Imágenes de página
PDF
ePub

tion; and the pathos searches and melts the very soul. It bears a considerable resemblance, in my opinion, to the inspired writings, and could not have been supplied to the Indians by any white sci ibe ; nor could its peculiar characteristics have been superinduced by the art of the translator. At least such is

my

belief.

TO HIS EXCELLENCY De Witt CLINTON, Esq. GOVERNOR

OF THE STATE OF NEW YORK, Feb. 14, 1818. Father, -We learn from your talk delivered at the great council fire in Albany, your opinion of the condition and prospects of your red children. .

Father,We feel that the hand of our God has long been heavy on his red children. For our sins he has brought us low, and caused us to melt away before our white brothers as snow before the fire. His ways are perfect; he regardeth not the complexion of man. God is terrible in judgment. All men ought to fear before him. He putteth down ·and buildeth up, and none can resist him.

Father,—The Lord of the whole earth is strong; this is our confidence. He hath power to build up as well as to pull down. Will he keep his anger for ever?. Will he pursue to destruction the workmanship of his own hand, and strike off a race of men from the earth, whom his care hath so long preserved through so many perils ?

Father,- We thank you that you feel anxious to do all you can to the perishing ruins of your red chil

dren. We hope, Father, you will make a fence strong and high around us, that wicked white men may not devour us at once, but let us live as long as we can. We are persuaded you will do this for us, because our field is laid waste and trodden down by every beast; we are feeble and cannot resist them.

Father,—We are persuaded you will do this for the sake of our white brothers, lest God, who has appeared so strong in building up white men, and pulling down Indians, should turn his hand and visit our white brothers for their sins, and call them to an account for all the wrongs they have done, and all the wrongs they have not prevented that was in their power to prevent, to their poor red brothers who have no helper. Father,Would

you

be the father of your people, and make them good and blessed of God, and happy, let not the cries of your injured red children ascend into his ears against you.

Father,--We desire to let you know that wrong information hath reached your ears.

Our western brothers have given us no land. You will learn all our mind on this subject, by a talk which we sent our Great Father, the President of the United States. We send it to you, that you may see it and learn our mind.

Red Jacket, his mark,
Young King, his mark,
Captain Billey, his mark,
Captain Pollard, his mark,
Twenty Canoes, his * mark,

[ocr errors]

James Stephenson, his mark, "!!
Chief Warrior, his mark,
John Snow, his xmark,
Stride Town, his mark,
Wheel Barrow, his xmark,
Captain Cole, his mark,

Big Kettle, his mark. Done at the great council fire, Seneca Village, near Buffalo, 14th Feb. 1818.

Harry York, Interpreter, his mark. P. S. The above Chiefs request your Excellency to publish, or cause to be published, that article of the treaty between the state of New York and the Indians, that relates to their fishing and hunting privileges, which their white brethren seem to have forgotten.

The foregoing address to Governor Clinton arose in consequence of the following passage in his Excellency's Speech to the Legislation, at Albany, delivered on the 27th January, 1818.

“ The Indians in our territory are experiencing the fate of all barbarous tribes in the vicinity of civilized nations, and are constantly deteriorating in character, and diminishing in number; and before the expiration of half a century, there is a strong probability they will entirely disappear. It is understood that the Western Indians are desirous that ours should emigrate to an extensive territory remote from white population, and which will be

granted to them gratuitously. As this will preserve them from rapid destruction; as it is in strict unison with the prescriptions of humanity, and will not interfere with the blessing of religious instruction, there can be no objection to their removal. This, however, ought to be free and voluntary on their part, and whenever it takes place it is our duty to see that they receive an ample compensation for their territory. At the present time they are frequently injured and defrauded by intrusions upon their lands, and some of the most valuable domains of the state are subjected to similar detriment. It is very desirable that our laws should provide adequate remedies in these cases, and that they should be vigorously enforced."

Our subject will be further illustrated by the following, which furnishes another instance of the eternal violation of treaty by the white people in their intercourse with the red men of America.

CORNPLANTER'S LETTER.

Alleghany River, 2d mo. 2d, 1822.

SPEECH OF CORNPLANTER TO THE GOVERNOR OF

PENNSYLVANIA.

I feel it my duty to send a speech to the Governor of Pennsylvania at this time, and inform him the place where I was from—which was at Conewaugus, on the Genesee River.

When I was a child, I played with the butterfly, the grasshopper and the frogs; and as I grew up,

I

[ocr errors][ocr errors][ocr errors]

began to pay some attention and play with the Indian boys in the neighbourhood, and they took notice of my skin being a different colour from theirs, and spoke about it. I inquired of my mother the cause, and she told me that my father was a residenter in Albany. I still eat my victuals out of a bark dish I grew up to be a young man, and married me a wife-and I had no kettle or gun. I then knew where my father lived, and went to see him, and found he was a white man, and spoke the English language. He gave me victuals whilst I was at his house, but when I started to return home, he gave me no provision to eat on the way. He gave me neither kettle nor gun; neither did he tell me that the United States were about to rebel against the government of England.

I will now tell you, brothers, who are in session of the legislature of Pennyslvania, that the Great Spirit has made known to me that I have been wicked; and the cause thereof was the revolutionary war in America.' The cause of Indians having been led into sin, at that time, was that many of them were in the practice of drinking and getting intoxicated. Great Britain requested us to join with them in the conflict against the Americans, and promised the Indians land and liquor. I, myself, was opposed to joining in the conflict, as I had nothing to do with the difficulty that existed between the two parties. I have now informed you how it happened that the Indians took a part in the revolution, and will relate to you some circumstances that oc

« AnteriorContinuar »