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Beyond Penn's Treaty

The Life of Thomas Eddy; Comprising an Extensive Correspondence

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try, to Gorham & Phelps, and they sold to Robert

, and he to the Holland Company; the latter
(several years ago) purchased all the said land of the
Indians, except certain tracts which they reserved,
one situated at the Cattaraugus, one at Buffaloe, one
on Allegany, and one on Genesee; possibly there
may be more. The Holland Company sold their pre-
emption right, for the whole of these reservations,
(we are told at 50 cents per acre,) to a person who is
now a member of Congress, and resides at Hamilton,
on the St. Lawrence. About three years ago, he
employed Joseph Richardson (formerly of Perkcom-
, Philadelphia county,) to hold a treaty at Buffaloe,
for the purpose of trying to persuade the Indians to
exchange their reservations for lands (which he said
he owned) on White River, in Illinois Territory; you
know the result of that treaty, and are, likely, ac-
quainted with the remarkable speech of Red Jacket.
This treaty was unlawful, as the laws of the United
States prohibit any treaty being held with the In-
dians, for the purpose of purchasing their lands,
unless a Commissioner appointed by the President should
be present. All the reservations are said to be lands
of the very first quality, and particularly the one at
Buffaloe, which is very valuable; a part of it, adjoining
the village, is said to be worth from 100 to 200 dollars
per acre, if the Indian title was extinguished. It
has been said, that on an average, that reservation
would sell for more than thirty dollars per acre—
possibly this may be estimating it too high. The
present holder of the pre-emption right is esteemed
a respectable man, and, perhaps, would be more
scrupulous in the means he might use, in effecting
his purchase of the Indians, than some others might;
yet, as the temptation is powerful, and as in the
general practice of men, (who are commonly called
honest,) it is really considered not to be criminal to
impose on Indians, advantage has been taken of
their ignorance and credulity;—a man's character