William Evans.

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which, he had examined all former treaties,
and reminded them, that at the treaty of fort
Stanwix, they had ceded all the lands within
the bounds of Pennsylvania — that many of
them were acquainted with the charter grant-
ed by the king of Great Britain to William
Penn ; that at the last treaty held before the
war, at fort Stanwix, about twenty-six years
ago, they had received ten thousand dollars
from Pennsylvania, and had agreed that they
would sell no lands within the said boundaries,
but to the proprietors of that (then) province.
That treaty at fort Stanwix, had been con-
firmed at Muskingum in 1786, which was
also acknowledged by the chiefs at Tioga ; at
which last place, complaint was made that
Phelps had cheated them, yet not a word of
the former treaties. He then had reference to
the triangle on lake Erie, which Pennsylvania
has purchased of Congress, and showed them
on the map, that it was ceded by them to the
United States, at the treaty of fort Stanwix ;
and for which, the State of Pennsylvania paid
them two thousand dollars at the treaty of
Muskingum, in confirmation of the title. But-
ler and Gibson, the commissioners at the last
mentioned treaty, expected the east line of the
triangle would have extended to Buftalo-creek;
but that not being the case, he offered to cede
back to them all the land between the triangle
and a line running due south, from near the

mouth of the said creek to the Pennsylvania
line, which comprehends three or four times
the quantity of land included in the triangle ;
and that the new line might run thus : to be-
gin at Johnson's landing place, about four
miles distant from Niagara ; thence along the
inlet, including a strip of land four miles
wide, till it comes within four miles of Buffalo-
creek ; thence to said creek at one mile distant
from the mouth of it ; thence along lake Erie
to the aforesaid triangle ; bounded on the west
by the said triangle, and on the south by the
Pennsylvania line. The commissioner ob-
served, that the four mile path on the side of
the inlet, between lake Erie and lake Ontario,
was ceded to our predecessors, the British, in
the days of sir William Johnson; yet, that the
Indians shall have the right of hunting on
these lands, as well as on all those ceded at
the treaty of fort Stanwix ; and on all other
lands ceded by them since the peace ; and
their settlements thereon shall remain undis-
turbed ; and also, that in addition to the an-
nuity of fifteen hundred dollars which had
heretofore been paid to them, the President
had empowered him to add the sum of three
thousand dollars more, amounting in all to
four thousand five hundred dollars, to be paid
to them annually, and to their posterity for
ever ; for the providing of clothing, encour-
agement of artificers, school-masters, &c., to
settle among them. He had also goods at this
place, to the amount of ten thousand dollars,
to distribute among them, if the treaty should
issue to mutual satisfaction. In consequence
of the liberal offers now made, he hoped the
Indians would cheerfully comply, and join
him in digging a deep pit to bury all former
differences, and take hold of the chain of
friendship so fast, that nothing should ever be
able to force it out of their hands. The Indi-
ans, after considering a few minutes what had
been said, concluded to take it into further
consideration, and return an answer.

" 29th. Sagareesa, or the Sword-Carrier,
visited us; he appears to be a thoughtful man,
and mentioned a desire he had, that some of
our young men might come among them as
teachers ; we supposed he meant as school-
masters and artizans. Perhaps this intimation
may be so made use of in a future day, that
great good may accrue to the poor Indians,
if some religious young men of our Society,
could, from a sense of duty, be induced to
spend some time among them, either as school-
masters or mechanics. At eleven o'clock,
colonel Pickering called and gave us an invi-
tation to dinner ; captain Hendricks, an In-
dian, and several strangers dined with us,
afl;er which, Robert Nealy came in, who had
been taken prisoner about forty years ago,



being then about nine years old, and had
continued with the Indians ever since, with-
out any desire of returning or making much
inquiry after his parents. Being entirely
reconciled to the Indian life, he had taken
several wives among them, none of whom
were dead ; but whenever they grew dis-
satisfied with each other, they parted and
took others more agreeable, which, he said,
was the general custom ; and when the Indi-
ans lost a near connection, they were incon-
solable till some of their friends made up a
belt of wampum and gave it to the family of
the deceased, in remembrance of their de-
ceased relation ; after which, they betrayed
no sorrow — a scalp from an enemy answered
the same purpose, if taken with that design.
Many of the Indian chiefs being drunk, no
council was held to day.

