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Welles, (Mr. Welles was not then present,) waited on the Lieut. Governor and delivered the message from the Board of Saturday last relating to the River Indians, living near Stockbridge; and that his Honor was pleased to answer that he had not sent for those Indians; that he had consulted his Council, and inquired of the Commissioners of Indian affairs, and was informed that it had never been usual to afford subsistence to those Indians at any treaty in Albany; that it was a great expense to New York to maintain the other Indians; that these properly belonged to Massachusetts Bay Government, and it appeared to him that they should be supported by that Government.
Upon a motion, the records of Indian affairs of the Province of New York were sent for; and it appeared that the River Indians have usually been present at the treaties with the Six Nations, and that a speech has always been made to said River Indians; and it was moved to the Lieut. Governor of New York that he would now speak to them in the name of the Commissioners from the several Colonies, and also give orders for their support.
His Honor agreed to the proposal of speaking to them, and offered to give orders for their support; but was pleased to say that he expected the Commissioners for the several Provinces would contribute to the charge of it.
His Honor delivered to the Board copies of two minutes of Council, which are as follows.
At a Council held in the city of Albany, the 27th June, 1754, P. M. Present,
The Honorable James Delancey, Esq. Lieut. Governor, &c. Mr. Murray, Col. Johnson, Mr. Chambers, Mr. Smith.
His Honor being informed by the Indian interpreter that the lower castle of the Mohawk Indians, now in this city, had some business to lay before him, and desired to be admitted to an audience, appointed them to attend at four o'clock this afternoon in Council; and they attending accordingly were introduced with the interpreter. The Governor told them he was very glad to see them, that he was now met in Council, and ready to hear what they had to say. Whereupon Canadagaia, their speaker, addressing himself to his Honor, spoke as follows. Brother,
We are here this day by God's will and your Honor's or
det, to which place you have led us as it were by the hand. This is our old meeting place, where, if we have any grievances, we can lay them open. You are lately come to the administration, and we are glad to see you, to lay our complaints before you. We take it very kind that you have given us this opportunity to unfold our minds, and we will now proceed to declare our grievances. Brother, We shall now open our minds, and we beg you will take time to consider what we shall say, and not give us too hasty an answer, or in two or three words, and then turn your back upon us. As you are a new Governor, we beg you will treat us tenderly, and not as the former Governor did, who turned his back upon us before we knew he intended to depart; so that we had no opportunity to finish our business with him. The reason we desire you would treat us in this tender manner is, because this is the place where we are to expect a redress of our grievances; and we hope all things will be settled, that we may part good friends. Brother, We told you a little while ago that we had an uneasiness on our minds, and we shall now tell you what it is; it is concerning our land. We understand there are writings for all our lands, so that we shall have none left but the very spot we live upon, and hardly that. We have examined amongst the elderly people, who are now present, if they have sold any of it; who deny that they ever have; and we earnestly desire you will take this into consideration, which will give us great satisfaction, and convince us that you have a friendship for us. We don't complain of those who have honestly bought the land they possess, or of those to whom we have given any, but of some who have taken more than we have given them. We find we are very poor. We thought we had yet land round about us; but it is said there are writings for it all. It is one condition of the ancient covenant chain, that if there be any uneasiness on either side, or any request to be made, that they shall be considered with a brotherly regard; and we hope you will fulfil that condition upon your side, as we shall be always ready to do on ours. We have embraced this opportunity of unbosoming ourselves to you with regard to our castle, and we are well assured that the other castle of the Mohawks have complaints of the same nature to make when they come down. We have now declared our own grievances and the Canajoharies will declare theirs; but that we shall leave to them. By this Belt we desire you to consider what we have said, and by the same we inform you that the Five Nations have something to say to you before you speak to them. Gave a Belt. The Governor said:
You have now unbosomed yourselves to me, and desire I would seriously consider of what you have said, and not give you a hasty answer. I will consider of it seriously, and you shall always find me ready to redress any of your grievances, as far as it may be in my power. But your complaints are general. I must therefore desire you to tell me where those lands lie, and the names of the persons of whom you complain.
