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because you would not be blamed by the other nations, as you have been before. I am satisfied with what you say, that your staying behind did not proceed from pride.
You tell me you have large open ears, and that some of you understand a little of the language of the settlers about you. But I must caution you not to hearken to common reports, neither of us or your brethren of the other nations. I desire that we may all speak freely, and open our hearts to each other, and so remove any jealousies from amongst us.
I hope that at another interview you will all be more punctual, and keep as near as you can to the time appointed. You are sensible it must be very inconvenient to me and the Commissioners from the other Governments to be detained so long in this place, at so great a distance from our homes.
A true copy, examined by
Geo. Banyar, Dep. Sec'y. of the Council.
A motion was made that a committee should be appointed to draw up a representation of the present state of the Colonies; which was agreed to, and that the gentlemen who were appointed to prepare and receive plans or schemes for the Union of the Colonies the 24th ult. should be a committee for this purpose.
The plan for a Union of the Colonies was debated, but the Board came to no resolves upon it.
Adjourned to nine o'clock to-morrow morning.
At a meeting in the Court House at Albany, on Tuesday, the 2d July, 1754, A. M. Present,
All the Commissioners from Massachusetts Bay, New Hampshire, Connecticut, Rhode Island, Pennsylvania, and Maryland. ,
After debates held on the plan of a Union, it was moved h the Board should proceed to form the plan of a Union of the Colonies, to be established by an Act of Parliament.
Whereupon it was moved to put the previous question, which passed in the negative.
The question was then put whether the Board should proceed to form the plan of a Union of the Colonies, to be established by Act of Parliament; which passed in the affirmative.
Adjourned till three o'clock in the afternoon.
At a meeting as aforesaid, on Tuesday, the 2d July, 1754, P. M. Present,
The Lieut. Governor and the four gentlemen of the Council of New York, and all the Commissioners from the several Governments above mentioned.
The answer of the Six Nations to the general speech made to them on Saturday last by his Honor the Lieut. Governor of New York, in his Majesty's name, and in the presence and behalf of the several Governments on the continent therein named, was read; and is as follows.
Abraham, sachem of the upper castle of the Mohawks, rose up and said:
Brethren, you the Governor of New York, and the Commissioners of the other Governments, are you ready to hear us?
The Governor replied they were all ready.
Then Hendrick, brother to the said Abraham, and a sachem of the said castle, rose up and spake in behalf of the Six Nations as follows: Brethren,
Just now you told us you were ready to hear us. Hearken to me. Brother Corlaer and brothers of the other Governments, Saturday last you told us that you came here by order of the great King, our common father, and in his name to renew the ancient chain of friendship between this and the other Governments on the continent and us the Six United Nations; and you said also that there were then present Commissioners from Massachusetts Bay, New Hampshire, Connecticut, Rhode Island, Pennsylvania and Maryland; and that Virginia and Carolina desired to be considered also as present. We rejoice that by the King's orders we are all met here this day, and are glad to see each other face to face. We are very thankful for the same, and we look upon the Governors of South Carolina and Virginia as also present.
Gave a Belt. Brethren,
We thank you in the most hearty manner for your condolence to us. We also condole all your friends and relations who have died since our last meeting here.
Gave three Strings of Wampum. Brethren,
(Holding the chain belt given by his Honor and the several Governments in his hand,)
We return you all our grateful acknowledgements for renewing and brightening the covenant chain. This chain belt is of very great importance to our United Nations, and all our allies. We will therefore take it to Onondago, where our council fire always burns, and keep it so securely that neither thunder nor lightning shall break it. There we will consult over it; and as we have lately added two links to it, so we will use our endeavors to add as many links more to it as lies in our power; and we hope when we show you this belt again, we shall give you reason to rejoice at it, by your seeing the vacancies in it filled up, (referring to his Honor's explanations of it in the general speech.) In the mean time we desire that you will strengthen yourselves, and bring as many into this covenant chain as you possibly can. We do now solemnly renew and brighten the covenant chain with our brethren here present, and all our other absent brethren on the continent. Brethren,
As to the accounts you have heard of our living dispersed from each other, 'tis very true. We have several times endeavored to draw off those our brethren who are settled at Oswegatchie; but in vain, for the Governor of Canada is like a wicked deluding spirit. However, as you desire, we shall persist in our endeavors.
