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You say, my son, that you have engaged in a war with the Osages, and that the war club is now in your hand for that purpose ;
do not tell me for what cause you are waging war with the Osages. I have never heard that they have crossed the Mississippi and attacked your villages, killed your women and children, or destroyed the game on your lands. What is the injury then which they have done you and for which you wish to cross the Mississippi and to destroy them? If they have done you no wrong, have you a right to make war upon innocent and unoffending people ? Be assured that the Great Spirit will not approve of this, -He did not make men strong that they might destroy all other men. If your young people think that in this way they will acquire honor as great warriors, they are mistaken. Nobody can acquire honor by doing what is wrong.
You say, my son, that it is not the wish of my red children to meddle in the wars between the whites, nor that we should meddle in the wars among our red children. If your wars in no wise affect our rights, or our relations with those on whom you make war, we do not meddle with them but by way of advice, as your father and friend submitting it to your own consideration. But my son, your war parties cannot pass from your towns to the country of the Osages, nor can the Osages come to revenge themselves on your towns without traversing extensively a country which is ours. They must cross the Mississippi which is always covered with our boats, our people and property. All the produce of the western parts of Pennsylvania, Virginia, Kentucky, Ohio, Indiana, Tennessee, and Louisiana, goes down the river Mississippi to New Orleans. It cannot be indifferent to us that this should be exposed to danger from unruly young men going to war. Our interests require that the Mississippi shall be a river of peace, not to be crossed by men seeking to shed blood. We have a right then to say that no war parties shall cross our river or our country without our consent. The Sacs and Foxes, besides the country from the Illinois to the Wisconsin on the east side of the Mississippi, ceded to us the country on the west side of the Mississippi, between that river and the Missouri, for about one hundred miles up each. The Osages
have ceded to us all the country from the south side of the Missouri to the Arkansas, more than two hundred miles up each river. Surely, my son, we are justifiable in so far meddling with your wars as to say that, in carrying them on neither the Osages nor you must cross that country which is ours, to get at one another, and in doing so to endanger our people and our property, and to stain our land with blood; and friendship requires that we should give you this warning.
My son, I wish you to consider this subject maturely, and to tell
your nation that I request them to consider it also. ready to do them every favor in my power, and to give them every aid, but not aids to carry war across our territory. Do not suppose that in refusing this I am not your friend.
. If I were your enemy, what could I do better than to encourage you in tomahawking one another till not a man should be left. Neither must you suppose this to proceed from partiality to the Osages. You are nearer to me than the Osages, and on that account I should be more ready to do you good offices. But my desire to keep you in peace arises from my sincere wish to see you happy and prosperous, increasing in numbers, supplying your families plentifully with food and clothing, and relieving them from the constant chance of being destroyed by their enemies.
My son, the Secretary at War will give to you those tokens of our good will by which we manifest our friendship to the distinguished men among our red children who visit us. sured that I shall set a great value on your friendship; and convey for me to your nation assurances that I wish nothing more than their welfare. You shall return by the way of Baltimore and Philadelphia as you desire. I wish you to see as many of your brothers of the United States as you can. You will find them all to be your friends, and that they will receive you hospitably.
December 21, 1308. To Beaver, the head warrior of the Delawares :
My Son -I am glad to see you here to take you by the hand. I am the friend of your nation, and sincerely wish them well. I shall now speak to them as their friend, and advise them for their good.
I have read your speech to the Secretary at War, and considered it maturely. You therein say that after the conclusion of the treaty of Greenville, the Wapanakies and other tribes of Indians mutually agreed to maintain peace among themselves and with the United States. This, my son, was wise, and I entirely approve of it. And I equally commend you for what you further say, that yours and the other tribes have constantly maintained the articles of peace with us, and have ceased to listen to bad advice. I hope, my son, that you will continue in this good line of conduct, and I assure you the United States will forever religiously observe the treaty on their part, not only because they have agreed to it, but because they esteem you ; they wish you well, and would endeavor to promote your welfare even if there were no treaty; and rejoicing that you have ceased to listen to bad advice, they hope you will listen to that which is good.
