Page images
PDF
EPUB

98

Proclamation by the British Government. 1763. no Governor or Commander-in-chief of our other colonies or plantations in America, do presume for the present, and until our further pleasure be known, to grant warrants of survey, or pass patents for any lands beyond the heads or sources of any of the rivers which fall into the Atlantic ocean from the west or northwest; or upon any lands whatever, which, not having been ceded to, or purchased by us, as aforesaid, are reserved to the said Indians or any of them.

And we do further declare it to be our royal will and pleasure, for the present, as aforesaid, to reserve under our sovereignty, protection, and dominion, for the use of the said Indians, all the land and territories not included within the limits of our said three new Governments, or within the limits of the territory granted to the Hudson's Bay Company; as also all the lands and territories lying to the westward of the sources of the rivers which fall into the sea from the west and northwest as aforesaid ; and we do hereby strictly forbid, on pain of our displeasure, all our loving subjects from making any purchases or settlements whatever, or taking possession of any of the lands above reserved, without our special leave and license for that purpose first obtained.

And we do further strictly enjoin and require all persons whatever, who have either wilfully or inadvertently seated themselves upon any lands within the countries above described, or upon any other lands, which, not having been ceded to, or purchased by us, are still reserved to the said Indians as aforesaid, forth with to remove themselves from such settlements.

And whereas great frauds and abuses have been committed in the purchasing lands from the Indians, to the great prejudice of our interests, and to the great dissatisfaction of the said Indians; in order, therefore, to prevent such irregularities for the future, and to the end that the Indians may be convinced of our justice and determined resolution to remove all reasonable cause of discontent, we do, with the advice of our privy council, strictly enjoin and require that no private person do presume to make any purchase from the said Indians, of any lands reserved to the said Indians, within those parts of our colonies where we have thought proper to allow settlement; but that, if at any time, any of the said Indians should be inclined to dispose of the said lands, the same shall be purchased only for us, in our name, at some public meeting or assembly of the said Indians, to be held for that purpose, by the Gov. ernor or Commander-in-chief of our colony, respectively, within which they shall lie: and in case they shall lie within the limits of any proprietaries, conformable to such directions and instructions as we or they shall think proper to give for that purpose: and we do, by the advice of our privy council, declare and enjoin, that the trade with the said Indians shall be free and open to all our subjects whatever: Provided, That every person who may incline to trade with the said Indians, do

1764.

Treaty with the Indians at Detroit.

99

take out a a license, for carrying on such trade, from the Governor or Commander-in-chief of any of our colonies, respectively, where such person shall reside; and also give security to observe such regulations as we shall, at any time, think fit, by ourselves or commissaries, to be appointed for this purpose, to direct and appoint, for the benefit of the said trade ; and we do hereby authorize, enjoin, and require the Governors and Commanders-in-chief of all our colonies, respectively, as well those under our immediate government as those under the gove ernment and direction of proprietaries, to grant such licenses without fee or reward, taking especial care to insert therein a condition that such license shall be void, and the security forfeited, in case the person to whom the same is granted shall refuse or neglect to observe such regu. lations as we shall think proper to prescribe as aforesaid.*

To assist the effect of this proclamation, it was determined to make two movements in the spring and summer of 1764; General Bradstreet being ordered into the country upon Lake Erie, and Bouquet into that upon the Ohio. The former moved to Niagara early in the summer, and there in June, accoinpanied by Sir William Johnson, held a grand council with twenty or more tribes, all of whom sued for peace; and, upon the 8th of August, reached Detroit, where, about the 21st of that month, a definite treaty was made with the Indians. Among the provisions of this treaty were the following:

1. All prisoners in the hands of the Indians were to be given up.

2. All claims to the Posts and Forts of the English in the West were to be abandoned; and leave given to erect such other forts as might be needed to protect the traders, &c. Around each fort as much land was ceded as a “ Cannon-shot” would fly

over.

3. If any Indian killed an Englishman he was to be tried by English law, the Jury one-half Indians.

4. Six hostages were given by the Indians for the true fulfilment of the conditions of the treaty. I

See Land Laws, p. 86. + Annual Register, 1764—(State Papers, 181.)

# Henry's Narrative (New York edition, 1809,) pp. 185, 186.-Henry was with Bradstreet.—The Annual Register of 1764, (State Papers, p. 181,) says the treaty was made at Presqu'ile, (Erie.) Mr. Harvey, of Erie, (quoted by Day in Historical Collections of Pennsylvania, 314, says the same. Others have named the Maumee, where a truce was agreed to, August 6th. (See Henry.) There may have been two treaties, one at Detroit with the Ottawas, &c., and one at Erie with the Ohio Indians.

100
Pontiac killed by a Kaskaskia Indian.

1765. Bouquet, meanwhile, collected troops at Fort Pitt, and in the autumn marched across from Big Beaver to the upper Muskingum, and thence to the point where the White Woman's river comes into the main stream. There, upon the 9th of November, he concluded a peace with the Delawares and Shawanese, and received from them two hundred and six prisoners, eighty-one men and one hundred and twenty-five women and children. He also received, from the Shawanese, hostages for the delivery of some captives, who could not be brought to the Muskingum at that time. These hostages escaped, but the savages were of good faith, and upon the 9th of May, 1765, the remaining whites were given up to George Croghan, the deputy of Sir William Johnson, at Fort Pitt.* Many anecdotes are related in the account of the delivery of the captives to Bouquet, going to show that strong attachments had been formed between them and their captors; and West's pencil has illustrated the scene of their delivery. But we have little faith in the representations of either writer or painter. I

