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Letter from Richard Henry Lee to Gen. Washington


The OTTAWA Chief' s Reply to a Speech of the Commissioners, condoling him on the loss of his Father, who was killed same time ago in a war with an INDIAN Nation, (with the TAWAS,) ended not long since with the total extirpation of the Tribe, and thanking him for his kindness to young FIELD.

Fathers: From the information I had of the commandant of Detroit, with distrust I accepted your invitation, and measured my way to this council-fire with trembling feet. Your reception of me convinces me of his falsehood, and the groundlessness of my fears. Truth and he have long been enemies. My father, and many of my chiefs, have lately tasted of death. The remembrance of that misfortune almost unmans me, and fills my eyes with tears. Your kind condolence has lightened my heart of its heavy burden, and shall be transmitted to my latest posterity. — (A string.)

Fathers: I rejoice to hear what I this day have heard, and do assure you it shall be faithfully delivered to my nation. Should you want to speak to me in future, I shall joyfully attend, and thank you for the present invitation. The particular favour showed me, and the gun you have given me, for the kindness I showed your brother, (young Field,) claims my warmest acknowledgments. I am conscious I did but my duty. He who barely does his duty, merits no praise. If any of your people hereafter visit mine, whether through curiosity or business, or both motives, or if unwillingly compelled by the strong hand of the victor, they shall find the entertainment your brother found. You informed me, if my people visits yours, they shall most an hospitable welcome. My fears are done away. I have not one doubt remaining. I will recommend it to my young men to visit and get acquainted with yours.

Fathers: What has passed this day is too deeply engraven on my heart for time itself ever to erase. I foretell that the sunny rays of this day' s peace shall warm and protect our children' s children from the storms of misfortune. To confirm it, I present you my right hand — that hand which never yet was given but the heart consented, which never shed human blood in peace, nor ever spared an enemy in war — and I assure you of my friendship with a tongue which, has never mocked at truth) since I was at age to know falsehood was a crime. — (A belt.)



Shegenaba, son to the famous Pontiack, and the preserver of young Field.