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and for the better security of the old men, women, -and children of
tbe aforesaid nation whilst their warriors are engaged against the
common enemy, it is agreed on the part of the United States that a
fort of sufficient strength and capacity be built at the expense of the
said United States with such assistance as it may be in the power of
the said Delaware nation to give, in the most convenient place and
advantageous situation, as shall be agreed on by the commanding offi-
cers of the troops aforesaid, with the advice and concurrence of the
deputies of the aforesaid Delaware nation, which fort shall be garri-
soned by such a number of the troops of the United States as the com-
manding officer can spare for the present, and hereafter by such num-
bers as the wise men of the United States in council shall think most
conducive to the common good."

The records show that 68 Delawares were forthwith drafted as
soldiers to serve under Col. Mcintosh in the Regular Army under the



terms of this treaty. Five Delawares were among the personal body-
guard of Gen. Washington, and more than 500 Delaware Indians
served as warriors and allies of the United States, not all regularly
enlisted, but as allies in conjunction with the American troops in much
the same manner as the French. The records also show that the Dela-
wares were attached to Col. Daniel Brodhead's regiment, the Eighth
Pennsylvania; at one time he speaks of 30 Delawares in his regiment
at another time of 8, at another time of 40, and at another time of a
large number. Col. Gibson also reports a number of Delaware Indians
in his regiment, and John Harding reports a considerable number
enlisted in his company. From numerous historical sources it appears
that the Delawares were used as scouts and guides by the American
military forces during the Revolutionary period. (See Yeates papers,
la. Hist. Soc, Pa. archives, vol. 12; Pa. archives, 5th series, vol. 3.)
In the early days of the Revolution, Col. George Morgan, who was
especially selected by Gen. Washington, was made the first Indian
agent for the middle territory, and it was made his special duty to
secure the assistance of the Indians in the Middle West. Col. Morgan's
diary is to be found in the Library of Congress, to which a few years
ago it was transferred from the Department of State. From this
diary we learn of the friendship and aid which the Delawares gave to
the United States.

On April 8, 1777, Col. Morgan, in a letter to Col. David Shepherd
(which appears in the diary), speaks of the Delawares and the Shaw-
nees as "the chiefs of our allies," saying that these Indians were ren-
dering valuable services to the Government. Col. Morgan's letters
show that at that time he was in their confidence and counseled with
them regarding the military operations then in progress. In a letter
from Col. Morgan to John Hancock, President of Congress, dated
July 31, 1777, he writes "that the Delawares, in general, remained in
our interest"; and in a letter dated May 10, 1778, Col. Morgan re-
quests from Congress a colonel's commission for White Eyes, the
Delaware chief, which was subsequently granted. Under date of
May 12, 1784, one year after the close of the Revolutionary War, Col.
Morgan recommends to Congress the granting of 20 miles square,
256,000 acres of land to the Delawares and 30,000. acres to Col. White
Eyes, in recognition of their services to the colonists during the war.

In Col. Morgan's letter of August 13, 1777, to the President of
Congress with reference to the Delaware Indians, we find the fol-
lowing :

"I inclose the conclusion of the Indian conferences. Congress will
observe that the Delawares have left with me one of their old chiefs
and his family, consisting of eight persons, as pledges of their fidelity,
and to keep a friendly communication open between us, which will
answer very valuable purposes if our troops and militia can be pre-
vailed on not to injure or insult their nation, as they too frequently
have done even during my conference with them, as particularly
mentioned in the minutes. * * * It is my duty to mention to Con-



gress, as I have to the General, that if the rage among our people is
not subdued, we shall experience more formidable enemies in the
Delawares than in triple their number of Wyandottes, Ottawas, etc."

Col. Morgan subsequently reports :

"I have obtained assurance from Capt. White Eyes and Killbuck
that they and the Delawares in general will join our Army if we will
not deceive or suffer their people to be illtreated."

The Government received their services, but was unable to pay them.
Col. Morgan, in another of his reports to Congress, complains of his
inability to pay them, and says :

"If it be possible to procure some clothing for the Delawares and
those Indians who may display a friendly disposition, I wish it may be
done. I have not even a breech-clout to pay for services I have em-
ployed them on."

