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These papers were forwarded by two runners, with seven strings of black and white wampum, with instructions to inform Capt. Brandt, the Farmer's Brother, the Corn-planter, the Fish-carrier, and Great Sky, that they had the speech, and request that the chiefs might be assembled, that it might be immediately delivered. They were then to deliver the letter to Col. McKee. After this they were to find Capt. Hendrick, and notify him that they had brought a speech, &c, and let him, Brandt and Col. McKee know when they were to return. They were instructed also not to divulge their business on the road.
Lord Dorchester's speech to the chiefs and warriors deputed by the confederated Indian nations of the Ottawas, Chippeways, Potawatamies, Hurons, Shawanese, Delawares, Tusturs and the Six Nations.
Brothers, when I heard your speech yesterday in behalf of your nations, I told you that your words were of great moment, that 1 should weigh them, and give you an answer this day.
Brothers, I am now ready.
Brothers, you mentioned two speeches yesterday, which you said had passed at a meeting with Mr. McKee at the foot of the Miami Rapids, and which you supposed I had received.
Brothers, these speeches have not reached me. I therefore called together some of your chiefs last evening, and found that I had had some information of their general purport before by a letter from Mr. McKee, in which he mentions that a meeting had taken place, which was called at my desire, for the purpose of informing you that I should be glad to be instrumental in restoring peace between you and the United States, if it should be in my power, and that therefore I wished to know the terms on which you were disposed to make peace.
Brothers, although in general I know your minds on that subject, I wish to be accurate, and therefore shall order your meaning to be taken down at a convenient time, that there may be no mistake in the representation of your wishes to the king your Father, to whom I shall give an exact account of your situation, on my arrival in England.
Brothers, you tell me that when you were assembled at the
Miami Rapids, to treat of peace, the people of the States came in arms into your country, intending to destroy you; that they heard you were strong and prepared, and then they turned off on a sudden to the Wabash, ransacked your unprotected villages, massacred your old men, and carried off your women and children.
Brothers, this was unfortunate, and I was very sorry to hear it; but I cannot tell whether these people knew that you were then assembled to deliberate on the means of peace.
Brothers, you have told me, these were people who say that the king your Father, when he made peace with the United States, gave away your lands. Brothers, I cannot think the government of the United States would hold that language. It must come from ill-informed individuals.
Brothers, you well know that no man can give what is not his own. When the king made peace, and gave independence to the United States, he made a treaty in which he marked out a line between them and him. This implies no more than that beyond this line he would not extend his interference.
Brothers, the posts would have been given up long since, according to the treaty, had the terms of it been complied with on the part of the States; but they were not. The king therefore remains in possession of the posts, and will continue to hold them, until all differences between him and the States shall be settled. But, brothers, this line which the king then marked out between him and the States, even supposing the treaty had taken effect, could never have prejudiced your rights.
Brothers, the kind's rights respecting your territory were against the nations of Europe; these he resigned to the States. But the king never had any rights against you but to such parts of the country as had been fairly ceded by yourselves with your own free consent, by public convention and sale. How then can it be said that we gave away your lands? So careful was the king of your interest, so fully sensible of your rights, that he would not suffer his own people to buy your lands without being sure of your free consent, and of ample justice being done you. He therefore ordered his superintendent, General Sir Wm. Johnson, the father of your friend, to be present at all treaties between you and his colonial government, to see that you were fairly dealt with. Bargains with private individuals were forbidden, and considered as void.
Brothers, when the king, your Father, discovered that, notwithstanding his care, there had been encroachments upon your lands by some of his people, that you were made uneasy, and that you had reason to complain, what did he do? He called the leading people of those colonies, between whom and you the difference had arisen, together, to meet your nations at Fort Stanwix, to settle the dispute, and to fix a final boundary.
Now, brothers, say, is it possible that so good a Father could ever mean to give away your lands, which he had no right to do? Certainly, he never did it, and never meant it.
Brothers, you remind me of your friendship and attachment to the king, your Father.
Brothers, the king has not forgot your friendship. He never forgets his friends.
Brothers, you desire the king's protection; you desire his power and influence may be exerted to procure you peace, and to secure your rights.
Brothers, you expect my assistance, and that you will be relieved in your distresses.
