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´╗┐Title: An Account of Sa-Go-Ye-Wat-Ha, or Red Jacket, and His People, 1750-1830
Author: Hubbard, John Niles
Language: English
As this book started as an ASCII text book there are no pictures available.

*** Start of this LibraryBlog Digital Book "An Account of Sa-Go-Ye-Wat-Ha, or Red Jacket, and His People, 1750-1830" ***




_To the Hon. Henry G. Hubbard, of Middletown, Conn._

DEAR SIR: Your name, associated with many pleasant memories in the past,
and in later years with substantial tokens of esteem, is held in grateful
recollection; and the hope that these pages may serve to interest an
occasional leisure hour, has led to their being inscribed to you, by your
friend and relative.



The "Life and Times of Red Jacket" by Colonel William L. Stone, has been
before the public for many years. The industry and ability of the author
have made it a work of great value, and his extensive researches have left
but little room for anything new to be said, by one coming after him. Yet
the fact need not be concealed that many, who were intimately acquainted
with Red Jacket, were disappointed when they came to read his biography.
If it had been prepared under the direct influence and superintendence of
Thayendanegea, or Brant, it could not have reflected more truly the animus
of that distinguished character. Red Jacket in his day was the subject, at
different times of much angry feeling, and jealousy. The author has not
taken pains to embalm it, in these memorials of the great orator of the
Senecas. Much that was the subject of criticism during his life, admits of
a more charitable construction, and the grave should become the receptacle
of all human resentments.

The author acknowledges his indebtedness to the labors of Col. Stone, and
by an honorable arrangement, liberty was obtained for the use made of
them, in the following pages. Acknowledgments are due also to others,
whose names will appear in the course of this work.

TRACY, CAL., _April 12th_, 1885.



Red Jacket--Name widely known--Interest connected with his history--His
origin--Development of his genius--Opinion of Capt. Horatio Jones--Customs
of his people--Their councils--Love of eloquence--Distinguished names--
Eloquence an art among them--Peculiarity of their language--Field opened
for his genius.


Glance at the early history of the Iroquois--Territory they occupied--
Location of the different tribes--Strength of their Confederacy--
Tuscaroras--Traditions--Probable course of their migrations--Senecas--
Story of their origin--Singular romance.


Name Red Jacket, how acquired--Indian name--Name conferred--Singular
superstition--Red Jacket during the war of the Revolution--Neutrality of
the Indians proposed--Services sought by Great Britain--Sketch of Sir Wm.
Johnson--Red Jacket's position--Taunt of cowardice--Testimony of Little
Beard--Charge made by Brant--Red Jacket's indifference--Anecdote--Early
love of eloquence--Interesting reminiscences.


Early struggles--Red Jacket's opportunity for trial--Council at Fort
Stanwix--Office of Sachem--His opposition to the treaty--Excitement
deciding the treaty--How it affected him.


United States claim to Indian lands--Conflicting claims between states--
Manner of adjustment--Attempt to acquire by a lease--Attempt defeated--
Lands acquired by New York--From Onondagas, Oneidas, Cayugas--Indian
destitution--Indications of trouble--Design of severing western New York
from the rest of the state--How defeated--Phelps and Gorham purchase.


Union of the western Indians--Hostile influence of the British Indian
department in Canada--Ambitious project of Thayendanegea or Brant--Visits
England, desiring British aid in the event of war with the United States--
Council at Tioga Point--Indian ceremonies--Visit of Cornplanter and others
at the seat of government--Fresh occasion of trouble.


Expedition under General Harmar--Its failure--High expectations of the
Indians--Colonel Proctor visits the Indians at Buffalo creek--Red Jacket's
speech--Indian deputation refused--Interference of the matrons--Council at
Painted Post--Chiefs invited to Philadelphia.


Expedition to the Indian country under General St. Clair--Washington's
charge--Approach to Indian villages--Sudden surprise--Disastrous battle--
Indian victory--Retreat of American force to Fort Jefferson--Boldness of
the Indians--Friendly Indian deputation--Welcome of the governor of
Pennsylvania--Red Jacket's speech in reply--Address of President
Washington--Red Jacket's reply--Cause of Indian hostilities.


Indian appropriation--Deputation to the west promised--Instructions--
Silver medal given to Red Jacket by the president--Military suits--
Washington's address at parting--Thayendanegea's visit--Council at Au
Glaize--Another Indian council--Delegation--British control--Washington's
letter--Army under General Wayne--Successful campaign--Treaty concluded.


