« AnteriorContinuar »
should receive an invitation from all the confederated nations, to meet them, at or near the mouth of the Miami, this week.
August 9th. Twelve Munsees and Chippewas arrived. They said they came to this side of the river on purpose to see the commissioners from the United States. They confirmed, generally, the opinion of Hendricks' men. They said they were on their way home, except a Munsee, who lives at Sandusky, (for they had worn out their clothes, and were tired of the long continuance of the treaty; and they expected, that the greatest difficulties being got over, the chiefs (some of all the nations remaining at the council) would now make peace.) Two of the eldest of them said, that when the warriors, who were going home, were about to leave the council, they enjoined it on their chiefs to make peace, that they might without fear or interruption return to their hunting.
Captain Bunbury (one of the British officers who accompany the commissioners) says, that one of the twelve Indians who arrived to-day, is an Ottawa; (or Tawa, as the name is often spoken) and that he said the Shawanese, and others, are strong for war, and will not abide by a peace into which they shall be dragged by the other nation.
Sunday, 11th August. The King's vessel, called the Chippewa, arrived from Detroit. She is bound to fort Erie. Twelve Senecas, including women and children, and most of them sick, from the Indian council at the rapids of the Miami, came in her. These Senecas are well known to General Chapin, and Jones, the interpreter. One of them, an intelligent man, gave us the like information about the proceedings at the council, upon our last speech, with that received from Hendricks' men, and the Munsees, and Chippewas, only that the four nations who inclined to continue the war, remained obstinate when he departed from the council. That the Six Nation chiefs had twice addressed them, urging them to agree to a peace, were going to speak to them a third time, and, if they were still obstinate, would exceed their usual custom, and speak a fourth time; and, if without effect, they would then leave them, and go home. He says the Farmer's Brother told him, and his company, that they might expect to be overtaken by messengers to the commissioners before they (the informant and his company) reached
Detroit; but if none arrived, before they got down to the commissioners' quarters, that then they might conclude that no peace would be made. This Seneca said, that (except the four nations before mentioned) the Indians were for peace. He particularly mentioned the Six Nations, and the seven nations of Canada,as strongly recommending to the hostile Indians to make peace; and that, for this purpose, Captain Brandt, and the Farmer's Brother spoke a great deal in the council. He added, that, of the four excepted nations, near one-half were disposed for peace, and that the Messasagoes, Chippewas, and Ottawas, are as strong for peace as the seven nations of Canada.
Monday, 12th August. No deputation or official information from the Indian council having yet arrived, the commissioners judged it would be expedient to proceed, without more delay, to the Miami bay or river, that they might more easily and expeditiously send to, and receive an answer from them. They accordingly wrote the following letter to Capt. Ford, the commander of the vessel designed by Governor Simcoe for their accommodation.
MOUTH OF DETROIT RIVER, 12th August, 1793. SIR: We have been waiting here twelve days, for a reply to our last answer to the Indian nations, assembled at the rapids of the Miami. We can think of no sufficient reason for this delay, and must, therefore, take measures to obtain that reply, or to ascertain whether we ought any longer to expect it. For this purpose we judge it proper to proceed ourselves to the Miami bay or river, that the necessary communication with the Indians may be easy and expeditious; for it is time that the business of our mission be brought to an issue.
We, therefore, request you to be prepared to sail to-morrow morning, when we propose to embark. We are, sir, &c.
