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But your great object seems to be, the security of your remaining lands, and I have therefore
this point meant to be sufficiently strong and clear.
That in future you cannot be defrauded of your lands. That you possess the right to sell, and the right of refusing to sell your lands; that therefore the sale of your lands, in future, will depend entirely on yourselves.
But that when you may find it for your interest to sell any part of your lands, the United States must be present by their agent, and will be your security that you
shall not be defrauded in the bargain you
It will however be important, that, before you make any further sale of your land, you should determine among yourselves, who are the persons among you that shall give such conveyances thereof, as shall be binding upon your nation, and for ever preclude all disputes relative to the validity of the sale.
That, besides the before-mentioned security for your land, you will perceive, by the laws of Congress, for regulating trade and intercourse with the Indian tribes, the fatherly care the United States intend to take of the Indians. For the particular meaning of this law, I refer you to the explanations given thereof by Col. Pickering at Tioga, which, with the laws, are herewith delivered to you.
You have said in your speech, that the game is going away from among you, and that you thought it the design of the Great Spirit that you till
ground; but before you speak upon this subject you want to know, whether the United States meant to leave you any land to till.
You now know that all the lands secured to you by the treaty of Fort Stanwix, excepting such parts as you may once have fairly sold, are yours, and that only your own acts can convey them away. Speak therefore your wishes on the subject of tilling the ground: the United States will be happy to afford you every assistance in the only business which will add to your numbers and happiness.
The murders which have been committed upon some of your people by the bad white men, I sincerely lament and reprobate, and I earnestly hope that the real murderers will be secured and punished as they deserve*. This business has been sufficiently explained to you here by the governor of Pennsylvania, and by Col. Pickering, in behalf of the United States, at Tioga.
The Senecas may be assured, that the rewards offered for apprehending the murderers, will be continued until they are secured for trial, and that when they shall be apprehended, they will be tried and punished, as if they had killed white men.
Having answered the most material parts of your speech, I shall inform you that some bad Indians, and the outcast of several tribes, who reside at the Miami village, have long continued their murders and depredations upon the frontiers lying along the
* No attempt was ever made to punish ther. B.
Ohio. That they have not only refused to listen to my voice, inviting them to peace, but that, upon receiving it, they renewed their incursions and murders with greater violence than ever. I have therefore been obliged to strike those bad people, in order to make them sensible of their madness. I sincerely hope they will hearken to reason, and not require to be further chastised. The United States desire to be friends of the Indians upon terms of justice and humanity ; but they will not suffer the depredations of the bad Indians to go unpunished.
My desire is, that you would caution all the Senecas, and Six Nations, to prevent their rash young men from joining the Miami Indians; for the United States cannot distinguish the tribes to which bad Indians belong, and every tribe must take care of their own people.
The merits of the Corn Plant, and his friendship for the United States, are well known to me, and shall not be forgotten ; and as a mark of the esteem of the United States, I have directed the secretary of war to make him a present of two hundred and fifty dollars, either in money or goods, as the Corn Plant shall like best, and he may depend on the future care and kindness of the United States. And I have also directed the secretary of war to make suitable presents to the other chiefs present in Philadelphia, and also that some further tokens of friendship be forwarded to the other chiefs now in their nation.
Remember my words, Senecas: continue to be strong in your friendship for the United States, as
the only rational ground of your future happiness, and
you may rely upon their kindness and protection. An agent shall soon be appointed to reside in some place convenient to the Senecas and Six Nations; he will represent the United States. Apply to him on all occasions. ,
If any man brings you evil reports of the intentions of the United States, mark that man as your enemy, for he will mean to deceive you, and lead you
into trouble. The United States will be true and faithful to their engagements. Given under my hand and seal of the United
States, at Philadelphia, this twenty-ninth day of December, in the year of our Lord 1790, and in the fifteenth year of the Sovereignty and Independence of the United States.
G. WASHINGTON, By the president,
T. JEFFERSON. Enrolled in the Rolls-Office, for the State of Pennsylvania, in Commission Book No. 1, page 255, &c.
To the President of the United States of America. The
Speech of Corn Plant, Half Town, and Big Tree, Chiefs of the Seneca Nation,
Father, -Your speech, written on the great paper, is to us like the first light of the morning to a sick
man, whose pulse beats too 'strongly in his temples, and prevents him from sleeping; he sees it and rejoices, but is not cured. You say you have spoken plainly on the great point ; that you will protect us in our lands, secured to us at Fort Stanwix; and that we have the right to sell, or refuse to sell it. This is very good.
But our nation complain that you compelled us, at that treaty, to give up too much of our lands. - We confess, that our nation was bound by what was done there, and acknowledge your power. We have now appealed to yourselves against that treaty, as made while you were too angry at us, and therefore unreasonable and unjust. To this you have given us no answer.
Father,—That treaty was not with a single state, it was with the Thirteen States; we should never have given all that land to one state. We know that it was before you had the great authority; and as you have more wisdom than the commissioners, who forced us into that treaty, we expect you have more regard to justice, and will now at our request re-consider the treaty, and restore to us part of that land.
Father,-The land which lies between the line running south from the Lake Erie, to the boundary of Pennsylvania, as mentioned in the treaty at Fort Stanwix; and the eastern boundary of that land which you sold, and the Senecas confirmed to Pennsylvania, is the land on which Half Town and all his people live, with other chiefs, who always have been,