In another report to Congress, on May 16, 1779, Col. Morgan says:

"I am satisfied that the Delaware Nation are disposed to give to
Congress such a tract of land as, in my opinion, would satisfy all the
troops of the United States, or, if set up for sale, would pay a good
proportion of our national debt."

This land and much more was received from the Delawares for
practically nothing. The Government records show that concession
after concession has been made to white soldiers for services rendered
in the Revolutionary time, some grants to individual persons amounting
to 100,000 and 300,000 acres. Some of these grants were made to
individuals connected with the military service who were surveying
military roads through the lands of the Delawares, and in every in-
stance in that territory these surveying parties had Delawares for
guides. This is shown in Morgan's minutes and in his letters to Con-
gress. In Morgan's letters, and several other authentic sources, it is
shown that in 1778 Gen. Mcintosh was escorted by White Eyes and
Killbuck and Delaware warriors from Fort Pitt to Fort Mcintosh,
and that during the trip Chief White Eyes, who then held a colonel's
commission, was killed.

Your memorialists annex to the end of this memorial extracts from
the letters of Col. Daniel Brodhead, who was in command of the west-
ern district. These letters contain many references to the valiant serv-
ices which the Delawares rendered the colonists during the Revolution.

In letter No. 5, to Rev. John Heckwelder, May 13, 1779, Col. Brod-
head says fin speaking of the endeavors of the British to strike the
Delawares) :

"But I will venture to predict that they will not do it. They will
consider the Delaware Indians allies as no contemptible foes which,
added to the fast connection between them and us. must and surely
will end in their final extirpation. I sincerely wish our allies, the Dela-
wares, may make themselves easy and no longer remain in a state of
such apprehension. Thev will shortlv hear from the northward as well
a. c - from the southward that their brethren are by no means idle."



In letter No. 8, to Gen. Washington, dated Pittsburgh, May 22 1779
Col. Brodhead says :

''You may rely on my close attention to the movements of the enemy
and that they can not approach nearer to any advanced post without
receiving intelligence from the Delawares."

In letter No. 152, to Gen. Washington, May 13, 1780, Col. Brodhead
says :

"The Delaware Indians continue their professions of friendship, and
some of their warriors are now out with my scouts, but as I have little
or nothing to give them but good words and fair promises I apprehend
they will soon decline the service."

In letter No. 159, to Col. Archibald Lochry, May 20, 1780, Col. Brod-
head writes :

"I know the influence of the Delaware councils, with 20 different
tribes, and am sensible it is upon their account that so few of their
color are active against us."

On January 21, 1785. and January 9, 1789, treaties were made be-
tween the United States and the Delaware Indians and other tribes
which contain evidence of the friendship and loyalty of the Delawares.
(American State Papers, Indian Affairs, vol. 1, pp. 6-9; see especially
art. 8, treaty of 1789, p. 7.)

In 1791 the confidence and reliance which this Government had in
the Delawares is shown by the instructions of the Secretary of War
to Col. Thomas Procter, who was sent on a mission to the Miamis and
who was recommended to use, and did use, the Delawares as guides
and friendly emissaries. (American State Papers, vol. 5, Indian Af-
fairs, vol. 1, pp. 139, 146, 165.) Speaking of the Delawares and
Wyandottes, the Secretary of War says :

"These tribes are our friends, and in treaty with us, which, as far
as is known, has been well observed by them. * * * You will inform
them of the object of your journey and desire that they will appoint
some of their chiefs to accompany you."

In his message to the Miamis, the Secretary of War says :

"Receive them, the bearers, Col. Proctor, Capt. Houdin, and our
Indian allies who accompany them, with open arms." (Idem, p. 147.)