To which the speaker answered:
We are told a large tract of land has been taken up, called Kayadarosseras, beginning at the half moon, and so up along Hudson's river to the third fall, and thence to the Caghnawaga or Canada Creek, which is about four or five miles above the Mohawks; which, upon inquiry among our old men, we cannot find was ever sold; and as to the particular persons, many of them live in this town; but there are so great a number, we cannot name them. The Governor said:
I will send for some of the patentees, or the persons claiming that land, and hear what they have to say, and consider the matter, and give you an answer before you leave this place. It is agreeable to justice to hear both parties, before the judgment is given; and to manifest my friendship for you, I will do you all the justice in my power.
A true copy, examined by
Geo. Banvar, D. Sec'y. of the Council.
At a Council held in the city of Albany, the 28th day of June, 1754. Present,
The Hon. James Delancey, Esq. Lieut. Governor, &c. Mr. Murray, Col. Johnson, Mr. Chambers, Mr. Smith.
His Honor being informed that the Canajoharie orthe upper castle of the Mohawk Indians, and several Sachems of each of the other Five Nations, attended without, and desired to speak to him, they were introduced with the interpreter.
Hendrick, their speaker, spoke as follows:
We had a message from you some time ago to meet you at this place, where the fire burns. We of Canajoharie met the messenger you sent with a letter at Col. Johnson's; and as soon as we received it, we came down running, and the Six Nations are now here complete.
The Governor then said:
You are welcome. I take this opportunity, now you are all together, to condole the loss in the death of your friends and relations since you last met here; and with this string of wampum I wipe away your tears and take sorrow from your hearts, that you may open your minds and speak freely.
A String of Wampum.
We thank you for condoling our loss and for wiping away our tears, that we may speak freely; and as we do not doubt but you have lost some of your great men and friends, we give you this string of condolence in return, that it may remove your sorrow, and that we may both speak freely.
Gave a String.
Then Hendrick, addressing himself to the Six Nations, said, that last year he attended Col. Johnson to Onondago, to do service to the King and their people; that Col. Johnson told them a new Governor was expected soon, and they would then have an opportunity of seeing him at Albany, and laying their grievances before him; that the new Governor arrived soon after, and scarcely had they heard of his arrival, but they had an account of his death ;* and that now he was glad to see his Honor, to whom he would declare his grievances; and then proceeded: Brother,
We thought you would wonder why we of Canajoharie stayed so long. We shall now give you the reason. Last summer, we of Canajoharie were down at New York, to make our complaints ; and we then thought the covenant chain was
[* The new Governor, who died so soon after his arrival, was Sir Danvers Osborn. He superseded Gov. Clinton, arrived at New York Oct 7th, and committed suicide by hanging hlropelf, Oct. 12th, 1753. See 1 Hist. Coll. VII. SO, *l, and Smith's History ofNew Yoitje, H, 158.--Pvh. Com."}
broken, because we were neglected; and when you neglect business, the French take advantage of it, for they are never quiet. It seemed to us that the Governor had turned his back upon the Five Nations, as if they were no more; whereas the French are doing all in their power to draw us over to them. We told the Governor last summer we blamed him for the neglect of the Five Nations; and at the same time we told him the French were drawing the Five Nations away to Oswegatchie, owing to that neglect; which might have been prevented, if proper use had been made of that warning; but now we are afraid it is too late. We remember how it was in former times, when we were a strong and powerful people. Col. Schuyler used frequently to come among us, and by this means we were kept together. Brother,
We, the Mohawks, are in very difficult circumstances, and are blamed for things behind our backs which we don't deserve. Last summer, when we went up with Col. Johnson to Onondago, and he made his speech to the Five Nations, the Five Nations said they liked the speech very well, but that the Mohawks had made it. We are looked upon by the other nations as Col. Johnson's counsellors, and supposed to hear all news from him ; which is not the case, for Col. Johnson does not receive from, or impart much news to us. This is our reason for staying behind; for if we had come first, the other nations would have said that we made the Governor's speech; and therefore, though we were resolved to come, we intended the other nations should go before us, that they might hear the Governor's speech, which we could hear afterwards.
There are some of our people who have large open ears, and talk a little broken English and Dutch; so that they sometimes hear what is said by the Christian settlers near them; and by this means we came to understand that we ?ire looked upon to be a proud nation, and therefore stayed behind. 'Tis true and known we are so, and that we, the Mohawks, are the head of all the other nations. Here they are, and they must own it. But it was not out of pride we Canajoharies stayed behind, but for the reason we have already given.
His Honor answered:
You have now told me the reason why you stayed behind,