« SebelumnyaLanjutkan »
have forgotten-we have it written down on paper.” “The paper, then, tells a lie," was the confident answer; “I have it written here," continued the chief, placing his hand with great dignity upon his brow. “You Yankees are born with a feather between your fingers; but your paper does not speak the truth. The Indian keeps his knowledge here—this is the book the Great Spirit gave us—it does not lie!” A reference was made to the treaty in question, which confirmed every word he had uttered.
Lafayette was present at the treaty of Fort Stanwix, in 1784, and noticed the young warrior, "who declared that when an alliance was entered into with America, he should consider the sun of his country had set for ever.” In his travels through the Indian country, when last in America, it happened at a large assemblage of chiefs, that he referred to the treaty in question, and turning to Red Jacket, said, “pray tell me, if you can, what has become of that daring youth who so decidedly opposed all our propositions for peace and amity! Does he still live, and what is his condition?” “I, myself, am the man,” replied Red Jacket, “the decided enemy of the Americans, so long as the hope of opposing them successfully remained, but now their true and faithful ally until death."
Red Jacket was an implacable opponent to Christianity and its teachers. Yet he manifested a better disposition towards the Quakers, who had exercised a watchful guardianship over the Alleghany clan of the Senecas, almost from the signing of the treaty of 1783, by means of boards of visitors and resident agents. To them he made an earnest appeal for assistance, or for the exertion of their influence in keeping the missionaries at a distance. On being questioned why he was so much opposed to the missionaries, after a brief pause, he replied : “Because they do us no good. If they are not useful to the white people, why do they send them among the Indians? If they are useful to the white people, and do them good, why do they not keep them at home? They are surely bad enough to need the labor of every one who can make them better. These men know we do not understand their religion. We cannot read their book-they tell us different stories about what it contains, and we believe they make the book talk to suit themselves. If we had no money, no land, and no country to be cheated out of, these blackcoats would not trouble themselves about our good hereafter. The Great Spirit will not punish us for what we do not know. He will do justice to his red children. These black-coats talk to the Great Spirit, and ask for light, that we may see as they do, when they are blind themselves, and quarrel about the light which guides them. These things we do not understand, and the light they give us makes the straight and plain path trod by our fathers dark and dreary. The black-coats tell us to work and raise corn; they do nothing themselves, and would starve to death if somebody did not fec] them. All they do is to pray to the Great Spirit; but that will not make corn or potatoes grow; if it will, why do they beg from us and from the white people? The red men knew nothing of trouble until it came from the white men; as soon as they crossed the great waters they wanted our country, and in return have always been ready to teach us to quarrel about their religion. Red Jacket can never be the friend of such men. The Indians can never be civilized—they are not like white men. If they were raised among the white people, and learned to work, and to read as they do, it would only make their situations worse. They would be treated no better than negroes. We are few and weak, but may for a long time be happy if we hold fast to our country and the religion of our fathers!"*
The chief object of the life of Red Jacket was to preserve the independence of his people. His opposition to Christianity, to the education and civilization of his tribe, he maintained till his death. This took place on the twentieth of January, 1830. For some tiine previous, fully sensible of his approaching dissolution, he conversed on the subject with philosophic calmness, He visited successively all his most intimate friends at their cabins, and talked with them upon the condition of their nation, in the most impressive and affecting manner. He told them that he was passing away, and his counsels would be heard no more. He ran over the history of his people from the most remote period to which his knowledge extended, and pointed out, as few could, the wrongs, the privations, and the loss of character, which almost of themselves
* Colonel M'Kenney's Indian Biography.
constituted that history. “I am about to leave you,” he said, “and when I am gone, and my warnings shall be no longer heard or regarded, the craft and avarice of the white man will prevail. Many winters have I breasted the storm; but I am an aged tree, and can stand no longer. My leaves are fallen, my branches are withered, and I am shaken by every breeze. Soon my aged trunk will be prostrate, and the foot of the exulting foe of the Indian may be placed upon it in safety; for I have none who will be able to avenge such an indignity. Think not I mourn for myself. I go to join the spirits of my fathers, where age cannot come; but my heart fails when I think of my people, who are so soon to be scattered and forgotten.” These several interviews were all concluded with particular instructions respecting his domestic affairs and his funeral. “Bury me,” said he, “by the side of my former wife; and let my funeral be accord. ing to the customs of our nation. Let me be dressed and equipped as my fathers were, that their spirits may rejoice at my coming. Be sure that my grave be not made by a white man; let them not pursue me there."*
REPLY TO SAMUEL DEXTER.
