Primary tabs

Speech of the Governour in reply to that of the Indians


At a Council held at Philadelphia on Saturday, 20th May, 1775. Present: The Honourable John Penn, Esq˙, Governour, William Logan, James Tilghman, Andrew Allen, Edward Shippen, Jr˙, Esquires.

The eight Cayuga Indians, by the desire of the Governour, again attended the Board, with the Indian interpreter, Isaac Still, and having taken their seats, the Speaker repeated over the Speech he had delivered to the Governour on Tuesday last, which was the same in substance as entered on the Minutes of that day, and the Governour returned them his answer, which was fully explained to them by Isaac Still, and is as follows, viz:

"BRETHREN: The tract of land you mention, consisting of five hundred acres, part of the Conestogo Manor where old Sohaes dwelt, was included in a purchase long since made from the Indians; notwithstanding which I agree that Sohaes and his family had the proprietary' s permission to live thereon as long as they chose to remain in the inhabited part of the country.

Some time after the death of Sohaes, and all his family that resided there, in the year 1768, there was a treaty held at Fort Stanwix, to which I was invited by Sir William Johnson, in order to treat with the Indians concerning the purchase of a large tract of land, part of which lay in the King' s Government, and part in the Province of Pennsylvania. At this treaty the last great Indian purchase was made, for which I then paid the Indians ten thousand Dollars, But before the treaty was finished, Sir William Johnson informed me that the Indians expected to be paid for the five hundred acres of land, part of the Conestogo Manor, where Sohaes dwelt. I accordingly agreed to pay them for it. The price agreed on was two hundred Pounds, York money, or five hundred Dollars, the value of which was then delivered in goods to Togaiaio, the Cayuga Chief, to be distributed as he thought proper; and the deed I now show you for the land I bought of the Indians at that treaty, signed by the Chiefs of the Six Nations, expressly includes this five hundred acres of land. Having therefore already purchased the lands twice, it cannot reasonably be expected that I should pay for it again. However, as you have come from a great distance, under an expectation of selling this land, and perhaps did not receive so great a portion of the goods I delivered at Fort Stanwix as should have been paid to the relatives of Sohaes, and to show you the desire I have to preserve peace and friendship with the Indians, and that when they pay me a visit they should not go away dissatisfied, I am willing to make you a present, which I hope you will think a generous one. I therefore desire you will accept of these three hundred Dollars." A belt.

The Indians accordingly very gladly accepted the three hundred Dollars, and signed a receipt for the same on the back of the deed executed at Fort Stanwix, expressing it to be in full satisfaction of all claims of Sohaes' s family to the said five hundred acres of land.