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NAVY HALL, June 6th, 1793. At a meeting of the commissioners this day, it being thought expedient to invite General Chapin, superintendent of the Six Nations, to attend them during the treaty with the hostile Indians at Sandusky, he being present, was accordingly invited, and assured of a reasonable compensation for his time and services. General Chapin accepted the invitation, and promised to attend.
Navy HALL, 7th June, 1793. The commissioners presented the following note to Governor Simcoe:
The commissioners of the United States for making peace with the Western Indians beg leave to suggest to Governor Simcoe:
That the very high importance of the negotiation committed to their management, makes them desirous of using every proper means that may contribute to its success.
That they have observed with pleasure the disposition manifested by the Governor to afford every requisite assistance in the preparatory arrangements for holding the treaty with the hostile Indians. But, all the facilities thus afforded, and all the expenses incurred by the British Government on this occasion, will perhaps be fruitless, unless some means are used to counteract the effect of deep rooted prejudices, and unfounded reports, among the Indian tribes: for, the arts of a few bad men dwelling among them, or having a familiar intercourse with them, by cherishing those prejudices, or raising and spreading those reports, may be sufficient to defeat every attempt to accomplish a peace.
As an instance of such unfounded reports, the commissioners have noticed the declaration of a Mohawk, from Grand river, that Goveror Simcoe advised the Indians to make peace, but not to give up any of their lands.
The commissioners further observe, that if any transactions at former treaties were exceptionable, the principles of the present treaty are calculated to remove the causes of complaint: for the views of Government are perfectly fair.
And, although it is now impossible to retrace all the steps then taken, the United States are disposed to recede, as far as shall be indispensable, and the existing state of things will admit, and, for the lands retained, to make ample compensation.
The views of the United States being thus fair and liberal, the commissioners wish to embrace every means of making them so appear to the Indians, against any contrary suggestions. Among these means, the commissioners consider the presence of some gentlemen of the army to be of consequence: for, although the Indians naturally look up to their superintendents as their patrons, yet, the presence of some officers of the army will probably induce them to negotiate with greater confidence on the terms of peace. Independently of these considerations, the commissioners, for their own sakes, request the pleasure of their company.
The commissioners feeling the greatest solicitude to accomplish the object of their mission, will be happy to receive from the Governor every information relating to it, which his situation enables him to communicate. He must be aware that the sales and settlements of the lands over the Ohio, founded on the treaties of forts McIntosh and Harmar, render it impossible now to make that river the boundary.
The expression of his opinion on this point in particular, will give them great satisfaction.
Memorandum.-Besides the reasons expressly mentioned in the note, there were other inducements to present it. With respect to the invitation to some British officers to attend the treaties, the commissioners found they were desirous of attending, and thought a direct invitation more eligible than a mere assent to their wishes.
Colonel Butler and General Chapin also deemed the invitation to be of some moment.
It was explicit opinion of the chiefs of the Senecas, that an open communication with the Governor, on the subject of the treaty, might have a salutary effect; and Major Littlehales, the Governor's secretary, gave the commissioners to understand, that the Governor, if requested, would cheerfully give his opinion about it.
They conceived, also, that the presence of some officers of the army would add to their security from insults and from danger.
The same day, the following note was received from Governor Simcoe:
Navy HALL, 7th June, 1793. Colonel Simcoe, commanding the King's forces in Upper Canada, has the honor, in answer to the paper delivered to him this morning, by the commissioners of the United States for making peace with the Western Indians, to state to those gentlemen, that he is duly impressed with the serious importance of the negotiation committed to their charge, and shall be happy to contribute by every proper means that may tend to its success.
He is much obliged to them for the polite manner in which they have expressed their sense of his readiness to afford them such facilities as may have been in his power, to assist in the preparatory arrangements for holding the treaty.
He is perfectly aware that unfounded reports, and deep rooted prejudices, have arisen among the Indian tribes; but whether from the acts of a few bad men living among them, he cannot pretend to say; but, he must observe, upon the instance give by the commissioners, of one of “those unfounded reports, that a Mohawk from the Grand river should say, that Governor Simcoe advised the Indians to make peace, but not to give up their lands,” it is of that nature that cannot be true; the Indians, as yet, not having applied for his advice on the subject, and it being a point, of all others, on which they are the least likely to consult the British officers commanding in Upper Canada.