The relations between the colonists and the British on the north,
after the Revolutionary period, was one of constant friction. There
was frequent evidence of the desire and intention of the British to
renew hostilities. In 1808 and again in 1811, the Delawares informed
the War Department of our Government that emissaries from the
British had recently visited them and informed the Delawares that the
British were about to begin hostilities against the United States and
requested the aid of the Delawares. (Idem, pp. 793-801.) The Dela-
wares again informed our Government of the visit of the British emis-
saries for a like purpose just prior to the War of 1812. There is
abundant evidence that during this period the Delawares not only kept



our Government informed of what its enemies were doing, but them-
selves were active in inducing other Indians not to engage in the com-
ing hostilities against the United States. (Idem, pp. 801, 807, 810.)

The Delawares accompanied Gen. Harrison on his expedition against
the Shawnees under the "Prophet" in 1811 and rendered valuable aid.
(Idem, p. 776.) In this expedition Gen. Harrison not only used the
Delawares as warriors, but also used them as emissaries in endeavor-
ing to effect a treaty with the Shawnees.

Gen. Harrison, who was in command of the military forces of the
United States in the central western territory during the war of 1812-
1815, testifies in many places and in many ways to the friendship and
assistance which the Delawares rendered the Government and the
gratitude the Government should feel for their services, and says that
they remained faithful to the United States. (Idem, pp. 833-834.) On
July 8, 1814, Gen. Harrison in council addressed the Delawares and
others as follows :

"My brothers, before we proceed to the business for which we have
now assembled I will communicate to you a message from our great
father, the President of the United States, directed especially to those
of our red brethren who have faithfully and honestly supported the
interests of the United States during the present war.''

He then read and explained to them a message from the President
of the United States, directed to the Wyandotte, Seneca, Delaware,
and Shawnee Tribes of Indians, acknowledging their faithful services,
and assuring them of the high estimation in which these services were
held by their father, the President of the United States ; after which
he presented to the Wyandotte, Delaware, and Shawnee Tribes each a
large silver pipe elegantly ornamented and engraved with devices
emblematic of the protection and friendship of the United States.
(American State Papers, vol. 5, Indian Affaris, vol. 1, p. 828.)

The Delawares also received a silver tomahawk from Col. T. B.
Reading in the Mexican War, the giving and acceptance of which, in
accordance with well-recognized Indian custom, was the strongest
pledge of striking the war post for the giver's cause. The Delawares
still have the chief's war club which was carried in the cause of this
Government in all its early wars.

In view of the foregoing recital, it would seem sufficient to state that
for their services to the Government in the Revolutionary period the
Delawares have never received any compensation. Right after the
close of the Revolution the Delawares gave to the Government enough
land to pay all bounties to Revolutionary soldiers and sufficient (as Col.
Morgan says), if put on sale, to pay a good portion of the national
debt. Out of this land was carved almost the entire State of Ohio.

The Delawares would be glad, of course, if it were a matter of his-
tory to be able to say that none of the tribe had been won over by the
great inducements offered by the British in those early days. When the
early history of the country is carefully reviewed, considering the



extraordinary efforts the British made in exciting the Indians against
the colonists, furnishing them with ammunition, supplies, money and
promises, the wonder is that such a large part of the Delaware's re-
mained loyal to the United States. This is referred to at some length
by President Madison in his message to Congress November 14 1812
after reading which no one ought to be surprised that some of the
Indians were induced to join the cause of the British. But notwith-
standing the inducements offered by the British both in the Revolu-
tionary War and the War of 1813, and the treachery and bad faith of
some of the colonists toward the Delawares, a majority of the Dela-
wares remained loyal to the Government of the United States. Those
that separated themselves from the loyal portion of the tribe have
never returned and are now living in Canada ; and these disloyal ones
and their descendants have never at any time since had any interest
in common with the loyal Delawares now residing in Oklahoma. No
benelts under this bill would in any event accrue to these disloyal
Delawares and their descendants.

As to the services of the Delawares in the War of 1812 and 1815,
reference is made to article (2) of the treaty of July 22, 1814, made
with the Delawares, which reads as follows :


"Article (2).

"The tribes and bands above mentioned engage to give their aid to
the United States in prosecuting the war against Great Britain and
such of the Indian tribes as still continue hostile, and to make no peace
with either without the consent of the United States.

