« ZurückWeiter »
After the close of our war with the English, we wished to establish peace and friendship with our Indian neighbors also. In order to do this, the first thing necessary was to fix a firm boundary between them and us, that there might be no trespasses across that by either party. Not knowing then what parts on our border belonged to each Indian nation particularly, we thought it safest to get all those in the north to join in one treaty, and to settle a general boundary line between them and
We did not intermeddle as to the lines dividing them one from another, because this was their concern, not ours.
We therefore met the chiefs of the Wyandots, Delawares, Shawanese, Ottaways, Chippeways, Powtewatamies, Miamis, Eel-Rivers, Weaks, Kickapoos, Pianteshaws, and Kaskaskies, at Greeneville, and agreed on a general boundary which was to divide their lands from those of the whites, making only some particular reserves, for the establishment of trade and intercourse with them. This treaty was eleven years ago, as Blackbeard has said. Since that, some of them have thought it for their advantage to sell us portions of their lands, which has changed the boundaries in some parts; but their rights in the residue remain as they were, and must always be settled among themselves. If the Shawanese and Delawares, and their other neighbors, choose to settle the boundaries between their respective tribes, and to have them marked and recorded in our books, we will mark them as they shall agree among themselves, and will give them strong writings declaring the separate right of each. After which, we will protect each tribe in its respective lands, as well as against other tribes who might attempt to take them from them, as against our own people. The writing which you say the Delawares took from you, must have been the copy of the treaty of Greeneville. We will give you another copy to be kept by your nation.
With respect to the reserves, you know they were made for the purpose of establishing convenient stations for trade and intercourse with the tribes within whose boundaries they are. And as circumstances shall render it expedient to make these establishments, it is for your interest, as well as ours, that the possession of these stations should enable us to make them.
You complain that Blue-jacket, and a part of your people at Greeneville, cheat you in the distribution of your annuity, and take more of it than their just share. It will be difficult to remedy this evil while your nation is living in different settlements. We will, however, direct our agent to enquire, and inform us what are your numbers in each of your settlements, and will then divide the annuities between the settlements justly, according to their numbers. And if we can be of any service in bringing you all together into one place, we will willingly assist you for that purpose. Perhaps your visit to the settlement of your people on the Mississippi under the Flute may assist towards gathering them all into one place from which they may never again remove.
You say that you like our mode of living, that you wish to live as we do, to raise a plenty of food for your children, and to bring them up in good principles ; that you adopt our mode of living, and ourselves as your brothers. My children, I rejoice to hear this; it is the wisest resolution you have ever formed, to raise corn and domestic animals, by the culture of the earth, and to let your women spin and weave clothes for you all, instead of depending for these on hunting. Be assured that half the labor and hardships you go through to provide your families by hunting, with food and clothing, if employed in a farm would feed and clothe them better. When the white people first came to this land, they were few, and you were many: now we are many, and you few; and why? because, by cultivating the earth, we produce plenty to raise our children, while yours, during a part
of every year, suffer for want of food, are forced to eat unwholesome things, are exposed to the weather in your hunting camps, get diseases and die. Hence it is that your numbers lessen.
You ask for instruction in our manner of living, for carpenters and blacksmiths. My children, you shall have them. We will do everything in our power to teach you to take care of your wives and children, that you may multiply and be strong.
We are sincerely your friends and brothers, we are as unwilling to see your blood svilt in war, as our own. Therefore, we encour
age you to live in peace with all nations, that your women and children may live without danger, and without fear. The greatest honor of a man is in doing good to his fellow men, not in destroying them. We have placed Mr. Kirk among you, who will have other persons under him to teach you how to manage farms, and to make clothes for yourselves; and we expect you will put some of your young people to work with the carpenters and smiths we place among you, that they may learn the trades. In this way only can you have a number of tradesmen sufficient for all your people.
You wish me to name to you the person authorized to speak to you in our name, that you may know whom to believe, and not be deceived by impostors. My children, Governor Harrison is the person we authorize to talk to you in our name. You may depend on his advice, and that it comes from us. He stands between you and us, to convey with truth whatever either of us wishes to say to the other.
