Header img
Beyond Penn's Treaty

Sketch of the Manners, Customs, Religion and Government of the Seneca Indians in 1800

Page out of 32

who had the charge of promoting civilized habits among the Indians-
but are rarely to be met with at present. Our limits will not admit
their republication here, but to give the reader some specimens of the
superior powers of mind with which this native son of the forest was
endowed, we will here give a few extracts from them, as also of the
President's replies.

To the Great Counsellor of the Thirteen Fires, the Speech of Corn-
, Halftown and Great Tree, Chiefs and Counsellors of the Seneca Nation.

Father, The voice of the Seneca Nation

speaks to you, the Great
Counsellor in whose heart the wise men of all the Thirteen Fires have
placed their wisdom. It may be very small in your ears, and we,
therefore, entreat you to hearken with attention, for we are about to
speak of things which are to us very great.

When you gave us peace, we called you Father, because you pro-
mised to secure us in the possession of our land; do this, and so long
as our land shall remain, that beloved name will live in the heart of
every Seneca.

Father, when you kindled your Thirteen Fires separately, the
wise men who assembled at them, told us that you were all brothers -
the children of one great Father, who regards also the red people as
his children. They called us brothers, and invited us to his protection.
They told us that he resided beyond the great waters, where the sun
first rises - that he was a king, whose power no people could resist -
and that his goodness was as bright as that sun. What they said went
to our hearts. We accepted the invitation, and promised to obey him.
What the Seneca nation

promise, they faithfully perform - and when
you refused obedience to that king, he commanded us to assist his be-
loved men in making you sober. We obeyed him - we did no more
than yourselves had led us to promise. The men who claimed this pro-
mise, told us that you were children, and had no guns, that when they
had shaken you, you would submit - we hearkened to them, and were
deceived, until your army approached our towns. We were deceived;
but your people, in teaching us to confide in that king, had helped to
deceive us, and now we appeal to your heart - is all the blame ours?

Father, When we saw that we had been deceived, and heard the
invitation you gave us to draw nigh to the fire which you had kindled,
and talk with you concerning peace, we made haste towards it. You
then told us that we were in your hand, and that by closing it, you
could crush us to nothing-and you demanded from us a great country
as the price of that peace you had offered to us, as if our want of