" Fifth-day, 30th. A fine warm day, the
Indians almost all turned out of their cabins ;
some of the young warriors having good
horses, were running races all day with the
white people ; others engaged in different
sports, dancing, &c., which is almost a dail)'
exercise. They performed one which they call
the brag-dance; when, whoever deposits a
bottle of rum, has the liberty to make a brag
of the feats he has performed in war, the
number of scalps he has taken, &c. A sen-
sible man being present, after he had deposited
his bottle, and the others had boasted of many
marvellous exploits, made his brag, which
was, that he had been a man of peace all his
days, in the profession of a physician ; that
he had been very industrious, and restored
many who had been ready to die. He said,
all that the others had bragged of, was no-
thing to this, for any child might kill a man,
but it required the judgment and wisdom of a
great man to save another's life. They all
acknowledged the doctor's was the best of all.
The sachems and chiefs were engaged in
council by themselves and sat till near night,
and inform that they will meet us in council
to-morrow. The interpreter says, parties rise
high against Cornplanter, that he is in a diffi-
cult situation with his nation, and they are
not able to conceive what he has done with
eight hundred dollars received in Philadelphia
from the Pennsylvania government, and what
induced the government to give him fifteen
hundred acres of land for a farm; these things
have created jealousies unfavourable to him.

There is a remarkable spring near this
place called the brimstone spring, which is
so strong, as to have deposited in its course
a large quantity of sulphur. Also, the salt
springs of Onondago, which are said to be
inexhaustible, and all this country is supplied
with salt made from the waters.

" 31st. Red Jacket, Clear Sky, Sagareesa,
and a chief of the Cayugas, waited on us at
our lodgings, being a deputation from the
Indian council that has been deliberating
several days upon the proposals of the com-
missioner, bringing with them the interpreter.
Several Indians and some while people being
in the room with us, they were desjred to de-
part, as the business they came about would
not admit of their presence. Apprehending
that we should be interrupted in the house,
we retired to a distance and sat down upon
some logs, when Red Jacket spoke nearly as
follows :

"Brothers, — You see here four of us of the
Six Nations, who are assembled at this place,
in the will of the Great Spirit, to transact the
business of the treaty. You have been waiting
here a long time and often visited by our
chiefs, and as yet no marks of respect have
been shown you.

"Brothers, — We are deputed by the council
of chiefs assembled, to come and see you.
We understand that you told Sagareesa, that
you should not have come but at our request,
and that you stood ready to afford us any
assistance in your power.

" Brothers, — We hope you will make your
minds easy. We who are now here are but
children ; the ancients being deceased. We
know that your fathers and ours transacted
business together, and that you look up to the
Great Spirit for his direction and assistance
and take no part in war. We expect you
were all born on this island, and consider you
as brethren. Your ancestors came over the
great water, and ours were born here ; this
ought to be no impediment to our considering
each other as brethren.

" Brothers, — You all know the proposals that
have been made by Cunnitsutty, (colonel Pick-
ering, the commissioner) as well as the ofTei's
made by us to him. We are all now in the
presence of the Great Spirit, and we place
more confidence in you, than in any other
people. As you expressed your desire for
peace, we now desire your help and assist-
ance — we hope you will not deceive us ; for
if you should do so, we shall no more place
any confidence in mankind.

"Brothers, — We wish, if you know the will
of Congress, or the extent of the commis-
sioner's powers, that you will candidly in-
form us.

" Brothers, — We desire that what we are
now about communicating, may be kept se-
cret. We are willing to give up the four-mile
path, from Johnson's landing-place to Cayuga-
creek, agreeably to our compact with sir Wil-
liam Johnson, long ago. The other part pro-
posed by colonel Pickering to be relinquished



by us, that is, from Cayuga to BufFalo-creek,
we wish to reserve on account of the fisheries;
that our women and children may have the
use of it for that purpose. We desire to
know if you can inform us, why the triangle
on lake Erie cannot be given up.

