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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 earıb 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 helpang 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, 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.
My Great Father:-My father was a chief, but he grew old, and became dry like grass, and passed away, leaving the roots fr .m 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 distinction. 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 who 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 minuten of a conference with the representatives of the Seneca
* Pointing to Major O'Fallon
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.
Minutes of a Conference between his Excellency De
Witt Clinton, and Pollard and Capt. Strong, the Representatives of the Sachem Chiefs of the Seneca Nation, February 7, 1820.
SPEECH OF THE INDIAN REPRESENTATIVES. Brother ! I am happy to find you enjoying good health, at the great council fire, in Albany. Although our number is small now before you, yet we come not without authority. We are authorized and instructed to make these communications. We come in company with an agent of the United States. What we do, was agreed upon in a council of the Seneca Nation, before we left home.
Brother !-Last summer, when you were at Buffalo, you will recollect that we had an interview with you, and stated our grievances. We had heard bad accounts before, concerning our reservations. You then stated to us, that you were not prepared to give us an answer to our request, and that you would prefer receiving a delegation from us, in Albany, at the commencement of the winter. We now come. We intended to have come sooner; but the United States' agent having agreed to come with us, and he having been detained at Canandaigu, in making his report, we have been prevented.
Brother !–Our principal object is, to obtain a full and fair statement of you, concerning our reservationi Reports are in circulation, that we have no righiş.
We want a statement under your hands, what we have, and what we have not. We want to know whether we can go on with our improvementswhether we are safe from the claims of those who have pre-emption rights; or, whether we are to be swept away, and robbed and plundered of our own.
Brother ! You can but recollect the treaty between Governor George Clinton, and the Seneca Nation. The treaty embraced a conveyance from us to the people, of a strip of land, of one mile, on the straights of Niagara. The treaty contained a condition that we should enjoy the free privilege of passing the ferry at Black Rock, without paying tol). This right was confined to the Seneca Nation. The enjoyment of this privilege is interrupted. The man who has the care of the ferry, cannot discriminate and determine what Indians have a right to pass toll free. The Six Nations wish to pass toll-free. They are now prevented, and oftentimes have no money to pay. They want a general right. The lease of the ferry expires soon. In consequence of the late war, the papers concerning the before-mentioned treaty, are lost. We now ask a copy of that treaty on parchment.
Brother !-Upon our domains at Buffalo, there are many depredations. We want a cominissioner or an attorney appointed to settle our difficulties with the white people-to stand forth on all occasions, as the protector of our interests, and as a pacificator in all disputes which we may have
Brother !_We last summer informed you of our wishes to receive instruction, and to hear the preaching of the gospel. We solicit aid, that we may instruct our children, build a small edifice in which we can have religious worship ;-we solicit aid too, that' will encourage in us a better knowledge of agriculture.
Brother !_We have been defrauded in the sale of our reservation on Genesee river. The land called
Bayard's reservation, was purchased by Oliver Phelps, and no equivalent has ever been realized by · us. Have we any remedy?
Brother !-One thing more : We wish to speak of the Cattaraugs reservation. We have the right of ferriage on one side of the river. A man, by the name of Mack, deprives us of this righe. Have we any remedy?
Brother !-We have been brief. We hope to be understood. We ask answers to our solicitations as soon as they can be given. We depart in the spirit of peace, and may the Great Spirit bless you.
Brethren ! You desire to know the full extent of your rights in your reservations. This request is reasonable. You have an absolute and uncontrolled right to those lands, to all that they contain, and to all that they can produce. To prevent a recurrence of frauds, which have too often been practised by our people on our Red brethren, our laws have ordained, that no sale of Indian land shall be valid, without the sanction of the government. In your case, the right, of purchasing the lands of your nation, Wis granted by the state of New-York to the state of Massachusetts; Massachusetts conveyed the right to Phelps and Gorham ; and afterwards to Robert Morris ; Robert Morris again sold it to the Holland land company, and the Holland land company have transferred it to David A. Ogden and his associates. All the right that Ogden and his company have, is the right of purchasing your reservations, when you think it expedient to sell them ; that is, they can buy your