A succession of outrages upon the Indians | unstopped our ears that we might hear; and
removed the obstructions from our throats that residing along the Pennsylvania border, result
we might speak distinctly. You offered to join ing at different times in the murder of several
with us in tearing up the largest pine tree in of their people, induced the Senecas and Tus- our forests, and under it to bury the tomahawk. caroras in February, 1801, to send a deputa- We gladly join with you, brother, in this work, tion of their chiefs to the seat of the Federal and let us heap rocks and stones on the root of
this tree, that the tomahawk may never again Government, which, since the last Seneca em
em- be found. bassage, had been transferred from Philadel- | BROTHER: Your apology for not having wamphia to the City of Washington. Red Jacket | pum is sufficient, and we agree to accept of was at the head of this deputation, which was your speeches on paper, to evince our sincerity received formally, with an appropriate speech, accompany a repetition of our assurances with
| in wishing the tomahawk for ever buried. We by the acting Secretary at War, Samuel Dexter, these strings. Strings of Wampum.] on the 10th of February. On the 11th, Red | BROTHER: We always desire, on similar melJacket replied, setting forth the business of his
ancholy occasions, to go through our customa
ry forms of condolence, and have been happy mission in the following speech:
to find the officers of the government of the
United States willing in this manner to make BROTHER: We yesterday received your speech,
ill, our minds easy. which removed all uneasiness from our minds.
| BROTHER: We observe that the men now in We then told you that should it please the Great
office are new men, and, we fear, not fully inSpirit to permit us to rise in health this day,
day, formed of all that has befallen us. In 1791, a you should hear what we have come to say.
treaty was held by the commissioners of ConBROTHER: The business on which we are
gress with us at Tioga Point, on a similar ocnow come, is to restore the friendship that has
casion. We have lost seven of our warriors, existed between the United States and the Six
murdered in cold blood by white men, since Nations, agreeably to the direction of the com
the conclusion of the war. We are tired of missioner from the fifteen fires of the United
this mighty grievance, and wish some general States. He assured us that whensoever, by any
Y arrangement to prevent it in future. The first grievances, the chain of friendship should be
of these was murdered on the banks of the come rusty, we might have it brightened by
Ohio, near Fort Pitt. Shortly after, two men calling on you. We dispense with the usual
belonging to our first families, were murdered formality of having your speech again read, as we
at Pine Creek; then one at Fort Franklin; fully comprehended it yesterday, and it would
another at Tioga Point; and now the two that therefore be useless to waste time in a repeti
occasion this visit, on the Big Beaver. These tion of it.
last two had families. The one was a Seneca ; BROTHER: Yesterday you wiped the tears
the other a Tuscarora. Their families are now from our eyes, that we might see clearly; you
destitute of support; and we think that the
United States should do something toward their * Sketch of Red Jacket in M'Kenney's Indian Biogra- support, as it is to the United States they owe phy.
