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peace and friendship. I wished to learn what we could do to benefit them by furnishing them the necessaries they want in exchange for their furs and peltries. I therefore sent our beloved man, Captain Lewis, one of my own family, to go up the Missouri river to get acquainted with all the Indian nations in its neighborhood, to take them by the hand, deliver my talks to them, and to inform us in what way we could be useful to them. Your nation received him kindly, you have taken him by the hand and been friendly to him. My children, I thank you for the services you rendered him, and for your attention to his words. He will now tell us where we should establish trading houses to be convenient to you all, and what we must send to them.
My friends and children, I have now an important advice to give you. I have already told you that you and all the red men are my children, and I wish you to live in peace and friendship with one another as brethren of the same family ought to do. How much better is it for neighbors to help than to hurt one another; how much happier must it make them. If you will cease to make war on one another, if you will live in friendship with all mankind, you can employ all your time in providing food and clothing for yourselves and your families. Your men will not be destroyed in war, and your women and children will lie down to sleep in their cabins without fear of being surprised by their enemies and killed cr carried away. Your numbers will be increased instead of diminishing, and you will live in plenty and in quiet. My children, I have given this advice to all your red brethren on this side of the Mississippi; they are following it, they are increasing in their numbers, are learning to clothe and provide for their families as we do. Remember then my advice, my children, carry it home to your people, and tell them that from the day that they have become all of the same family, from the day that we became father to them all, we wish, as a true father should do, that we may all live together as one household, and that before they strike one another, they should go to their father and let him endeavor to make up the quarrel.
My children, you are come from the other side of our great island, from where the sun sets, to see your new friends at the
sun rising. You have now arrived where the waters are constantly rising and falling every day, but you are still distant from the sea. I very much desire that you should not stop here, but go and see your brethren as far as the edge of the great water. I am persuaded you have so far seen that every man by the way has received you as his brothers, and has been ready to do you all the kindness in his power. You will see the same thing quite to the sea shore ; and I wish you, therefore, to go and visit our great cities in that quarter, and see how many friends and brothers you have here. You will then have travelled a long line from west to east, and if you had time to go from north to south, from Canada to Florida, you would find it as long in that direction, and all the people as sincerely your friends. I wish you, my children, to see all you can, and to tell your people all you see ; because I am sure the more they know of us, the more they will be our hearty friends. I invite you, therefore, to pay a visit to Baltimore, Philadelphia, New York, and the cities still beyond that, if you are willing to go further. We will provide carriages to convey you and a person to go with you to see that you want for nothing. By the time you come back the snows will be melted on the mountains, the ice in the rivers broken up, and you will be wishing to set out on your return home.
My children, I have long desired to see you; I have now opened my heart to you, let my words sink into your hearts and never be forgotten. If ever lying people or bad spirits should raise up clouds between us, call to mind what I have said, and what you have seen yourselves. Be sure there are some lying spirits between us; let us come together as friends and explain to each other what is misrepresented or misunderstood, the clouds will fly away like morning fog, and the sun of friendship appear and shine forever bright and clear between us.
My children, it may happen that while you are here occasion may arise to talk about many things which I do not now particularly mention. The Secretary at War will always be ready to talk with you, and you are to consider whatever he says as said by myself. He will also take care of you and see that you are furnished with all comforts here.
WASHINGTON, D cember 31, 1806. To the Chiefs of the Osage nation :
My Children, Chiefs of the Osage nation,,I welcome you sincerely to the seat of the government of the United States. The journey you have taken is long and fatiguing, and proved your desire to become acquainted with your new brothers of this country. I thank the master of life, who has preserved you by the way and brought you safely here. I hope you have found yourselves, through the whole journey, among brothers and friends, who have used you kindly, and convinced you they wish to live always in peace and harmony with you.