"Brothers, — Cornplanter and captain Brandt,
who were only war chiefs, were the persons who
attended the treaty at fort Stanwix, and they
were to have sent forward the proposals for our
more general consideration. At that time Old
Smoke was alive, who was a man of great un-
derstanding ; but they were threatened into a
compliance, in consequence of which captain
Brandt went off to Canada, desiring Corn-
planter to do the best he could."

" They delivered us seven strings of wam-
pum, and we desired them to call on us about
three o'clock for an answer. We felt it to be
a weighty and delicate matter to answer their
request in our situation. They returned about
the time fixed, but finding us not entirely pre-
pared to give them an answer, told us not to
hurry ourselves, and they would come to-
morrow morning; for they are never in haste.

" Eleventh month 1st. Our house was full
of Indians and others all the morning. About
ten o'clock, the interpreter and the four chiefs
came for our answer ; we had endeavoured to
digest their request as well as we were capable
of, desirous of dealing honestly with the poor
Indians and of keeping a conscience void of
offence. My friends laid it upon me to de-
liver the answer, which I did, holding the
seven strings of wampum in my hand ; and
the reply being interpreted to them, I returned
the strings at the end of our speech according
to the Indian custom. Red Jacket went over
the thi'ee points to which we had spoken, to
know whether he had perfectly understood us,
that he might deliver our sentiments to the
great council. He thanked us for our advice,
and said, though we might account it of small
value, they did not consider it so, but thought
it would afford them considerable strength.

" After dinner, John Parrish and myself
rode to view the Farmer's Brother's encamp-
ment, which contained about five hundred
Indians. They ai'e located by the side of a
brook, in the woods ; having built about
seventy or eighty huts, by far the most com-
modious and ingeniously made of any that I
have seen ; the principal materials are bark
and boughs of trees, so nicely put together
as to keep the family dry and warm. The
women as well as the men, appeared to be
mostly employed. In this camp, there are a
large number of pretty children, who, in all
the activity and buoyancy of health, were di-
verting themselves according to their fancy.
The vast number of deer they have killed,

Vol. I.— No. 10.

since coming here, which they cut up and
hang round their huts inside and out, to dry,
together with the rations of beef which they
draw daily, give the appearance of plenty to
supply the few wants to which they are sub-
jected. The ease and cheerfulness of every
countenance, and the delightfulness of the af-
ternoon, which these inhabitants of the woods
seemed to enjoy with a relish far superior to
those who are pent up in crowded and popu-
lous cities, all combined to make this the most
pleasant visit I have paid to Indians ; and in-
duced me to believe, that before they became
acquainted with white people and were in-
fected with their vices, they must have been
as happy a people as any in the world. In
returning to our quai'ters we passed by the
Indian council, where Red Jacket was dis-
playing his oratory to his brother chiefs, on
the subject of colonel Pickering's proposals.

" Eleventh-month 2d. Held a meeting for
worship in the school-house ; a number of
Friends residing in this part of the country,
came in ; and a considerable body of Indians
were in and about the house ; several of
whom, as well as the white people of other
societies, behaved well, and it was thought to
be a good meeting. We went immediately
after meeting to the council which had just
assembled, and was very numerously attended
both by Indians and whites. The business
was introduced by Clear Sky, an Onondago
chief, in the following manner : He expressed
a hope that there would be no hard thoughts
entertained, on account of their having been
several days deliberating on an answer ; the
subject was of importance, and he wished his
brethren to be preserved in unanimity. Then
Red Jacket being principal speaker, said,

"Brothers, — We request that all the nations
present will attend to what we are about to
deliver. We are now convened on one of the
days of the Great Spirit. Then addressing
colonel Pickering: —

" Brother, — You now represent the Presi-
dent of the United States, and when you
spoke to us, we considered it as the voice of
the fifteen fires. You desired that we w^ould
take the matter under our deliberate conside-
ration and consult each other well, that where
the chain was rust}', it might be brightened.
We took general Washington by the hand,
and desired this council fire, that all the lines
in dispute might be settled.

" Brothers, — We told you before of the
two rusty places on the chain, which were
also pointed out by the sachems. Instead of
complying with our request, respecting the
places where we told you the chain was
rusty, you offered to relinquish the land on
lake E4'ie, eastward of the triangular piece



sold by Congress to Pennsylvania, and to re-
tain the four-mile path between Cayuga and
Buffalo-creek, by which you expect to brighten
the chain.

