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History of Pittsburgh and environs: from prehistoric days to the ..., Volume 1 online

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of their warriors, at one time or other."

September 13th — Had a council with the Senekas and Onontagers about the Wandots
to receive them into our Union. I gave a large belt of wampum; and the Indians gave
two; and everything was agreed upon about what should be said to the Wandots. The
same day a full Council was appointed, and met accordingly, and a speech was made to
the Wandots by Asserhaztuz, a Seneka, as follows : ''Brediren, the Inonontady-Hagas ;
last Spring you sent this belt of wampum to us (having the belt then in his hand) to
desire us and our brethren the Shawanese, and our cousins the Delawares, to come to meet
you in your retreat from the French; we accordingly came to your assistance, and
brought you here, and received you as our own flesh. We desire, you will think, you now
join us and our brethren, the English ; and to become our people with us." Then he laid
that belt by, and gave a very long string of wampum.

The speaker took up the belt, I gave, and said: "Brethren— The English, our
brothers, bid you welcome, and are glad you escaped as it were, out of captivity. You
have been kept as slaves by the Onontio, notwithstanding he called you all along his chil-
dren; but now you have broken the rope wherewith you have been tied, and became
freemen ; and we, the united Six Nations receive you to our Council Fire, and make you
members thereof ; and we will secure your dwelling place to you against all manner of
danger." Gave the belt.

"Brethren— We the Six United Nations, and all our Indian allies, with our Brethren
the English, look upon you as our children, though you are our brethren ; we desire you
will give no ear to the Evil Spirit that spreads lies and wickedness; let your mind be
easy and clear, and be of the same mind with us, whatever you may hear, nothing shall
befal you, but what of necessity must befal us at the same time.

"Brethren — ^We are extremely pleased to see you here, as it happened just as the
same time when our brother Onas is with us. We desire you to be strong in your minds
and hearts ; let nothing alter your minds, but live and die with us."

Gave belt of wampum. The Council broke up.

September 14th — A full Council was summoned, and everything repeated by me to
all the Indians, what passed in Lancaster at the last Treaty with the Twightwees. The
news was confirraed by a belt of wampum from the Six Nations, that the French had
imprisoned some of the Six Nation's Deputies, and thirty of the Wandots including
women and children. The Indians that were sent to meet our people with the goods came



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200 HISTORY OF PITTSBURGH

back, and had not seen anything of them, but they had been no further than the old
Shawanese Town.

September 15th — I let the Indians know that I would deliver my message to-mor-
row, and the goods; and that they must send deputies with me on my return home-
wards ; and wherever we should meet the rest of the goods, I would send them to them,
if they were not taken by the enemy. To which they agreed. The same day the Dela-
wares made a speech to me, and presented a beaver coat, and a string of wampum, and
said : "Brethren — ^We let the President and Council of Philadelphia know, that after the
death of our chief man, Olomipees, our grandchildren, the Shawanese, came to our town
to condole with us over the loss of our good king, your brother, and they wiped oif our
tears, and comforted our minds; and as the Delawares are the same people with the
Pennsylvanians, and bom in one and the same country, we gave some of the present to
our grandchildren, given us by the President and Qjuncil in Philadelphia, because of the
death of their good friend and brother, must have affected them as well as us." Gave the
Beaver coat and a string of wampum.

The same day, the Wandots sent for me and Andrew Montour, and presented us with
seven beaver skins, about ten pounds weight, and said, they gave us that to buy some
refreshments for us after our arrival in Pennsylvania, and wished that we might get
home safe, and lifted up their hands and said, tfiey would pray to God to protect us —
and guide us the way home. I desired to know their names — they behaved like people
of good sense and sincerity. The most of them were gray headed. Their names are as
follows : Totoznihiades, Tafanayesy, lonachquad, Wandupy, Tazuchionzas, their speaker.
The chiefs of the Delawares that made the above speech are Shawanasson and Acha-
manatainn.

September i6th — I made answer to the Delawares and said: "Brethren, the Dela-
wares — It is true what you said, that the people of Pennsylvania are your brethren and
countrymen ; we are very well pleased with what your children the Shawanese, did to
you — this is the first time we had public notice given us of the death of our good friend
and brother, Olomipees. I take this opportunity to remove the remainder of your trouble
from your hearts, to enable you to attend the ensuing treaty, and I assure you, the
President and Council of Pennsylvania condole with you over the loss of your king, our
good friend and brother." " Gave them five strouds.

