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the industrious occupations of civilized life, while others, retaining their attachment to the hunter life, and having little game on their present lands, are desirous to remove across the Mississippi, to some of the vacant lands of the United States, where game is abundant. I am pleased to find so many disposed to ensure, by the cultivation of the earth, a plentiful subsistence for their families, and to improve their minds by education ; but I do not blame those who, having been brought up from their infancy to the pursuit of game, desire still to follow it to distant countries. I know how difficult it is for men to change the habits in which they have been raised. The United States, my children, are the friends of both parties, and as far as can reasonably be asked, they will be willing to satisfy the wishes of both. Those who remain may be assured of our patronage, our aid, and good neighborhood ; those who wish to remove, are permitted to send an exploring party to reconnoitre the country on the waters of the Arkansas and White rivers, and the higher up the better, as they will be the longer unapproached by our settlements, which will begin at the mouths of those rivers. The regular districts of the government of St. Louis are already laid off to the St. Francis. When this party shall have found a tract of country suiting the emigrants, and not claimed by other Indians, we will arrange with them and you the exchange of that for a just portion of the country they leave, and to a part of which proportioned to their numbers they have a right. Every aid towards their removal, and what will be necessary for them there, will then be freely administered to them, and when established in their new settlements, we shall still consider them as our children, give them the benefit of exchanging their peltries for what they want at our factories, and always hold them firmly by the hand.
I will now, my children, proceed to answer your kind address on my retiring from the government. Sensible that I am become too old to watch over the extensive concerns of the seventeen States and their territories, I requested my fellow citizens to permit me to retire, to live with my family, and to choose another President for themselves and father for you. They have
done so ; and in a short time I shall retire, and resign into his hands the care of your and our concerns. Be assured, my children, that he will have the same friendly dispositions towards you which I have had, and that you will find in him a true and affectionate father. Indeed, this is now the disposition of all our people towards you; they look upon you as brethren, born in the same land, and having the same interests. Tell your people, therefore, to entertain no uneasiness 'on account of this change, for there will be no change as to them. Deliver to them my adieux, and my prayers to the Great Spirit for their happiness. Tell them that during my administration I have held their hand fast in mine, and that I will put it into the hand of their new father, who will hold it as I have done.
January 10, 1809. To the Chiefs of the Wyandots, Ottawas, Chippewas, Powte
watamies and Shawanese :
My Children,-This is the first time I have had the pleasure of seeing the distinguished men of our neighbors the Wyandots, Ottawas and Chippewas, at the seat of our government. I welcome you to it as well as the Powtewatamies and Shawanese, and thank the Great Spirit for having conducted you hither in safety and health. I take you and your people by the hand and salute you as my children ; I consider all my red children as forming one family with the whites, born in the same land with them, and bound to live like brethren, in peace, friendship and good neighborhood. In former times, my children, we were not our own masters, but were governed by the English. Then we were often at war with our neighbors. Ill blood was raised and kept up between us, and in the war in which we threw off the English government, many of the red people, mistaking their brothers and real friends, took sides with the English government against us; and it was not till many years after we made peace with the English, that the treaty of Grenville closed our last wars with
our Indian neighbors. From that time, my children, we have looked on you as a part of ourselves, and have cherished your prosperity as our own. We saw that these things were wasting away your numbers to nothing; that the intemperate use of ardent spirits produced poverty, trouble and murders among you; your wars with one another were lessening your numbers, and attachment to the hunter life, after game had nearly left you, produced famine, sickness and deaths among you in the scarce season of every year. It has been our endeavor, therefore, like true fathers and brothers, to withhold strong liquors from you, to keep you in peace with one another, and to encourage and aid you in the culture of the earth, and raising domestic animals, to take the place of the wild ones. This we have done, my children, because we are your friends, and wish you well. If we feared you, if we were your enemies, we should have furnished you plentifully with whiskey, let the men destroy one another in perpetual wars, and the women and children waste away for want of food, and remain insensible that they could raise it out of the earth. We have been told, my children, that some of you have been doubting whether we or the English were your truest friends. What do the English do for you? They furnish you with plenty of whiskey, to keep you in idleness, drunkenness and poverty; and they are now exciting you to join them in war against us, if war should take place between them and
