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Beyond Penn's Treaty

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

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strength had destroyed our rights. Our chiefs had felt your power, and
were unable to contend against you, and they, therefore, gave up that
country. What they agreed to, has bound our nation; but by this time
your anger against u must be cooled, and although our strength has
not increased, nor your power become less, we ask you to consider
calmly - were the terms dictated to us by your commissioners reasona-
ble and just?[After setting forth, in a plaintive strain, the many wrongs they had
suffered, and the difficulties they had been led into by subsequent
treaties with individuals, they go on, and say,] Father, We could
bear this confusion no longer, and determined to lift up our voice, so
that you might hear us, and to claim that security in possession of our
lands, which your commissioners so solemnly promised us, and we now
entreat you to inquire into our complaints, and redress our wrongs.
We have already said how we came to join against you: - we saw that
we were wrong - we wished for peace - you demanded a great country
to be given up to you as the price of peace; and we ought to have
peace, and possession of the little land you then left us.

Father, We will not conceal from you that the great God, and not
man, has preserved the Cornplanter

from the hands of his own nation,
for they ask continually, 'where is the land on which our children, and
their children after them, are to lay down upon?' 'You told us,' say
they, 'that the line drawn from Pennsylvania to Lake Ontario, would
mark it forever on the east, and the line running from Beaver Creek
to Pennsylvania would mark it on the west; and we see that it has not
been so - for first one, and then another, comes and takes it away, by
order of that people who you tell us promised it to us.' He is silent,
for he has nothing to say. When the sun goes down, he opens his heart
before God, and earlier than the sun appears again upon the hill , he
gives thanks for his protection during the night season - for he feels that
when men become desperate by their danger, it is God only that can
preserve him. He loves peace, and all that he had in store he has
given to those who have been robbed by your people, lest they should
plunder the innocent to repay themselves. The whole season which
others have employed in providing for their families, he has spent in en-
deavouring to preserve peace, and at this moment his wife and children
are lying on the ground in want of food - his heart is in pain for them
- but he perceives that the Great Spirit will try his firmness in doing
what is right.

Father, All the land we have been speaking of, belonged to the
Six Nations

. No part of it ever belonged to the King of England, and
he could not give it to you. The land we live on, our fathers received