Canandaigua at an early day--Facts in the early settlement of Bloomfield--
Indian council--Its object--Indian parade--Indian dress--Opening of the
council--Speeches--Liberal offers of the government--Mr. Savary's journal
--Conclusion of treaty--Account of Red Jacket by Thomas Morris.


Valley of the Genesee--Indian misgivings--Mill yard--Effort to obtain
their land--Council at Big Tree--Coming of the Wadsworths--Indian
villages--Refusal to sell--Discussion between Red Jacket and Thomas
Morris--Breaking up of the council.


Interview between Farmer's Brother and Thomas Morris--Mr. Morris addresses
the women--Distributes presents--Negotiations continued--Treaty concluded
with the women and warriors--Manner of payment--Inquiries about a bank--
Their reservations--White women--Young King's dissent--Final settlement--
Charge of insincerity.


Council at Canawangus--Interesting reminiscence of Red Jacket--Address of
Farmer's Brother--Jasper Parish--Horatio Jones--Red Jacket's visit at
Hartford, Conn.


Cornplanter in disrepute--Effort to regain his standing--Red Jacket
charged with witchcraft--His defense--Further notice of Cornplanter--Early
recollections--With the Indians who defeated Gen. Braddock in 1755--With
the English in the war of the Revolution--Takes his father a prisoner--His
address--Release of his father--Address to the governor of Pennsylvania--
Visit of President Alden--Close of his life.


Change in Red Jacket's views--Causes producing it--Unfavorable to any
change in the habits of his people--Opposes the introduction of
Christianity among them--Visit of a missionary--Missionary's speech--Red
Jacket's reply--Unpleasant termination of the council.


Tecumseh and Indian confederation--Aid given by Elskawata--Doings at the
Prophet's town--Great Indian council at the West--Red Jacket's claim for
precedence to be given the Senecas--His adherence to the United States--
Hostilities encouraged by British agents--Warriors gathered at the
Prophet's town--Visited by General Harrison at the head of his troops--
Hostilities disclaimed--Surprised by a sudden attack--Indians defeated--
War proclaimed against England--Indians take sides--Unfavorable
commencement--Different successes--Part taken by Red Jacket.


Taking of Fort Erie--Battle of Chippewa--Service rendered by the Indians--
General Porter's account of the campaign--Red Jacket commended--Withdrawal
of Indian forces--Other successes--Conclusion of peace.


Pre-emptive right to the Indian reservations, sold to the Ogden Company--
Council to obtain an extinguishment of the Indian title--Red Jacket's
reply to Mr. Ogden's speech--Indians refuse to sell--Another council
called--Account given by Hon. Albert Tracy--Various utterances of the
orator on that occasion--Indians appeal to the governments of the United
States and New York--Noble response of Governor De Witt Clinton of New
York--Final success of the Ogden Company.


Witchcraft--Case of Tom. Jemmy--Testimony of Red Jacket--Red Jacket's
philippic--Finding of the court--Remarkable interview of Dr. Breckenridge
with Red Jacket--Further expression of views.


Personal characteristics--Interview with General Lafayette--Visit of a
French nobleman--Col. Pickering reproved--Address on launching a schooner
bearing his name--Anecdote of Red Jacket and Capt. Jones--His humor--
Strong memory--Its cultivation--Contempt for pretension without merit--
Love of the sublime--Portraits--Acute perception--Refined sense of
propriety--First bridge at Niagara Falls--Loss of his children--Care for
his people.


Views at the close of life--Incident--His lifework--Unfavorable influences
--Advance of Christian party--Conversion of Red Jacket's wife--Leaves her
--His return--Red Jacket deposed--Journey to Washington--His restoration--
Rapid decline--Regards his end as near--Talks with the people--Endeavors
to unite them--Sickness and death.


Portrait of Red Jacket
Portrait of King Hendrick
View of Johnson Hall
Portrait of Sir John Johnson
Portrait of Barry St. Leger
Portrait of Joseph Brant
Facsimile of Washington's Medal
View of Seneca Mission Church
View of Red Jacket's House


Name widely known--Interest naturally awakened in his history--His origin
--Development of his genius--Opinion of Capt. Horatio Jones--Customs of
his people--Their love of eloquence--Distinguished orators among them--The
inviting field opened.

