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In this treaty the Shawanese nation acknowledges the United States to be the sole and absolute sovereign of all the territory heretofore relinquished to them by their chiefs in the treaty of January 14th, 1784. The nation agrees to be peaceable, and to abstain from hostilities against the white settlements; to surrender three hostages for the faithful delivery of all prisoners in their possession ; to punish such of their young warriors as should be guilty of murder or robbery against the whites; and to give notice to the officers of the United States of any contemplated incursion by any of the savages upon the frontier inhabitants.
The United States, upon these conditions, grant peace to the Shawanese, and receive them under their protection and friendship, and allot to them, as their hunting-grounds, the territory lying west of the Great Miami, and north of a line drawn due west from the mouth of Mad River to the River de la Panse, and down that stream to the Wabash. The United States stipulate to prevent the intrusion and settlement of white men north of this boundary, and the Shawanese relinquish all claim whatever to all lands east and south of the same.
The next important treaty was with the great southern nations occupying the country from the settlements of Georgia westward to the Mississippi. In the preparation for this treaty, the object of the Federal government was to assemble the del-. egates from all the southern tribes, and thereby to establish a general peace throughout the whole southern frontier.
After due notice and preparation, the savages, in large numbers, attended at the place designated, on the Keowee River, in Georgia, known as Hopewell, for the contemplated treaty.
The Treaty of Hopewell commenced in October, 1785, and was continued until late in January following. The Cherokees being more convenient, were first on the ground, some weeks before the arrival of the Chickasâs and Choctås, who came more than three hundred miles from their western towns.
At this treaty the Indian tribes were amply represented by chiefs, warriors, and sachems from each of the above-mentioned nations.
The commissioners on the part of the United States were Benjamin Hawkins, Andrew Pickens, Joseph Martin, and Laughlin M•Intosh ; and also William Blount as commissioner on the part of North Carolina. Three separate treaties were negotiated, one with each of the respective nations.
* American State Papers, Indian Affairs, vol. i., p. 11, 12.
The treaty with the Cherokees was concluded and signed on the 28th day of November, 1785, at which time the delegates from the Chickasâs and Choctas had not arrived. By this treaty the Cherokee nation placed itself under the protection of the United States, and recognized an established boundary between the Indian territory and the lands claimed by the State of North Carolina, in the “ Western District," upon the branches of Holston River, and also by the States of South Carolina and Georgia.
The Choctâ delegates having arrived, negotiations were commenced, which terminated in a treaty, which was signed on the 3d day of January, 1786. The Choctâs stipulate for peace and friendship with the United States, and the recognition of certain boundaries established between the United States and other conterminous tribes. Having no territory contiguous to the American settlements, they made no cessions of lands.*
Immediately after the conclusion of the Choctâ treaty, negotiations were opened with the Chickasâs, and terminated in a treaty, which was signed on the 10th of January. The Chickasas stipulated for peace and friendship, and they agreed to ratify and confirm the treaties heretofore made in 1783 with Colonels Donaldson and Martin, commissioners of North Carolina, for the relinquishment of certain lands on Cumberland River. They also agreed to cede and relinquish, for a valuable consideration, extensive bodies of lands on the southern branches of Cumberland River, and upon the head waters of Duck River, nearly as far west as the lower portion of Tennessee River.t
At this time the Cherokee Indians were a powerful confederacy, and inhabited the region drained by all the branches of the Holston River and the whole Valley of the Tennessee above the Muscle Shoals. Their hunting-grounds formerly comprised one third of Western Virginia, all East Tennessee, one third of North Carolina and Georgia, and nearly all North Alabama. For nearly fifty years they had been the terror of the western frontier of Virginia and the two Carolinas. At the period of the treaty, their national strength was estimated at more than two thousand warriors; two years subsequently, Colonel Joseph Martin, experienced in Indian affairs, estimated their strength at twenty-six hundred and fifty warriors. * American State Papers, Indian Affairs, vol. i., p. 40–44. | Idem, p. 432.