T. P. Captain Henry Ford, commanding the Dunmore.
Captain Ford having read the letter, came and informed the commissioners, that he was instructed to attend the commissioners, but to receive his orders from Captain Bunbury, and desired us to speak to him. We spoke to Capt. Bunbury, told him that Governor Simcoe had assigned the Dunmore, Capt. Ford, to the use of the commissioners, and that, from what the Governor, and his Secretary, had repeatedly said, we had a right to conclude she was under our direction, to go when and where we thought proper, for the purposes of the treaty, except to Detroit. He said he had his orders from Governor Simcoe, and that by those orders he could not consent that the commissioners, or any deputation from them, should go to the Miami bay or river, until Col. McKee should give notice that the Indians were ready to receive them. But, says he, if the commissioners choose to go to Sandusky, I will order the Dunmore to proceed thither. He read some broken passages in Simcoe's letter to him. The commissioners asked if he would give an extract of the letter containing his orders. He answered, that Mr. Storer might take an extract. They retired together; Captain Bunbury read, and Mr. Storer wrote down from his mouth, the following words, as an extract of a letter from Colonel Simcoe to Captain Bunbury, dated at Navy Hall, 28th June, '93: “The directing the king's vessel to carry them (the commissioners) thither: she will anchor, therefore, as conveniently as possible to the northern shore of the river, on the banks of which they purpose to remain, until they hear from Colonel McKee. The Indians do not wish they should visit the opposite shore.”
DETROIT RIVER, 12th August, 1793. The above extract is, this day, verbally given me by Captain Bunbury, who, though desired, refuses to sign it.
Tuesday, 13th August. Being thus prevented from proceeding to the Miami bay, the commissioners concluded to send a message to the Indian nations at the rapids, and a letter to Colonel McKee. The message and letter here follow:
To the Chiefs and Warriors of the Indian nations assembled at the
foot of the rapids of the Miami river.
BROTHERS: It is now fifteen days since we delivered our speech to your deputies at this place, in which we explicitly answered the written question, presented by them from you, and gave our reasons why we could not make the Ohio the boundary between you and the United States. We also mentioned some of the heads of the engagements we were willing to make in behalf of the United States. The particulars, together with other stipulations, for your benefit, we judged it proper to reserve, to be explained to you in full council, when we should meet face to face.
BROTHERS: The next morning your deputies spoke to us: said they would lay our speech before you, and desired us to wait here for an answer, which we desired and expected might be speedily given.
BROTHERS: We have waited fourteen days, and as yet no answer has arrived.
BROTHERS: It is time to bring the business to a conclusion.
peace; we again tell you that we earnestly desire to make peace, and in the terms of peace we are disposed to do you ample justice. But if no treaty is to be held, if peace is not to be obtained, we desire immediately to know it, that we may go home.
Done at Captain Elliot's, at the mouth of Detroit river, the 14th day of August, 1793. Signed by the commissioners.
MOUTH OF DETROIT RIVER, 14th August, 1793. SIR: To the speech we delivered here to the deputation of the Indian nations assembled at the rapids of the Miami, we expected an early answer. We have waited fourteen days, and no answer has arrived. We have, therefore, despatched runners, with a speech to the chiefs and warriors, manifesting our wishes to begin the treaty, without more delay, and desiring to know immediately their decision on the subject. A copy of our speech is enclosed. We presume it will be in your power to forward the business. Your aid therein will be gratefully acknowledged. The mode in which the negotiations have hitherto been conducted is new, and as improper as it is new. All the questions which have been stated, might have been proposed to our faces, and have received prompt
We must soon close the negotiation, unless substantial reasons demand procrastination. In that case, we may think ourselves justified in giving further proofs of our patience.
We again request your assistance to expedite the business which is the object of our mission, and are, Sir, yours, &c.
The message, accompanied with seven strings of black and white wampum, much intermixed, and the letter to Colonel McKee, were committed to the two runners, an Onondago and an Oneida, who set off this evening, and expect to reach the rapids to-morrow night.
N. B. The message and letter were, by mistake, dated the 14th.
Instructions to the Runners.
When you arrive at the Miami council fire, find Captain Brandt, the Farmer's Brother, the Cornplanter, the Fish Carrier, and Great Sky, and tell them you have a speech to the Indian nations, there assembled, from the commissioners of the United States, and request them to call the chiefs together; when the chiefs are met, then deliver the written speech and strings of wampun. As soon as this is done, find Colonel McKee, and deliver the letter to him.
Find Captain Hendricks; the chief of the Mohicans, and tell him
you have brought a written speech to the Indians, and that you have delivered, or are going to deliver it to the chiefs. We shall be glad to have you return to us speedily, but speak to