My children, your forefathers have doubtless handed it down to you that in ancient times the French were the fathers of all the red men in the country called Louisiana, that is to say, all the country on the Mississippi and on all its western waters. In the days of your fathers France ceded that country to the Spaniards and they became your fathers; but six years ago they restored it to France and France ceded it to us, and we are now become your fathers and brothers; and be assured you will have no cause to regret the change. It is so long since our forefathers came from beyond the great water, that we have lost the memory of it, and seem to have grown out of this land as you have done. Never more will you have occasion to change your fathers. We are all now of one family, born in the same land, and bound to live as brothers, and to have nothing more to do with the strangers who live beyond the great water. The Great Spirit has given you strength and has given us strength, not that we should hurt one another, but to do each other all the good in our power. Our dwellings indeed are very far apart, but not too far to carry on commerce and useful intercourse. You have furs and peltries which we want, and we have clothes and other useful things which you want. Let us employ ourselves, then, in making exchanges of these articles useful to both. In order to prepare ourselves for this commerce with our new children, we have found it necessary to send some of our trusty men up
the different rivers of Louisiana, to see what nations live upon them, what number of peltries they can furnish, what quantities and kinds of merchandize they want, and where are the places most convenient to establish trading houses with them. With this view we sent a party to the head of the Missouri and the great water beyond that, who are just returned. We sent another party up the Red river, and we propose, the ensuing spring, to send one up the Arkansas as far as its head. This party will consist, like the others, of between twenty and thirty persons. I shall instruct them to call and see you at your towns, to talk with my son the Big Track, who, as well as yourselves and your people, will I hope receive them kindly, protect them and give them all the information they can as to the people on the same river above you. When they return they will be able to tell us how we can best establish a trade with you, and how otherwise we can be useful to them.
My children, I was sorry to learn that a difference had arisen among the people of your nation, and that a part of them had separated and removed to a great distance on the Arkansa. This is a family quarrel with which I do not pretend to intermeddle. Both parties are my children, and I wish equally well to both. But it would give me great pleasure if they could again reunite, because a nation, while it holds together, is strong against its enemies, but, breaking into parts, it is easily destroyed. However I hope you will at least make friends again, and cherish peace and brotherly love with one another. If I can be useful in restoring friendship between you, I shall do it with great pleasure. It is my wish that all my red children live together as one family, that when differences arise among them, their old men should meet together and settle them with justice and in peace. In this way your women and children will live in safety, your nation will increase and be strong.
As you have taken so long a journey to see your fathers, we wish you not to return till you have visited our country and towns towards the sea coast. This will be new and satisfactory to you, and it will give you the same knowledge of the country on this side of the Mississippi, which we are endeavoring to ac
quire of that on the other side, by sending trusty persons to explore them. We propose to do in your country only what we are desirous you should do in ours. We will provide accommodations for your journey, for your comfort wbile engaged in it, and for your return in safety to your own country, carrying with you those proofs of esteem with which we distinguish our friends, and shall particularly distinguish you. On your return, tell your chief, the Big Track, and all your people, that I take them by the hand, that I become their father hereafter, that they shall know our nation only as friends and benefactors, that we have no views upon them but to carry on a commerce useful to them and us, to keep them in peace with their neighbors, that their children may multiply, may grow up and live to a good old age, and their women no longer fear the tomahawk of any enemy.
My children, these are my words, carry them to your nation, keep them in your memories and our friendship in your hearts, and may the Great Spirit look down upon us and cover us with the mantle of his love.
February 19, 1807. To the Chiefs of the Shawanee Nation :
My children, Chiefs of the Shawanee nation,—I have listened to the speeches of the Blackhoof, Blackbeard, and the other head chiefs of the Shawanese, and have considered them well. As all these speeches relate to the public affairs of your nation, I will answer them together.
You express a wish to have your lands laid off separately to yourselves, that you may know what is your own, may have a fixed place to live on, of which you may not be deprived after you shall have built on it, and improved it; you would rather that this should be towards Fort Wayne, and to include the three reserves; you ask a strong writing from us, declaring your right, and observe that the writing you had was taken from you by the Delawares.