« AnteriorContinuar »
ple and Indians often get into dispute respecting them. There is also a great quantity of whiskey brought near our reservation by white people, and the Indians obtain it and become drunken. Another circumstance has taken place which is very trying to me, and I wish the interference of the governor.
The white people, who live at Warren, called upon me, some time ago, to pay taxes for my land; which I objected to, as I had never been called upon for that purpose before ; and having refused to pay, the white people became irritated, called upon me frequently, and at length brought four guns with thein and seized our cattle. I still refused to pay, and was not willing to let the cattle go. After a time of dispute, they returned home, and I understood the militia was ordered out to enforce the collection of the tax. I went to Warren, and, to avert the impending difficulty, was obliged to give my note for the tax, the amount of which was forty-three dollars and seventy-nine cents. It is my desire that the governor will exempt me from paying taxes for my land to white people ; and also cause that the money now obliged to pay, may be refunded to me, as I am very poor. The governor is the person who attends to the situation of the people, and I wish him to send a person to Alleghany, that I may inform him of the particulars of our situation, and he be authorized to , instruct the white people, in what manner to conduct themselves towards Indians.
The government has told us that when any difficulties arose between Indians and white people, they would attend to having them removed. We are now in a trying situation, and I wish the governor to send a person, authorized to attend thereto, the forepart of next summer, about the time that grass has grown * high enough for pasture.
The governor formerly requested me to pay attention to the Indians, and take care of them :are now arrived at a situation that I believe Indians
cannot exist, unless the governor should comply with my request, and send a person authorized to treat between us and the white people, the approaching suminer. I have now no more to speak.
CORNPLANTER, His > Mark,
Interpreter and Scrivener. To Joseph Heister,
Governor of Pennsylvania.
I will conclude this chapter with the oration of Te-cum-seh, the celebrated Shawanee warrior, as rendered by Mr. Hunter. It appears, from his ac
sume of the white people among the Osages were traders, and others were reputed to be runners from their Great Father beyond the great waters, to invite the Indians to take up the tomahawk against the settlers. They made many long talks, and distributed many valuable presents; but without being able to shake the resolution which the Osages had formed, to preserve peace with their Great Father, the president. Their determinations were, however, to undergo a more severe trial : Te-cum-seh now made his appearance among them."
“ He addressed them in long, eloquent, and pathetic strains; and an assembly more numerous than had ever been witnessed on any former occasion, listened to him with an intensely agitated, though profoundly respectful, interest and attention. In fact, so great was the effect produced by Te-cum-seh's eloquence, that the chiefs adjourned the council shortly after he had closed his harangue; nor did they finally come to a decision on the great question in debate for several days afterwards."* His proposals were, however, in the end, rejected.
Hunter's Memoirs, p. 48.
“ Brothers,—We all belong to one family ; we are all children of the Great Spirit; we walk in the same path ; slake our thirst at the same spring; and now affairs of the greatest concern leads us to smoke the pipe around the same council fire ! Brothers,—We are friends
; we must assist each other to bear our burthens. The blood of many of our fathers and brothers has run like water on the ground, to satisfy the avarice of the white 'men. We, ourselves, are threatened with a great evil ; nothing will pacify them but the destruction of all the red men.
“ Brothers -When the white men first set foot on our grounds, they were hungry; they had no place on which to spread their blankets, or to kindle their fires. They were feeble; they could do nothing for themselves. Our fathers commiserated their distress, and shared freely with them whatever the Great Spirit had given his red children. They gave them food when hungry, medicine when sick, spread skins for them to sleep on, and gave them grounds, that they might hunt and raise corn.-Brothers, the white people are like poisonous serpents : when chilled, they are feeble and harmless; but invigorate them with warmth, and they sting their benefactors to death.
“ The white people came among us feeble ; and now we have made them strong, they wish to kill us, or drive us back, as they would wolves and panthers.
“ Brothers,-The white men are not friends to the Indians: at first, they only asked for land sufficient for a wigwam ; now nothing will satisfy them but the whole of our hunting grounds, from the rising to the setting sun.
“ Brothers,—The white men want more than our hunting grounds; they wish to kill our warriors; they would even kill our old men, women, and little ones,
6 Brothers, -Many winters ago, there was no land; the sun did not rise and set : all was darkness. The Great Spirit made all things. He gave the white people a home beyond the great waters. plied these grounds with game, and gave them to bis red children; and he gave them strength and courage to defend them.
“ Brothers,—My people wish for peace; the red men all wish for peace; but where the white people are, there is no peace for them, except it be on the bosom of our mother.
“ Brothers, -The white men despise and cheat the Indians; they abuse and insult them; they do not think the red men sufficiently good to live.
“The red men have borne many and great injuries; they ought to suffer them no longer. My people will not; they are determined on vengeance; they hav. taken up the tomahawk : they will make it fat with blood; they will drink the blood of the white people.
Brothers,-My people are brave and numerous; but the white people are too strong for them alone. I wish you to take up the tomahawk witu them. If we all unite, we will cause the rivers to stain the great waters with their blood.
“ Brothers, If you do not unite with us, they will first destroy lis, and then you will fall an easy prey to them. They have destroyed many nations of red men because they were not united, because they were not friends to each other.
"Brothers - The white people send runners among us; they wish to make us enemies, that they may sweep over and desolate our hunting grounds, like devastating winds, or rushing waters.
“ Brothers -Our Great Father, over the great waters, is angry with the white people, our enemies. He will send his brave warriors against them; he will send us rifles, and whatever else we want-he is our friend, and we are his children.
“ Brothers,—Who are the white people that we should fear them? They cannot run fast, and are good marks to shoot at: they are only men; our fathers have killed
are not squaws, and we will stain the earth red with their blood.
“ Brothers,—The Great Spirit is angry with our enemies; he speaks in thunder, and the earth swallows up villages, and drinks up the Mississippi. The great waters will cover their lowlands; their corn cannot grow; and the Great Spirit will sweep those who escape to the hills from the earth with his terrible breath.
“ Brothers, -We must be united; we must smoke the same pipe; we must fight each others battles; and more than all, we must love the Great Spirit; he is for us; he will destroy our enemies, and make all his red children happy."