The Chickasâs occupied and claimed the country east of the Mississippi, from the mouth of the Ohio to the mouth of the Yazoo, and westward to the Cumberland Mountains on the north, and to the Tombigby and Black Warrior on the south. The claims of this nation included all the western half of Kentucky and Tennessee, and the northern half of Mississippi. Subsequently, in the year 1787, their strength was estimated at twelve hundred warriors. *
The Choctâs, one of the most powerful nations of the South, occupied all the country south of the Chickasâs and west of the Cherokee and Creek territories. Their limits comprised all the regions drained by the Lower TỚmbigby and the western tributaries of the Black Warrior, and westward to the Mississippi, including the whole country drained by the Pearl and Pascagoula Rivers. Their fighting men were estimated at six thousand.
[A.D. 1787.] The treaty of Fort Stanwix, signed October 22d, 1784, had been a source of great dissatisfaction and complaint with the Six Nations. The chiefs persisted in their declarations that they had been deceived by the commissioners of the United States, both as to the amount of territory relinquished and the line fixed in the treaty, as well as in the consideration which they believed was stipulated in the same. They declared, also, that, coerced by threats of war upon their people, and the destruction of their towns, they had been induced to sign the treaty against their will; that they had been thus compelled to relinquish more territory to the United States than they were authorized to cede, and that the nations would not ratify the cession.
They declared, moreover, that they had been defrauded out of the goods stipulated in the treaty, and, consequently, the same was not binding upon them. The government endeavored, without success, to satisfy them on these points. In the mean time, notwithstanding their remonstrances and protestations, the whites continued to advance upon the lands claimed to have been ceded by the treaty. At length, finding all their efforts unavailing, they had seriously contemplated a league offensive and defensive with the western tribes, for resisting by force of arms the encroachments of the whites. To this measure they were strongly incited by the western tribes.
See American State Papers, Indian Affairs, vol. i., p. 48; also, p. 432, &c.
The latter upbraided them with a want of courage in surrendering their own lands, and being compelled to fall back upon those tribes who had the courage to defend and hold their country. On this subject the British agents and traders at Niagara and Detroit neglected no opportunity to poison the minds of the savages, for the purpose of exciting animosity against the border settlements of the United States.
[A.D. 1788.) Under these circumstances, the frontiers had been almost continually harassed by depredations, murders, and thefts, constituting a series of petty hostilities, perpetrated by lawless bands of Indians, almost from the signing of the treaty of Fort M·Intosh. To allay this fedling of dissatisfags tion on the part of the Six Nations, the government issued instructions to General Arthur St. Clair, governor of the Northwestern Territory, to assemble the sachems, warriors, and head men of all the northwestern tribes and nations in general convention at Fort Harmar, at the mouth of the Muskingum, for the purpose of negotiating a new treaty and satisfying any demands which they might urge for further compensation under the treaty of Fort Stanwix.
Agreeably to the invitation of Governor St. Clair, the Indians began to assemble near Fort Harmar early in the winter. Negotiations were opened and conducted by the governor as Commissioner Plenipotentiary of the United States. The sachems, chiefs, and warriors of the “ Five Nations,” exclusive of the Mohawks, of the Wyandots, Delawares, Ottawas, Chippewas, Potawatamies, and Sauks, attended on the part of the hostile tribes. The negotiations resulted in the Treaty of Fort Harmar, signed on the 9th day of January, 1789.*
The treaty of Fort Harmar consisted of two separate parts: * Description of Fort Harmar.–Fort Harmar was erected, under the superintendence of Major John Doughty, in the autumn of 1785. It was situated upon a second bottom, six or eight feet above the first bottom, extending across from the Ohio to the Muskingum. The outline was that of a regular pentagon, including about three fourths of an acre of ground. The curtains, or main walls, were constructed of large timbers horizontally raised to the height of twelve or fourteen feet, and were each one hundred and twenty feet long. Bastions, also pentagonal, and fourteen feet high, were made of large timbers set upright in the ground, and tied by cross timbers, tree-nailed, to each upright piece. The fifth, or inner side, was occupied by dwellings, or quarters, for the officers; and the main sides, or curtains, by the barracks, or quarters, for the soldiers. The roofs inclined inward, and each house was divided into four rooms. The quarters for the officers was a large two story house, built of hewed logs. Upon the roof of the barracks, facing the Ohio, was a cupola, or square tower, surmounted by a flag-staff and occupied by a sentinel. An arsenal of large logs, covered with earth, formed a place of security as a magazine. At a short distance were highly-cultivated gardens. See plate - American Pioneer, vol. i., p. 25, 26.