Among the aborigines of this country, few names have excited a deeper
interest, or have been more widely and familiarly known than that of RED
JACKET. The occasion of this notoriety was the rare fact that, though a
rude and unlettered son of the forest, he was distinguished for the arts
and accomplishments of the orator. His life marks an era in the history of
his nation and his name like that of Demosthenes, is forever associated
with eloquence.

Other circumstances however, impart interest to his history. His was the
last great name of a nation, and he is entitled to remembrance, on the
soil which was once the home of his fathers. And though linked with a
melancholy association, as connected with the waning history of a people
that once laid a claim to greatness, but are now fast passing into
obscurity, it is not on this account the less attractive, but presents
another reason for our regard.

Such was the name of SA-GO-YE-WAT-HA, or, as he has more commonly been
called, Red Jacket. Having risen, by the force of his eloquence, from an
obscure station to the highest rank among his people, he became
conspicuous in all of those great transactions, in which they gradually
relinquished a title to their old hunting grounds, and gave place to the
intrusive white man. And he lived to see his nation pass from the pride of
their ancient dominion, to so humble an inheritance, that his last days
were embittered with the thought, that the _red men_ were destined to
become extinct. With him has ceased the glory of their council fire, and
of their name.

His origin, as we have intimated, was obscure. He must be introduced, as
he has come down to us, without rank or pedigree. His pedigree nature
acknowledged, and gave him a right to become great among her sons. His
birth is a matter of fact, its time and place, circumstances of
conjecture. Some affirm that he was born at the Old Seneca Castle, near
the foot of Seneca lake, not far from 1750. [Footnote: Hist. of North
American tribes by Thos. L. McKenney.]

Another tradition awards the honor of his birth to a place at, or near
Canoga, on the banks of the Cayuga lake. [Footnote: Schoolcraft's Report.]

Who were his parents? and what, his early history? As the wave casts upon
the shore some treasured fragment, and then recedes to mingle with its
parent waters, so their names, and much of his early history have been
lost in the oblivion of the past.

So likewise it is uncertain, as to the time when the wonderful powers of
his genius began to be developed, or as to the steps by which he arrived
at the high distinction of orator among his people.

Whether by dint of study he gained the requisite discipline of mind, and
acquired that elegance of diction for which he was distinguished; whether
by repeated trial and failure, accompanied by a proud ambition, and an
unyielding purpose, he reached, like Demosthenes, the summit of his
aspirations; or, assisted more by nature than by art, emerged, like
Patrick Henry at once, into the grand arena of mind, and by a single
effort attained distinction and fame, is to be gathered more from
circumstances than from facts.

It is generally conceded, however, that the powers of his intellect were
of the highest order. Captain Horatio Jones, the well known interpreter
and agent among the Indians, and than whom no one was more intimately
acquainted with this orator of the Seneca nation, was accustomed to speak
of him as the greatest man that ever lived. "For," said he, "the great men
of our own and of other times, have become so by education; but RED JACKET
WAS AS NATURE MADE HIM. Had he enjoyed their advantages, he would have
surpassed them, since it can hardly be supposed that they, without these,
would have equalled him." [Footnote: Conversation of the author with Col.
Wm. Jones, of Geneseo, Livingston Co., N. Y., son of Capt. Horatio Jones.]

Some allowance should be made for this statement, perhaps, on the ground
that Mr. Jones was a warm admirer of the orator's genius; yet his
admiration sprang from an intimate knowledge of him, seen under
circumstances, that afforded the best opportunity of forming a just
opinion of his talents; and these, he maintained, "_were among the noblest
that nature ever conferred upon man_."

But genius, while it may have smoothed the way, may not have spared him
the pains, by which ordinary minds ascend to greatness. For since it is so
universally the fact, that the path to eminence, is rugged and steep, and
the gifts of fame seldom bestowed but in answer to repeated toil;
curiosity would inquire by what means one, who was reputed a barbarian,
gained the highest distinction ever awarded to civilized man. It is not
enough to reply simply, "_that nature made him so_," or to receive,
without qualification, his own proud assertion, "I AM AN ORATOR, I WAS
BORN AN ORATOR." The laws of mind are the same for peasants, and princes
in intellect; great minds as well as small, must take measures to compass
their object, or leave it unattained.