The two aforesaid chiefs gave a string of wampum, and desired me to let their
brethren, the President and Council know, that they intended a journey next spring to
Philadelphia, to consult with the brethren on some affairs of moment; since they are
now like orphan children, they hoped their brethren would let them have their good
advice and assistance, as the people of Pennsylvania and the Delawares were like one
family. The same day, the rest of the goods arrived ; the men said they had nine days'
rain, and the creeks had risen, and that they had been obligred to send a sick man back from
Frankstown to the inhabitants with another to attend him. The neighboring Indians
being sent for again, the council was appointed to meet to-morrow — ^it rained again.

September 17th — It rained very hard; but in the afternoon, it held up for about
three hours. The deputies of the several nations met in council, and I delivered there
what I had to say from the President and Council of Pennsylvania, by Andrew
Montour.

"Brethren — ^You that live on the Ohio, I am sent to you by the President and
Council of Pennsylvania, and am now going to speak to you on their behalf. I desire
you will take notice, and hear what I shall say." Gave a string of wampum.

"Brethren — Some of you had been in Philadelphia last fall, and acquainted us that
you had taken up the English hatchet, and that you had already made use of it against
the French; and that the French had very hard heads, and your country afforded
nothing but sticks and hickorys, which were not sufficient to break them. You desired
your brethren would assist you with some weapons, sufficient to do it Your brethren,
the President and Council, promised you then to send something next spring by Tazachi-
awagon, but as some other affairs prevented this journey to Ohio, you received a supply
by George Croghan, sent you by your said brethren, but before George Croghan came
back from Ohio, news came from over the Great Lake that the king of Great Britain
and the French king, had agreed upon a cessation of arms for six months, and that a



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CONRAD WEISER, AMBASSADOR EXTRAORDINARY 201

peace was very likely to follow. Your brethren, the President and Council, were then,
in a manner, at a loss what to do. It did not become them to act contrary to the com-
mand of the king; and it was out of their power to encourage you in the war against
the French; but as your brethren never missed fulfilling their promises, they have,
upon a second consideration, thought proper to turn the intended supply into a civil
and brotherly present, and have, accordingly, sent me with it; and here are the goods
before your eyes, which I have, by your brethren's order, divided into five shares, and
laid in five different heaps; one heap whereof, your brother Assaraquoa sent to you,
to remember his friendship and unity with you ; and as you are all of the sam6 nations,
with whom we, the English have been in league of friendship, nothing need be said
more than this, that the President and Council, and Assaraquoa, have sent this present,
to serve to strengthening the chain of friendship between us, the English, and several
nations of Indians to which you belong.

"A French peace is a very uncertain one; they keep it no longer than their inter-
est permits; then they break it without provocation given them. The French king's
people have been almost starved in old France for want of provision, which made them
wish and seek for peace; but our wise people are of the opinion that after their bellies are
full, they will quarrel again and raise a war. All nations in Europe know that their
friendship is mixed with poison, and many that trusted too much on their friendship
have been ruined. I now conclude, and say that we^ the English, are your true brethren
at all events. In token whereof, receive this present.'.

The goods then being uncovered, I proceeded: "Brethren — ^You have of late set-
tled on the river of Ohio for the sake of hunting, and our traders followed you, for
the sake of hunting, too. You have invited them yourself. Your brethren, the Presi-
dent and Council, desire you will look upon them as your brethren, and see that they
have justice done them. Some of your young men have robbed our traders, hut you
will be so honest as to compel them to make satisfaction. You are now become a people
of note, and are grown very numerous of late years; and there are no doubt, some
wise men among you ; it therefore becomes you to act the part of wise men ; and, for
the future, be more regular than you have been for some years past, when only a few
young hunters lived here." Gave a belt.