''The assistance herein stipulated for is to consist of such a number
of their warriors from each tribe as the President of the United States,
or any other officer having this authority therefor, may require."

On September 9, 1815, another treaty was made between the United
States and the Delawares and other tribes. The negotiations detailed
in the American State Papers, Indian Affairs (vol. 2, pp. 1-25), give
instructive evidence of the friendly relations with the Delawares and
their valued services in the war. It was largely through the efforts of
the Delawares that many of the northwestern tribes joining this treaty
were brought into friendly relations with the United States.

Article 3 of this treaty begins :

"In consideration of the fidelity to the United States which has been
manifested by the Wyandot, Delaware, Seneca, and Shawnee tribes
throughout the late war. * * * the said United States agree to
pardon such of the chiefs and warriors of said tribes as may have con-
tinued hostilities * * * and to permit the chiefs of their respective
tribes to restore them to the stations and property which they held pre-
viously to the war." (Idem, p. 12.)

There is nothing to indicate that any of the Delawares were disloyal
during the war.



Article 12 of the treaty of September 29, 1817, between the United
States and the Delawares and other tribes, provides that the United
States pay вАФ

"the amount of the damages which were assessed by the authority of
the Secretary of War in favor of several tribes and individuals of the
Indians who adhered to the cause of the United States during the late
war with Great Britain and whose property was, in consequence of
such adherence, injured and destroyed." (Idem, p. 133.)

The amount found due the Delawares was $1,301.

The commissioners appointed to negotiate the treaty with the tribes
of Indians west of the Mississippi, in 1815, received complaints from
the Delawares, concerning which they report :

"Not having been made our particular duty to investigate the cause
of complaint as alleged by them, we can only say that, as at present
advised, we think them well founded ; and being well acquainted with
the uncommon sobriety and general good conduct of these Indians,
the attachment which they have evinced toward our Government, their
confidence in its justice, the alacrity with which they afforded their co-
operation with us in the late war, the progress of civilization among
them, etc., we feel it our duty to recommend them to the benevolence
as well as justice of our Government.'' (American State Papers, vol.
5, Indian Affairs, vol. 2, p. 11.)

It further appears that the sum of $10,298 was paid to the Delawares
at one time as a balance due them for losses sustained by them during
the war of 1812. In 1815, the Indian agent at Fort Wayne states that
the annuities of the Delawares were paid because they had been faith-
ful throughout the late war. (Idem, p. 81.) Annuities of other tribes
were forfeited because of their hostility during this period. (Idem,
p. 85.)

From the historical authority cited it clearly appears that at the out-
set of the Revolution the Delawares became friendly to the colonists.
The treaty of 1778 conclusively shows that they as a nation became the
allies of the United States. A substantial number under Col.' White
Eyes and Chiefs Killbuck, Kelelamand, Hengu Pushees, and Wicaco-
lind, all of whom are chiefs of different bands of the Delawares, co-
operated with the military forces of the United States, and these chiefs
and their bands allied themselves with the American force and took
part in the war. (American State Papers, vol. 5, Indian Affairs, vol. 1,
p. 11.)

The value of the Delawares to the American forces at this time may
be better appreciated when it is said that their influence among the
tribes of that territory was paramount to that of any other Indian
nation, and as warriors they were equally distinguished, one Delaware
being considered equal in combat to three Indians of almost any other

No doubt their highest value to Gen. Washington and his forces
were the services they were able to render as scouts and guides, seeing



that these Indians were at home in the country over which these mili-
tary operations extended, and were therefore familiar with every path,
mountain, and stream.

That the loyalty of the Delawares continued after the Revolution,
in the friendliest sort of way, is indicated by the expressions contained
in the various treaties and other public documents of that period. It
clearly appears in the American State Papers that these Indians kept
the American authorities advised of the hostile actions and plans of the
British and other Indian tribes during the period between the Revolu-
tion and the War of 1812. A body of these Indians accompanied
Gen. Harrison in his expedition against the "Prophet" in 1811, and
took a prominent part not only in the negotiations for peace, but in the
actual military operations. It also appears that from these Indians
Gen. Harrison obtained the earliest and most authentic information
of the hostile movements of the British just prior to the War of 1812.