But we tell you to stay at home in quiet, to take no part in quarrels which do not concern you. The English are now at war with all the world but us, and it is not yet known whether they will not force us also into it. They are strong on the water, but weak on the land. We live on the land and we fear them not. We are able to fight our own battles; therefore we do not ask you to spill your blood in our quarrels, much less do we wish to be forced to spill it with our own hands. You have travelled through our country from the lakes to the tide waters. You have seen our numbers in that direction, and were you to pass along the sea shore you would find them much greater. You know the English numbers, their scattered forts and string of people, along the borders of the lakes and the St. Lawrence,
how long do you think it will take us to sweep them out of the country ? and when they are swept away, what is to become of those who join them in their war against us? My children, if you love the land in which you were born, if you wish to inhabit the earth which covers the bones of your fathers, take no part in the war between the English and us, if we should have war. Never will we do an unjust act towards you. On the contrary, we wish to befriend you in every possible way; but the tribe which shall begin an unprovoked war against us, we will extirpate from the earth, or drive to such a distance as that they shall never again be able to strike us. I tell you these things my children, not to make you afraid. I know you are brave men and therefore cannot fear. But you are also wise men and prudent men.
I say it, therefore, that, in your wisdom and prudence, you may look forward. That you may go to the graves of your fathers and say, "fathers, shall we abandon you?” That you may look in the faces of your wives and children and ask, “shall we expose these our own flesh and blood to perish from want in a distant country and have our race and name extinguished from the face of the earth ?" Think of these things, my children, as wise men, and as men loving their fathers, their wives and children, and the name and memory of their nation. I repeat, that we will never do an unjust act towards you. On the contrary, we wish you to live in peace, to increase in numbers, to learn to labor as we do, and furnish food for your increasing numbers, when the game shall have left you. We wish to see you possessed of property, and protecting it by regular laws. In time, you will be as we are ; you will become one people with us. Your blood will mix with ours; and will spread, with ours, over this great island. Hold fast then, my children, the chain of friendship which binds us together, and join us in keeping it forever bright and unbroken.
I invite you to come here, my children, that you might hear with your own ears, the words of your father; that you might see with your own eyes, the sincere disposition of the United States towards you. In your journey to this place you have seen great numbers of your white brothers; you have been received
by them as brothers, have been treated kindly and hospitably, and you have seen and can tell your people that their hearts are now sincerely with you. This is the first time I have ever addressed your chiefs, in person, at the seat of Government,-it will also be the last. Sensible that I am become too old to watch over the extensive concerns of the seventeen States and their territories, I requested my fellow citizens to permit me to retire to live with my family, and to choose another President for themselves, and father for you. They have done so; and in a short time I shall retire and resign into his hands the care of your and our concerns. Be assured, my children, that he will have the same friendly dispositions towards you which I have had, and that you will find in him a true and affectionate father. Indeed this is now the disposition of all our people towards you ; they look upon you as brethren, born in the same land, and having the same interests. Tell your people, therefore, to entertain no uneasiness on account of this change, for there will be no change as to them. Deliver to them my adieus, and my prayers to the Great Spirit for their happiness. Tell them that during my administration, I have held their hand fast in mine; and that I will put it into the hand of their new father, who will hold it as I have done.
January 18, 1809. To the Chiefs of the Ottawas, Chippewas, Powtewatamies,
Shawanese and Wyandots :
My Children,- I have considered the speech you have delivered me, and will now make answer to it.
You have gone back to ancient times, and given a true history of the uses made of you by the French, who first inhabited your country, and afterwards by the English ; and how they used you as dogs to set upon those whom they wanted to destroy. They kept the hatchet always in your hand, exposing you to be killed in their quarrels, and then gave you whiskey that you might quarrel and kill one another. I am glad you understand these things, and