It does not appear that his genius was sudden, or precocious in its
development. It is said that his mind, naturally active and brilliant,
gradually opened, until it reached its meridian splendor. Nor did his
powers grow without any means to mature and perfect them. As the young oak
is strengthened by warring with the storm, so the faculties of his mind
gained force by entering freely into conflicts of opinion. Accustomed to
canvass in private the questions which agitated the councils of his
nation, he began to ascertain the reality of his own power, and by
measuring his own with other minds, he gained the confidence that flows
from superior wisdom. [Footnote: Conversation with Col. Wm. Jones.]

The tastes and regulations of his own people favored very much, the
promptings of his genius. They were lovers of eloquence, and their form of
government fostered its cultivation. This though differing but little from
the simplicity found in rude states of society, presented a feature
peculiar among a people not far advanced in civilization, which served
greatly to promote elevation of mind, and advance them far above a
condition of barbarism. They were in the habit of meeting in public
assemblies, to discuss those questions that pertained to the interests, or
destiny of their nation. Around their council fires their chiefs and
warriors gathered, and entered freely, so far as their dignity,
consideration, or power of debate admitted, into a deliberation on public
affairs. And here were manifested an ability and decorum which civilized
nations even, have viewed with admiration and surprise. For though we
might suppose their eloquence must have partaken of rant and rhapsody,
presenting a mass of incoherent ideas, depending for their interest on the
animation of gesture and voice, with which they were uttered, yet we would
do injustice to their memory, if we did not give their orators the credit
of speaking as much to the purpose, and of exhibiting as great a force of
intellect, as many who would claim a higher place than they in the scale
of intelligence and refinement.

Many of their orators were distinguished for strength of mind, and in
native power of genius, might compare favorably, with the men of any age
or clime. The names of Garangula, Adario, Hendrick, Skenandoah, Logan and
others, might be mentioned with pride by any people.

[Illustration: KING HENDRICK]

GARANGULA, has been styled the very Nestor of his nation, whose powers of
mind would not suffer in comparison with a Roman, or more modern Senator.
[Footnote: Drake.]

ADARIO is said to have been a man of "great mind, the bravest of the
brave," and possessing altogether the best qualities of any Indian known
to the French in Canada. [Footnote: Charlevoix.]

It has been remarked of HENDRICK, that for capacity, bravery, vigor of
mind, and immovable integrity united, he excelled all the aboriginal
inhabitants of the United States, of whom any knowledge has come down to
the present time. [Footnote: Dr. Dwight.]

SKENANDOAH in his youth was a brave and intrepid warrior, and in his riper
years one of the best of counsellors among the North American tribes. He
possessed a most vigorous mind, and was alike active, sagacious, and
persevering. He will long be remembered for a saying of his to one who
visited him toward the close of life; "I am," said he, "an aged hemlock,
the winds of an hundred winters have whistled through my branches. I am
dead at the top. The generation to which I belonged has run away and left
me." He was a sincere believer in the Christian religion, and added to the
above "why I live the Great and Good Spirit only knows. Pray to my Jesus,
that I may have patience to wait for my appointed time to die." [Footnote:
Annals of Tryon County.]

And Mr. Jefferson regarded the appeal of LOGAN to the white men, after the
extirpation of his family, as without a parallel in the history of

These were men who have been revered by the civilized world, as worthy of
a place with the distinguished and great among mankind.

"Oratory was not alone a natural gift, but an art among the Iroquois. It
enjoined painful study, unremitting practice, and sedulous observation of
the style, and methods of the best masters. Red Jacket did not rely upon
his native powers alone, but cultivated the art with the same assiduity
that characterized the great Athenian orator. The Iroquois, as their
earliest English historian observed, cultivated an Attic or classic
elegance of speech, which entranced every ear, among their red auditory."
[Footnote: Mr. Bryant's speech.]

Those public games, entertainments, religious ceremonies and dances,
common among the Indian tribes, added interest to their council
gatherings, and made them a scene of attraction for the entire nation.
Thither the young and old of both sexes were accustomed to resort, and,
assembled at their national forum, listened with profound attention and
silence to each word spoken by their orators. "The unvarying courtesy,
sobriety and dignity of their convocations led one of their learned Jesuit
historians to liken them to the Roman Senate." [Footnote: W. C. Bryant's
speech before the Buffalo Historical Society on the occasion of the re-
interment of Red Jacket's remains.]

