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The chiefs having consulted a few minutes by themselves, again asked the attendance of the commissioners, and proposed that the conference should be at the Governor's, at Niagara, to which the commissioners agreed, informing the chiefs that they would be at the Governor's to-morrow night.
IN COUNCIL, AT NAVY HALL,
July 7th, 1793. Present, commissioners of the United States, Colonel Simcoe, Governor of Upper Canada, and a considerable number of civil and military officers, deputation of Indians from the council assembled at the rapids of the Miami.
Captain Brandt, with a belt and strings of wampum, rose and said:
BROTHERS: We have met to-day our brothers the Bostonians and English. We are glad to have the meeting, and think it is by the appointment of the Great Spirit.
BROTHERS OF THE UNITED STATES: We told you the other day, at fort Erie, that, at another time, we would inform you why we had not assembled at the time and place appointed for holding the treaty with you. We now inform you that it is because there is so much of the appearance of war in that quarter.
BROTHERS: We have given the reason for our not meeting you, and now we request an explanation of those warlike appearances.
BROTHERS: The people you see here are sent to represent the Indian nations, who own the lands north of the Ohio, as their common property, and who are all of one mind-one heart.
BROTHERS: We have come to speak to you for two reasons: one, because your warriors, being in our neighborhood, have prevented our meeting at the appointed place; the other, to know if you are properly authorized to run and establish a new boundary line between the lands of the United States, and of the Indian nations. We are still desirous of meeting you at the appointed place.
BROTHERS: We wish you to deliberate well on this business. We have spoken our sentiments in sincerity, considering ourselves in the presence of the Great Spirit, from whom, in time of danger, we expect assistance. (A white belt of 12 rows and 30 strings of wampum, in five bunches, nearly all white.)
The commissioners answered:
BROTHERS: We have attended to what you have said. We will take it into our serious consideration, and give you an answer to-morrow. We will inform you when we are ready.
Captain Brandt replied:
BROTHERS: We thank you for what you have said. You say you will answer our speech to-morrow. We now cover up the council fire.
Answer of the Commissioners of the United States to the speech
delivered yesterday by Captain Brandt, in behalf of the Western Indians.
NIAGARA, 8th July, 1793. In Council.—Present as yesterday.
BROTHERS: By the appointment of the Great Spirit we are again met together. We hope he will assist us on both sides to see and to do what is right. It gives us pleasure that this meeting is in the presence of our brothers, the English.
BROTHERS: Yesterday, according to your promise at fort Erie, you told us the reason why the nations whom you represent had delayed assembling at the time and place appointed for meeting
“That it was because there was so much of the appearance of war in that quarter."
BROTHERS: You requested an explanation of these warlike appearances.
BROTHERS: You told us that the people whom we saw here were sent to represent the Indian nations who own the lands on the northern side of the Ohio, as their common property, and who are all of one mind- one heart.
BROTHERS: You said you had two reasons for coming to speak to us here; one that our warriors, being in your neighborhood, had prevented your meeting at the appointed place; the other, to be informed whether we are properly authorized to run and establish a new boundary line between the lands of the United States and of the Indian nations. You added, that you were still desirous of meeting us at the appointed place.
BROTHERS: You desired that we would deliberate well on this business. You declared that you spoke your sentiments in sincerity, considering yourselves in the presence of God, from whom, in time of danger, you expect assistance.
BROTHERS: We have now repeated your speech as we understood it from the interpretation. We hope we have not mistaken your meaning.
BROTHERS: Now listen to our answer in behalf of the United States.
BROTHERS: You have mentioned two objects of your coming to meet us at this place. One to obtain an explanation of the warlike appearances on the part of the United States on the northern side of the Ohio; the other, to learn whether we have authority to run and establish a new boundary line between your lands and ours.
BROTHERS: On the first point, we cannot but express our extreme regret, that any reports of warlike appearances, on the part of the United States, should have delayed our meeting at Sandusky. The nature of the case irresistibly forbids all apprehensions of hostile incursions into the Indian country, north of the Ohio, during the treaty at Sandusky.
BROTHERS: We were deputed by the Great Chief and the Great Council of the United States to treat with you of peace; and is it possible that the same Great Chief and his Great Council could order their warriors to make fresh war, while we were sitting round the same fire with you, in order to make peace? Is it possible that our Great Chief and his council could act so deceitfully towards us, their commissioners, as well as towards you? Brothers, we think it is not possible. But we will quit argument and come to facts.