"Brethren — ^You have of late made frequent complaints against the traders bring-
ing so much rum into your towns, and desire it might be stopped, and your brethren,
the President and Council, made an act accordingly, and put a stop to it, and no trader
was to bring any rum or strong drink liquor to your towns. I. have the act here with
me, and shall explain it to you before I leave you. But it seems it is out of your
brethren's power to stop it entirely. You send down your own skins by the traders to
buy rum for you. You go yourselves and fetch horse loads of strong liquors; only,
the other day, an Indian came to this town out of Maryland, with three horses loads
of liquor; so that it appears that you love it so well that you cannot be without. You
know very well that the country near the Endless Mountains affords strong liquor
and the moment the traders buy it, they are gone out of the inhabited parts, and are
traveling to this place without being discovered ; besides this, you never agree about it ;
one will have it, the other won't; a third says he will have it cheaper; this last, we
believe is spoken from your hearts. (Here they laughed). Your Brethren, therefore,
have ordered that every * * * of whiskey shall be sold to you for five bucks in your
town, and if a trader offers to sell whiskey to you, and will not let you have it at that
price, you may take it from him, and drink it for nothing." Gave a belt.

"Brethren — Here is one of the traders, who you know to be a very sober and hon-
est man ; he has been robbed of the value of three hundred bucks, and you all know by
whom; let, therefore, satisfaction be made to the trader." Gave a string of wampum.

"Brethren — I have no more to say." I delivered the goods to them, having first
divided them into five shares. A share to Senekas; another to the Cajukas, Oneidas,
the Onontagers and Mohawks; another to the Delawares; another to the Owandots,
Zisagechroann and Mohickons; and another to the Shawanese. The Indians signified
great satisfaction and were well pleased with the cessation of arms. The rainy weather
hastened them away with the goods into the houses.

September iSth — The speech delivered to the Delawares in their own language
and also to the Shawanese in theirs, by Andrew Montour, in the presence of the gentle-



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202 HISTORY OF PITTSBURGH

man that accompanied me. I acquainted the Indians that I was determined to leave
them to-morrow, and return homeward.

September 19th — Scaiohady, Tanughrisson and Oniadagarehra, with a few more,
came to my lodging and spoke as follows: "Brother Onas — ^Wc desire that you will
hear what we are going to say to you, in behalf of all the Indians on the Ohio, their
deputies have sent us to you. We have heard what you have said, and we return you
many thanks for your kindness in informing us of what passed between the King of
Great Britain and the French King ; and in particular, we return you many thanks for
the large presents ; we do the same to our brother Assaraquoa, who joined our brother
Onas in making us a present. Our brethren have indeed tied our hearts to theirs; we
at present can but return thanks with an empty hand, till another opportunity serves
to do it sufficiently. We must call a great council, and do everything regular; in the
mean time, look upon us as your true brothers.

"Brother — ^You said the other day, in council, if anything befel us from the French,
we must let you know it. We will let you know if we hear of anything from the
French, be it against us or yourself. You will have peace; but it is most certain that
the Six Nations and their allies are upon the point of declaring war against the French.
Let us keep up the correspondence, and alwasrs hear of one another." — They gave a belt

Scaiohady and the Half-King, with two others, had informed me that they often
send messengers to Indian Towns and Nations, and had nothing in their council bag, as
they were now beginners, either to recompense a messenger or to get wampum to do
the business, and begged I would assist them with something. I had saved a piece of
Stroud, and half barrel of powder, 100 pounds of lead, ten shirts, six knives, and one
pound of Vermillion, and gave them it for the aforesaid use. They returned many
thanks and were mightily pleased

The same day I set out for Pennsylvania, in rainy weather, and arrived at George
Croghan's on the 28th instant. Conrad Wejs0l

Pennsburg, September 29, 1748.

Provincial Record Book L, pp. 420-438.20

A most interesting biography of Conrad Weiser is that of I. D.
Rupp's, from which the sketch in his "History of Western Pennsylvania*'
has been extracted.^^

At one time Weiser closely cooperated with the Moravians, but after
1743 not so efficiently, says Rupp. His descendants included many
persons prominent in Pennsylvania history, for in 1743 his daughter
Maria became the wife of the celebrated Henry Melchior Muhlenberg,
Lutheran divine, who was the father of Henry A. Muhlenberg, of
Reading, noted in the State's early political history. Weiser in 1750
built a house in what is now Reading, and opened the first store in
the settlement. His initials and the date were carved in a round stone
inset between the second story front windows. He died at his country
seat at Womelsdorf, July 13, 1760, having gone there from Reading
the day before in his usual health. His death was caused by a violent
colic. He was sixty-three years and eight months old. He was the
father of fifteen children, of whom seven and his widow survived him.

