William Evans.

The Friends' library : comprising journals, doctrinal treatises, and other writings of members of the religious Society of Friends (Volume 1) online

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you must talk to them, you are of the same
colour. I see there are many of your people
now here, watching with their mouths open
to take up this land: if you are a friend to
us, then disappoint them, our patience is
spent ; comply with our request ; dismiss us
and we will go home. The commissioner
then replied :

" Brothers, — I wish your attention lo a few
words. — I thought you knew the necessity
the United States had for a road fi-om fort
Schlosser to Buffalo-creek. You appear sen-
sible of it now, by referring to the road by
water, made by the Great Spirit; you may
see we can have no benefit of that without a
passage by land. You have forgotten what I
said the other day, respecting the treaty of sir
William Johnson, by which he obtained a
right to pass and repass through your coun-
try. I then observed, that what was granted
to the king, was transferred to the United
States, by our treaty of peace with the British;
now since so small a piece is between us, to con-
vince you that I am not difficult, if you grant



us but liberty to pass and repass, I will
give up the rest. You know there is a path
already from Buffalo-creek to Niagara, I only
ask liberty to make a better path, to clear the
stumps and logs out of the way. I am sure,
that about so small a matter you can make
no difficulty ; I will sit down and wait your
answer. After a short space, colonel Picker-
ing observed, he had forgot to inform them,
that the road should be opened under the di-
rection of the superintendent of the Six Na-
tions, Canadesago ; who would take care to
have it done so as to be as little injurious as
possible to the Indians.

" The sachems having consulted together
about half an hour. Red Jacket replied :

" Genei'al Washington, now listen ; we are
going to brighten the chain of friendship be-
tween the Six Nations and the Americans.
We thank you for complying with our re-
quest, in giving up the particular spot in dis-
pute. You mentioned that you wanted a road
through our country ; remember your old
agreement, that you were to pass along the
lake by water ; we have made up our minds
respecting your request to open a road. Colo-
nel Pickering writing what was said. Red
Jacket would not proceed till he looked him
in the face.

" Brothers, — It costs the white people a
great deal to make roads, we wish not to put
you to that great expense ; we don't want you
to spend your money for that purpose. We
have a right understanding of your request,
and have agreed to grant you a road from
fort Schlosser to Buffalo-creek, but not from
Buffalo-creek down this way at all. We have
given you an answer ; if, on considering it
. you have any reply to make, we will hear you.
" Commissioner. I confess brothers, I ex-
pected you would have agreed to my pro-
posal ; but as this is not the case, I will
give it up, only reserving the road from fort
Schlosser to Buffalo. There has been a mu-
tual condescension, which is the best way of
settling business. There are yet several mat-
ters to be attended to, before signing the arti-
cles of the ti'eaty ; which, I can best commu-
nicate to some of your chiefs, as it would not
be so convenient to discuss them among large
numbers. One matter is, how the goods and
annuity had best be appropriated ; and as there
are some bad people both amongst you and
us, it would be well to fix some modes of set-
tling disputes, when they arise between indi-
viduals of your nations and ours. As soon
as we have digested a plan, we will introduce
it into the public council. I therefore invite
two sachems and two warriors of the Senecas,
and a sachem and a warrior of each of the
other nations, to take an early breakfast with

me to-morrow morning. I now cover the
council fire.

" 5th of eleventh month. No council to-
day — colonel Pickering and some chiefs busy
in preparing the articles of treaty.

" 6th. An interpreter with four other Indi-
ans, came to have further conversation about
the Hopewell land. It does not appear proba-
ble, that the Conestogoes were the original
owners. We requested them to convene some
sensible chiefs of each nation, and we would
meet them at general Chapin's with a map of
the United States, and endeavour to settle the
matter if possible. General Chapin is of
opinion, that the Tuscaroras are the original
owners of the Virginia land. No council in
public, colonel Pickering being engaged all
day, in conference on the articles of treaty ;
new objections and dissatisfaction were started
by several principal chiefs, who are unwilling to
relinquish Presque-isle. They were surprised
to find that Cornplanter, Little Billy and others,
had received two thousand dollars worth of
goods from Pennsylvania at Muskingum, and
two thousand dollars at Philadelphia. Their
minds being much disturbed, they broke up
the conference; this was a sad disappointment
to us, who expected that all would be amica-
bly settled and we should set off" to-morrow.
General Chapin says, he hopes all will come
right again, but the Indians must have time to
cool. It is to no purpose to say you are tired
of waiting, they will only tell you very calm-
ly. Brother, you have your way of doing busi-
ness and we have ours ; we desire you would
sit easy on your seats. Patience then becomes
our only remedy.