Brothers, when the western people of the States had made an inroad into your country, and burnt the Shawanese towns, of which I was informed not long after my arrival in this country, I made known your Father's sentiments with respect to you, and pointed out the line of conduct to be observed by me and all under my command towards you.
Brothers, I cannot better explain myself now than by the words of the letter I wrote at that time to Sir John Johnson, which is nearly five years ago. Letters of the same effect were by him sent to the officers of this department, and by me to the commandants of the king's posts in the upper country. The letter was to the following purport. "If the Indians require assistance in their wars, you will take proper means to make them understand that this country is a small part of the king's dominions; that with us in Canada no power is lodged to begin a war; nor ought we to have such a power, which might involve half the globe, with all the seas, in blood and destruction ; that at present the king is at peace with the whole world, and desires to remain. Besides, according to our manners, that peace cannot be broken without injury and wrong received, and redress refused. But though we have no power to begin a war, the Indians have our friendship and good wishes; and if we could be useful in procuring them a solid peace with the thirteen States, our best endeavors should be employed for that good purpose."
Brothers, these sentiments have no doubt been often explained to you; and if they had not, you must have perceived them from our conduct. Now you know them from my own mouth.
Brothers, you see that it is not in our power here to begin a war. If we are attacked, then we must defend ourselves, and may return hostilities.
Brothers, you see that though we have no power to begin a war, you have our friendship and good wishes; and if we can be useful in procuring you a solid peace with the United States, our best endeavors shall be employed for that good purpose. You see that the king has not forgot you, that he is solicitous of your comfort, and that he has ordered his servants to take care of you, and to give you every mark of his bounty and friendship consistent with the general laws of the European nations.
In a few days I expect to sail for England. I am very glad I have had an opportunity of seeing you before, that I may fully represent your wishes to the king, your Father.
Brothers, I leave the command of this country in the hands of Major General Clarke, who will take the same care of you that I have done; for that is the will of the king, our master. His benevolence and friendship for you are always the same, and whoever is the instrument of the king's power in this country, will always fulfil his intentions.
Brothers, here is Prince Edward, son of our king, who is just arrived with a chosen band of his warriors, to protect this country. I leave him second in command of all the king's warriors in Canada, and he will also take care of you.
Brothers, it would give me great pleasure, while I am in England, to hear that peace is established in your country upon a just and solid foundation, and that you live in comfort and security with your families, sowing your fields, and following your hunts to our mutual advantage.
Brothers, I recommend it to you not to lose sight of this desirable object.
Brothers, could I be instrumental in bringing this good work about, my pleasure would be still greater.
Brothers, I wish health, wisdom and happiness to you and all your nations, whom you will assure of the friendship of the king, your Father, and of the affection of his servants, and his people in general, as well as my own in particular.
Farewell, and may the Supreme Being protect you. Delivered at Quebec, the 15th day of August, 1791.
(Signed) DORCHESTER. By his Excellency's command,
(Signed) Henhy Metz.
Aug. 16. To the Commissioners of the United States.
Brothers, we have received your speech dated the 31st of last month, and it has been interpreted to all the different nations. We have been long in sending you an answer, because of the great importance of the subject. But we now answer it fully, having given it all the consideration in our power.
Brothers, you tell us that after you had made peace with the king, our Father, about two years ago, "it remained to make peace between the United States and the Indian nations who had taken part with the king; for this purpose Commissioners were appointed, who sent messages to all those nations, inviting them to come and make peace;" and after reciting the periods at which you say treaties were held at Fort Stanwix, Fort McIntosh, and Miami, all which treaties, according to your own acknowledgment, were for the sole purpose of making peace, you then say, "Brothers, the Commissioners who conducted these treaties in behalf of the United States, sent the papers containing them to the general council of the States, who, supposing them satisfactory to the nations treated with, proceeded to dispose of the lands thereby ceded."
Brothers, this is telling us plainly what we always understood to be the case, and it agrees with the declarations of those few who attended those treaties, viz. that they went to meet your Commissioners to make peace, but, through fear, were obliged to sign any paper that was laid before them; and it has since appeared, that deeds of cession were signed by them, instead of treaties of peace.
Brothers, you say "After some time it appeared that a number of people in your nations were dissatisfied with the