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At Buffaloe, where I made my home whilst I was visiting the Senecas, I preached seven or eight times to the white people, on evenings. They never had but one sermon preached in the place before.
I left Buffaloe last Monday, and reached this place yesterday, in great hopes of seeing my worthy friend Major Rivardi before he left the place; but, alas! I was two hours too late—He is removed from the command of this post, and one Major Porter now commands
I purpose, if the Lord will, to be with the Tuscaroras until the middle of next month, and then to return to the Senecas, and continue with them until winter.
I have had my trials and my joys since I left NewYork. The Senecas are great Pagans-They sacrifice white dogs to the Great Spirit, as they call the Supreme Being—They worship him by dances, which last two or three days_They keep certain days of feastingThey have forms of marriage among them, but seldom observe them--They are very incontinent-Many of them are great drunkards But, as I expect to procure a more full account of their ways and customs, by a certain person that has lived above twenty years among them, I omit saying any more for the present.
I must conclude, but not without requcsting the continuation of your prayers to God for me. With esteem, I am, dear Sir, I hope, your Brother in Christ,
Rev. J. M. Mason, Secretary) to the Directors of the Miss sionary Society.
The following address was made to me by KED JACKET
the second sachem of the Seneca Nation, on Monday, the 20th day of October, 1800, in the Council House, at the Seneca Casile—it being the second public meeling that I have had with the Nation.
W E are extremely happy that the Great Good
VV Spirit has permitted us to meet together this day. We have paid attention to all that you spoke to our ears at our last meeting. We thank the Great Spirit, who has put it into the minds of the great society of friendship at New-York, to send you to visit us. We also hope that the Great Spirit will always have his eyes over that good society, to strengthen their minds to have friendship towards the poor natives of this Island.We thank the Great Spirit, that he has smoothed your way, and has protected you through the rugged paths, and prevented any briars or thorns from pricking your feet. -As you came on your way to visit us, you called on our brothers (the Oneidas, Muhheconnuks and Tuscaroras) who were well acquainted with you. We thank them for the pains they have taken in sending this good talk with wampum. [At the same time holding the talk and wampem in his hand.] We are convinced that what they say of you is true, that you come purely out of love to do us good, and for nothing else ; and that there is no deceit in your business, or in the good people that sent you.
“Father, we now request you to speak something to us about Jesus Christ, and we will give attention."
He then addressed his people, and requested them to give good attention to what I was about to say, and make no noise, but behave in a becoming manner.
I then proceeded, and endeavoured to preach Christ to them. When I had concluded, Red Jacket rose and made the following speech to me, after consulting the chicfs :
hen pro when I hing spee
“ Fatier, we thank the Great Good Spirit above, for what you have spoken to us at this time, and hope he will always incline your heart, and strengthen you to this good work. We have clearly understood you, and this is all truth that you have said to us.
" Father, we believe that there is a Great Being above, who has made Heaven and earth, and all things that are therein, and has the charge over all things who has made you whites as well as us Indians ; and we believe there is something great after death. : “Father, what you say about our loving the Great Spirit, we know to be truth, as he has his eyes over all things, and watches all our movements and ways, and hears all we say, and knows all we do.
“ Father, we Indians are astonished at you whites, that when Jesus Christ was among you, and went about doing good, speaking the good word, healing the sick, and casting out evil spirits, that you white people did not pay attention to him, and believe him, and that you put him to death when you had the good book in your possession.
« Father, that we Indians were not near to this transaction, or could we be guilty of it..
« Father, probably the Great Spirit has given to you white people the ways that you follow to serve him, and to get your living : and probably he has given to us Indians the customs that we follow to serve him (handed down to us by our forefathers) and our ways to get our living by hunting, and the Great Spirit is still good to us, to preserve game for us. And father you well know, you white people are very fond of our skins.
“ Father, you and your good people know that ever since the white people came on this island, they have been always getting our lands from 'us for little or nothing.
“ Father, perhaps if we had had such good people as you and your Society to have stepped in and advised us Indians, we and our forefathers would not liave been
so deceived by the white people, for you have the great and good God always in your sight. :
“Father, we repeat it again-We wish you and the good people of your Society, to make your minds perfectly easy, for we like what you say, and we thank the good Society for their good intentions, and that they have sent you to visit us.
« Father, you do not come like those that have come with a bundle under their arms, or something in their hands, but we have always found something of deceit under it, for they are always aiming at our lands; but you have not come like one of those ; you have come like a father, and a true friend, to advise us for our good; we are convinced that there is no snare in your business; we hope that our talk to you at this time, will be communicated to your good Society at New-York, and that the Good Spirit will protect you and them in this good work that you and they have undertaken; and we expect that the bright chain of friendship shall always exist between us; and we will do every thing in our power to keep that chain bright, from time to time.”
He then took up the strings of wampum that accompany this talk, and continued his speech to me as follows:
“Father, you and your good Society well know, that when learning was first introduced among Indians, they became small, and two or three nations have become extinct, and we know not what is become of them: and it was also introduced to our eldest brothers the Mohawks; we immediately observed, that their seats began to be small ; which was likewise the case with our brothers the Oneidas. Let us look back to the situation of our nephew's the Muhheconnuks; they were totally routed away from their seats. This is the reason why we think learning would be of no service:
“ Father, we are astonished that the white people, who have the good book called the Bible among them,
that tells them the mind and will of the Great Spirit, and they can read it and understand it, that they are so bad, and do so inany wicked things, and that they are no better.
“ Father, we know that what you have said to us, is perfectly good and true-We here (pointing to himself and the Farmer's Brother) cannot see that learning would be of any service to us; but we will leave it to others who come after us, to judge for themselves,
“Father, if it should be introduced among us at présent, there might more intrigue or craft creep in among us; it might be the means of our fairing the same misfortunes of our brothers; our seat is but small now; and if we were to leave this place, we would not know where to find another; we do not think we should be able to find a seat among our western brothers.
“ Father, we repeat it again-We hope that you and your good Society will make your minds perfectly easy, for we are convinced that your intentions are good.”
He then presented me seven strings of wampum, saying, “ We wish that this may be delivered with our speech, to your good Society that sent you to visit us."
and is of
WE the subscribers, assisted as interpreters when the foregoing Address was delivered, and assisted the Rev. Elkanah Holmes to commit it to writing---And do hereby certify, That the above is as near to the phraseology and ideas of the speaker, as we are able to recollect.