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Reply of the Indians


German Flats, Wednesday, August 16, 1775.

The Council having again assembled, Tiahogwando, an Onondaga Sachem, addressed himself as follows:

"Brother SOLIHOANY and our ALBANY Brother, attend:

"We are now assembled at the German Flats, at which place you kindled up a council fire, and yesterday called us together and acquainted us from whence you came, and by whose authority, namely, by that of the Twelve United Colonies; and you opened your business to us.

"Brothers, now attend: Through the mercy of God we are brought to this day, and the Six Nations are now in full assembly at this place, where we smoke a pipe in friendship and in love. We are glad to hear your voices. You are come, in the name of the Twelve United Colonies, to invite us down to Albany to a council fire of peace. You desire we all attend, with our confederates, as you say the council fire that is to be kindled up at Albany is of much importance.

"Brothers: We thank you for this invitation; it meets our entire approbation. Here we are of every Tribe of the Six Nations. It shall be done as you have said.

"Brothers: You have desired that all our confederates should receive this invitation. This cannot be done short of one year, as we extend very far, and could not possibly call the extremities of our confederacy to this intended meeting. But possess your minds in peace. When this Congress is over, and the council fire is raked up, we shall acquaint all our allies with what has passed. Brothers, this is the answer of all the Six Nations, who are now here represented from every Tribe.

"Brothers, attend: Yesterday you said you were sensible our confederacy extended to Caughnawaga, and the seven Tribes upon the River St˙ Lawrence; that it would be very agreeable for your brothers from that quarter to attend this great council fire, to be kindled up at Albany by order of the Twelve United Colonies, and that it was the desire of your brethren of all those Provinces that they should attend together with us.

"Brothers: You therefore desired our assistance to forward this, your belt of invitation, to the Caughnawagas, and the seven Tribes in that quarter. Brothers, possess your minds in peace. We, the Six Nations, are put to difficulty to grant this request. We are very much embarrassed for this reason: the man is now there who will vex your minds, and never consent to their coming down, and will draw hard upon their minds another way. Brothers, possess yourselves in peace. We of the Six Nations have the minds of the Caughnawagas, and the seven Tribes in that quarter, at our central council house. When this took place, they addressed us of the Six Nations in the following manner: ‘You are better capable of maintaining peace than we are; therefore, we deliver up our minds to you,’ For these reasons we advise you to reconsider your petition to us, seeing we are so embarrassed we cannot grant it. Perhaps you will say to us, when your intended council fire shall be over: Brothers, do you of the Six Nations acquaint all your confederates and allies of what has passed at this council fire of peace. And this we shall do with great care and exactness. Now, brothers, you see we are


embarrassed, and therefore give you this advice." — (Belt returned.)

To this Colonel Francis answered:

"Brethren of the SIX NATIONS: It gives us a great deal of uneasiness to find you cannot at present convey this belt to our friends in Canada. We have heard your reasons, and are sorry to find that one of our blood is already there, endeavouring to draw their minds from us, when we mean nothing but peace towards them. As there are a great many Englishmen in Canada, we know not who you mean; we shall therefore be glad to have the particular man pointed out."

To which Abraham, a Mohawk Sachem, replied:

"Brothers: We take it for granted that you all know the very man we mean, as we said he was of your blood. We see no necessity for pointing him out more explicitly."

Tiahogwando, the Onondaga Sachem, then spoke again: "Brother SOLIHOANY and our ALBANY Brother:

"We take it for granted you have called us to a council of peace and entire friendship, and you have taken us by the hand. As there are men of different minds, and some may be illy disposed, we desire you will admonish your own people, that they offer us no abuse in our way down to your council fire of peace. If this caution should be neglected, some misfortune might happen, as all people do not meet so much like brothers as formerly, on account of the present situation of affairs.

"It would be unhappy if our council fire should be crushed by any mischief-makers. We have given you this caution, that while we are marching along in peace and quietness we might not be alarmed by a blow struck in our rear. We therefore desire you would begin, even at this council fire, to publish your admonitions to unwise and ungovernable people. By this belt we declare to you, our brothers, that the road is as open for passing and repassing, and free from all embarrassments, through the Six Nations, as it has been for a long time. Therefore we desire that we may have the same open road down to your intended council fire at Albany."

To which Col˙ Francis made the following answer:

"Brethren of the SIX NATIONS: By this belt you desire that we may clear the road to Albany, that none of our people may injure you. The road shall be as clear for you to go to Albany, as it is for us to go to the country of the Six Nations. The Twelve United Colonies have given us great power over the white people. We will appoint white men, who speak your language and love your nations, to see you safe down to Albany, and to provide provisions for you on the way. We shall set out for Albany to-morrow morning, to prepare matters for kindling up the great council fire there."