This extraordinary man was for a while commemorated in Pitts-
burgh by a street name given one of those forming the North Diamond



20Rupp's references are to an old series. Weiser's "Joumar in the series of
"G>lonial Records," now available, is in Vol. V, pp. 348-358. Pennsburg as a name has
been changed to Pennsboro.

2i''History of Berks and Lebanon Counties/' 1845; PP* I95 et seq. See also "His-
tory Berks County;" M. L. Montgomery, Vol. I, pp. 330, 331.



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CONRAD WEISER, AMBASSADOR EXTRAORDINARY 203

square in former Allegheny City after the annexation to Pittsburgh.
Recently the name has fallen into disuse, and the directories record only
the word Diamond, prefixed by the names of the points of the compass.
In 191 2 Weiser street was the East Diamond.

"Tradition has it," wrote Rupp in 1844, "that from a high regard for.
his character, the Indians for many years after his death were in the
habit of making visits of affectionate remembrance to his grave."




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CHAPTER XI.
New France in America.

La Nouvelle France, as they called it, was a vast domain. Its extent
is clearly shown on the maps of the period, portraying also the English
settlements along the Atlantic, a pitiable and insignificant strip in com-
parison. That the region of our homes, Pittsburgh and its Environs,
was once included in this French territory; that the site of our home
city was a French outpost in the wilderness; that the fleur-de-lis of
Louis XV. floated in short-lived triumph over the French fort at the
famous- Forks of the Ohio, significant of French sovereignty, is all well
known history. Yet we are prone to forget the French regime here,
its tragedies and its lessons. We are prone, also, to forget that the
beautiful old standard of France was the symbol of the first sovereignty
of the region, giving way by right of conquest to the royal standard of
St. George, and then the flag of free America, our loved Stars and Stripes,
came to stay. Three sovereignties have been our allotment, in manner
more tragic than New York's, St. Louis' and New Orleans'; more also
than that of our French contemporary, Detroit, a famous place in
American history. Evidences of French dominion in and about Pitts-
burgh are not lacking in commemorated names, both geographical and
municipal. Close to the street bearing the name of doughty Governor
Dinwiddie, whose acts began the struggle for the continent of North
America, there are yet two streets with unmistakably French names,
those of Coulon de VilHers and his slain brother, Jumonville. Once
that gallant soldier of France, Legardeur St. Pierre, was likewise com-
memorated, but his name has passed. Then there are the names of
the French merchants who came to the site of Fort Duquesne — Berthoud,
partner of the Tarascons, shipbuilders of Pittsburgh, and Claire Aimee
Francois de Rouaud, the eccentric Vendean, emigre and semi-recluse,
whose life story, only partly brought to light, overshadows any romance
yet written. Hyerome Bonnett, his partner, must have mention also.

Then the French princes came and stood on the site of Fort Duquesne
— the Duke of Orleans, subsequently Louis Phillipe of France, and his
brothers. They meet the Chevalier Dubac and Jean Marie. They find
also humbler countrymen who loved France, though many were descend-
ants of the coureurs de bois, born under the golden lilies in New France
in America. We have one immortalized by Morgan Neville, by name
Pierre Cabot, locally known as "French Peter," a typical emigre from
Old France, dressed in blanket capot with hood in place of a hat, in
the manner of all Canadian boatmen, and wearing moccasins. No
Jacobin was honest Peter, who had left his native land long before the
philosophic Robespierre and his colleagues arose to fame. Hailed by
Dubac on the bank of the Monongahela, Peter was presented to a scion
of le Grande Monarque in exile. With all the love and veneration for the
princes which Frenchmen under the old regime never failed to cherish



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NEW FRANCE IN AMERICA 205

and with tears in his eyes, Peter, in his inimitable patois, told Neville
of the meeting: "Savez vous mon enfant ce que m'est arrive. J'ai de
causer avec monseigneur en pleine rue. Ah, bon Dieu! quelle chose a
affreuse que la revolution."^

Ah, yes! the French regime here was that which existed under the
Grand Monarchy. The revolution took away the fleur-de-lis and gave
in its stead the tricolor. It was only the lilies that waved here in the
river breezes — ^the lillies of Louis XV., grandson of the great Louis.