" Brothers, — We thought you had a sharp
file to take off the rust, but we believe it must
have been dull, or else you let it slip out of
your hands. With respect to the four-mile
path, we are in want of it on account of the
fisheries ; although we are but children, we
are sharp-sighted, and we see that you want
that strip of land for a road, that when you
have vessels on the lakes, you may have har-
bours, &c. But we wish, that in respect to
that land, the treaty at fort Stanwix may be
broken. You white people have increased
very fast on this island, which was given to
us Indians by the Great Spirit ; we are now
become a small people, and you are cutting
off our lands piece after piece — you are a very
hard-hearted people, seeking your own advan-

"Brothers, — We are tender-hearted and de-
sirous of peace — you told us what you Avould
give us for our land to brighten your end of
the chain. If you will relinquish the piece of
land we have mentioned, our friendship will
be strong. You say you are not proud, nei-
ther are we. Congress expects we are now
settling the business with regularity; we wish
that both parties may have something to say
in settling a peace. At the time we requested a
conference, we also requested that our friends,
the Quakers, should come forward, as they
are promoters of peace, and we wanted them
to be witnesses to what took place ; we wish
to do nothing in private. We have told you
of the rusty part, which the file past over
without brightening it, and we wish you to
take up the file again and rub it very hard ; —
you told us, if it would not do without, you
would apply oil.

" Brothers, — We the sachems, warriors and
others, all depend on you ; whatever is done,
we regard as final and permanent ; we wish
you to take it under consideration and give us
an answer.

" Colonel Pickering replied, if I understand
you right, your minds are easy excepting with
respect to the strip of land between the two
lakes. He then recapitulated what Red Jacket
had expressed, which is the usual custom of
the Indians in their answers ; reminding them
why they decreased and the white people in-
creased, and gave them advice in what man-
ner they might increase also ; observing, that
he did it as their friend, for he wished to see
them rise and become a great people. Here
Red Jacket called out earnestly, in his lan-
guage, ' keep straight.' The commissioner

" Brothers, — You say you are anxious for
peace ; so are the people of the United States,
anxious for peace with all the Indians on the
whole island. We do not speak it with our
lips only, it is the language of our hearts.
You say, if we relinquish the four-mile path
from Cayuga to Buffalo-creek, a lasting peace
will take place. The other day I gave you
strong reasons why we could not give it up.
I told you, if I could not rub out the rusty
spots, I would cover them over, and I told
you how I would cover this ; alluding to the
money offered as an equivalent. You seem
to be sensible that the United States stand in
need of a passage from lake to lake, by land.
I therefore conclude, you would have no ob-
jection, if the land remains yours, to our cut-
ting a road, and if we do so, it will be very
inconvenient, unless we can have taverns to
accommodate travellers, as the distance is
great. You know they have a road and ac-
commodations on the opposite side of the
river, and as there can be no communication
between the lakes, unless we have that privi-
lege, the United States will have the same ne-
cessity for a road on this side.

" Brothers, — If you should travel it your-
selves, you would like to have a house to get
a walking-staff; you justly observe, the United
States will want a harbour for their vessels on
the lakes, but they can have no benefit from
a harbour, unless they have the privilege of
building houses and stores. If this is all the
difficulty between us, I trust we shall not be
long in coming to a conclusion.

" Brothers, — When I came from Philadel-
phia, it was not expected I would relinquish a
hand's breadth of land ; but finding your vil-
lages on that part vv'hich I have offered to cede
back, I freely give it up. I am growing im-
patient to conclude the business, and would be
glad to know, whether you will give me an
answer, or take some time longer to consider
of it. As the Indians did not appear ready to
give a final answer, he told them, he observed
it to be a tender point with them, and propo-
sed their taking it into consideration until to-
morrow, and that he wished to confer with
some of the chiefs at his lodgings, previous to
their coming to council, which he thought
would expedite the business.

