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Speech of the Delawares to Mr˙ Croghan



Pittsburgh, July 23, 1774.

We are glad to hear from you the good speeches which you have now spoke to us, and it also gave us great pleasure to hear from our brethren of Pennsylvania, when they reminded us of that ancient friendship made by our wise forefathers, which they have at this time handed to us, desiring us to take fast hold of it.

Brethren, Sir William Johnson, with our uncles, the Five Nations, the Wyandots, and all the several tribes of Cherokees, and Southern Indians, have spoke to us of peace and friendship; and you, our brethren of Virginia, have likewise desired us to be strong in holding fast the chain of friendship; and we now tell you that we strictly observe to do it. And now, brethren, I inform you that we will sit still here at our towns Kakelellamapeking, Gnaddenhutten, and Tupickcong upon the Muskingum, to hold fast that chain of friendship between you and us.

Brethren, you desired us that the road between us and you might be kept clear and open, that the traders might pass and repass safe, which we also have done, and we wish that it may continue further. We desire therefore, that you will not suffer your foolish young people to lie on the road to watch and frighten our people, by pointing their guns at them when they come to trade with you; for some of our people have been so scared that they came home and alarmed our towns, as if the white people would kill all the Indians, whether they were friends or enemies. (A string of white wampum.)


Brethren of Virginia, we now see you and the Shawanese in grips with each other ready to strike, and we do not know what to say between you further; you will be the best judges yourselves of what is to follow, as we can do no more to reconcile you. But in the struggle between you when you have thrown down the Shawanese, brethren, we desire you to look no further, nor set down there, but return to the Kenhawa or South side of the Ohio, the place that you there rise from; and when you have so concluded this dispute, brethren, we will expect to hear from you, that we may acquaint all other Nations of it, whom we assure you will not put their hands to it, but hope that you will be strong brethren, and renew the ancient friendship with all other Nations, when you have ended your dispute with these people. (A string of black wampum.)

Intelligence received from Captain White Eyes:

On my return to Newcomer' s Town with the speeches you charged me with, I found that several parties of Shawanese had set out to war against you, contrary to their promise before to the Chiefs of the Delawares, who desired me to return and inform you of it, as it would be to no purpose to treat further with them upon friendly terms, but that they should be informed of your speeches; they came forwarded by two of your people.

Brethren, we have now to acquaint you that the Shawanese are all gone from Wagetomica to assemble themselves at the Lower Towns; if there was one yet remaining we would tell you. But as this is not the case, and some of our people may be yet on their way up from amongst them, we would have you consider and cross to them from the mouth of the Big Kenhawa, as our women and children may now be frightened when you come near them, and the Shawanese are all gone.

Brethren, one of the Shawanese that has headed a party against you, has sent us word that he was going to strike you, and when he had done it, he would then blaze a road from the place he would do the mischief to Newcomer' s Town, by which he would see whether the peace was so strong between the whites and the Delawares as they pretended. Keesmateta has likewise sent us word that he now saw his grandfathers the Delawares had thrown them away, for which reason they were now rising to go away, though, he said, he was sure no other Nation had done it, and that it had been an ancient custom with their Nation, that when they left any place in the manner they were doing, whoever remained behind them, they always turned about and struck them.

Brethren, the day we got into Newcomer' s Town a party was discovered, whose intentions were to come to Fort Pitt to put Colonel Croghan and Alexander McKee, with Guyasutha to death, and also waylay us, which we passed; as by killing us, they say, no more news will be carried between the white people and the Indians. I could inform you of a great deal more, but these are the most material occurrences and facts which you may depend upon.

My brother is lately come from the Wabash Indians, who told him they would expect to hear the truths of the accounts from that quarter, on his return; and I have sent a message by him to them, desiring them not to listen to the Shawanese, who would only endeavour to draw them into troubles and leave them by themselves, which had been their constant practice.

Mr˙ Croghan addressed Captain White Eyes as his particular friend:

Brother, I now speak to you as a friend to both parties, your Nation and the English, and not by any particular authority, and I am convinced from the speeches you have now delivered, that your Nation has the sincerest intentions of preserving entire that friendship subsisting between you and us; and I observe from your intelligence that the Shawanese are withdrawn from one of their towns in your neighbourhood, which is an evident proof that they do not mean to be friends with you or us; therefore, brothers, I would have you consider well whether you would not in the present circumstance think it prudent for some of your people to accompany ours when they go to chastise the Shawanese, in order to enable them to make a proper distinction between our friends and our enemies.


Captain White Eyes' s Answer to Colonel Croghan:

I am glad to hear you, and I will consider what you have said, but cannot immediately return you an answer. I will send your Message to our Chiefs at Kaskaskia, and as soon as I have their sentiments and advice will speak to you, which I expect in two days, in the mean time you may be assured that their sentiments will not deviate from that strict friendship subsisting between us.