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None but the Big Knife is sending speeches to us.
You know that we can terminate nothing without the consent of our brethren the Miamies. I invite you to proceed to their village and to speak to them. There is one thing in your speech I do not like: I will not tell of it: even was I drunk, I would perceive it: but our elder brethren will certainly take notice of it in your speech. You invite us to stop our young men. It is impossible to do it, being constantly encouraged by the British.' Another chief got up and said — The Americans are very flattering in their speeches: many times our nation went to their rendezvous. I was once myself. Some of our chiefs died on the route; and we always came back all naked: and you, Gamelin, you come with speech, with empty hands.' Another chief got up and said to his young men, “If we are poor, and dressed in deer skins, it is our own fault. Our French traders are leaving us and our villages, because you plunder them every day; and it is time for us to have another conduct.' Another chief got up and said, “ Know ye that the village of Ouiatenon is the sepulchre of all our ancestors. The chief of America invites us to go to him, if we are for peace. Ile has not his leg broke, having been able to go as far as the Illinois. He might come here himself; and we should be glad to see him at our village. We confess that we accepted the axe, but it is by the reproach we continually receive from the English and other nations, which received the axe first, calling us women: at the present time they invite our yo ig men to war. As to the old people, they are wishing for peace.' They could not give me an answer before they received advice from the Miamies, their elder brethren.
“ The 18th April I arrived at the river a l’Anguille, (Eel River.) The chief of the village, and those of war were not present. I explained the speeches to some of the tribe. They said they were well pleased; but they could not give me an answer, their chief men being absent. They desired me to stop at their village coming back; and they sent with me one of their men for to hear the answer of their eldest brethren.
*This village stood on the north side of Eel river, about six miles above the junction of that stream with the Wabash.
“ The 23d April I arrived at the Miami town. The next day I got the Miami nation, the Shawanees, and Delawares, all assembled. I gave to each nation two branches of wampum, and began the speeches, before the French and English traders, being invited by the chiefs to be present, having told them myself I would be glad to have them present, having nothing to say against any body. After the speech, I showed them the treaty concluded at Muskingum [Fort Harmar,] between his Excellency Governor St. Clair and sundry nations, which displeased them. I told them that the purpose of this present time was not to submit them to any condition, but to offer them the peace, which made disappear their displeasure. The great chief told me that he was pleased with the speech; that he would soon give me an answer. In a private discourse with the great chief, he told me not to mind what the Shawanees would tell me, having a bad heart, and being the perturbators of all the nations. He said the Miamies had a bad name, on account of mischief done on the river Ohio; but he told me it was not occasioned by his young men, but by the Shawanees; his young men going out only for to hunt.
• The 25th of April, Blue Jacket, chief warrior of the Shawanees, invited me to go to his house, and told me, "My friend, by the name and consent of the Shawanees and Delawares I will speak to you. We are all sensible of your speech, and pleased with it: but, after consultation, we cannot give an answer without hearing from our father at Detroit; and we are determined to give you back the two branches of wampum, and to send you to Detroit to see and hear the chief, or to stay here twenty nights for to receive his answer. From all quarters we receive speeches from the Americans, and not one is alike. We suppose that they intend to deceive us. Then take back your branches of wampum.'
“The 26th, five Pottawattamies arrived here with two negro men, which they sold to English traders. The next day I went to the great chief of the Miamies, called Le Gris. His chief warrior was present. I told him how I had been served by the Shawanees. He answered me that he had heard of it: that the said nations behaved contrary to his intentions. He desired me not to mind those strangers, and that he would soon give me a positive answer.
“ The 28th April, the great chief desired me to call at the French trader's and receive his answer. Don't take bad,' said he, of what I am to tell you. You may go back when you please. We cannot give you a positive answer. We must send your speeches to all our neighbors, and to the Lake nations. We cannot give a definitive answer without consulting the commandant at Detroit.' And he desired me to render him the two branches of wampum refused by the Shawanees; also, a copy of speeches in writing. He promised me that, in thirty nights, he would send an answer to Post Vincennes, by a young man of each nation. He was well pleased with the speeches, and said to be worthy of attention, and should be communicated to all their confederates, having resolved among them not to do any thing without an unanimous consent. I agreed to his requisitions, and rendered him the two branches of wampum, and a copy of the speech. Afterwards, he told me that the Five Nations, so called, or Iroquois, were training something; that five of them, and three Wyandots, were in this village with branches of wampum. He could not tell me presently their purpose; but he said I would know of it very soon.