" 7th. No business to-day ; many of the
chiefs being drunk. Colonel Pickering spent
the afternoon with us. The idea he entei'tains
respecting the lands ceded at fort Stanwix is,
that as the Indians did the United States a
great deal of injury by taking part with the
British in the late war, it was strictly just that
they should make compensation by giving up
the lands which they relinquished at that time.
He instanced the case of an individual who
had committed a trespass on another ; the law
determines that the trespasser shall suffer ei-
ther in person or property, and this law is
just. Such is the reasoning of conquerors.
" 8th. The Indians were sober to-day. Gene-
ral Chapin and the commissioner have determin-
ed to give them no more liquor until the treaty is
over. The chiefs and warriors were engaged
till three o'clock with the commissioner, and
agreed on all the articles of treaty to be en-
grossed on parchment and signed to-morrow.
At four o'clock, we met Cornplanter, Red
Jacket, Scanadoe, Nicholas, a Tuscarora,
Twenty Canoes, two ancient Conestogoes, cap-



tain Printup, Sagai'eesa, Myers Paterson, a
half white man who lives with the Tuscaro-
ras, and several other chiefs at general Chap-
in's, to determine about the Hopewell land ;
examined maps and conversed with them on
the subject, which resulted in the opinion, that
the Conestogoes should quit claim to it; it ap-
pearing to those present, that the original
right was in the Tuscaroras ; one of whom,
an ancient man, put his finger on the place in
the map, saying, he had papers at home that
would, as he thought, confirm their claim to
it. We desired him to send them to general
Chapin to examine, and if he thought they
contained anything worth notice, he might
forward them to us in Philadelphia.

" Fii'st-day, the 9ih. Several Friends in
this part of the country came to the meeting ;
one of them thirteen miles. A number of
other white people attended, and a large num-
ber of Indians. It was a solid meeting ; se-
veral, both of whites and Indians, were tender
and wept ; and after it was over, one man in
a particular manner, confessed to the truth
and prayed that the Lord might bless it to all
who were present. On my part, it was an
affectionate farewell to the people hereaway.
We returned to our lodgings, and before we
had finished our dinner, a messenger came to
inform us that the council was gathered and
waiting, which we immediately attended. Two
large parchments with the articles of the treaty
engrossed, being ready for signing, we were
in hopes the business would now close ; but
to our sui'prise and disappointment, wc soon
discovered some dissatisfaction among the In-
dians, by their putting their heads down to-
gether and whispering. After waiting impa-
tiently for about an hour, not knowing what
it meant, Cornplanter rose and spoke as
follows :

"Brothers, — I request your attention, whilst
I inform you of my own mind as an individual.
I consider the conduct of the United States,
since the war, to have been very bad. I con-
ceive they do not do justice. I will mention
what took place at New York at one particu-
lar time. After the treaty of fort Stanwix,
I went to New York under an apprehension,
that the commissioners had not done right ;
and I laid before Congress our grievances on
account of the loss of our lands at that treaty;
but the thirteen fires approved of what the
commissioners had done, and in confirmation
of it, they held up the paper with a piece of
silver hanging to it; (the treaty with the
British.) Now, colonel Pickering, you have
told us at this treaty, that what was given up
by the British, was only the land around the
forts. I am very much dissatisfied that this
was not communicated to us before. Thei'e

has already been too much blood spilt ; if
this had been known at the close of the war,
it would have prevented any blood being shed.
I have therefore, told our warriors not to sign
this treaty. The fifteen fires have deceived
us ; we are under tlie sachems and will listen
to what they do. Though we will not sign it,
yet we shall abide by what they do, as long
as they do right. The United States and the
Six Nations are now making a firm peace,
and we wish the fifteen fires may never de-
ceive them, as they have done us warriors ; if
they once deceive the sachems, it will be bad.
He then took his seat, and after a short pause,
said, I will put a patch upon what I have spo-
ken ; I hope you will have no uneasiness at
hearing the voice of the warriors, you know
it is very hard to be once deceived, so you
must not make your minds uneasy. Eel, the
herald, then made a warm speech to the Indi-
ans, exhorting them to abide by the decision
of the sachems, which was received with loud
shouts of applause. Entaw ! Entaw ! Entaw !

