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Father,--You have said that we were in your hand, and that by closing it you could crush us to nothing. Are you then determined to crush us? If you are, tell us so, that those of our nation who have become your children, and have determined to die so, may know what to do. In this case one chief has said, he would ask you to put him out of his pain. Another, who will not think of dying by the hand of his father, or of his brother, has said he will retire to the Chataughque, eat of the fatal root, and sleep with his fathers in peace.
Before you determine a measure so unjust, look up to God, who made us as well as you; we hope he will not permit you to destroy the whole of our nation.
Father,Hear our case : Many nations inhabited this country, but they had no wisdom, therefore they warred together; the Six Nations were powerful and compelled them to peace. The land for a great extent was given up to them, but the nations which were not destroyed all continued on those lands : and claimed the protection of the Six Nations, as brothers of their fathers. They were when at peace had a right to live upon the earth.
The French came among us, and built Niagara; they became our fathers, and took care of us. Sir William Johnson came, and took that fort from the French; he became our father, and promised to take care of us, and he did so until you were too strong for his king. To him we gave four miles round Niagara, as a place of trade. We have already said how we came to join against you; we saw that we were wrong, we wished for peace, you demanded a great country to be given up to you, it was surrendered to you as the price of peace, and we ought to have peace and possession of the little land which you then left us.
Father,—When that great country was given up to you there were but few chiefs present, and they
were compelled to give it up. And it is not the Six Nations only that reproach those chiefs with having given up that country. The Chipaways, and all the nations who lived on these lands westward, call to us, and ask us, “Brothers of our fathers, where is the place which you bave reserved for us to lie down
Father,-You have compelled us to do that which makes us ashamed. We have nothing to answer to the children of the brothers of our fathers. When last spring they called upon us to go to war to secure them a bed to lie down upon, the Senecas entreated them to be quiet until we had spoken to you ; but on our way down, we heard that your army had gone towards the country which those nations inhabited; and if they meet together, the best blood on both sides will stain the ground.
Father,--We will not conceal from you that the great God, and not men, has preserved the Corn Plant from the hands of his own nation. For they ask continually, “Where is the land on which our children, and their children after them, are to lie down upon? You told us," say they, " that the line drawn from Pennsylvania to Lake Ontario, would mark it forever on the east, and the line running from Beaver Creek to Pennsylvania, would mark it on the west, and we see that it is not so; for first one, and then another, come and take it away by order of that people which you tell us promised to secure it to us." "He is silent, for be has nothing to answer. When the sun goes down he opens his heart before God; and earlier than the sun appears again upon the hills he gives thanks for his protection during the night; for he feels that among men, become desperate by the injuries they sustain, it is God only that can preserve him. He loves peace, and all he had in store he has given to those who have been robbed by your people, lest they should plunder the innocent to repay themselves. The whole season, which
others have employed in providing for their families, he has spent in endeavours to preserve peace'; and this moment his wife and children are lying op the ground, and in want of food : his heart is in pain for them, but he perceives that the Great Spirit will try his firmness in doing what is right.
Father,—The game which the Great Spirit sent into our country for us to eat, is going from among
We thought he intended we should till the ground with the plough as the white people do, and we talked to one another about it. But before we speak to you concerning this, we must know froin you whether you mean to leave us and our children any land to till. Speak plainly to us concerning this great business.
All the land we have been speaking of belonged to the Six Nations : no part of it ever belonged to the King of England, and he could not give it up to you, The land we live on our fathers received from God, and they transmitted it to us for our children, and we cannot part with it.
Father,We told you that we would open our hearts to you: hear us once more. At Fort Stanwix we agreed to deliver up those of our people who should do you any wrong, and that you might try them and punish them according to your law. delivered up two men accordingly; but instead of trying them according to your law, the lowest of your people took them from your magistrate, and put them immediately to death. It is just to punish the murderer with death, but the Senecas will not deliver up their people to men who disregard the treaties of their own nation.
Father,--Innocent men of our nation are killed, one after another, and of our best families;
but none of your people who have committed :hose murders lave been punished. We recollect that you did promise to punish those who killed our people ; and we ask, was it intended that your people should kill
the Senecas, and not only remain unpunished, but be protected from the next of kin?
Father,--These are to us very great things; we know that you are very strong, and we have heard that you are wise, and we shall wait to hear your answer that we may know that you are just. Signed at Philadelphia, December, 1790. .
his By the CORN + PLANT,
Joseph NICHOLSON, Interpreter,
and sundry others.
The Reply of the President of the United States, to the Speech of the Corn Plant, Half Town, and Big Tree, Chiefs and Counsellors of the Seneca Nation of Indians,
1, the President of the United States, by my own mouth, and by a written speech, signed by my own hand, and sealed with the seal of the United States, speak to the Seneca Nations, and desire their attention, that they would keep this speech in remembrance of the friendship of the United States. I have received your Speech with satisfaction, as a proof of your confidence in the justice of the United States; and I have attentively examined the several objects which you bave laid before me, whether delivered by your chiefs at Tioga Point in the last month to Colonel Pickering, or laid before me in the
present mouth by Corn Plant and other Seneca Chiefs now in Philadelphia.
In the first place, I observe to you, and I request it may sink deep in your minds, that it is my desire, and the desire of the United States, that all the miseries of the late war should be forgotten, and buried for ever. That, in future, the United States and the Six Nations should be truly brothers, promoting each other's prosperity by acts of mutual friendship and justice.
I am not uninformed that the Six Nations have been led into some difficulties with respect to the sale of their lands since the peace. But I must inform you that these evils arose before the general government of the United States was established, when the separate states, and individuals under their authority, undertook to treat with the Indian tribes l'especting the sale of their lands.
But the case is now entirely altered. The general government only has the power to treat with the ludian Nation, and any treaty formed and held without its authority will not be binding.
Here then is the security for the remainder of your lands. No state or person can purchase your lands, unless at some public treaty held under the authority of the United States. The general government will never consent to your being defrauded, but it will protect you in all your righits. Hear well, and let it be heard by every person in your nation, that the President of the United States declares that. the general government considers itself bound to protect you in all the lands secured you by the treaty at Fort Stanwix, the 22d day of October, 1784, except such parts as you may since have fairly sold to persons properly authorized to purchase of you.
You complain that J-L- and O-P-have obtained your lands, assisted by Mr. S- of Niagara, and that they have not complied with their agreement.