My son, you say that the Osage nation has refused to be at peace with your nation or any others; that they have refused the oflers of peace, and extended their aggressions to all people. This is all new to me. I never heard of an Osage coming to war on this side of the Mississippi. Have they attacked your towns, killed your people, or destroyed your game? Tell me in what year they did this? or what is the aggression they have committed on yours and the other tribes on this side the Mississippi? But if they have defended themselves and their country, when your tribes have gone over to destroy them, they have only done what brave men ought to do, and what just men ought never to have forced them to do. Your having committed one wrong on them gives you no right to commit a second ; and
be assured, my son, that the Almighty Spirit which is above will not look down with indifference on your going to war against his children on the other side the Mississippi, who have never come to attack you. He is their father as well as your father, and He did not make the Osages to be destroyed by you. I tell you that if you make war unjustly on the Osages, He will punish your nation for it. He will send upon your nation famine, sickness, or the tomahawk of a stronger nation, who will cut you off from the land. Consider this thing well, then, before it is too late, and before you strike. His hand is uplifted over your heads, and His stroke will follow yours. My son, I tell you these things because I wish your nation well. I wish them to become a peaceable, prosperous, and happy nation ; and if this war against the Osages concerned yourselves alone, I would confine myself to giving you advice, and leave it to yourselves to profit by it. But this war deeply concerns the United States. Between you and the Osages is a country of many hundred miles extent belonging to the United States. Between you also is the Mississippi, the river of peace. On this river are floating the boats, the people, and all the produce of the western States of the Union. This commerce must not be exposed to the alarm of war parties crossing the river, nor must a path of blood be made across our country. What we say to you, my son, we say also to the Osages. We tell them that armed bands of warriors, entering on the lands or waters of the United States without our consent, are the enemies of the United States. If, therefore, considerations of your own welfare are not sufficient to restrain you from this unauthorized war, let me warn you on the part of the United States to respect their rights, not to violate their territory.
You request, my son, to be informed of our warfares, that you may
be enabled to inform your nation on your return. yet at peace, and shall continue so, if the injustice of the other nations will permit us. The war beyond the water is universal. We wish to keep it out of our island. But should we go to war, we wish our red children to take no part in it. We are able to fight our own battles, and we know that our red children cannot
afford to spill their blood in our quarrels. Therefore, we do not ask it, but wish them to remain home in quiet, taking care of themselves and their families.
You complain that the white people in your neighborhood have stolen a number of your horses. My son, the Secretary of War will take measures for inquiring into the truth of this, and if it so appears, justice shall be done you.
The two swords which you ask shall be given to you; and we shall be happy to give you every other proof that we esteem you personally, my son, and shall always be ready to do anything which may advance your comfort and happiness. I hope you will deliver to your nation the words I have spoken to you, and assure them that in everything which can promote their welfare and prosperity they shall ever find me their true and faithful friend and father, that I hold them fast by the hand of friendship, which I hope they will not force me to let go.
XXII. To Captain Hendrick, the Delawares, Mohiccons, and Mun
My Son and my Children,-I am glad to see you here to receive your salutations, and to return them by taking you by the hand, and renewing to you the assurances of my friendship. I learn with pleasure that the Miamis and Powtawatamies have given you some of their lands on the White River to live on, and that you propose to gather there your scattered tribes, and to dwell on it all your days.
The picture which you have drawn, my son, of the increase of our numbers and the decrease of yours is just, the causes are very plain, and the remedy depends on yourselves alone. You have lived by hunting the deer and buffalo—all these have been driven westward; you have sold out on the sea-board and moved westwardly in pursuit of them. As they became scarce there, your food has failed you; you have been a part of every year without food, except the roots and other unwholsome things you