" It is a custom with the Indians, after the
decease of one of their brethren, to return to
the donor, any present which he had received
in his life time as a mark of respect. In con-
formity with this usage. Red Jacket now re-
turned to the commissioner a silver gorget,
belongina: to one of their chiefs who died last
year, which had been presented to him by
the United States. Farmer's Brother made a
speech of condolence on the occasion, and



presented some strings of black wampum to
the family of the deceased. Clear Sky, then
in a short speech, covered up the council fire.
" 3d of the month. Big Beard, Sonochle,
Canundach, Canatounty and a John White-
sti'ipe, all Oneidas, called at our lodgings.
Big Beard mentioned, that some Friends
whom they had seen at New York, requested
them to make inquiry who were the original
owners of the land about Hopewell, and that
if it could be ascertained, it was probable a
present would be made them by the Friends
who reside in that neighbourhood. He said,
they had accordingly made the inquiry, and
although, it was beyond a doubt, that the ori-
ginal proprietors wore incorporated with the
Six Nations, yet they were so mixed and in-
termarried among the different tribes, that it
would be difficult to point them out ; they
therefore apprehended, it would be most equi-
table, to distribute it among the Six Nations
at large. No council was held to-day, a
number of the chiefs being much intoxicated.
We were teased by them for liquor, and were
at last, obliged to flee from their persecutions.
" 4th. Sagareesa and captain William Prin-
tup, a chief and warrior of the Tuscaroras,
with an interpreter, visited us to converse
about the Hopewell lands, appearing to have
no doubt that the Tuscaroras were the origi-
nal proprietors. Colonel Pickering came to
our lodgings, to read the proposed articles
which were to conclude the treaty, the sign-
ing of which, as witnesses, if we were called
upon to do it, had, for several days, been a
subject of serious consideration with us. We
told him, on hearing what was proposed, that
we apprehended for reasons given, we could
not be free to sign the treaty ; which did not
appear to be agreeable to him ; but we have
not now to begin to learn to suffer at Indian
treaties. At two o'clock, an Indian messen-
ger from the council, came to inform us they
were assembled and waiting for us, the Indi-
ans not being disposed to proceed in our ab-
sence : a great number were assembled and
Red Jacket addressed the commissioner:

" Brothers, — We, the sachems of the Six
Nations, will now tell you our minds. The
business of the treaty is, to brighten the chain
of friendship between us and the fifleen fires.
We told you the other day, it was but a very
small piece which was the occasion of the re-
maining rust in the chain of friendship.

" Brothers, — Now we are conversing to-
gether, in order to make the chain bright.
When we told you what would give us satis-
faction, you proposed reserving the piece of
land, between Cayuga and Buffalo-creek, for
building houses, &c., but we apprehend, you
would not only build houses, but towns. You

told us, these houses would be for the accom-
modation of travellers in winter, as they can-
not go by water in that season, and that trav-
ellers would want a staff to help them along
the road. We have taken these matters into
serious consideration.

" Brothers, — We conclude that we do not
understand this as the white people do ; if we
consent to your proposals, we know it will in-
jure us. If these houses should be built, they
will tend to scatter us and make us fall in the
streets, meaning, by drinking to excess, in-
stead of benefitting us : you want land to
raise provisions, hay, &c. ; but as soon as
the white people settle there, they would think
the land theirs, for this is the way of the
white people. You mentioned, that when you
got possession of the garrisons, you would
want landing-places, stores, fields to plant
on, &c. ; but we wish to be the sole owners
of this land ourselves ; and when you settle
with the British, the Great Spirit has made a
road for you, you can pass and repass by
water ; what you want to reserve, is entirely
in your own favour.

" Brothers, — You told us, when you lefl
Philadelphia, it was not expected by the Presi-
dent you would release a foot of land. We
thank him for having left you at liberty to
give up what you please. — You have waited
with patience at this council fire, kindled by
general Washington ; it is but a very small
thing that keeps the chain from being bright-
ened ; if you will consent to give up this
small piece and have no houses on it, the
chain will be made bright. As to harbours,
the waters are between you and the British,

Online LibraryWilliam EvansThe Friends' library : comprising journals, doctrinal treatises, and other writings of members of the religious Society of Friends (Volume 1) → online text (page 79 of 105)