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you but oon 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. It is
FatherWe will not conceal from you that the great God, and not men, has preserved the Coin 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 for eyer 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 he has nothing to answer. When the sun goes down the opens his heart before God; and earlier than the sun appears again upon the hills, he givesy 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 be 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 on 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 from 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. We 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 those murders have 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,
his HALF + Town,
BiG + TREE, In the presence of
mark. 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. I, 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 have 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 month 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 respecting the sale of their lands.
But the case is now entirely altered. The general government only has the power to treat with the Indian Nation, and any treaty formed and held without its authority will not be binding.
Here then is the security for the remainder of
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 rights. 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 part as you may since have fairly sold to persons properly authorized to purchase of you.
You complain that J-L-- and 0.- P-have obtained your lands, assisted by Mr. S-of Niagara, and that they have not complied with their agree: ment.
It appears, upon inquiry of the governor of New York, that J- L- was not legally authorized to treat with you, and that every thing he did with you has been declared null and void, so that you may rest easy on that account.
But it does not appear from any proofs, yet in the possession of government, that 0-P-has defrauded
you. If however you should have any just cause of complaint against him, and can make satis: factory proof thereof, the Federal Courts will be open to you for redress, as to all other persons*.
* Referring an Indian Chief to the courts of law for redress, is worse than a plain denial. B.