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Message from Governour Penn to the Chiefs and Warriors of the Shawanese Indians


By the Honourable JOHN PENN, Esquire, Governour and Commander-in-chief of the Province of PENNSYLVANIA and Counties of NEW-CASTLE, KENT, and SUSSEX, on DELAWARE.

A Message to the Chiefs and Warriors of the SHAWANESE INDIANS.

Brethren, when I heard that you had taken care of our traders, and had sent some of your young men to conduct them home in safety, it made my heart glad, because I was satisfied that you kept fast hold of the chain of friendship which was made between our forefathers, and renewed by us, and you may be assured that I shall always remember this instance of your kindness, and that I shall hold fast that end of the chain which is in my hands so long as you hold yours. But, brethren, it gives me great concern, and my heart is grieved, to hear of the difference between you and our brothers, the people of Virginia. If any of the wicked people of Virginia have murdered any of your people, you should complain of it to the Governour, and he will have them punished. You should not in such cases take revenge upon innocent people who have never hurt you. It is a very wicked thing to kill innocent people because some of their countrymen have been wicked and killed some of you.

Brethren, If you continue to act in this manner, the people of Virginia must do the same thing by you, and then there will be nothing but war between you. Consider, brethren, that the people of Virginia are like the leaves upon the trees, very numerous, and you are but few, and


although you should kill ten of their people for one that they kill of yours, they will at last wear you out and destroy you. They are able to send a great army in your country and destroy your towns and your corn, and either kill your wives and children or drive them away. Besides, brethren, the Virginians, as well as our people and you, are the children of the great King who lives beyond the great water, and if his children fall out, and go to war among themselves, and some of them are wicked and will not make peace with the others, he will be very angry and punish those who are in fault. Therefore, brethren, let me advise you to forget and forgive what is past, and to send to the Governour of Virginia and offer to make peace. I shall write to the Governour of Virginia and endeavour to persuade him to join with you in mending the chain of friendship between you which has been broken, and to make it so strong that it may never be broke again. And I hope, brethren, if he be willing to do this good thing, that you will be of the same mind, and then we shall all live together like friends and brothers. (A Belt.)

Given under my hand and the lesser seal of the said Province, at Philadelphia, the sixth day of August, in the year of our Lord one thousand seven hundred and seventy-four.