BROTHERS: We assure you that our Great Chief, General Washington, has strictly forbidden all hostilities against you, until the event of the proposed treaty at Sandusky shall be known. Here is the proclamation of his head warrior, General Wayne, to that effect. But, Brothers, our Great Chief is so sincere in his professions for peace, and so desirous of preventing every thing which could obstruct the treaty, and prolong the war, that, besides giving the above orders to his head warrior, he has informed the Governors of the several States, adjoining the Ohio, of the treaty proposed to be held at Sandusky; and desired them to unite their power with his to prevent any hostile attempts against the Indians, north of the Ohio, until the result of the treaty is made known. Those Governors have accordingly issued their orders, strictly forbidding all such hostilities. The proclamations of the Governors of Virginia and Pennsylvania we have here in our hands.
BROTHERS: If, after all these precautions of our Great Chief, any hostilities should be committed north of the Ohio, they must proceed from a few disorderly people, whom no considerations of justice or public good can restrain. But we hope and believe that none such will be found.
BROTHERS: After these explanations, we hope you will possess your minds in peace, relying on the good faith of the United States that no injury is to be apprehended by you during the treaty.
BROTHERS: We now come to the second point: whether we are properly authorized to run and establish a new boundary line between your lands and ours.
BROTHERS: We answer explicitly that we have that authority. Where this line should run, will be the great subject of discussion at the treaty between you and us; and we sincerely hope and expect, that it may then be fixed to the satisfaction of both parties. Doubtless some concessions must be made on both sides. In all disputes and quarrels, both parties usually take some wrong steps; so that it is only by mutual concessions, that a true reconcilement can be effected.
BROTHERS: We wish you to understand us clearly on this head: for we mean that all our proceedings should be marked with candor. We therefore repeat, and say explicitly, that some concessions will be necessary on your part, as well as on ours, in order to establish a just and permanent peace.
BROTHERS: After this great point of the boundary shall be fully considered, at the treaty, we shall know what concessions and stipulations it will be proper to make on the part of the United States: and we trust they will be such as the world will pronounce reasonable and just.
BROTHERS: You have told us that you represent the nations of Indians who own the lands north of the Ohio, and whose chiefs are now assembled at the rapids of the Miami.
BROTHERS: It would be a satisfaction to us to be informed of the names of those nations, and of the numbers of the chiefs of each so assembled.
BROTHERS: We once more turn your eyes to your representation of the warlike appearances in your country; and, to give you complete satisfaction on this point, we now assure you, that, as soon as our councils at this place are ended, we will send a messenger on horseback to the Great Chief of the United States, to desire him to renew and strongly repeat his orders to his head warrior, not only to abstain from all hostilities against you, but to remain quietly at his posts, until the event of the treaty shall be known. (A white belt of seven rows, and twenty-six strings of wampum, nearly all white, annexed.)
The foregoing speech, having been interpreted by Mr. Dean in the Oneida tongue, was interpreted by Captain Brandt's nephew, into the Shawanese language, and from that, by another interpreter, into the language of the Chippewa nation; after which, the Shawanese chief (called Cat's Eyes) thus addressed the commissioners:
BROTHERS, THE BOSTONIANS, ATTEND: We have heard your words. Our Fathers, the English people, have also heard them. We thank God that you have been preserved in peace, and that we bring our pipes together. The people of all the different nations here salute you. They rejoice to hear your words. It gives us great satisfaction that our Fathers, the English, have heard them also. We shall, for the present, take up our pipes, and retire to our encampments, where we shall deliberately consider your speech, and return you an answer to-morrow.
NIAGARA, 9th July, 1793. In council, present as yesterday.
Captain Brandt arose, with the belt and strings which were yesterday delivered by the commissioners, and, addressing himself to the English and Americans, said:
BROTHERS: We are glad the Great Spirit has preserved us in peace, to meet together this day.
BROTHERS OF THE UNITED STATES: Yesterday you made an answer to the message delivered you by us, from the great council at Miami, in the two particulars which we had stated to you.
BROTHERS: You may depend on it, we fully understood your speech. We shall take with us your belt and strings, and repeat it to the chiefs at the great council at Miami.—(Laid down the strings and belt, and took up a white belt.)