" Colonel Pickering then addressed them as
follows :

" Brothers of the Six Nations and your as-
sociates, — I confess I am greatly surprised at
the speech of your head wai-rior, after all the
pains I have taken to make the articles of the
treaty easy. I endeavoured to please both
sachems and warriors, they were both present
when the articles were agreed on, and there
was not a word of objection.

" Brothers, — The design of this treaty is,
to bury all differences ; you know I candidly
and explicitly disapproved of the conduct of
the commissioners at fort Stanwix, but as this
treaty was to establish a firm friendship be-
tween the Six Nations and the United States,
I did not wish to bring former transactions
into view, which was also the desire of your
chief warrior; now he brings up the old mat-
ters to make a division in your councils.

" Brothers, — I wish for calmness and de-
liberation, as the subject is of importance to
us, and of the utmost importance to you. He
expresses his dissatisfaction that our treaty
with the British was not explained before ;
but this was done last year to the Western
Indians, when many of the Six Nations were
pi'esent ; I think many of the chiefs must re-
member it. I will explain it again to prevent
mistakes : A certain line was drawn between
the British and us ; what the British had ob-
tained of the Indians on our side of that line
before the peace, was transferred by that
treaty to the United States ; it was agreed
that the British should not interfere with the
land on this side of that line, nor were we to
interfere with the land on their side of the line.

" Brothers, — I am very sorry that these ob-



jections are made now when we are just about
to sign the treaty. The chief warrior has
called it the treaty of the sachems, and said,
that they only were to sign it; but the warriors
as well as the sachems were present when it
was agreed on, and made no objection to it.
He says, they will abide by what the sachems
do as long as they do right. Does he mean
they will abide by them no longer than the
warriors think them right 1 If this be the
case, we may as well let things remain as
they are. He says also, the United States
and the sachems are now making a firm
peace, but I cannot consider it so, unless the
sachems and warriors unite ; for unless this
is the case, it will cause divisions among your-
selves ; consider whether this will not be
attended with dangerous consequences. He
speaks of the United States deceiving the
sachems ; as I represent the United States, I
have told you I will not deceive you ; I can
add nothing on that head to what I have told
you already.

" Brothei's — I cannot consent to close the
business in this manner, after so much care
and pains have been taken to make all things
easy ; but wish you to consider of it until to-
morrow and give me an answer. If the war-
riors expect to live in peace with the United
States as well as the sachems ; if they desire
to brighten the chain of friendship ; if they
wish to act for the advantage of themselves
and their children, I am sure they will sign
this treaty. Cornplanter then addressed the
warriors in a short speech, desiring they
might be firm and steady to what they had
agreed on.

" 10th. The warriors of the Six Nations
met in council in the forenoon, to consult re-
specting signing the articles, and came to a
judgment. In the afternoon they met again,
expecting the commissioner and the sachems ;
but several of the principal sachems being
intoxicated, did not come, so nothing was
done. A number of the chiefs and warriors
of the Tuscaroras, came to pay us a visit re-
specting the Hopewell land. Captain Printup
spoke for them as follows, viz.

" Brothers, — We believe it was from mo-
tives of benevolence and good-will to us, that
you were induced to make inquiry after the
original owners of some land in Virginia.

" Brothers, — You have now found them,
and as you are a people that look up to the
Great Spirit for direction, we hope you will
now make us some compensation : we are in
hopes the business may be accomplished at
this time.