You have asked us the reason of our living in this dispersed manner. The reason is your neglecting us for these three years past. (Then taking a stick and throwing it behind his back,) you have thus thrown us behind your backs and disregarded us ; whereas the French are a subtile and vigilant people, ever using their utmost endeavors to seduce and bring our people over to them. Gave a Belt.
As to the encroachments of the French, and what you have said to us on that article, on the behalf of the King our father; as these matters were laid before us as of great importance, so we have made a strict inquiry amongst all our people, if any of them have either sold or given the French leave to build the forts you mention; and we cannot find that either any sale has been made, or leave has been given. But the French have gone thither without our consent or approbation, nor ever mentioned it to us.
42 Proceedings of the Congress
The Governor of Virginia and the Governor of Canada are both quarrelling about lands which belong to us; and such a quarrel as this may end in our destruction. They fight who shall have the land. The Governors of Virginia and Pennsylvania have made paths through our country to trade, and built houses, without acquainting us with it. They should first have asked our consent to build there, as was done when Oswego was built. Gave a Belt.
It is very true, as you told us, that the clouds hang heavy over us, and it is not very pleasant to look up. But we give you this belt (giving a belt) to clear away all clouds, that we may all live in bright sunshine, and keep together in strict union and friendship. Then we shall become strong, and nothing can hurt us. Brethren,
This is the ancient place of treaty, where the fire of friendship always used to burn; and 'tis now three years since we have been called to any public treaty here. 'Tis true there are Commissioners here, but they have never invited us to smoke with them, (by which they mean the Commissioners had never invited them to any conference.) But the Indians of Canada come frequently and smoke here, which is for the sake of their beaver. But we hate them, (meaning the French Indians.) We have not as yet confirmed the peace with them. 'Tis your fault, brethren, that we are not strengthened by conquest; for we would have gone and taken Crown Point, but you hindered us. We had concluded to go and take it, but we were told it was too late, and that the ice would not bear us. Instead of this, you burnt your own fort at Saratoga, and ran away from it, which was a shame and a scandal to you. Look about your country, and see, you have no fortifications about you; no, not even to this city. 'Tis but one step from Canada hither, and the French may easily come and turn you out of your doors. Brethren,
You desired us to speak from the bottom of our hearts, and we shall do it. Look about you and see all these houses full of beaver, and the money is all gone to Canada; likewise powder, lead, and guns, which the French now make use of at Ohio.
The goods which go from hence to Oswego, go from thence to Ohio, which further enables the French to carry on their designs at the Ohio. Brethren,
You were desirous that we should open our minds and our hearts to you. Look at the French; they are men; they are fortifying every where. But, we are ashamed to say it, you are all like women, bare and open, without any fortifications.
Here Hendrick ended his speech. His brother Abraham then rose up and said: Brethren,
We would let you know what was our desire three years ago, when Col. Johnson laid down the management of Indian affairs, which gave us great uneasiness. The Governor then told us it was not in his power to continue him, but that he would consult the Council at New York; that he was going over to England, and promised to recommend our desire that Col. Johnson should have the management of Indian affairs to the King, that the new Governor might have power to reinstate him. We long waited in expectation of this being done; but hearing no more of it, we embrace this opportunity of laying this belt (and gave a belt) before all our brethren here present, and desire them that Col. Johnson may be reinstated and have the management of Indian affairs; for we all lived happy whilst they were under his management, for we love him, and he us, and he has always been our good and trusty friend.
I forgot something; we think our request about Col. Johnson, which Governor Clinton promised to carry to the King our father, is drowned in the sea. The fire here is burnt out and (turning his face to the New York Commissioners of Indian affairs at Albany, who were there present,) desired them to take notice of what he said.
Which answer from the Indians was debated paragraph by paragraph, and those gentlemen who were appointed a committee to prepare a general speech the 19th ult. were now appointed to draw up a reply.
Adjourned till to-morrow morning, at 9 o'clock.