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Address of the Commissioners continued


Albany, Saturday, August 26, 1775.

Present this day: General Schuyler, Colonel Francis, Colonel Wolcott, Mr˙ Douw, Commissioners; the Chairman and Committee of the City of Albany.


The Indians having informed the Commissioners they were ready to proceed to business, the treaty was opened in the following manner:

"Brothers, Sachems, and Warriours:

"Let this string open your ears to hear, and incline your hearts to accept the talk of your brethren of the Twelve United Colonies, which they have sent to you by us their Deputies. They speak as follows:

"Brothers, Sachems, and Warriours of the Six United Nations:

"We, the Delegates from the Twelve United Provinces, now sitting in General Congress at Philadelphia, send this talk to you, our brothers. We are sixty-five in number, appointed by the people throughout all these Provinces and Colonies, to meet and sit together in one great council, to consult together for the common good of this land, and to speak and act for them.

"Brothers: In our consultation we have judged it proper and necessary to send you this talk, as we are upon the same island, that you may be informed of the reason of this great council, the situation of our civil constitution, and our disposition towards you, our Indian brothers of the Six Nations, and their allies.

"Brothers and friends, now attend:

"When our fathers crossed the great water and came over to this land, the King of England gave them a talk, assuring them that they and their children should be his children, and that if they would leave their native country and make settlements and live here, and buy and sell and trade with their brethren beyond the water, they should still keep hold of the same covenant chain, and enjoy peace; and it was covenanted that the fields, houses, goods, and possessions, which our fathers should acquire, should remain to them as their own, and be their children' s forever, and at their sole disposal. Trusting that this covenant should never be broken, our fathers came a great distance beyond the great water, and laid out their money here, built houses, cleared fields, raised crops, and through their own labour and industry grew tall and strong. They have bought, sold, and traded with England, according to agreement, sending to them such things as they wanted, and taking in exchange such things as were wanted here.

"The King of England and his people kept the way open for more than one hundred years, and by our trade became richer, and by a union with us greater and stronger than the other Kings and people who live beyond the water. All this time they lived in great friendship with us, and we with them; for we are brothers — one blood.

"Whenever they were struck, we instantly felt as if the blow had been given to us — their enemies were our enemies. Whenever they went to war, we sent our men to stand by their side, and fight for them, and our money to help them and make them strong. That we have done this, brothers, you all have been witnesses to in the last war. You know we assisted them in taking Niagara, Cataraqui, Ticonderoga, Crown Point, and Canada; and lastly, when they had no more enemies upon this island, we went to fight, and helped them to take many large islands that lay in the hot countries, where they got more than thirty cart loads of silver.

"They thanked us for our love, and sent us good talks, and renewed their promise to be one people forever; and when the war was over they said: Children, we thank you that you have helped to make us great; we know that it has cost you a great deal of blood and a great deal of money; and therefore, children, we give you a present, that you may maintain your warriours. — (A belt.)

"Brothers and friends, open a kind ear:

"We will now tell you of the quarrel between the counsellors of King George and the inhabitants and Colonies of America.

"Many of his counsellors are proud and wicked men. They persuade the King to break the covenant chain, and not to send us any more good talks. A considerable number have prevailed upon him to enter into a new covenant against us, and have torn asunder and cast behind their backs the good old covenant which their ancestors and ours entered into and took strong hold of.

"They now tell us they will slip their hand into our pocket without asking, as if it was their own; and at their pleasure they will take from us our charter, or written civil


constitution, which we love as our lives; also, our plantations, our houses, and goods, whenever they please, without asking our leave; that our vessels may go to this island in the sea, but to this or that particular island we shall not trade any more; and in case of non-compliance with these new orders, they shut up our harbours.

"Brothers: This is our present situation. Thus have many of the King' s counsellors and servants dealt with us. If we submit, or comply with their demands, you can easily perceive to what a state we shall be reduced. If our people labour in the fields, they will not know who shall enjoy the crop; if they hunt in the woods, it will be uncertain who shall taste the meat or have the skins; if they build houses, they will not know whether they may sit around the fireside with their wives and children. They cannot be sure whether they shall be permitted to eat, drink, and wear the fruits of their own labour and industry." — (A broken belt.)

The Commissioners then informed the Indians, that as the business they were upon was very important, and as they knew they were a wise people, they would not at this time hurry them, nor burden their memories with too much, and therefore would defer what they had further to say until Monday.