Imágenes de página
PDF
ePub

red skins in peace with us. It is filled with such tobacco as we were accustomed to smoke before we knew the white people. It is pleasant, and the spontaneous growth of the most remote parts of our country. I know that the robes, leggins, mockasins, bear-claws, &c., are of little value to you, but we wish you to have them deposited and preserved in some conspicuous part of your lodge, so that when we are gone

and the sod turned over our bones, if our children should visit this place, as we do now, they may see and recognize with pleasure the deposites of their fathers; and reflect on the times that are past.

[ocr errors]

PAWNEE LOUP CHIEF.

My Great Father:- Whenever I see a white man amongst us without a protector, I tremble for him. I am aware of the ungovernable disposition of some of our young men, and when I see an inexperienced white man, I am always afraid they will make me cry. I now begin to love your people, and, as I love my own people too, I am unwilling that any blood should be spilt between us. You are unacquainted with our fashions, and we are unacquainted with yours; and when

any

of your people come among us, I am always afraid that they will be struck on the head like dogs, as we should be here amongst you, but for our father in whose tracks we tread. When your people come among us, they should come as we come among you, with some one to protect them, whom we know and who knows us. Until this chief came amongst us, three winters since, we roved through the plains

only thirsting for each other's blood—we were blind --we could not see the right road, and we hunted to destroy each other. We were always feeling for obstacles, and every thing we felt we thought one. Our warriors were always going to ard coming from war. I myself have killed and scalped in every direction. I have often triumphed over my enemies.

OTTOE PARTIZAN.

My Great Father :-I am brave, and if I had not been brave I should not have followed my Father here. I have killed my enemies, I have taken their horses, and although I love and respect my Father, and will do any thing he tells me, I will not submit to an insult from any one. If my enemies, of any nation, should strike me, I will rise in the might of my strength, and avenge the spirit of my dead. .

o'MAHA CHIEF. My Great Father :-Look at me-look at me, my father, my hands are unstained with blood-my people have never struck the whites, and the whites have never struck them. It is not the case with other red skins. Mine is the only nation that has spared the long knives. I am a chief, but not the only one in my nation; there are other chiefs who raise their crests by my side. I have always been the friend of the long knives, and before this chief* (Major O'F.) came among us, I suffered much in

support of the whites. I was often reproached for being

* Pointing to Major O'Fallon.

a friend, but when my father came amongst us, he strengthened my arms, and I soon towered over the rest.

My Great Father:- I have heard some of your chiefs, who propose

to send some good people amongst us, to learn us to live as you do; but I do not wish to tell a lie-I am only one man, and will not presume, at this distance from my people, to speak for them, on a subject with which they are entirely unacquainted-I am afraid it is too soon for us to attempt to change habits. We have too much game in our country--we feed too plentifully on the buffalo to bruise our hands with the instruments of agriculture.

The Great Spirit made my skin red, and he made us to live as we do now; and I believe that when the Great Spirit placed us upon this earth he consulted our happiness. We love our country--we love our customs and habits. I wish that you would permit us to enjoy them as long as I live. When we become hungry, naked-when the game of our country becomes exhausted, and misery encompasses our families, then, and not till then, do I want those good people among us. Then they may lend us a helping hand-then show us the wealth of the earth--the advantages and sustenance to be derived from its culture,

I am fond of peace, my Great Father, but the Sioux have disturbed my repose. They have struck upon me and killed two of my brothers, and since more of my

bravest warriors, whose deaths are still unrevenged. Those Sioux live high up the Missouri, and,

[ocr errors]

although they have seen my father and heard his words, they rove on the land like hungry wolves, and, like serpents creeping through the grass, they disturb the unsuspecting stranger passing through the country. I am almost the only red skin opposed to war-but, my father, what should I do to satisfy the dead, when every wind coming over their bones bring to my ears their cries for revenge? I am constantly disturbed by the recollection of my brothers, and am afraid to neglect their bones, which have been thrown to the winds, and lie uncovered and exposed to the sun. I must not be slow to avenge their death; I am forced to war, my Great Father, and I am in hopes you will assist me; I am in hopes that you will give some arms to my father to place in the hands of my brave, to enable them to defend their wives and children. Since I have known my father, I have obeyed his commands, and when I die I will leave my children to him that he may do with them as he pleases.

O'MAHA PARITZAN.

My Great Father:-My father was a chief, but he grew old, and became dry like grass, and passed away, leaving the roots from which I sprung up, and have grown so large without one mark of distinction. I am still green, but am afraid to die without the fame of

my father. I wish you would be so good as to give me a mark to attract the attention of my people, that when I return home I may bring to their recollection the deeds of my father and my claims to dis

tinction. Since I left home I have been much afflicted; death sought me, but I clung to my father and he kept it off. I have now grown fat, and am in hopes to return to my nation. There is my chief, (pointing to the Big Elk,) who has no claims, no inheritance from his father. I am now following behind him, and treading upon his heels, in hopes that you and my father here*, will take pity on me and recollect whọ my father was.

The following minutes of a conference with the Senecas, exhibit what the Indians are subject to even in the state of New York at present.

In Senate, February 11, 1820. MESSAGE FROM HIS EXCELLENCY THE GOVERNOR.

TO THE SENATE AND ASSEMBLY.

GENTLEMEN

I have the honour to transmit to you the minutes of a conference with the representatives of the Seneca Indians. I respectfully recommend to your favourable considerations, the objects suggested by them; and as I understand that there is now a bill before you, relative to the ferry at Black Rock, it may be deemed proper by you to consider one of the requests of the Senecas in connexion with the other provisions contained in that bill.

DE WITT CLINTON. Albany, 11th February, 1820.

* Pointing to Major O'Fallon.

« AnteriorContinuar »