Colonel Simcoe considers himself perfectly justified in admitting, on the requisition of the commissioners, some officers to attend the treaty, and, therefore, in addition to the gentlemen appointed to control the delivery of the British provisions, &c. he will desire Captain Bunbury, of the fifth regiment, and Lieutenant Givens, who has some knowlege of one of the Indian languages, to accompany the commissioners.
Colonel Simcoe can give the commissioners no further information than that what is afforded by the speeches of the confederate nations, of which, General Hull has authentic copies. But, as it has been, ever since the conquest of Canada, the principle of the British government, to unite the American Indians, that, all petty jealousies being extinguished, the real wishes of the several tribes may be fully expressed, and in consequence, all the treaties made with them, may have the most complete ratification and universal concurrence, so, he feels it proper to state to the commissioners, that a jealousy of a contrary conduct in the agents of the United States, appears to him to have been deeply impressed upon the minds of the confederacy.
To the Commissioners, & c.
Letter to General Knox.
NAVY HALL, 20th June, 1793. SIR: We have been in daily expectation of Mr. Parrish's arrival, but probably the continual rains, (for not a day passes without them) have delayed him.
About the 6th instant, the six friends, Mr. Heckewelder, Dr. McCoskry, Captain Hendricks, and his four companions of the Stockbridge tribe, sailed from fort Erie for Detroit, to gain intelligence, and (the whites) there await our arrival. But the day before yesterday, mentioning to Governor Simcoe our intention of going to Detroit, to learn the true state of things prior to our landing at Sandusky, he objected to our proceeding up to the town of Detroit, though we might go to the mouth of Detroit river, adding, that there were settlers there, among whom we could find such accommodations as we should need; and that he would obtain letters for us, to them, from a gentleman here, (Mr. Baby) who is a member of the Legislative council.
As soon as Mr. Parrish returns, and a vessel shall arrive at fort Erie to receive us, we intend to embark for Detroit river. By all accounts, there will be a very great assembly of Indians, beyond what was expected before we left Philadelphia. Of the Six Nations, dwelling within the United States, the following numbers may attend the treaty:
Oneidas from Oneida,....
6 Cayugas from Cayuga, about.
5 Senecas from Genesee, about. Do. from Buffalo creek,.
47 Onodagoes Do. about..
IO Cayugas Do. about..
To these, may probably be added a number of Cayugas of Buffalo creek, who accompany Fish Carrier, who is the head of that nation.
From appearances, the conclusion of the treaty will be procrastinated beyond the time you expectd, unless it should be cut short by peremptory demands, on the part of the Indians, of terms to which we cannot accede.
No further advice has been received from Colonel McKee, relative to the time when the Indians will be at Sandusky. He and Brandt attend their previous councils at the Rapids of the Miami. Colonel Butler was to have sailed about a week since, but, being taken sick, returned from fort Erie. Perhaps he may now go in the same vessel with us. We have the honor to be, &c.
B. L. B. R T. P.
July 5th. Still detained by contrary winds at fort Erie. This day arrived in a vessel from the Miami, Colonel Butler, a British superintendent of Indian affairs, and Captain Brandt, with about fifty Indians, being a deputation from the Indian nations, assembled at the rapids of the Miami, to confer with the commissioners of the United States, in presence of the Governor of Upper Canada.
The deputation being met, gave notice to the commissioners that they desired to speak with them. The commissioners attending, a Shawanese chief, called Cat's Eyes, addressed them thus:
BROTHERS: We are sent by the nations assembled at the rapids of the Miami, to meet the commissioners of the United States. We are glad to see you here. It is the will of the chiefs of those nations, that our father, the Governor of this province, should be present, and hear what we have to say to you, and what you have to say to us.
BROTHERS: Do not make yourselves uneasy that we did not meet you at the time you proposed at Sandusky. The reasons thereof will be mentioned at another time. (Four strings of black and white wampum.)
To which the commissioners, after repeating the foregoing speech, replied:
BROTHERS: The commissioners are glad to see you. We will confer with you in presence of your father, the Governor of this province, at any time and place which shall be convenient to him and you. (Returned the four strings.)