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COLONEL HARMAR TO THE SECRETARY OF WAR.
FORT MCINTOSH, June 1st, 1785. Sir :-It is but lately I had the pleasure of hearing of your appointment, otherwise, the returns should have been forwarded sooner.
The Wyandot and Delaware nations have brought in their prisoners (fifteen in number) agreeably to treaty," and the hostages left in my possession are now dismissed. These nations are friendly, and I believe wish to cultivate a good understanding with the Americans. The Shawanese make great professions of peace, and are desirous of a treaty being held with them. The Cherokees are hostile, and have killed and scalped seven people near the mouth of the Scioto, about three hundred and seventy miles from hence.
Speeches have been continually sent by the British from Detroit to the Indians since the treaty, and I have good intelligence that several traders have been among them, using all means to make them entertain a bad opinion of the Americans. One Simon Girty," I am informed, has been to Sandusky for that purpose. I have taken every means in my power to counteract their proceedings, and have directed the Indians not to listen to their lies, but to tie and bring in here any of those villians who spread reports among them injurious to the United States, in order that they may be punished.
The honorable the Commissioners for Indian Affairs, previous to their departure, left me instructions to drive off all surveyors or settlers on the lands of the United States, in consequence of which a party has been detached, who drove them off as far as seventy miles from this post. The number lower down the river is immense, and, unless Congress enters into immediate measures, it will be impossible to prevent the lands being settled.
I have written, some time since, upon the subject, requesting particular orders how to conduct myself, as it is out of my power to sweep them further than the distance of one hundred and twenty or one hundred and fifty miles from hence. This is a matter of so
Major-General Knox, recently appointed to the War Department. 2 Treaty of Fort McIntosh.
3 A renegade white man, who had taken up his residence with the sav. ages, and became more inimical to the interests of bis own race than even the natives themselves.
much importance, that perhaps you may judge it necessary to remind Congress of it.'
COLONEL HARMAR TO THE SECRETARY OF WAR.
FORT MCINTOSH, July 16th, 1785. Sir:-On the 11th inst., I was informed that three chiefs? and twenty-five Indians of the Six Nations had arrived at Fort Pitt, and wished very much to speak with the commanding officer.
Agreeably to their request, I rode up to Pittsburgh and met them in council, when, to my great surprise, the Cornplanter, the principal chief, had the original articles of the treaty which was concluded with them at Fort Stanwix : along with him, and, toward the close of the speech, said they were burdensome, and wished to deliver
I have the honor to inclose you their speech, and my answer to it.
MS. Harmor Papers. The letter was referred in Congress to a committee consisting of Mr. Grayson, Mr. Mellenry, Mr. Pettit, and Mr. King, who brought in a report approving the conduct of Colonel llarmur, authorizing him to remove his troops, and take post at or near the Ohio, between Muskingum and the Great Miami, which he shall conceive most advisable for further carrying into eflect the before-mentioned orders;” and appropriating six hundred dollars for the purpose of transporting the troops and their baggage. See Journals of Congress. It was under this order that Fort Harmar was erected near the mouth of the Muslingum.
2 Cornplanter, Gioshuta (or Guyasutha) and Hockushakwego (Allface).
3 The treaty of Fort Stanwix, concluded 220 October, 1781, between Olin ver Wolcott, Richard Butler, and Arthur Lee, commissioners, and the Sachems and Warriors of the Six Nations.
* Cornplanter opened the council, and was followed by Allface and Gioshuta. Allface said, “ Brothers, it was the great King, our father [Great Britain), who provoked us to all the mischief we have done, but now we take no advice from him, and wish to sit in council with the Americans as we formerly did." He then said the reason all the prisoners had not been delivered up, as stipulated, was because many of their young men were absent when both the treaties of Stan wix and Fort McIntosh were made, but they would be delivered, and they desired to have the boundaries clearly established. He produced the articles of the treaty, signed at Fort Stanwix. “You may see by this that we are great men, representing the Six Nations."
Brothers, wo thank God for having the pleasure to sit in council this day with our brothers, the Americans.
Brothers, you may reflect on us for the past troubles we have occasioned, but you must blame the great King; and we are sorry we did not take ad
It is reported that a Mr. Brant has lately arrived from London, who, with the commanding officer of the British in that quarter, has informed the Six Nations that their lands were never ceded to the Americans by the King of Great Britain, in consequence of which, these chiefs complain of being accused by their nation of treachery, and say they are in danger of their own people.
They have left Fort Pitt highly satisfied, to appearance, with the answer to their speech, but, so long as the British keep possession of the posts, it is very evident that all treaties held by us with the Indians will have but little weight with them.
vice from the thirteen brothers, but we hope you wont think of any thing that is past.
Here is the belt that was delivered us at Fort Pitt. I now take it in my hand to let you see I am sincere. We see every thing you told us has come to pass, and what you tell us now or in future we will attend to. We, the Six Nations, are as strong as ever.
Brothers, the reason I wish the Thirteen Fires should hear what I say now is, because I was the man who had the fire removed from Fort Pitt. Now I wish it brought back to Fort Pitt.
Brothers, it was the great King who gave you all our country. Brothers, as I know the king gave you this country, we would all be glad how soon you could divide it, that we may all know our parts. We know your speeches were all good, that you said you would not cheat us of our lands. We believe you.
