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Answer of the Commissioners to the Speech delivered yesterday by the Indians

Commissioners' Speech


Friday, September 1, 1775.

At a treaty held this day with the Indians of the Six Nations, at the City of Albany, present: Colonel Francis, Colonel Wolcott, Mr˙ Douw, Commissioners.

The Commissioners gave the following Answer to the Speech delivered by the Indians yesterday:

"Brothers of the SIX NATIONS:

"We yesterday beard with pleasure your answer to the speech of the Twelve United Colonies, and we return thanks to the great Governour of the Universe, that he has inclined your hearts to approve and accept of the brotherly love offered to you by them. It makes us happy to hear so wise and brave a people as our brothers of the Six Nations publickly declare their unalterable resolution to maintain and support peace and friendship with the Twelve United Colonies. This, brothers, you have said, and we most sincerely believe you.

"Brothers: We requested you, Indians of the Six Nations, not to interfere in our quarrel. We are not in the least doubtful of success, as our cause is good and just. We will live or die like men. We can raise an army of three hundred thousand fighting men, who are brave, and determined not to part with their civil and religious privileges. Therefore, we now repeat to you, brothers of the Six Nations, take care of the strong friendship you have now made with the Twelve United Colonies. Let that be your care, for peace we wish to establish.

"Brothers: You yesterday told us, that as the roads in your country were opened for you and your brethren of the Twelve United Colonies to pass and repass in safety, you begged we would not soon defile them with blood.

"Brothers: Be assured we have no intention at present to spill blood in your country; and it never can happen, unless those wicked men, who have come so far from home to disturb the peace of the Twelve United Colonies, appear there. For, as we are men determined to be free or die, we must pursue them until we drive them off this island, or until they confirm our ancient privileges. Therefore, brothers, rest assured, that whatever may happen between us and our enemies, we will never injure or disturb the peace of the Six Nations, but preserve invariably, even unto death, the friendship that is established.

"Brothers: You desired yesterday that some of your friends of our blood should remain unmolested, particularly the Missionary at Fort Hunter, who, you say, does not concern himself with the affairs of this world, but is earnestly engaged in instructing you in the reverence due to the Great God who governs the universe. Brothers, such a man we love, and we are also desirous of his remaining quiet and happy with you. We are also desirous that all the other Missionaries may continue safely among you, and instruct you in the gospel, which will be the means of your happiness in this world and in the world to come.

"Brothers: We always looked upon you, our brothers of the Six Nations, to be a wise and capable people in conducting business of every kind. We were, therefore, a little surprised to hear you say, that no one was appointed


by the Twelve United Colonies to attend and watch the fire that they had kindled up at this place, when we have repeatedly told you that they had appointed five persons, whose business it is to attend and preserve it bright and clear; and that two of those five lived in this Town, who would take particular care of it, and who had full authority from the Twelve United Colonies to keep the flame pure and bright. For fear you should not have understood us fully, we again acquaint you that the Twelve United Colonies have appointed General Schuyler and Mr˙ Douw, both of this Town, to keep the fire burning, that it may illuminate the whole country of the Six Nations, who may always see the way down to it, and may sit in peace around it.

"Brothers: You yesterday desired that the trade might be again opened at this place and Schenectady. We also wish it, and it will be done; so that you may trade as you formerly did, and be able to return home with your goods, to your satisfaction.

"Brothers: You yesterday mentioned some matters concerning land claimed by the people of Albany, and also land in dispute between Connecticut and Governour Penn. We now inform you that we are not authorized to transact any business of that kind at present, but will represent the matter to the Grand Congress at Philadelphia.

"Brothers: We have now finished, and let you know that the presents that we have brought you from the Twelve United Colonies are preparing for you, and when ready to be delivered we will acquaint you. Wagons shall be provided when you are ready to set off for Schenectady." — (Six strings of wampum.)

After which, each of the different Nations gave the yoehaas.

Captain Solomon' s Speech

Captain Solomon, the Chief of the Stockbridge Indians, then addressed the Commissioners as follows:

"Brothers, appointed by the Twelve United Colonies:

"We thank you for taking care of us and supplying us with provisions since we have been at Albany. Depend upon it, we are true to you, and mean to join you. Wherever you go, we will be by your sides. Our bones shall lie with yours. We are determined never to be at peace with the red coats, while they are at variance with you. We have one favour to beg. We should be glad if you would help us to establish a Minister among us, that when our men are gone to war, our women and children may have the advantage of being instructed by him. If we are conquered, our lands go with yours; but if we are victorious, we hope you will help us to recover our just rights." — (A belt.)

Commissioners' Reply

To which, the Commissioners replied:

"Brothers of STOCKBRIDGE: We have heard what you have said, and thank you. It is not in our power to answer the two questions you have put to us — the first respecting a Minister, the second concerning your lands. We say it is not in our power to give you an answer just now; but we will represent your case to the Continental Congress, and we dare say they will re-establish you in all your just rights."