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To which Abraham, a Mohawk sachem, replied.
We take it for granted that you all know the very man we mean, as we said he was of your blood. sity of pointing him out more explicitly.
We see no neces
Tiahogwando, the Onondago sachem, then spoke again.
We take it for granted you have called us to a council of peace and entire friendship; and you have taken us by the hand. As there are men of different minds, and some may be illy disposed, we desire you will admonish your own people that they offer us no abuse in the way down to your council-fire of peace. If this caution should be neglected, some misfortune might happen; as all people do not meet so much like brothers as formerly, on account of the present situation of affairs. It would be unhappy if our council-fire should be crushed by any mischief-makers. We have given you this caution, that while we are marching along in peace and quietness, we might not be alarmed by a blow struck in our rear. We therefore desire you would begin, even at this council-fire, to publish your admonitions to unwise and ungovernable people. By this belt we declare to you, our brothers, that the road is as open for passing and repassing, and free from all embarrassments through the Six Nations, as it has been for a long time. Therefore we desire that we may have the same open road down to your intended councilfire at Albany.
To which Col. Francis made the following answer.
By this belt you desire that we may clear the road to Albany, that none of our people may injure you. The road shall be as clear for you to go to Albany as it is for us to go to the country of the Six Nations. The Twelve United Colonies have given us great power over the white people. We will appoint white men, who speak your language, and love your nations, to see you safe down to Albany, and to provide provisions for you on the way. We shall set out for Albany to-morrow morning, to prepare matters for kindling up the great council-fire there.
At a meeting of the Commissioners for transacting Indian affairs in the northern department, held at Albany on Wednesday, the 23d August, 1775. Present,
Gen. Schuyler, Col. Francis, Mr. Douw.
Resolved, unanimously, that the Indians of the Six Nations be invited to receive our congratulations on their safe arrival here; that it be at five o'clock this afternoon; that the committee of the city of Albany and the principal gentlemen of the place be requested to accompany the Commissioners; and that the following letters be wrote for that purpose to the chairman of the committee.
Albany, 23d August, 1775.
Your generous exertions to support the American cause against the nefarious schemes of a wicked and profligate ministry, the propriety with which you have conducted those Indian affairs that have become the subject of your consideration, a consciousness that without your aid, and that of gentlemen of the town conversant in those matters, the important business of the ensuing conference cannot be so properly conducted as our zeal for the service makes us wish, are so many motives which point out to us the necessity of calling on you and those gentlemen for your aid and advice; which we entreat you will give us without reserve; and be assured that it will be attended to with all that deference that is due to your respectable body and to their good judgment. We propose to pay a visit this afternoon at five o'clock to the Indians. We beg the favor of the committee to honor us with their company, as so respectable a body will greatly add to the complimentary visit we mean to pay them. We shall go from Cartwright's, and shall take it as a favor if the gentlemen of the town, who are not of the committee, would be pleased to go with us.
We are, gentlemen, with great respect,
To which the committee returned the following answer.
Your polite invitation for us to join in paying a complimentary visit to the Indians this afternoon at five o'clock we accept of, and shall for that purpose attend at Cartwright's, at the hour appointed.
We are, gentlemen, your most humble servants.
ABRAHAM YATES, JR. Chairman.
The sachems and warriors of the Six Nations being assembled, the Commissioners, attended by the committee and principal gentlemen of the city of Albany, met them, and addressed them as follows.
Brethren of the Six Nations,
We, the deputies appointed by the Twelve United Colonies, the descendants of Quedar, and the gentlemen of the city of Albany, congratulate you on your arrival here. They are glad to see you well, and thank the great God that he suffers us to meet.
At a meeting of the Commissioners for transacting Indian affairs for the northern department, held at the city of Albany, on Tuesday, 25th of August, 1775. Present,
Gen. Schuyler, Col. Wolcott, Col. Francis, Mr. Douw. The following message was sent to the committee of the city of Albany.
Albany, 25th August, 1775.
The Commissioners of Indian affairs are to open the treaty with the Six Nations this morning, about eleven, at the Dutch church. They request the favor of your attendance, and that of the principal gentlemen of the town, and would wish, previous to the meeting, to be honored with your company at Cartwright's.
To Abraham Yates, Jr. Esq. Chairman of the committee. of Albany.
The chairman and committee attended agreeable to invitation.
At a treaty began and held with the Indians of the Six United Nations at the city of Albany, on Friday, the 25th of August, 1775. Present,
Gen. Schuyler, Col. Oliver Wolcott, Col. Turbot Francis, Volkert P. Douw, Commissioners; the chairman and committee and principal inhabitants of the city of Albany.
Senghnagenrat, an Oneida sachem, opened the treaty with the following speech.
We waited upon you yesterday evening, and acquainted you that we should first speak to our brethren, the committee of Albany. We have done so, and have opened our whole minds to them.
When we met two of your body at the German Flats, they presented these strings to us, and invited us to come down to Albany, and kindle up a great council-fire of peace under the auspices of the Twelve United Colonies. Now as these strings have never been changed, we return them to you again, and desire that the great council-fire of peace may be kindled up.
By this belt you desired us to shut our ears and fortify our minds against any evil reports that we might hear on our way down, and to pay no regard to what any liars and ill-disposed persons might say to us; as they would only mean to sow dissension between us and our brothers of the Twelve United Colonies. Brothers, our minds are proof against the attempts of such wicked persons. Now, brothers, let us give you advice on our parts. There are liars and mischief-makers among the Indians, as well as amongst the white people. Therefore pay no regard to this or that, that any single Indian may say, but attend to what you may hear from the mouth of the great council; for that will be the truth, and the sense of all the Six United Nations.
The Commissioners then addressed themselves in the following manner.
Brothers, sachems, and warriors of the Six Nations, We return thanks to the great God that has suffered us to meet together this day in love, peace, and friendship. In token
of which we will now sit down and smoke the pipe of peace together.
(Here the great pipe was lighted up, and went round; after which the Commissioners proceeded.)
We, the deputies appointed by and in the name of the Twelve United Colonies, assisted by the descendants of your ancient friend Quedar, and your Albany brethren, embrace this opportunity to rekindle the ancient council-fire, which formerly burnt as bright as the sun in this place, and to heap on it so much fuel that it may never be extinguished; and also to renew the ancient covenant chain with you, which you know has always been kept bright and clean, without any stain or rust; and which by this belt we now strengthen, that forever hereafter you and we may have but one heart, one head, one eye, and one hand. A Belt.
Our business with you, besides rekindling the ancient council-fire, and renewing the covenant, and brightening up every link of the chain, is, in the first place, to inform you of the advice that was given about thirty years ago, by your wise forefathers, in a great council which they held at Lancaster, in Pennsylvania, when Cannassateego spoke to us, the white people, in these very words.*
"Brethren, we, the Six Nations, heartily recommend union and a good agreement between you, our brethren. Never disagree, but preserve a strict friendship for one another; and thereby you as well as we will become the stronger. Our wise forefathers established union and amity between the Five Nations. This has made us formidable; this has given us great weight and authority with our neighboring nations. We are a powerful confederacy; and if you observe the same methods our wise forefathers have taken, you will acquire fresh strength and power. Therefore, whatever befalls you, never fall out with one another."
These were the words of Cannassateego.
Our forefathers rejoiced to hear Cannassateego speak these
[* A Journal of this Treaty, held in June, 1744, is contained in the seventh volume of the first series of our Collections, page 171. A more detailed account of the same treaty may be found in the Appendix to Colden's History of the Five Nations, page 87 of the London edition of 1747.-Pub. Com.]