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Beyond Penn's Treaty

Journal of a Journey

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also gave them understanding hearts. And we also
believe that his design or intention was that we
should love and serve him, and not only love him
and our own people but love and be at peace with all
people of all nations and colors. But some white
men became very cunning and sought out new inven-
tions, one of which was making rum, whiskey,
brandy, etc., out of the good things that he had given
them, which at first was used in very small quantities
as medicine; but as it became more plenty, many
white men got to love it and drink more of it inso-
much that they became drunk and neglected their
business; many of their wives and children suffered
in want of food and clothing, and it seemed to be the
beginner or forerunner of almost every bad practice.

Now brothers, some of your friends, the Quakers,
many years since were favored to see the mischief
that rum and whiskey had done, and believed it right
for them not to drink any more, and have found by
more than twenty years' experience that they can do
better without it than with it. And seeing the mis-
chief it did to others, and how much better they
themselves did without it, believed it right to per-
suade others to do so too; and as we love our Indian
brothers, and seeing their land is much sold and
white people settling all round them whereby the
deer and other game is likely to become so scarce
that they cannot live by hunting much longer, we
were drawn in compassion to invite some of our young
men to come and live amongst you, in order to in-
struct you in the useful ways of the white people who
have now been some time with you. But we under-
stand that some bad white men let Indians have
whiskey and that many of them love it so much that
they often get drunk and are wicked. Brothers, we
wish you would not hearken to those bad men who
want you to buy their whiskey, nor give way to your
own love for it, but stand against it and not use any
of it; for if you do, your friends, the Quakers, will
be discouraged and hang down their heads and go
and leave you. But if you will stand against it and
not use it, become sober men, they will be willing to
assist and instruct you what they can.

I believe the interpreter endeavored to render it
into the Indian language as well as he could, though
he appeared somewhat convicted; and I also think
they understood it pretty well, as there appeared a
general concurrence by their usual nod and sound on
such occasions, and by what the old chief said to us
after, on our asking them if they had anything to say
to us, he replied that Henry Simmons

had told him
some time ago that he intended to go home this fall,
(Henry having taught school at Cornplanter's village),
and that he could not give us an answer until he knew
whether Henry would go or not. We then agreed to
be a little time by ourselves. They left us a few min-
utes and we laid the matter close to Henry. He then
told us that he believed it was his duty to come here
and he now believed it was his place to go home,
which we could not gainsay, though we felt sorry the
Indian children should be left without an instructor.
The chiefs were called in again, and tenderly informed
of Henry's intention of returning. Cornplanter then
replied if it was right, he could not say against it, but
was afraid he should not have help enough to keep
away the whiskey, as Henry had been a great help to
him in that, and that he thought the Indians would
now mind him more than they would one of them;
and then said that when our young men came first
amongst them some of their warriors did not like it,
but now he believed they all liked it, and all
spoke very well of them, and wished the young
men to tell us if any of the young Indians or others
behaved bad to them. They then all rose up and in
a friendly manner shook hands with us and did what
they call "cover the council fire." Then one of their
women brought in a large loaf of unleavened wheat
bread and a tin cup full of pretty good butter, on
which we dined and took our departure up the river.
Halliday Jackson, James Cooper, and myself walked,
the others all went back in the canoes we came down in.
Arrived at the young men's home just before sunset,
and lodged this night with them.

[NOTE.--Cornplanter, at the time of this visit, was about 60 to
65 years old. He was of half-blood only, the son of a white man
named John O'Bail, a Mohawk Valley trader. He is believed to
have been with the French in the defeat of Braddock, in 1755,
and he afterwards took part with the British, in the War of the
Revolution. After that, however, he devoted himself to peace, and
refused to fight. In the Indian disturbances from 1791 to 1794, he
kept the Senecas friendly, and he continued to live on his reserva-
tion to his death, in 1836, when he was considered to be about 100
years old. The accounts of him say that "he deplored the evils
of intemperance, and exerted himself to suppress it.]
15th, and first of the week.

Have not gone much
out of the house to-day. Sat down with the young
men at their usual time of holding their meeting,
which to me and I believe to others was a solid,
strengthening time. A little after night, Joshua

went out of the house and just as he came
in, the trap-door of the cellar being open, he stepped
in it and fell with the back of his head against one of
the joists or sleepers, and so down into the cellar.
We all made what haste we could down, finding him
stunned and senseless. We were exceedingly
alarmed, got some camphor, bathed his temples and
other places so that in about two or three minutes
he came to so as to speak, but knew not that any-
thing was the matter, or where he was, for a con-
siderable time. At length his understanding re-
turned, but he could not all the evening recollect
falling, being a good deal hurt. Our getting away
from her as soon as we proposed, [now] looks doubt-
ful; but it is a great comfort to us to find him as well
as he appears to be. Went to bed and I slept with
him in some hopes he may be better in the morning.


Joshua quite as well as we could expect,
but not fit to travel. This day we have had a visit
from five or six Indian chiefs who stayed with us
the most of the day and appeared very much pleased
in being in our company and viewing a map which
we had with us. Soon got to understand it so that
they could point out almost any of the rivers and
lakes. About noon Cornplanter came and brought us
a quarter of venison and two pigeons. Offered to
send some of his people to pilot us to Buffalo, but we
could not tell him when we could go, not knowing
when our friend would be able to travel. About the
middle of the afternoon they all took an affectionate
farewell of us for the present.