(A belt of wampum.) Cornplanter speaks:
Brothers, the Thirteen Fires, you may think what you please, but I look up to God for every thing I do, and hope to do every thing for the best. It is hard with me. I was a chief man at Fort Stanwix, and my people blame me much, for the English have told our people that the great King never sold our lands to the Thirteen Fires, but, brothers, I am still strong, and will do every thing that was agreed to at the treaty. Brothers, I want one favor, which is, that you would write to our people, informing them, for certain, that the country belongs to the Thirteen Fires.
I wish I could deliver up to you these papers (the articles of the ireaty, etc.), for they give me a great deal of trouble, on account of the lies the English have told our people.
(A string of wampum.)
“ Brothers, you may, for certain, inform the Six Nations that the King has by treaty given away all your lands to the Thirteen Great Fires, and whoever advised you to come to this place to deliver up the articles of the treaty which you solemnly made at Fort Stanwix, are not your friends, but are endeavoring to ruin you.
“ Brothers, it will not be long before we shall take possession of Niagara
CAPTAIN JOHN DOUGHTY TO THE SECRETARY OF WAR.
Fort MCINTOSH, 21st October, 1785. I have the honor to inclose you a copy of the proceedings of a conference held at this place between myself and some Delaware and Wyandot Indians, who came to me in consequence of the affair at Tuscarawas, which I mentioned to you in my letter of the 5th of October. I beg leave to submit to you the inclosed information of John Leith and Alexander McCormick. The latter is a trader who lives at the Tawa towns. He is warmly recommended to me by Colonel Harmar, as a friend to the country. He tells me it is impossible to get his effects from that country this fall, which obliges him to winter in the neighborhood of Detroit. From the circumstance of being within the power of the British he requests that his name may not be known. He appears to be an intelligent man, and well acquainted with Indian affairs.
Notwithstanding the submission of the Delaware and Wyandot Indians, made to me at the conference, and their professions of peace, I am induced to believe that their dispositions are hostile, because, in the murder of Chambers, at Tuscarawas, there were twenty or thirty Delaware Indians, with one of their chiefs, present, and it does not appear that they took any steps to prevent the outrage of the seven Wyandots, except to save the life and property of their friend Leith, who was an adopted brother; besides, Mr. McCormick informs me that he is well assured that the murder committed at the mouth of the Hockhocking, this summer, of five or six people, was done by the Wyandots and Delawares; indeed, every account that I have had confirms me in the opinion that we shall have trouble in this country ere long, unless something is done at the present treaty to avert the storm, and I must confess my expectations are not very flattering from this quarter, because I am well informed that some nations will not go to it, and those that do go have no idea of ceding their lands to us upon the terms of the last treaty. The Indian representation at this place last winter was so very partial, from the few tribes that appeared, and the objects of the treaty of so general concern, that the terms of it are far from being considered as binding upon the tribes to the westward. This
and Detroit, which the English ceded to us, as well as the lands. This must, then, convince you that you have not been told the truth.”
1 The only nation that participated in the treaty at the Great Miami was the Shawanese, and that nation afterward repudiated the terms.
treaty, and the one at Fort Stanwix, with the steps the honorable the Continental Congress have thought fit to take in sending out the surveyors, have had the effect to unite the Indians, and induce them to make a common cause of what they suppose their present grievances. They are told by the British, and they are full in the persuasion, that the territory in question was never ceded to us by Britain, further than respects the jurisdiction or putting the Indians under the protection of the United States. From this reasoning they draw a conclusion that our claim in consequence of that cession ought not to deprive them of their lands without purchase. I believe you may depend upon it that this is the reasoning of their chiefs. I am so informed by several persons who have been among them. Our acting upon the late treaty made at this place last winter, in beginning to survey their country, is certainly one great cause of their present uneasiness.
If a confederacy of the Indian tribes to the westward should take place, of which there is a prospect, they will become very formidable from their numbers. Should an event of this kind appear probable, from what information Congress may have before them, it appears to me evidently for our interest that some steps should be taken to engage some of their nations in our favor; in this case I beg leave to offer it as my opinion that one great step to be pursued should be a distribution of a few presents among them, and a constant intercourse with them by emissaries well acquainted with their language and manners, who shall always be in their towns, counteracting the unfavorable impressions that are daily forming against
This policy was pursued by the French, and is now by the British, whose agents are constantly in their towns, conciliating their friendships and trade to the almost total exclusion of our people." 1 MS.
From files of the War Department. This letter of Captain Doughty's shows a clearer insight into the plans of the Indians and the scherues of the British, than other correspondence contemporary with it. For account by Leith, see Appendix, 632.
The information communicated by Mr. McCormick was as follows:
Mr. McCormick left Omi, or Miami River, which empties itself into Lake Erie near Point-au-Cerlar, in the Tawa country, on the 5th instant. He says that the chief of that nation told him that they would not go to the treaty at the Big Miami, nor to any other treaty, until we met them at Detroit; that a grand council was held some little time ago at Coshocking, on the head waters of the Big Miami, at which were present the chiefs of many nations; that he was informed that the object of this council was to unite themselves against the white people; that two large belts of wampum were