“ The same day Blue Jacket, chief of the Shawanees, invited me to his house for supper; and, before the other chiefs, told me that, after another deliberation, they thought necessary that I should go myself to Detroit, for to see the commandant, who would get all his children assembled for to hear my speech. I told them I would not answer them in the night: that I was not ashamed to speak before the sun.
“ The 29th April I got them all assembled. I told them that I was not to go to Detroit: that the speeches were directed to the nations of the river Wabash and the Miami; and that, for to prove the sincerity of the speech, and the heart of Governor St. Clair, I have willingly given a copy of the speeches, to be shown to the commandant of Detroit: and, according to a letter wrote by the commandant of Detroit to the Miamies, Shawanees, and Delawares, mentioning to you to be peaceable with the Americans, I would go to him very willingly, if it was in my directions, being sensible of his sentiments. I told them I had nothing to say to the commandant; neither him to me. You must immediately resolve, if you intend to take me to Detroit, or else I am to go back as soon as possible. Blue Jacket got up and told me, "My friend, we are well pleased with what you say. Our intention is not to force you to go to Detroit: it is only a proposal, thinking it for the best. Our answer is the same as the Miamies. We will send, in thirty nights, a full and positive answer, by a young man of each nation, by writing to Post Vincennes.' In the evening, Blue Jacket, chief of the Shawanees, having taken me to supper with him, told me, in a private manner, that the Shawanee nation was in doubt of the sincerity of the Big Knives, so called, having been already deceived by them. That they had first destroyed their lands, put out their fire, and sent away their young men, being a hunting, without a mouthful of meat: also, had taken away their women; wherefore, many of them would, with great deal of pain, forget these affronts. Moreover, that some other nations were apprehending that offers of peace would, may be, tend to take away, by degrees, their lands; and would serve them as they did before: a certain proof that they intend to encroach on our lands, is their new settlement on the Ohio. If they don't keep this side [of the Ohio] clear, it will never be a proper reconcilement with the nations Shawanees, Iroquois, Wyandots, and, perhaps many others. Le Gris, chief of the Miamies, asked me, in a private discourse, what chief had made a treaty with the Americans at Muskingum, [Fort Harmar.] I answered him that their names were mentioned in the treaty. He told me he had heard of it some time ago; but they are not chiefs, neither delegates, who made that treaty: they are only young men,
who, without authority and instructions from their chiefs, have concluded that treaty, which will not be approved. They went to the treaty clandestinely, and they intend to make mention of it in the next council to be held.
“ The 2d of May I came back to the river a l'Anguille. One of the chief men of the tribe being witness of the council at Miami town, repeated the whole to them; and whereas the first chief was absent, they said they could not for present time give answer; but they were willing to join their speech to those of their eldest brethren. "To give you proof of an open heart,
you know that one of our chiefs is gone to war on the Americans; but it was before we heard of you; for certain they would not have been gone thither. They also told me that a few days after I passed their village seventy warriors, Chippewas and Ottawas from Michilimackinack, arrived there; some of them were Pottawattamies, who, meeting in their route, the Chippewas and Ottawas, joined them. We told them what we heard by you: that your speech is fair and true. We could not stop them from going to war. The Pottawattamies told us, that, as the Chippewas and Ottawas were more numerous than them, they were forced to follow them.'
“The 3d of May I got to the Weas. They told me that they were waiting for an answer from their eldest brethren. •We approve very much our brethren for not to give a definitive answer, without informing of it all the Lake Nations: that Detroit was the place where the fire was lighted: then it ought first to be put out there: that the English commandant is their father, since he threw down our French father: they could do nothing without his approbation.'
“ The 4th of May I arrived at the village of the Kickapoos. The chief, presenting me two branches of wampum, black and white, said, “My son, we cannot stop our young men from going to war. Every day some set off clandestinely for that purpose. After such behaviour from our young men, we are ashamed to say to the great chief at the Illinois and of the Post Vincennes, that we are busy about some good affairs for the reconcilement: but be persuaded that we will speak to