" Brothers, — As the Friends on the land
have long received the benefit of its produce,
and live at so great a distance, it would be

much more convenient to receive what they
please to give, at one time, than to have a
small sum paid yearly. We have been given
to understand, that whenever the former own-
ers of the land could be discovered, Friends
stood ready to make them some compensa-
tion ; as we apprehend this has been suffi-
ciently ascertained, we are thankful to the
Great Spirit, that there is now a probability
of receiving something for the inheritance of
our ancestors.

" By the above speech, we found they had
still some mistaken ideas, which we endeav-
oured to remove, by again stating to them the
true reason of the inquiry, and informing
them we should represent to our brethren at
home, what now appeared to us to be the
state of the case, as soon as we conveniently
could. This satisfied them, and they re-
quested to sign their names to general Chap-
in's testimony, which most of them did in
their usual manner.*

" 11th. Had much conversation with seve-
ral of the Indian chiefs. In the afternoon at
two o'clock, we were sent for to council, \
where a great number were assembled. The
Eel, an Onondago chief, spoke to the Indians
in a pathetic manner ; which we understood
to be an exhortation to unanimity among the
chiefs and warriors in closing the business.
Colonel Pickering then held up the two parch-
ments containing the articles of the treaty,
and asked if we should proceed, which they
assenting to, he told them he would give one
of the parchments to one of their friends to
examine, while he read the other. I accord-
ingly examined one, and informed them they
were word for word alike. They then agreed
to sign and pointed out the two head warriors,
who, though they were young men, were by
some custom in their nation, the persons who
were to stand foremost in ratifying contracts;
they signed, and then the chiefs and warriors,
some of the most eminent in each nation, being
in all upwards of fifty.

* Some time after, a. number of these Indians
came to Philadelphia, for the purpose of examin-
ing more fully into the validity of their claims to
be the original proprietors of these lands. Friends
were very desirous of making a full compensation
to the natives for any lands on which they had set-
tled ; and accordingly great pains were taken to
adjust this business. But, after a close investiga-
tion of all the circumstances, and an examination
of ancient maps and documents, by both Friends
and Indians jointly, it did not appear that the Tus-
caroras had ever been the possessors of the soil in
question. Yet as they had entertained strong ex-
pectations of receiving a donation, rather than dis-
appoint them, Friends raised a considerable sum of
money and gave it as a present to them, with
which they were highly gratified.



" After the articles were signed, we desired
Farmer's Brother and Cornplanter, to collect
as many chiefs of the different nations as they
thought proper, to go down to our lodgings ;
the interpreter was also requested to come
with them : accordingly about forty came.
We smoked and conversed with them freely
on several subjects relating to their welfare,
gave them further information of our prin-
ciples, and expressed our good wishes for
their prosperity. We then had our presents
brought and spread upon two tables. They
did not choose to divide them themselves, but
left it to the interpreter; which being done,
they were much pleased and satisfied with the
division, and the articles were very agreeable
to them. They soon after retired, informing
us of their desire to see us to-morrow morn-
ing, as they had something further to commu-

" 12th. About thirty or forty of the sach-
ems and chief warriors met at our lodgings
and delivered the following speech by Farmer's
Brother, the chief sachem.

" Brothers, the Quakers from Philadel-
phia ! I wish you would attend to what we
who are now present are about to say. We
speak as one.

" Brothers, — Yesterday, after receiving your
invitation to come and partake of your presents,
we agreed to meet here this morning to speak
a few words, which we will now do.

" Brothers, — We are very glad you have
lengthened out your patience to see the end of
the business which is now brought to a close.
We thank the Great Spirit that he has pre-
served you in health from the time you left
your seats, [homes,] until you arrived here,
and has continued to preserve you to this time.
We put you under the protection of the same
Good Spirit on your return, and shall be
very happy to hear that you get safe home ;
and hope you may find your friends and fami-
lies well on your return : it would be very
acceptable to be informed of this, by letter to
the chiefs now present.

" Brothers, — We give hearty thanks to the
descendants of Onas, that you so willingly
rose from your seats to attend this council fire
according to our request; here are the articles
of treaty for you to look over, in order to im-
press them on your minds, that you may tell
them to your brothers who are sitting on their
seats at home.

