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are determined no more to fight their battles. We shall never wish you to fight ours, but to stay at home in peace and take care of yourselves. You still wish, however, to keep up a correspondence with the English, because you say your young people find an advantage in it. The less you have to do with them the better, because all their endeavors will be, as you know, to persuade you to go to war for them. If they owe you for lands, they ought to pay you once for all and be done with it. With respect to your people on the English side of the water, should we have war with the English, let them remain neutral and we shall not disturb them ; but if the English should endeavor to force them into the war, you would do well to receive them and let them live with you till we can clear the way for them to go back again, which will not take long.
You ask me what passed between this Government and the Little Turtle, the chiefs of the Chippewas, Powtewatamies, Shawanese, Ottawas, Isaac Williams, the Crane and the Delawares, at their visits to the seat of this Government many years ago.
Those visits were in the time of my predecessors, so that I did not hear their speeches, and they did not leave them in writing. It is not in my power, therefore, to tell you what they
But I can assure you that when the Little Turtle visited me, and in like manner when the chiefs of other tribes have visited me, not one word was ever said to the prejudice of the other Indians. I have no reason to believe they wished to speak to me in that way, but if they did, they knew I would not listen to them, and therefore did not do it. My advice to them all has been constantly to live in peace and friendship with one another, to begin to cultivate the earth, to raise domestic animals, and leave off the use of ardent spirits : in short, precisely what I have said to yourselves.
You ask whether the treaties at Swan's creek, and those of the last fall, and the fall before, were made by my desire. I will explain the subject to you. We consider your lands as belonging fully to yourselves, and that we have no right to purchase them but with your own free consent.
Whenever you wish to sell, we are willing to buy. although it may be lands
which we do not immediately want. We believe it to be for your benefit to sell a part of your lands for annuities, which may enable you to improve farms, and in the meantime to support yourselves. While you keep such large tracts of country, the few deer which remain tempt you to continue hunters, and are yet not enough to maintain you plentifully through the year. A small part of the land cultivated in corn, with the cattle, hogs, and sheep it would enable you to raise, would maintain you better through the year, than the whole does in game. A thorough persuasion, therefore, that it is better for you to turn your surplus lands from time to time into money, induces us to buy when you desire to sell. On this principle, at the treaty of Swan's creek we purchased the slip of land which laid between what you sold to the Connecticut company and our former lines. We had no particular desire to buy it, but were told that it would be convenient to you to sell that parcel, and therefore we bought it.
The lands which were puchased of you near Detroit the last fall and the fall before, we did wish to purchase, provided you were willing freely to sell. At Detroit, you know, we keep a a garrison to watch the English, and to protect the factory we establish there, to carry on trade with you. It is very desirable for us, therefore, to obtain so much land in the neighborhood as would receive settlers sufficient to raise provisions for the garrison, and to strengthen the garrison if attacked by the English. But still we instructed Governor Hull, however much we wished to get some land there, not to press it on you if you were not entirely willing to accommodate us. The settlement of our people there will be a great advantage to you if you become cultivators of the earth. You saw the Cherokees who were here when you arrived, my children. These were wealthy men, and became wealthy merely by living near our settlements. Their mother towns of Chota and Chilowee, are but twelve miles from our principal town of Knoxville. The Cherokees there have good farms, good houses, and abundance of cattle and horses. If a family raises more cattle or corn than they want for their own use, instead of letting it be eaten by their own lazy people who will not work, they carry it to Knoxville, sell it to our people,
and purchase with the money clothes and other comforts for themselves. Our settlements around Detroit will give you the same advantages. If you become farmers and raise cattle, hogs, sheep, fowls, and such things to spare, you can immediately exchange them for clothing and other necessaries. I am satisfied, therefore, my children, that the accommodating us with that land was as beneficial to you as to us. But, notwithstanding, I believe it to be better for you to sell your surplus lands from time to time; yet I repeat to you the assurances that although we may go so far, sometimes, as to say we would be willing to buy such a piece of land, yet we will never press you to sell, until you shall desire yourselves to sell it.
I have thus, my children, answered the particulars of your speech. I have done it with truth and an open heart, and I hope it will be satisfactory to you.
January 31, 1809. To the Chiefs of the Ottawas, Chippewas, Powtewatamies, Wy
andots, and Shawanese :
My Children,- I have considered the speech you have delivered me, and I will now give you an answer to it.
You have told us on former occasions of certain promises made to you at the treaty of Grenville, by General Wayne, respecting certain lands whereon you and your friends live. But when we looked into the treaty of Grenville, we found no such promises there ; and as it is our custom to put all our agreements into writing, that they may never be forgotten or mistaken, we concluded no such promises had been made. But you now explain that the chiefs of the Wyandots near Detroit did not arrive at Grenville till after the treaty was signed—that they then convinced General Wayne that provision ought to be made for securing to them possession of the lands they lived on, so long as they and their descendants shall choose to live on them, and that he agreed to it. Of this, besides other evidence, you now pro
duce the belt of wampum reserved by you, in memory of it, the counter-belt given us having probably been destroyed in the fire which consumed our war office in the year 1800. Such evidence, therefore, being now produced as induces a belief of the agreement, it shall be committed to writing, according to what has passed between the Secretary at War and yourselves; and we will also put into writing what has passed respecting the reserves for the Indians, and you shall have a copy of these writings which shall be firm and good to you forever.
You complain that white people go on your lands and settle without your consent. This is entirely against our will, and I earnestly desire you, my children, as soon as any intruder of the whites sets down on your lands, that you will not delay a moment to inform our agent, who will always be instructed in the measures to be taken for their immediate removal; and I desire you to do this, on your return, as to the intruders you now complain of.
The Secretary at War has explained to you the circumstances which attended the running the boundary line near Sandusky, under the treaty at Swan's creek, so as to satisfy you that no variation of it was intended; and you may be assured that when we proceed to run the lines for the roads granted us the last fall, you shall have notice, in order that your chiefs may attend and see it fairly done.
For these roads, with which your nations have been so friendly as to accommodate us, and which you wished us to accept as a present, I return you my thanks, and I accept them ; and I request you, on our part, to accept as a token of our good will, the sum of a thousand dollars, of which five hundred dollars will be paid you here. And we shall be happy if you can employ this sum to your benefit or comfort in any way. Our settlements are now extending so much in every direction, that we shall be obliged to ask roads from our Indian brethren, that we may pass conveniently from one settlement to another, for which we will always gladly pay them the full value.
You have been informed, as you desired, of the exact amount of your annuities.
I have thus, my children, answered all the parts of your speech, and I have done it sincerely and with good will to you. I have not filled you with whiskey, as the English do, to make you promise, or give up what is against your interest, when out of your senses. I have listened to your complaints and proposals, I have found them reasonable, and I have given you the answers which a just and a reasonable nation ought to do. And this you may be assured is the way in which we shall always do business with you, because we do not consider you as another nation, but as a part of us, living indeed under your own laws, but having the same interests with us. I hope you will tell these things to your people, and that they will sink deep into their minds.