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Speeches of several of the Chiefs of the Delegation of In
dians, under Major O'Fallon, to the President of the United States, in Council, on the 4th of February, 1822.
THE PAWNEE CHIEF. My Great Father :- I have travelled a great distance to see you, I have seen you and my heart rejoices. I have heard your words—they have entered one ear and shall not escape the other, and I will carry them to my people as pure as they came from your mouth. · My Great Father:-I am going to speak the truth. The Great Spirit looks down upon us, and I call Him to witness all that may pass between us on this occasion. If I am here now ana have seen your people, your houses, your vessels on the big lake, and a great many wonderful things far beyond my comprehension, which appear to have been made by the Great Spirit and placed in your hands, I am indebted to my Father here, who invited me from home, under whose wings ! have been protected.* Yes, my Great Father, I have travelled with your chief; I have followed him, and trod in his tracks; but there is still añother Great Father to whom I am much indebted it is the Father of us all. Him who made us and placed us on this earth. I feel grateful to the Great Spirit for strengthening my heart for such an undertaking, and for preserving the life which he gave me. The Great Spirit made us all--he made my skin red, and yours white; he placed us on this earth, and intended that we should live differently from each other.
He made the whites to cultivate the earth, and feed on domestic animals; but he made us, red skins, to rove through the uncultivated woods and plains; to feed on wild animals; and to dress with their skins. He also intended that we should go to war-to take :: scalps-steal horses from and triumph over our enemies
* Pointing to Major O'Fallop:
----cultivate peace at home, and promote the happiness of each other. I believe there are
I believe there are no people of any colour on this earth who do not believe in the Great Spirit-in rewards, and in punishments. We worship him, but we worship him not as you do. We differ from you
in appearance and manners as well as in our customs; and we differ from you in our religion; we have no large houses as you have to worship the Great Spirit in ; if we had them to-day, we should want others to-morrow, for we have not, like you, a fixed habitation—we have no settled home except our villages, where we remain but two moons in twelve. We, like animals, rove through the country, whilst you whites reside between us and heaven; but still, my Great Father, we love the Great Spirit—we acknowledge his supreme power-our peace, our bealth, and our happiness depend upon him, and our lives belong to him he made us and he can destroy us.
My Great Father : Some of your good chiefs, as they are called (missionaries,) have proposed to send some of their good people among us to change our habits, to make us work and live like the white people. I will not tell a lie-I am going to tell the truth. You love your country--you love your people--you love the manner in which they live, and you think your people brave.-I am like you, my Great Father, I love my country-I love my people—I love the manner in which we live, and think myself and warriors brave. Spare me then, my Father; let me enjoy my country, and pursue the buffalo, and the beaver, and the other wild animals of our country, and I will trade their skins with your people. I have grown up, and lived thus long without work--I am in hopes you will suffer me to die without it. We have plenty of buffalo, beaver, deer and other wild animals--we have also an abundance of horses—we have every thing we wantwe have plenty of land, if you will keep your people off of it. My father has a piece on which he lives, (Council Blunts) and we wish him to enjoy it-we
have enough without it—but we wish him to live near us to give us good counsel-to keep our ears and eyes open that we may continue to pursue the right road-the road to happiness. He settles all differences between us and the whites, between the red skins themselves he makes the whites do justice to the red skins, and he makes the red skins do justice to the whites. He saves the effusion of human blood, and restores peace and happiness on the land. You have already sent us a father; it is enough he knows us and we know him--we have confidence in him—we keep our eye constantly upon hin, and since we have heard your words, we will listen more attentively to his.
It is too soon, my Great Father, to send those good men among us. We are not starving yet-we wish you to permit us to enjoy the chase until the game of our country is exhausted until the wild animals become extinct. Let us exhaust our present resources before you make us toil and interrupt our happiness-let me continue to live as I have done, and after I have passed to the Good or Evil Spirit from off the wilderness of my present life, the subsistence of my children may become so precarious as to need and embrace the assistance of those good people.
There was a time when we did not know the whites-Our wants were then fewer than they are now. They were always within our controul-we had then seen nothing which we could not get. Before our intercourse with the whites (who have caused such a destruction in our game,) we could lie down to sleep, and when we awoke we would find the buffalo feeding around our camp-but now we are killing them for their skins, and feeding the wolves with their flesh, to make our children cry over their bones.
Here, My Great Father, is a pipe which I present you, as I am accustomed to present pipes to all the 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.
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 others'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 and coming from war. I myself I have
have killed and scalped in every direction. often triumphed over my enemies.
My Great Father:-I am brave, and if I had not been brave I should not have followed my Father here. Thave 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.
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 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
* Pointing to Major O'Fallon.