There are other emigres to have mention in Pittsburgh history:
The friend and companion en voyage of La Fayette, Dr. Felix Brunot,
who has left his name in the island at the head of the Ohio where once
stood his palatial home, described by F. Cuming and other voyagers.
John B. C. Lucas also, trader, lawyer, legislator, congressman and judge,
potent enough in the councils of the Jeffersonian party to secure Alexan-
der Addison's impeachment and removal from the bench of the Fifth
Judicial District of Pennsylvania, which included Allegheny county.
Lucas became famous and wealthy years later in St. Louis, where his
eldest son fell in a duel with Thomas H. Benton in 1817.

La Fayette came too, on triumphal tour in 1825 ; he learns the true
story of Braddock's battle; he sleeps in the Wallace mansion, still
standing on the spot where the first volleys poured from the hidden
foe. The little city that grew up around the English fort that took the
place of their Fort Duquesne seems to have had a fascination for the
French, for in the early days of this city, in its making, so to speak,
the French Colony here was considerable, respectable, and influential in
the affairs of the community. The boatmen who manned the oars and
poled the keel-boats on the rivers between Pittsburgh and New Orleans,
and Pittsburgh and St. Louis, and the French towns on the Mississippi
— Kaskaskia, St. Genevieve and Cape Girardeau — were mainly the de-
scendants of the crusaders of New France, their sires followers of the
famous explorers who had traversed the western wilderness and made
New France what it was. Some of the history of the French dominion
in North America, especially as it applies to Pittsburgh and Western
Pennsylvania, is not only pertinent, but of absorbing interest. A brief
resume :

France was first in the field of exploration in North America. As
early as 1506 hardy fishermen from Brittany discovered and named
Cape Breton for their home province. They made rude charts of the
Gulf of St. Lawrence. They maintained the link between the North
American coast and Europe for almost a century with their fishing
vessels of Newfoundland. Beginning in 1524, under Francis I., with the
voyage of Verrazzano, there came to the shores of this continent Car-
tier in 1534, Robervale, 1540-1543, and Champlain in 1608. Robervale's
attempt to establish a colony in Canada failed, though Cartier aided.
Demont's failed in 1603, but Poutrincourt in 1607 succeeded in establish-
ing the first permanent settlement at Port Royal in Nova Scotia. Samuel

I'Team my child what has happened. I have the honor to talk with my lord in the
open street. Ah! Good God I What a terrible thing is the revolution." "Annals of
Philadelphia;" Watson; Vol II, p. 133.



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2o6 HISTORY OF PITTSBURGH .

de Champlain the next year, by founding Quebec, became the father
of New France in North America.

It is a fact of the history of those years that not until the religious
wars in Europe had been brought to a close by Henry IV., the French
began to colonize in the territory belonging to them by right of dis-
covery according to the laws of nations. The northwestern fur trade
became more alluring than the Newfoundland fisheries. France must
colonize if she would maintain her new lands. The years passed until
the coming of Champlain, whom Fiske justly calls the most remarkable
Frenchman of his day ; "A beautiful character, devout and high-minded,
brave and tender; a man of scientific attainments, a naturalist and his-
torian." An explorer whose fame has been perpetuated in our geography
in the beautiful lake that bears his name. Champlain's settlement at
Quebec was the feeble beginning of the rival power in America that
was a century and a half later to dispute the right of Great Britain to
possess any part of the country claimed by France by right of discovery.

So the French rovers, when the fur trade assumed large dimensions,
formed alliances with the Indians throughout the • region of the St.
Lawrence and the Great Lakes. These nations were with the exceptions
of the Hurons, Algonquins. The French got on well with their savage
allies. Had they not, the history of Western Pennsylvania had been
vastly different. When the wars came, the Algonquins were with the
French, and their ancient enemies, the Iroquois, with the English. When
Champlain courted the friendship of the Algonquins he courted well.
"New France was not equivalent in extent to our British America, but
embraced all the territory from the Atlantic Ocean with its coast islands



Online LibraryAmerican Historical Society George Thornton FlemingHistory of Pittsburgh and environs: from prehistoric days to the ..., Volume 1 → online text (page 27 of 81)