Primary tabs

Message from Governour Penn to the Chiefs and Warriors of the Delaware Indians


By the Honourable JOHN PENN, Esquire, Governour and Commander-in-chief of the Province of PENNSYLVANIA and Counties of NEW-CASTLE, KENT, and SUSSEX, on DELAWARE.

A Message to the Chiefs and Warriors of the DELAWARE INDIANS.

Brethren, I was grieved at my heart when I heard that some of our foolish young men had killed our brother, Joseph Weepy, and that the Virginians had killed some of your people below Fort Pitt. I was fearful that you would suffer your young men to take revenge upon our innocent people. But when I heard that you had a good heart, and viewed these things in their proper light, and that you remembered the chain of friendship made by our forefathers, and would not take revenge upon us for what the Virginians or some of our foolish young men had done, it gave me the greatest satisfaction, and made my mind easy.

Brethren, you may depend that so long as you are inclined to peace and friendship you shall find me in the same mind; for why should we fall out and go to murdering one another for what our foolish young people do, and what neither of us approve of? In such cases let us endeavour to find out such foolish young men and punish them for their wickedness. I have offered a reward of fifty pounds a piece for those two wicked people who, it is said, murdered Joseph Weepy, and if they can be taken I shall do every thing in my power to have them punished.

I am very sorry to hear that your grandchildren, the Shawanese, have a difference with our brothers, the Virginians, and I wish I could make them friends. I shall write to the Governour of Virginia, and recommend it to him to endeavour to make peace with them; and I would advise you to go to the Shawanese to persuade them to forget every thing that is past, and make up all their differences with the people of Virginia, so that we may all live together in peace and quietness, like friends and brothers, for what can they get by being at war with one another. Whoever of them gets the best both will be very much hurt.

Brethren, I live a great way from you, and have a great deal of business to do with my people at home, otherwise I would go to see you, and shake hands with you, and smoke a pipe with you under the tree of peace, as we and our forefathers used to do. By all means, brethren, be strong, and keep fast hold of one end of the Covenant chain, and you may be assured I will keep fast hold of the other, and when any of our people are so wicked as to kill any of yours, or do you any harm, let me know it, and I will do everything in my power to have justice done. (A Belt.)

Given under my hand and the lesser seal of the said Province, at Philadelphia, the sixth day of August, in the year of our Lord one thousand seven hundred and seventy-four.