I the loss of their heads,
BROTHER: These offences are always com- | if it is still valid. If not, we wish it renewed mitted in one place on the frontier of Pennsyl- if it is, we wish it copied on clean parchment. vania. In the Genesee country we live happy, 1 Our money got loose in our trunk and tore it. and no one molests us. I must, therefore, beg We also show you the belt which is the path that the President will exert all his influence of peace between our Six Nations and the with all officers, civil and military, in that United States. [Treaty and two Belts.] quarter, to remedy this grievance, and trust BROTHER: A request was forwarded by us that he will thus prevent a repetition of it, from the Onondaga Nation to the Governor of and save our blood from being spilled in future. New York, that he should appoint a commis(A Belt.]
sioner to hold a treaty with them. They have BROTHER: Let me call to mind the treaty a reservation surrounded by white men which between the United States and the Six Nations, they wish to sell. The Cayugas, also, have a concluded at Canandaigua. At that treaty, reservation so surrounded that they have been Col. Pickering, who was commissioner on be- forced to leave it, and they hope that the Presihalf of the United States, agreed that the Uni- dent's commissioner, whom they expect he will ted States should pay to the Six Nations four not hesitate to appoint, will be instructed to thousand five hundred dollars per annum, and attend to this business. We also have some that this should pass through the hands of the business with New York, which we would superintendent of the United States, to be ap- wish him to attend to. pointed for that purpose. This treaty was BROTHER: The business that has caused this made in the name of the President of the our long journey, was occasioned by some of United States, who was then General Wash- your bad men: the expense of it has been ington; and as he is now no more, perhaps the heavy on us. We beg that as so great a breach present President would wish to renew the has been made on your part, the President will treaty. But if he should think the old one judge it proper that the United States should bear valid, and is willing to let it remain in force, our expenses to and from home, and whilst here we are also willing. The sum above mentioned | BROTHER: Three horses belonging to the we wish to have part of in money, to expend Tuscarora Nation were killed by some men in more agricultural tools, and in purchasing a under the command of Major Rivardi, on the team, as we have some horses that will do for plains of Niagara. They have made application the purpose. We also wish to build a saw-mill to the superintendent and to Major Rivardi, but on the Buffalo Creek. If the President, how get no redress. You make us pay for our ever, thinks proper to have it continue as here- breaches of the peace, why should you not pay tofore, we shall not be very uneasy. Whatever also ? A white man has told us the horses he may do we agree to; we only suggest this were killed by Major Rivardi's orders, who for his consideration. [A Belt.)
said they should not be permitted to come BROTHER: I hand you the above-mentioned there, although it was an open common on treaty, made by Colonel Pickering, in the name which they were killed. Mr. Chapin has the of General Washington, and the belt that ac-papers respecting these horses, which we recompanied it; as he is now dead, we know not quest you to take into consideration.*
• DEFENCE OF STIFF-ARMED-GEORGE.
Some time during the year 1802, John Hew- | Indians and the citizens, in which the latter itt, a white man, was murdered at Buffalo had vainly attempted to persuade the former Creek, by Stiff-armed-George, an Indian, who to surrender the culprit, a council of the prinwas intoxicated at the time he committed the cipal chiefs of the Senecas, Cayugas, and Ononact. His surrender was demanded by the civil | dagas, was convened at Canandaigua, to give authorities of New York. This demand was the question a more solemn consideration. A resisted, the fact of drunkenness on the part of conference having been arranged between the the offender, being pleaded in extenuation of council and the principal inhabitants, Red the crime. After several meetings between the Jacket, arguing against the surrender upon the
principles already indicated, delivered the fol* Mr. Dexter answered the deputation on the 16th, and lowing speech, addressed particularly to the in the name of the President, (the elder Adams,) promised
white portion of his audience: thorough investigation into the circumstances of the muraers complained of, a compliance with their wishes touching an exchange of certain lands, and payment for the horses
BROTHERS: Open your ears, and give your killed at Niagara. The expenses of their mission were also attention. This day is appointed by the Great directed to be paid.-- Stone's Life of Red Jacket.