" Brothers, — You have attended this ti-eaty
a long time ; the articles which we have now
signed, we hope you fully understand. Now,
as we have shown them to you, we would
wish to know your opinion whether we have
made a good peace or not; as we cannot read,
we are liable to be deceived ; you have no

doubt considered them; we want to know your
minds whether there is any flaw or catch in
them, which may hereafter occasion uneasi-

" Brothers, — If you think that peace is now
established on a good foundation, we wish you
would come forward and sign the articles: as
you are a people who are desirous of promo-
ting peace, and these writings are for that pur-
pose, we hope you will have no objection, but
all come forward and put your names to them,
and this would be a great satisfaction to us."

Immediately after this speech the treaty
being concluded and the council having bro-
ken up, our friends took their leave and set
out for home. The following memorandum
is the first which occurs respecting the jour-
ney, viz :

" 13th. Rose at three o'clock in the morn-
ing, after a very poor night's rest in a cold
open hut, where it snowed in upon us as we
laid. The weather was very cold and the
roads exceedingly bad ; we had an uncomfort-
able ride of four hours, during which John
Parrish had his face bruised by a fall; and
such was the difficulty in part of the road,
that it appeared as though we travelled at the
risk of our lives. We at length arrived at a
public house at the head of Canandaigua lake,
thirteen miles, where we got breakfast and re-
fitted. We then rode on seven miles and put
up for the night, there being no stage ahead
for twenty-two miles.

" 14th. Rose early and pursued our journey
through bushes, swamps and deep mud-holes ;
the road so bad that with hard pushing, we could
make but three miles an hour. In about three
and a half hours, we found the remains of a
fire where some travellers had fed yesterday,
which was a pleasant sight ; and having some
oats with us, we fed our horses and break-
fasted upon hoe-cake, dried meat and cheese.
We felt like poor, forlorn pilgrims, and mounted
our horses again, the path being as bad as it
could be; and the snow falling on us continu-
ally in passing among the bushes, it made the
travelling truly hard. As it continued snow-
ing very fast, and there being but one house
to stop at between Bath and the Painted Post,
we accepted the kind invitation of captain
Williamson to lodge with him at the former
place. He is a very polite man, had been
many years in the British service, and enter-
tained us elegantly ; a great contrast to our
last night's fare.

" islh. By daylight we left Bath, it still
continuing to snow very fast. A most trying
time it was to us, but in about two hours we
reached a house where they were able to give
us some breakfast, which was refreshing. We
arrived at the Painted Post about one o'clock,



got some corn for our horses and eat our
bread and cheese; after which, we rode eleven
miles, crossing the Tioga several times, and
arrived at the widow Lindley's, who kindly
invited us to stay at her house, where we were
entertained very hospitably.

" 16th. After breakfast went for our horses,
but the family were so friendly they would not
receive any pay for their keeping. We crossed
the Tioga twice more, and found the road so
exceedingly fatiguing and the day unpleasant,
that we rode only about two and a half miles
an hour, and arrived at an ordinary about
three o'clock in the afternoon. There being
no house for about twenty-four miles ahead,
we were under the necessity of lodging in a
poor hovel where there wei'e already a man,
his wife and seven children. We laid our
blankets on a bark floor and endeavoured to
get some rest, but the cold pinched us to such
a degree, that we had but little repose. We
were all affected with an addition to our colds;
this is hard travelling and living, and it is a
mercy that we are preserved as well as we are.

" 17th. Rose between two and three o'clock,
intending to make forty-two miles, as there is
but one miserable house in the intermediate
distance, which we desired not to lodge at,
but disappointments and vexations are to be
ours, and no doubt they are good for us. The
depth of the snow which was continually ball-
ing under our horses feet, and the excessive
badness of the path, it being little else but a
continued succession of mud-holes, roots and
stones, rendered our hopes of getting through
quite abortive ; and from necessity we had to
stop at the Block-house. Our horses had to
stand out all night without hay, which gave
us the most concern ; as for ourselves, we
procured a tolerable supper and taking our
lodging upon the floor, got some sleep. There
being no chimney to the house, occasioned
them to have but little roof, that the smoke
might have sufficient vent to pass ofl^, which
gave us a pleasing view of the brilliancy of

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 80 of 105)