That the Delawares were loyal and friendly throughout the War of
1812 is testified in the many references cited above. As an evidence
of the appreciation which Gen. Washington and Congress had of. the
distinguished and loyal services of these Delawares, it is interesting to
note that Congress at this period educated, at Princeton College, three
Delaware youths, children and relatives of the famous chiefs who had
served the military forces during the Revolution.

Coming on down from the War of 1812, we find the Delawares a
prominent factor in all military and semimilitary operations engaged
in by the Government up to the present time. No tribe of Indians, in
proportion to their numbers, can show services of similar distinction
and value. In all the great exploration work done in the early part of
history of the country the Delawares stood preeminent. One need only
refer to the encomium passed upon them by Gen, Fremont (Life, etc.,
pp. 108, 214, 215, 235, 253), where he speaks of the Delawares who
accompanied him and of their valuable services. He called them "re-
sourceful, brave, excellent marksmen, truthful and unselfish, and most
skilled and intrepid scouts," and says, "among the rest, they are entitled
to land warrants." He especially speaks of 2 Delaware scouts in his
expedition of 1843. 8 in his expedition of 1846, and 10 in his expedition
of 1853.

In Sprague's History of the Florida War (p. 102), it appears that
174 men and 4 commissioned officers from the Delaware and Shawnee
tribes were allied with the American forces. We have the muster-out
roll of two of these companies, showing double enlistments of each
of these companies. One company consisted of 37 officers and men,
and the other company consisted of 50 officers and men. We feel
certain that further search would reveal additional names of the Dela-
wares who served the United States in the Florida War.

The Delawares also served in the Mexican War. We have the mus-
ter-rolls of one of these companies commanded by Capt. Black Beaver,
comprising 37 officers and men. There were other Delawares in the
Mexican War, among them a band of scouts under Thomas Hill, a



Delaware war chief, who in token of his services was presented with
a silver tomahawk, which is still in the possession of the Delaware

William Armstrong, acting superintendent, in his report to Commis-
sioner of Indian Affairs and speaking of the Delawares, says:

"As hunters and warriors they have a higher reputation than any
other Indians on the frontier * * * their character for superior
courage and sagacity being so well established that the wild tribes
seldom venture to attack them." (Report Commissioner of Indian
Affairs, 1845, p. 507.)

A letter from J. B. Taylor, special Indian agent, at Brazos, Tex., to
Maj. Neighbors, dated October 7, 1855, and on file in the Indian Office,
tells of the efficient services of the Delawares to the United States
during that period and their skilled methods of warfare against other

Gen. Marcy, in his Exploration of the Red River, says :

"A few of such men as the Delawares attached to each company of
troops upon the Indian frontier would, from their knowledge of In-
dian character and habits and their wonderful powers of judging
country, following tracks, etc. (things which soldiers can not be
taught), enable us to operate to much better advantage against the
prairie tribes. * * * Their services were almost indispensable in an
expedition like this."

In the contest with the. Sioux in 1847, 60 Delawares were employed
by the United States forces, and a number aided the Regular Army
in the outbreak of the Pawnees in 1847 and against the Cheyennes,
Comanches, etc., in 1855.

Gen. Miles in his report tells of the efficient and valiant services of
the Delawares in a number of the campaigns against the Indians,
ascribing to the Delawares the highest degree of efficiency in Indian

The Delawares in the Civil War stand preeminent. Some extracts
from official reports from 1862 to 1865 follow :

"The Delawares are truly a loyal people, and with hardly an excep-
tion are devoted to the Government. Out of a population of 201 males
between the ages of 18 and 45, there are at present 170 in the Union
Army. This probably is the largest ratio of volunteers furnished for
the war.'' (Agent Johnson's Report, Sept. 17, 1862.)

"As an instance of their loyalty I will mention this fact: Of 201
Delawares between the ages of 18 and 45, 170 have volunteered and
are now in the military service of the United States. It is doubtful

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Online LibraryRichard Calmit AdamsClaims of the Delaware Indians; → online text (page 4 of 6)