Spirit to meet our friends at this place. During the many years that we have lived together in No. Our brother was in liquor, and a quarre this country, good will and harmony have sub- ensued, in which the unhappy accident hapsisted among us.
pened. We would not excuse him on account BROTHERS: We have now come forward on of his being in liquor; but such a thing was far an unhappy occasion. We cannot find words from his intention in his sober moments. We to express our feelings upon it. One of our are all extremely grieved at it, and are willing people has murdered one of your people. So to come forward and have it settled, as crimes it has been ordered by the Great Spirit, who of the same nature have heretofore been. controls all events. This has been done: we BROTHERS: Since this accident has taken cannot now help it. At first view it would place, we have been informed that, by the laws seem to have the effect of putting an end to our of this State, if a murder is committed within friendship; but let us reflect, and put our minds it, the murderer must be tried by the laws of together. Can't we point out measures whereby the State, and punished with death. our peace and harmony may still be preserved? BROTHERS: When were such laws explained We have come forward to this place, where we to us? Did we ever make a treaty with the have always had a superintendent and friend State of New York, and agree to conform to its to receive us, and to make known to him such laws? No. We are independent of the State grievances as lay upon our minds; but now we of New York. It was the will of the Great have none; and we have no guardian,-no pro- | Spirit to create us different in color: we have tector,—no one is now authorized to receive us. different laws, habits, and customs, from the
BROTHERS: We, therefore, now call upon you white people. We shall never consent that the to take our speech in writing, and forward our government of this State shall try our brother. ideas to the President of the United States. We appeal to the government of the United
BROTHERS: Let us look back to our former States. situation. While you were under the govern- BROTHERS: Under the customs and habits of ment of Great Britain, Sir William Johnson was our forefathers we were a happy people; we our superintendent, appointed by the king. He had laws of our own; they were dear to us. had power to settle offences of this kind among The whites came among us and introduced all the Indian nations, without adverting to the their customs; they introduced liquor among laws. But under the British government you us, which our forefathers always told us would were uneasy,—you wanted to change it for a prove our ruin, better. General Washington went forward as BROTHERS: In consequence of the introducyour leader. From his exertions you gained | tion of liquor among us, numbers of our people your independence. Immediately afterward a were killed. A council was held to consider treaty was made between the United States and of a remedy, at which it was agreed by us that the Six Nations, whereby a method was pointed no private revenge should take place for any out of redressing such an accident as the pre- such murder--that it was decreed by the Great sent. Several such accidents did happen, where Spirit, and that a council should be called to we were the sufferers. We now crave the consider of redress to the friends of the desame privilege in making restitution to you, ceased. that you adopted toward us in a similar situation. / BROTHERS: The President of the United
BROTHERS: At the close of our treaty at Phi- States is called a great man, possessing great ladelphia, General Washington told us that we power. He may do what he pleases,-he may had formed a chain of friendship which was turn men out of office,-men who held their bright: he hoped it would continue so on our offices long before he held his. If he can do part: that the United States would be equally these things, can he not even control the laws willing to brighten it, if rusted by any means. of this State? Can he not appoint a commisA number of murders have been committed on sioner to come forward to our country and setour people—we shall only mention the last of tle the present difference, as we, on our part, them. About two years ago, a few of our war- have heretofore often done to him, upon a simriors were amusing themselves in the woods, to | ilar occasion? the westward of Fort Pitt; two white men We now call upon you, BROTHERS, to reprecoolly and deliberately took their rifles, trav- sent these things to the President, and we trust elled nearly three miles to our encampment, that he will not refuse our request of sending fired upon the Indians, killed two men and a commissioner to us, with powers to settle the wounded two children. We then were the present difference. The consequence of a reparty injured. What did we do? We flew to fusal may be serious. We are determined that the treaty, and thereby obtained redress, per- our brother shall not be tried by the laws of fectly satisfactory to us, and we hope agreeable the State of New York. Their laws make no to you. This was done a short time before difference between a crime committed in liquor, President Adams went out of office: complete and one committed coolly and deliberately peace and harmony was restored. We now Our laws are different, as we have before stawant the same method of redress to be pursued. ted. If tried here, our brother must be hanged.
BROTHERS: How did the present accident We cannot submit to that;-has a murder been take place? Did our warriors go from home committed upon our people, when was it puncool and sober, and commit murder on you? | ished with death?