"Their language was flexible and sonorous, the sense largely depending
upon inflection, copious in vowel sounds, abounding in metaphor; affording
constant opportunity for the ingenious combination and construction of
words to image delicate, and varying shades of thought, and to express
vehement manifestations of passion; admitting of greater and more sudden
variations in pitch, than is permissable in English oratory, and
encouraging pantomimic gesture, for greater force and effect. In other
words it was not a cold, artificial, mechanical medium for the expression
of thought or emotion, or the concealment of either, but was constructed,
as we may fancy, much as was the tuneful tongue spoken by our first
parents, who stood in even closer relations to nature." [Footnote: Ib.]

Hence, though the Iroquois were a warlike people, and delighted in deeds
of bravery, there was an inviting field opened to one, who could chain
their attention by his eloquence, and sway their emotions at will.

Such advantages being presented for the exercise of the powers of oratory,
it can hardly be supposed that a mind endowed as richly, as was Red
Jacket's, by the gifts of nature, would fail to perceive the path in which
lay the true road to eminence among his people. And his subsequent career
indicates but too clearly, the choice he made of the field in which to
exercise his noble powers.


Glance at the early history of the Iroquois--The territory occupied--
Tuscaroras--Original strength--Traditions--Probable course of migration--
The Senecas--Story of their origin--Singular romance.

Rising up from the obscurity of the past, we find a people, singular in
their habits and character, whose history has been strangely, and in some
respects sadly interwoven with our own. They were the original occupants
of the soil, claiming to have lived here always, and to have grown out of
the soil like the trees of the forest. Scattered over this continent were
various Indian tribes, resembling each other in their general features and
habits, but in some instances exhibiting stronger and more interesting
traits of character than the others. Among these were the Iroquois, and if
Red Jacket was distinguished among his own people, his own people were not
less conspicuous among the North American Indians.

He sprang from the Senecas, and was accustomed to speak of his origin with
feelings of conscious pride. For the Senecas were the most numerous and
powerful of the six nations, of whom they were a part. Such was the title
given to that celebrated Indian confederacy which, for a length of time
unknown to us, inhabited the territory embraced by the State of New York.

Here they lived in a line of settlements extending from one end to the
other, through the middle of the State, and their domain as thus occupied,
they were accustomed to style their _Long House_. It was a shadowy
dome, of generous amplitude, covered by the azure expanse above, garnished
with hills, lakes, and laughing streams, and well stored with provisions,
in the elk and deer that bounded freely through its forest halls, the
moose that was mirrored in its waters, and the trout, those luscious
speckled beauties, that nestled cosily in its crystal chambers.

The eastern door was guarded by the Mohawks, who resided at one, and its
western by the Senecas, who dwelt at the other extremity of this abode.

When ever a messenger from another nation came to them on business, or
knocked, as it was termed, at the eastern or western door of their _long
house_, it was the duty of the nation to which he came, to give him
entertainment, and examine into the nature of his embassy. If it was of
small importance, it was decided by their own council; but if it was such
as to demand the united wisdom of the tribes, a runner was sent with a
belt of wampum to the nearest nation, which would take the belt and send a
runner with it to the next, and so on, and thus with but little delay, a
general meeting was summoned of all the tribes.

This confederacy at one time consisted of five nations, but afterward
embraced six, by the addition of the Tuscaroras, a tribe that once
occupied the territory of North Carolina.

This tribe is said to have belonged at an early day to the Iroquois
family, and to have inherited the enterprising and warlike character of
the parent stock. They fought successfully with the Catawbas, Cowetas, and
the Cherokees, and thought to exterminate by one decisive blow, all of the
white inhabitants within their borders. Unsuccessful in the attempt,
pressed sorely by the whites, who resisted the attack, and unwilling
themselves to submit, they removed to the north, and through sympathy,
similarity of taste, manners, or language, or from the stronger motives of
consanguinity, became incorporated with the confederated tribes of the
Iroquois. [Footnote: Schoolcraft's Report. Mr. Schoolcraft prefers, and
quite justly the name Iroquois, as descriptive of this confederacy,
instead of Six Nations, since the term is well known, and applicable to
them in every part of their history. Whereas the other is appropriate only
during the time when they were numerically six.]

Thus constituted they presented the most formidable power, of which we
have any knowledge in the annals of the Indian race. By their united
strength they were able to repel invasion, from any of the surrounding
nations, and by the force of their arms and their prowess in war, gained
control over an extent of territory much greater than they occupied.

