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the cause thereof was the revolutionary war in Ame. rica. 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 occurred after the close of the war. General Putnam, who was then at Philadelphia, told me there was to be a council at Fort Stanwix; and the Indians requested me to attend on behalf of the Six Nations which I did, and there met with three commissioners, who had been appointed to hold the council. They told me they would infor 'n me of the cause of the revolution, which I requested them to do minutely. They then said that it had originated on account of the heavy taxes that had been imposed upon them by the British government, which had been, for fifty years, increasing upon them; that the Ainericans had grown weary thereof, and refused to pay, which affronted the king. There had likewise a difficulty taken place about some tea (which they wished me not to use, as it had been one of the causes that many people had lost their lives.) And the British government now being affronted, the war commenced, and the cannons began to roar in our country. General Putnam then told me at the council at Fort Stanwix, that by the late war, the Americans had gained two objects: they had established themselves an independent nation, and had obtained some land to live upon the division-line of which, from Great Britain, ran through the lakes. I then spoke, and said that I wanted some land for the Indians to live on, and General Putnam said that it should be granted, and I should have land in the
state of New-York, for the Indians. General Putnam then encouraged me to use my endeavours to pacify the Indians generally; and as he considered it an arduous task to perform, wished to know what I wanted for pay therefor? I replied to him, that I would use my endeavours to do as he had requested, with the Indians, and fo pay therefor, I would take land. I told him not to pay me money or drygoods, but land. Aud for having attended thereto I received the tract of land on which I now live, which was presented to me by Governor Minio. I told General Putnam, that I wished the Indians to have the exclusive privilege of the deer and wild game-which he assented to. I also wished the Indians to have the privilege of hunting in the woods, and making fires -which he likewise assented to.
The treaty that was made at the aforementioned council, has been broken by some of the white people, which I now intend acquainting the governor with :-Some white people are not willing that Indians should hunt any more, whilst others are satisfied therewith ; and those white people who reside near our reservation, tell us that the woods are theirs, and they have obtained them from the governor. The treaty has been also broken by the white people using their endeavours to destroy all the wolveswhich was not spoken about in the council at Fort Stanwix, by General Putnam, but has originated lately.
It has been broken again, which is of recent origin White people wish to get credit from Indians, and do not pay them honestly, according to their agreement. In another respect it has also been broken by white people, who reside near my dwelling; for when I plant melons and vines in my field, they take them as their own. It has been broken again by white people using their endeavours to obtain our pine trees from us. We have very few pine trees on gur land, in the state of New York; and white peo«
ple and Indians often get into dispute respecting them. There is also a great quantity of whiskey brought near our reservation by white people, and the Indians obtain it and become drunken. Another circumstance has taken place which is very trying to me, and I wish the interference of the governor.
The white people, who live at Warren, called upon me, some time ago, to pay taxes for my land; which I objected to, as I had never been called upon for that purpose before ; and having refused to pay, the white people became irritated, called upon me frequently, and at length brought four guns with them and seized our catile. I still refused to pay, and was not willing to let the cattle go. After a time of dispute, they returned home, and I understood the militia was ordered out to enforce the collection of the tax. I went to Warren, and, to avert the impending difficulty, was obliged to give my note for the tax, the amount of which was forty-three dollars and seventy-nine cents. It is my desire that the governor will exempt me from paying taxes for my land to white people ; and also cause that the money I am now obliged to pay, may be refunded to me, as I am very poor. The governor is the person who attends to the situation of the people, and I wish him to send a person to Alleghany, that I may inform him of the particulars of our situation, and he be authorized to instruct the white people, in what manner to conduct themselves towards Indians.
The government has told us that when any difficulties arose between Indians and white people, they would attend to having them removed. We are now in a trying situation, and I wish the governor to send a person, authorized to attend thereto, the forepart of next summer, about the time that grass has grown high enough for pasture.
The governor formerly requested me to pay attention to the Indians, and take care of them :-we are now arrived at a situation that I believe Indians
Cannot exist, unless the governor should comply with my request, and send a person authorized to treat between us and the white people, the approaching summer. I have now no more to speak.
CORNPLANTER, His X Mark,
Interpreter and Scrivener. To Joseph Heister,
Governor of Pennsylvania.
I will conclude this chapter with the oration of Te-cum-seh, the celebrated Sbawanee warrior, as rendered by Mr. Hunter. It appears, from his account, that “ sume of the white people among the Osages were traders, and others were reputed to be runners from their Great Father beyond the great waters, to invite the Indians to take up the tomahawk against the settlers. They made many long talks, and distributed many valuable presents; but without being able to shake the resolution wbich the Osages had formed, to preserve peace with their Great Father, the president. Their determinations were, however, to undergo a more severe trial :Te-cum-seb now made his appearance among them."
“ He addressed them in long, eloquent, and pathetic strains; and an assembly more numerous than had ever been witnessed on any former occasion, listened to him with an intensely agitated, though profoundly respectful, interest and attention. In fact, so great was the effect produced by Te-cum-seh's eloquence, that the chiefs adjourned the council shortly after he had closed his harangue; nor did they finally come to a decision on the great question in debate for several days afterwards."* His proposals were, however, in the end, rejected.
Hunter's Memoirs, p. 48
- Brothers, “We all belong to one family; we are all children of the Great Spirit; we walk in the same path; slake our thirst at the same spring; and now affairs of the greatest concern leads us to smoke the pipe around the same council fire !
“ Brothers,– We are friends; we must assist each other to bear our burthens. The blood of many of our fathers and brothers has run like water on the ground, to satisfy the avarice of the white men: We, ourselves, are threatened with a great evil; nothing will pacify them but the destruction of all the red men.
“ Brothers, When the white men first set foot on our grounds, they were hungry; they had no place on which to spread their blankets, or to kindle their fires. They were feeble; they could do nothing for themselves. Our fathers commiserated their distress, and shared freely with them whatever the Great Spirit had given his red children. They gave them food when hungry, medicine when sick, spread skins for them to sleep on, and gave them grounds, that they might hunt and raise corn.— Brothers, the white people are like poisonous serpents : when chilled, they are seeble and harmless; but invigorate them with warmth, and they sting their benefactors to death.
« The white people came among us feeble; and now we have made them strong, they wish to kill us, or drive us back, as they would wolves and panthers.
" Brothers,—The white men are not friends to the Indians: at first, they only asked for land sufficient . for a wigwam ; now nothing will satisfy them but the whole of our hunting grounds, from the rising to the setting sun.
“ Brothers,—The white men want more than our hunting grounds; they wish to kill our warriors; they would even kill our old men, women, and little ones.