My children, I wish you a safe return to your friends and families, that you may retain your resolution of learning to live in our way, that it may give health and comfort to your families, and add members to your nation. In me you will always find a sincere and true friend.
WASHINGTON, February 27, 1808. To Kitchao Geboway :
My son Kitchao Geboway,—I have received the speech which you sent me through General Gansevoort from Albany on the 13th of this month, and now return you my answer. It would have given me great pleasure to have been able to converse with and understand you, when you visited me at Washington ; but the want of an interpreter rendered that impossible.
My son, tell your nation, the Chippewas, that I take them by the hand, and consider them as a part of the great family of the United States, which extends to the great Lakes and the Lake
f the Woods, northwardly, and from the rising to the setting sun; that the United States wish to live in peace with them, to consider them as a part of themselves, to establish a commerce with them, as advantageous to the Chippewas as they can make it, and in all cases to render them every service in our power. We shall never ask them to enter into our quarrels, nor to spill their blood in fighting our enemies. My son, in visiting this quarter of the United States, you have seen a part of our country, and some of our people from East to West. If
had travelled also from North to South, you would have seen it the
You see that we are as numerous as the leaves of the trees, that we are strong enough to fight our own battles, and too strong to fear any enemy. When, therefore, we wish you to live in peace with all people, red and white, we wish it because it is for your good, and because it is our desire that your women and children shall live in safety, not fearing the tomahawk of any enemy, that they may learn to raise food enough to support their families, and that your nation may multiply and be strong. If any white men advise you to go to war for them, it is a proof they are too weak to defend themselves, that they are in truth your enemies, wishing to sacrifice you to save themselves; and when they shall be driven away, my son, what is to become of the red men who may join in their battles ? Take the advice then of a father, and meddle not in the quarrels of the white people, should any war take place between them ; but stay at home in peace, taking care of your wives and children. In that case not a hair of your heads shall be touched. Never will we do you an injury unprovoked, or disturb you in your towns or lands by any violence.
My son, I confirm everything which your father, Governor Hall, said to you at Detroit on my part : and in all your difficulties and dangers apply to him, and take his advice. If some of your principal chiefs will pay me a visit at Washington, I shall be very happy to receive them, to smoke the pipe of friendship with them, to take them by the hand and never to let go their friendship. They shall see that I want nothing from them but their good will, and to do them all the good in my power.
My son, the Secretary at War will comply with your request in giving you a chief's coat with epaulettes, and a stand of the colors of the United States, to plant in your town, to let all the world see that you are a part of the family of the United States.
My son, I wish you a pleasant journey, and a safe return to your family and friends.
WASHINGTON, April 22, 1808. To the Chiefs of the Ottawas, Chippewas, Powtewattamies,
Wyandots, and Senecas of Sandusky :
My Children,-I received your message of July last, and I am glad of the opportunity it gives me of explaining to you the sentiments of the government of the United States towards you.
Many among you must remember the time when we were governed by the British nation, and the war by which we separated ourselves from them. Your old men must remember also that while we were under that government we were constantly kept at war with the red men our neighbors. Many of these took side in the English war against us; so that after we had made peace with the English, ill blood remained between us for some time ; and it was not till the treaty of Greeneville that we could come to a solid peace and perfect good understanding with all our Indian neighbors. This being once done and fixed lines drawn between them and us, laying off their lands to themselves, and ours to ourselves, so that each might know their own, and nothing disturb our future peace, we have from that moment, my children, looked upon you heartily as our brothers, and as a part of ourselves.
We saw that your game was becoming too scarce to support you, and that wless we could persuade you to cultivate the earth, to raise the tame animals, and to spin and weave clothes for yourselves as we do, you would disappear from the earth. To encourage you, therefore, to save yourselves has been our constant object; and we have hoped that the day would come when every man among you would have his own farm laid off to himself as we have, would maintain his family by