They sent their war parties in every direction. The tribes north, east,
south, and west of them were made to feel the power of their arms, and
yield successively to their dexterity and valor. Now they were launching
their war-canoes upon the lakes and rivers of the west, now engaged in
bloody conflicts with the Catawbas and Cherokees of the south, now
traversing regions of snow in pursuit of the Algonquins of the north, and
anon spreading consternation and dread among the tribes at the remotest
east. Their energy and warlike prowess made them a terror to their foes,
and distant nations pronounced their name with awe.

By what means these several tribes had been brought to unite themselves
under one government, how long they had existed in this relation, and what
was the origin of each one, or of all, are questions which will never
perhaps be fully determined. There being no written records among them,
all that can be ascertained of their history previous to their becoming
known to the whites, must be gathered from the dim light of tradition,
from their symbolic representations, from antique remains of their art,
and from their legends and myths. These present in an obscure and shadowy
form, a few materials of history, whose value is to be measured by the
consideration, that they are all we have to tell the story of a noble and
interesting race of men.

Their traditions speak of the creation of the world, the formation of man,
and the destruction of the world by a deluge. They suppose the existence
originally of two worlds, an upper and lower. The upper completed and
filled with an intelligent order of beings, the lower unformed and
chaotic, whose surface was covered with water, in which huge monsters
careered, uncontrolled and wild. From the upper there descended to the
lower a creating spirit, in the form of a beautiful woman. She alighted on
the back of a huge tortoise, gave birth to a pair of male twins and
expired. Thereupon the shell of the tortoise began to enlarge, and grew
until it became a "_big island_" and formed this continent.

These two infant sons became, one the author of _good_, the other of
_evil_. The creator of _good_ formed whatever was praiseworthy and useful.
From the head of his deceased mother he made the sun, from the remaining
parts of her body, the moon and stars. When these were created the water-
monsters were terrified by the light, and fled and hid themselves in the
depths of the ocean. He diversified the earth by making rivers, seas
and plains, covered it with animals, and filled it with productions
beneficial to mankind. He then formed man and woman, put life into them,
and called them Ong-we Hon-we _a real people_. [Footnote: This term is
significant of true manhood. It implies that there was nothing of sham in
their make up.]

The creator of _evil_ was active in making mountains, precipices,
waterfalls, reptiles, morasses, apes, and whatever was injurious to, or in
mockery of mankind. He put the works of the _good_ out of order, hid
his animals in the earth, and destroyed things necessary for the
sustenance of man. His conduct so awakened the displeasure of the _good_,
as to bring them into personal conflict. Their time of combat, and arms
were chosen, one selecting flag-roots, the other the horns of a deer. Two
whole days they were engaged in unearthly combat; but finally the _Maker
of Good_, who had chosen the horns of a deer, prevailed, and retired to
the world above. The _Maker of Evil_ sank below to a region of darkness,
and became the _Evil Spirit_, or Kluneolux of the world of despair.
[Footnote: Schoolcraft's Indian Cosmogony.]

Many of their accounts appear to be purely fabulous, but not more so
perhaps than similar traditions, to be found in the history of almost
every nation.

The Iroquois refer their origin to a point near Oswego Falls. They boldly
affirm that their people were here taken from a subterranean vault, by the
Divine Being, and conducted eastward along the river Ye-no-na-nat-che,
_going around a mountain_, now the Mohawk, until they came to where it
discharges into a great river running toward the mid-day sun, the Hudson,
and went down this river and touched the bank of a _great water_, while
the main body returned by the way they came, and as they proceeded
westward, originated the different tribes composing their nation; and to
each tribe was assigned the territory they occupied, when first discovered
by the whites. [Footnote: Account by David Cusick, as contained in
Schoolcraft's report. Mr. S. regards this account correct as indicating
the probable course of their migrations.]

The Senecas, the fifth tribe of the Iroquois, were directed in their
original location, to occupy a hill near the head of Canandaigua lake.
This hill, called Ge-nun-de-wa, is venerated as the birth place of their
nation. It was surrounded anciently by a rude fortification which formed
their dwelling in time of peace, and served for a shelter from any sudden
attack of a hostile tribe. Tradition hallows this spot on account of the
following very remarkable occurrence.

