letter from Colonel M'Kee, of Detroit, of which we now enclose a duplicate, it being important that you should be apprised of the probable delay for at least one month, in commencing the treaty, and, because of the importance of the information, we repeat it.
On the 17th, we waited on Governor Simcoe, and expressed our desire that a vessel might be sent to Oswego for General Lincoln and the stores. He assented with the utmost readiness to have it done as soon as a vessel capable of entering the port of Oswego should arrive, and he daily expected one from Kingston, (fort Frontenac) but she is not arrived. The only vessel here was a large topsail schooner, bound to Kingston, and waiting for a wind. It seems probable, therefore, that General Lincoln will be obliged to proceed hither with his batteaux.
There is no tolerable tavern in this part of the country. We are at the Governor's; he had provided for us, and insisted upon our taking beds at his house, and of partaking of such accomodations with him as this settlement could afford.
In a former letter, we mentioned the information of the Seneca chiefs; that Captain Brandt had set off with a number of Mohawks for the Westward. His departure must have been about the 5th of this month, and doubless his principal object was to attend the preparatory council of the Indians, to be held at the rapids of the Miami, as mentioned by Colonel M'Kee.
We know not when a conveyance for this letter will present; we shall embrace the first. We are, &c.