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Vacancies, how Supplied.
But, in case of vacancy by death or removal of any officer civil or military under this constitution, the Governor of the province in which such vacancy happens may appoint, till the pleasure of the President-General and Grand Council can be
Each Colony may defend itself on Emergency, &c.
That the particular military as well as civil establishments in each colony remain in their present state, the general constitution notwithstanding; and that on sudden emergencies any colony may defend itself, and lay the accounts of expense thence arising before the President-General and General Council, who may allow and order payment of the same, as far as they judge such accounts just and reasonable.
JOURNAL OF THE TREATY HELD AT ALBANY, IN AUGUST, 1775, WITH THE SIX NATIONS BY THE COMMISSIONERS OF THE TWELVE UNITED COLONIES, MET IN GENERAL CONGRESS AT PHILADELphia.
[The attention of the Continental Congress was very early drawn to the importance of securing the alliance, or at least the neutrality, of the Indian tribes, during the impending conflict with the mother country. It was accordingly determined, on the 12th of July, 1775, that there should be established three departments of Indian Affairs, the northern, middle, and southern, the northern to include the Six Nations and all other tribes to the northward of them; and that Commissioners should be appointed" with power to treat with the Indians in their respective departments, to preserve peace and friendship, and to prevent their taking any part in the present commotions. The Commissioners for the northern department, chosen on the 13th of July, were Major General Philip Schuyler, Major Joseph Hawley, Mr. Turbot. Francis, Mr. Oliver Wolcott, and Mr. Volkert P. Douw. These Commissioners, with the exception of Major Hawley, who declined serving on account of ill health, held a treaty with the Six Nations at Albany, in August of the The Journal of that treaty is now for the first time printed from a MS. in the archives of our Society.-Publishing Committee.]
German Flats, Tuesday, Aug. 15, 1775.
At a meeting with the sachems and warriors of the Six Nations at this place.
Volkert P. Douw, Esq. Commissioners.
The following speech was delivered by Col. Francis.
Brethren of the Six Nations, attend.
We acquainted you yesterday from whence we came, and by whose authority; namely, by the authority of the Twelve United Colonies dwelling upon this island of America. We acquainted you that we were two persons of five appointed by the Twelve United Colonies now met in council at Philadelphia, to invite you down to Albany, where you may expect to meet our other three brethren, appointed to act in conjunction with us. When we meet you, our brethren of the Six Nations and your allies, at Albany, we will rekindle the
council-fire which our ancestors and yours formerly kindled up at that place, and there sit down and converse together upon the present situation of the Twelve United Colonies, and disclose to you their minds thereon. We have important matters to communicate to you, our brethren of the Six Nations and your allies, which cannot be disclosed until the council-fire be kindled up at Albany, and we are in full assembly.
We observe that many of our brethren of the Six Nations are not here present; and as it is the wish of the Twelve United Colonies that there may be a general meeting of their brethren of the Six Nations, we their deputies, in their names, beg you would send to all these absent brethren of the Six Nations, and invite them to come down and sit at the councilfire at Albany, that they may hear from us the sentiments of their brethren of the Twelve United Colonies.
We now inform you that your brethren of the Twelve United Colonies have sent you and your allies a token of their love and friendship, which is now at Albany, and which we shall deliver to you at that place. A String.
As our friends and your allies, the Caghnawagas, and the seven towns upon the river St. Lawrence, live at a great distance, and have not yet had an invitation to come down to the council-fire which we, the deputies of the Twelve United Colonies, will kindle at Albany, we beg your assistance in forwarding an invitation to them; and wish you would immediately appoint four or six of your most active and sensible men, who may be relied on, to transact the great and important business which they will have in hand. A Belt.
As many mischievous and ill-disposed persons may attempt to raise up in your minds sentiments that are unfriendly to your brethren of the Twelve United Colonies, we beg yout will shut your ears and fortify your minds against any such evil and false reports; and if any such liars and deceivers should appear among you, and attempt to poison your minds, be assured they are as much your enemies as the enemies of your brethren of the Twelve United Colonies together, and which is now going to be made stronger at Albany. A Belt.
To this Kanaghquaesa, an Oneida sachem, replied. Brother Solihoany and our Albany brother, Commissioners from the Twelve United Colonies,
You have now opened your minds. We have heard your voices. Your speeches are far from being contemptible. But as the day is far spent, we defer a reply till to-morrow, as wel are weary from having sat long in council. We think it time for a little drink; and you must remember that the Twelve United Colonies are a great body.
German Flats, Wednesday, 16th August, 1775. The council having again assembled, Tiahogwando, an Oneida sachem, addressed himself as follows.
Brother Solihoany and our Albany brother, attend. We are now assembled at the German Flats, at which place you kindled up a council-fire, and yesterday called us together, and acquainted us from whence you came and by whose authority,-namely, by that of the Twelve United Colonies, and you opened your business to us. Brothers, now attend. Through the mercy of God we are brought to this day, and the Six Nations are now in full assembly at this place, where we smoke a pipe in friendship and in love. We are glad to hear your voices. You are come in the name of the Twelve United Colonies to invite us down to Albany to a council-fire of peace. You desire we should all attend with our confederates, as you say the council-fire that is to be kindled up at Albany is of much importance. Brothers, we thank you for this invitation; it meets with our entire approbation. Here we are of every tribe in the Six Nations; it shall be done as you have said.
You have desired that all our confederates should receive this invitation. This cannot be done short of one year, as we extend very far, and could not possibly call the extremities of our confederacy to this intended meeting. But. possess your minds in peace. When this Congress is over, and the council-fire raked up, we shall acquaint all our allies with what has passed. Brothers, this is the answer of all the Six Nations, who are now here represented from every tribe.
Yesterday you said that you were sensible our confederacy extended to Caghnawaga, and the Seven Tribes upon the river St. Lawrence; that it would be very agreeable for your brothers from that quarter to attend this great council-fire to be kindled at Albany by order of the Twelve United Colonies; and that it was the desire of your brethren of all those Provinces, that they should attend together with us.
You therefore desired our assistance to forward this your belt of invitation to the Caghnawagas and the Seven Tribes in that quarter. Brothers, possess your minds in peace. We the Six Nations are put to difficulty to grant this request.
We are very much embarrassed for this reason. The man is now there who will vex your minds, and never consent to their coming down, and will draw hard upon their minds another way. Brothers, possess your minds in peace. We of the Six Nations have the minds of the Caghnawagas and the Seven Tribes in that quarter. At our central councilhouse when this took place, they addressed us of the Six Nations in the following manner : You are better capable of maintaining peace than we are; therefore we deliver up our minds to you. For these reasons we advise you to reconsider your petition to us, seeing we are so embarrassed we cannot grant it. Perhaps you will say to us when your intended council-fire shall be over, Brothers, do you of the Six Nations acquaint all your confederates and allies of what has passed at this council-fire of peace; and this we shall do with great care and exactness. Now, brothers, you see we are embarrassed; and therefore give you this advice.
To this Col. Francis answered.
Brethren of the Six Nations,
It gives us a great deal of uneasiness to find you cannot at present convey this belt to our friends in Canada. We have heard your reasons, and are sorry to find one of our blood is already there, endeavoring to draw their minds from us, when we mean nothing but peace towards them. As there are a great many Englishmen in Canada, we know not who you mean. We shall therefore be glad to have the particular man pointed out.