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two or three nations only, and with them held a treaty for the cession of an immense country, in which they were no more interested, than as a branch of the general confederacy, and who were in no manner authorized to make any grant or concession whatever.
“ Brothers: How then was it possible for you to expect to enjoy peace, and quietly to hold these lands, when your commissioner was informed, long before he held the treaty of Fort Harmar, that the consent of a general council was absolutely necessary to convey any part of these lands to the United States? The part of these lands which the United States now wish us to relinquish, and which you say are settled, have been sold by the United States since that time.
“Brothers: You say, the United States wish to have confirmed all the lands ceded to them by the treaty of Fort Harmar, and also a small tract at the Rapids of the Ohio, claimed by General Clark, for the use of himself and his warriors. And, in consideration thereof, the United States would give such a large sum of money or goods, as was never given, at any one time, for any quantity of Indian lands, since the white people first set their feet on this island. And, because these lands did every year furnish you with skins and furs, with which you bought clothing, and other necessaries, the United States will now furnish the like constant supplies. And, therefore, besides the great sum to be delivered at once, they will every year deliver you a large quantity of such goods as are best fitted to the wants of yourselves, your women, and children.'
“ Brothers: Money, to us, is of no value; and to most of us unknown: and, as no consideration whatever can induce us to sell the lands on which we get sustenance for our women and children, we hope we may be allowed to point out a mode by which your settlers may be easily removed, and peace thereby obtained.
“ Brothers: We know that these settlers are poor, or they would never have ventured to live in a country which has been in continual trouble ever since they crossed the Ohio. Divide, therefore, this large sum of money, which you have offered to us, among these people. Give to each, also, a proportion of what you say you would give to us, annually, over and above this very large sum of money; and, we are persuaded, they would most readily accept of it, in lieu of the lands you sold them. If you add, also, the great sums you must expend in raising and paying armies, with a view to force us to yield you our country, you will certainly have more than sufficient for the purposes of re-paying these settlers for all their labor and their improvements.
“ Brothers: You have talked to us about concessions. It appears strange that you should expect any from us, who have only been defending our just rights against your invasions. We want peace. Restore to us our country, and we shall be enemies no longer.
“ Brothers: You make one concession to us by offering us your money; and another by having agreed to do us justice, after having long, and injuriously withheld it: we mean in the acknowledgment you have now made, that the King of Eng. land never did, nor ever had a right to give you our country, by the treaty of peace. And you want to make this act of common justice a great part of your concessions; and seem to expect that, because you have at last acknowledged our independence, we should, for such a favor, surrender to you our country
“Brothers: You have talked, also, a great deal about preemption, and your exclusive right to purchase Indian lands, as ceded to you by the King, at the treaty of peace.
“Brothers: We never made any agreement with the King, nor with any other nation, that we would give to either the exclusive right of purchasing our lands: and we declare to you that we consider ourselves free to make any bargain or cession of lands, whenever and to whomsoever we please. If the white people, as you say, made a treaty that none of them but the King should purchase of us, and that he has given that right to the United States, it is an affair which concerns you and him, and not us. We have never parted with such a power.
“Brothers: At our general council held at the Glaize last fall, we agreed to meet commissioners from the United States,
for the purpose of restoring peace, provided they consented to acknowledge and confirm our boundary line to be the Ohio: and we determined not to meet you, until you gave us satisfaction on that point. That is the reason we have never met. We desire you to consider, brothers, that our only demand is the peaceable possession of a small part of our once great country. Look back, and review the lands from whence we have been driven to this spot. We can retreat no farther; because the country behind hardly affords food for its present inhabitants; and we have, therefore, resolved to leave our bones in this small space to which we are now confined.
“ Brothers: We shall be persuaded that you mean to do us justice, if you agree that the Ohio shall remain the boundary line between us. If you will not consent thereto, our meeting will be altogether unnecessary. This is the great point which we hoped would have been explained before you left your homes, as our message, last fall, was principally directed to obtain that information.
“Done in general council, at the foot of the Maumee Rapids, the 13th day of August, 1793.
The commissioners of the United States immediately sent the following brief answer to the confederate Indians at the Rapids of the Maumee:
“ To the Chiefs and Warriors of the Indian Nations, assem. bled at the foot of the Maumee Rapids:- Brothers: We have just received your answer, dated the 13th instant, to our speech of the 31st of last month, which we delivered to your deputies at this place. You say it was interpreted to all your nations; and we presume it was fully understood. We therein explicitly declared to you, that it was now impossible to make the
river Ohio the boundary between your lands and the lands of the United States. Your answer amounts to a declaration, that you will agree to no other boundary than the Ohio. The negotiation is therefore at an end. We sincerely regret that peace is not the result; but, knowing the upright and liberal views of the United States, which, as far as you gave us an opportunity, we have explained to you, we trust that impartial judges will not attribute the continuance of the war to them.
"Done at Captain Elliott's, at the mouth of Detroit river, the 16th day of August, 1793.
BENJAMIN LINCOLN, Commissioners
TIMOTHY PICKERING, United States." On the 17th of August, the commissioners left the mouth of the Detroit river. They arrived at Fort Erie on the 23d, and immediately despatched the following letter to Major General Wayne, at Fort Washington:
“ Fort Erie, 23 August, 1793. • Sir: We are on our return home from the mouth of Detroit river, where we lay four weeks waiting for the Indians to close their private councils at the Rapids of the Maumee, that we might all remove to Sandusky and open the treaty. But, after sending repeated deputations to us, to obtain answers to particular questions, they finally determined not to treat at all. This final answer was received on the 16th instant; when we immediately began to embark to recross Lake Erie. Although we did not effect a peace, yet we hope that good may
hereafter arise from the mission. The tranquillity of the country northwest of the Ohio, during the (supposed) continuance of the treaty, evinced your care of our safety; and we could not leave this quarter without returning you our unfeigned thanks.
We are, sir, yours, &c.
Owing to various causes, which have been sufficiently explained in the preceding chapters, the overtures of peace which were made by the government of the United States to the northwestern Indians were rejected by those tribes. On the 5th of October, 1793, Major General Wayne addressed to the Secretary of War a letter from which the following is an extract: “HEAD QUARTERS, Hobson's CHOICE,
Near Fort Washington, 5th October, 1793. “Agreeably to the authority vested in me by your letter of the 17th of May, 1793, I have used every means in my power to bring forward the mounted volunteers from Kentucky, as you will observe by the enclosed correspondence with His Excellency Governor Shelby, and Major General Scott, upon this interesting occasion. I have even adopted their own proposition by ordering a draught of the militia, which I consider as the dernier resort, and from which I must acknowledge that I have but little hopes of success! Add to this, that we have a considerable number of officers and men sick and debilitated, from fevers, and other disorders incident to all armies. But, this is not all: we have recently been visited by a malady called the influenza, which has pervaded the whole line in a most alarming and rapid degree. Fortunately this complaint has not been fatal except in a few instances; and I have now the pleasure of informing you that we are generally recovered, or in a fair way; but our effective force will be much reduced.
* After leaving the necessary garrisons at the several posts, (which will generally be composed of the sick and inva