Pontiac, the leading spirit in the past struggle, finding his attempts to save his country and his race at that time hopeless, left his tribe and went into the West, and for some years after was living among the Illinois, and in St. Louis, attempting, but in vain, to bring about a new union and new war. He was in the end killed by a Kaskaskia Indian. So far as we can form a judg. ment of this chieftain, he was, in point of talent, nobleness of spirit, honor, and devotion, the superior of any red man of whom we have an account. His plan of extermination was most masterly; his execution of it equal to its conception. But for the treachery of one of his followers, he would have taken Detroit early in May. His whole force might then have been directed in one mass, first upon Niagara, and then upon Pitt, and in all probability both posts would have fallen. Even disappointed as he was at Detroit, had the Six Nations, with their dependent allies,

See however, American Archives, fourth series, i. 1015, where the good faith of the Shawanese is disputed.

t" An Historical Account of the Expedition against the Ohio Indians in the year 1764, under the command of Henry Bouquet, Esquire, &c. Published from Authentic Documents, by a Lover of his Country. London, 1766. This volume was first printed in Philadelphin.

# Thatcher's Indian Biography, vol. ii. Our knowledge of Pontiac and his war is very limited. We hope something more may come to light yet. Nicollet in his Report, (p 81,) gives some particulars from one who knew Pontiac. His death was revenged by the Northern nations, who nearly exterminated the Illinois.

1765. Sir William Johnson succeeds in a Treaty of Peace.

101

the Delawares and Shawanese, been true to him, the British might have been long kept beyond the mountains; but the Iroquois,close upon the colonies, old allies of England, very greatly under the influence of Sir William Johnson and disposed, as they ever proved themselves, to claim and sell, but not to defend the West, — were for peace after the King's proclamation. Indeed, the Mohawks and leading tribes were from the first with the British; so that, after the success of Bradstreet and Bouquet, there was no difficulty in concluding a treaty with all the Western Indians; and late in April, 1765, Sir William Johnson, at the German Flats, held a conference with the various nations, and settled a definite peace.* At this meeting two propositions were made; the one to fix some boundary line, west of which the Europeans should not go; and the savages named, as this line, the Ohio or Alleghany and Susquehannah; but no definite agreement was made, Johnson not being empowered to act. The other proposal was, that the Indians should grant to the traders, who had suffered in 1763, a tract of land in compensation for the injuries then done them, and to this the red men agreed.t

With the returning deputies of the Shawanese and Delawares, George Croghan, Sir William Johnson's sub-commissioner, went to the west for the purpose of visiting the more distant tribes, and securing, so far as it could be done, the alliance of the French who were scattered through the western valleys, and who were stirring up the savages to warfare, as it was believed. The Journal of his voyage may be found in the Appendix to Butler's History of Kentucky” (second edition,) together with the estimate of the number of Indians in the west; a very curious table, though, of course vague and inaccurate. From his Journal we present some passages illustrative of the state of the western French settlements, and the feelings of the western Indians at that time. On the 15th of May, Croghan left Pittsburgh: on the 6th of June reached the mouth of the Wabash, and on the 8th was taken prisoner by a party of Indians from the upper Wabash. Upon the 15th he reached Vincennes, or St. Vincent, or Post Vincent.

On my arrival there, I found a village of about eighty or ninety French families settled on the east side of this river, being one of the

Plain Facts, p. 60. + lbid.—Butler's History of Kentucky, second edition, p. 479, et seq.

102

St. Vincent in 1765.

1765.

finest situations that can be found. The country is level and clear, and the soil very rich, producing wheat and tobacco. I think the latter preferable to that of Maryland or Virginia. The French inhabitants hereabonts, are an idle, lazy people, a parcel of renegadoes from Canada, and are much worse than the Indians. They took a secret pleasure at our misfortunes, and the moment we arrived, they came to the Indians, exchanging trifles for their valuable plunder. As the sava ges took from me a considerable quantity of gold and silver in specie, the French traders extorted ten half joliannes from them for one pound of vermilion. Here is likewise an Indian village of the Pyankeshaws, who were much displeased with the party that took me, telling them that “our and your chiefs are gone to make peace, and you have begun a war, for which our women and children will have reason to cry." From this post the Indians permitted me to write to the commander, at Fort Chartres,* but would not suffer me to write to any body else, (this I apprehend was a precaution of the French, lest their villany should be perceived too soon, although the Indians had given me perinission to write to Sir William Johnson and Fort Pitt on our march, before we arrived at this place. But immediately after our arrival they had a private council with the French, in which the Indians urged, (as they afterwards informed me,) that as the French had engaged them in so bad an affair, which was likely to bring a war on their nation, they now expected a proof of their promise and assistance. They delivered the French a scalp and part of the plunder, and wanted to deliver some presents to the Pyankeshaws, but they refused to accept of any, and declared they would not be concerned in the affair. This last information I got from the Pyankeshaws, as I had been well acquainted with them several years before this time.

Post Vincent is a place of great consequence for trade, being a fine hunting country all along the Ouabache, and too far for the Indians, which reside hereabouts, to go either 10 the Minois, or elsewhere, to fetch their necessaries.

June 23d. Early in the morning we set out through a fine meadow, then some clear woods ; in the afternoon came into a very large bottom on the Ouabache, within six miles of Ouicatanon; here I met several chiefs of the Kicapoos and Musquattimes, who spoke to their young men who had taken us, and reprimanded them severely for what they had done to me, after which they returned with us to their village, and delivered us all to their chiefs.

The distance from Post Vincent to Ouieatanon is two hundred and ten miles. This place is situated on the Ouabache. About fourteen French families are living in the fort, which stands on the north side of

#

* Illinois, near Kaskaskia.

« PreviousContinue »