BROTHERS: We have now finished what we | out, however, within these few days. We do had to say on the subject of the murder. We not understand that any neglect of duty has wish to address you upon another, and to have been alleged against him. We are told it is our ideas communicated to the President upon because he differs from the President in his it also.
sentiments on government matters. He has BROTHERS: It was understood at the treaty also been perfectly satisfactory to us; and had concluded by Colonel Pickering, that our su- we known of the intention, we should most perintendent should reside in the town of Ca- cordially have united in a petition to the Presinandaigua, and for very good reasons: that dent, to continue him in office. We feel oursituation is the most central to the Six Nations; selves injured—we have nobody to look to and by subsequent treaties between the State nobody to listen to our complaints-none to of New York and the Indians, there are still reconcile any differences among us. We are stronger reasons why he should reside here, like a young family without a father.* principally on account of the annuities being BROTHERS: We understand that the Presistipulated to be paid to our superintendent at | dent has appointed a superintendent who is this place. These treaties are sacred. If their altogether unknown to us, and who is unacsuperintendent resides elsewhere, the State may quainted with Indian affairs. We know him mbject to sending their money to him at a not in our country. Had we been consulted greater distance. We would, therefore, wish upon the subject, we might have named some our superintendent to reside here at all events. one residing in this country, who was well
BROTHERS: With regard to the appointment known to us. Perhaps we might have agreed of our present superintendent, we look upon upon Mr. Oliver Phelps, whose politics, coinciouselves as much negleoted and injured. When ding with those of the President, might have General Chapin and Captain Chapin were ap- recommended him to the office. pointed, our wishes were consulted upon the BROTHERS : We cannot conclude without occasion, and we most cordially agreed to the again urging you to make known all these our appointments. Captain Chapin has been turned sentiments to the President.t
REPLY TO MR. CRAM.
In the summer of 1805, a young Missionary speak to you now as one man. Our minds are named Cram, was sent into the country of the agreed. Six Nations, by the Evangelical Missionary
| BROTHER: You say you want an answer to
your talk before you leave this place. It is Society of Massachusetts, to found a mission right you should have one, as you are a great among the Senecas. A council of their chiefs distance from home, and we do not wish to dewas convoked to hear his propositions. These tain you. But we will first look back a little, were made in a short speech, to which the
and tell you what our fathers have told us, and
what we have heard from the white people. Indians listened with earnest attention.
BROTHER: Listen to what we say. There After a long consultation among themselves, I was a time when our forefathers owned this Red Jacket rose, and spoke as follows:
great island. Their seats extended from the
rising to the setting sun. The Great Spirit FRIEND AND BROTHER: It was the will of the had made it for the use of Indians. He had Great Spirit that we should meet together this created the buffalo, the deer, and other animals day. He orders all things, and has given as a fine day for our council. He has taken his garment from before the sun, and caused it to shine
se Captain Chapin was removed by President Jefferson, as with brightness upon us. Our eyes are opened,
here stated. that we see clearly ; our ears are unstopped,
+ The eloquent pleadings of the Indians were unavailing that we have been able to hear distinctly the
They were compelled to surrender the offender to the laex.
orable law of the white man, though it was done with great words you have spoken. For all these favors
reluctance. His name was stiff-armed-George. He was we thank the Great Spirit; and Him only.
tried and convicted at the Oyer and Terminer of Ontario BROTHER: This council fire was kindled by
County, on the 280 of February, 1803--Brockholst Living, you. It was at your request that we came to
ston, one of the justices of the Supreme Court, presiding gether at this time. We have listened with
but as the murder was without pre-existing malice, and was attention to what you have said. You requested
moreover attended by various mitigating circumstances, the us to speak our minds freely. This gives us
court, the attorney-general, the grand jury that indicted great joy; for we now consider that we stand him, together with many of the people of Canandaigua, upright before you, and can speak what we united in a petition to the Governor, George Clinton, foi think. All have heard your voice, and all his pardon. --Stone's Life of Red Jacket.