Far back in the past, the inhabitants of the hill Genundewa, were
surprised on awaking one morning, to behold themselves surrounded by an
immense serpent. His dimensions were so vast as to enable him to coil
himself completely around the fort. His head and tail came together at its
gate. There he lay writhing and hissing, presenting a most menacing and
hideous aspect. His jaws were widely extended, and he hissed so terribly
no one ventured to approach near.

The inhabitants were thus effectually blockaded. Some endeavored, but in
vain, to kill this savage monster. Others tried to escape, but his
watchful eyes prevented their endeavors. Others again sought to climb over
his body, but were unable; while others still attempted to pass by his
head, but fell into his extended jaws. Their confinement grew every day
more and more painful, and was rendered doubly annoying by the serpent's
breath, which was very offensive.

Their situation drove them at length to an extremity not to be endured.
They armed themselves with hatchets, and clubs, and whatever implements of
war they could find, and made a vigorous sally upon their dreadful foe,
but, alas! were all engulfed in his terrific jaws.

It so happened that two orphan children remained, after the destruction
which befell the rest. They were directed by an oracle to make a bow of a
certain kind of willow, and an arrow of the same, the point of which they
were to dip in poison, and then shoot the monster, aiming so as to hit him
under his scales.

In doing this, they encountered their adversary with entire success. For
no sooner had the arrow penetrated his skin, than he presently began to
grow sick, exhibiting signs of the deepest distress. He threw himself into
every imaginable shape, and with wonderful contortions and agonizing
pains, rolled his ponderous body down along the declivity of the mountain,
uttering horrid noises as he went, prostrating trees in his course, and
falling finally into the lake below.

Here he slaked his thirst, and showed signs of great distress, by dashing
about furiously in the water. Soon he vomited up the heads of those whom
he had swallowed, and immediately after expired and sank to rise no more.
[Footnote: As related to the author by Col. Wm. Jones.]

From these two children, as thus preserved, the Seneca nation are said to
have sprung.

So implicitly has this tradition been received by the Senecas, that it has
been incorporated into the solemnities of their worship, and its
remembrance continued from one generation to another by the aid of
religious rites. Here they were formerly in the habit of assembling in
council, and here their prayers and thanksgivings were offered to the
Great Spirit, for having given them birth, and for rescuing their nation
from entire destruction.

In speaking of this to the whites, they point to the barren hillside, as
evincing the truth of the story, affirming that one day the forest trees
stood thick upon it, but was stripped of them by the great serpent as he
rolled down its declivity. The round stones found there in great
abundance, resembling in size and shape the human head, are taken as
additional proof, for they affirm that these are the heads disgorged by
the serpent, and have been petrified by the waters of the lake. [Footnote:
The author remembers well that in conversation with a Seneca Indian on
this point, he seemed to take it as quite an affront that doubts should be
expressed by the white people as to the reality of this occurrence.]

If nearness of locality will justify a glance of the eye for a moment, to
an object not directly in the line of our pursuit, we might survey in
passing a bold projecting height, not far from the hill Genundewa, marked
by a legend which draws a tear from the eye of the dusky warrior, or sends
him away in a thoughtful mood, with a shade of sadness upon his usually
placid brow. The story is not of the same character and is of a more
recent date than that of the serpent, but is said to be of great
antiquity. It has been written with great beauty by Col. Stone, and as we
are authorized, we present it in his own language.

"During the wars of the Senecas and Algonquins of the north, a chief of
the latter was captured and carried to Genundewa, whereon a fortification,
consisting of a square without bastions, and surrounded by palisades, was
situated. The captive though young in years, was famed for his prowess in
the forest conflict, and nature had been bountiful to his person in those
gifts of strength and symmetry, which awaken savage admiration. After a
short debate he was condemned to die on the following day, by the slow
torture of empalement. While he was thus lying in the cabin of death, a
lodge devoted to condemned prisoners, the daughter of the sachem brought
him food, and struck with his manly form and heroic bearing, resolved to
save him or share his fate. Her bold enterprise was favored by the
uncertain light of the gray dawn, while the solitary sentinel, weary of
his night-watch, and forgetful of his duty, was slumbering. Stealing with
noiseless tread to the side of the young captive, she cut the thongs
wherewith his limbs were bound, and besought him in breathless accents to
follow her.

"The fugitives descended the hill by a wooded path conducting to the lake;
but ere they reached the water, an alarm whoop, wild and shrill, was heard
issuing from the waking guard. They tarried not, though thorny vines and
fallen timber obstructed their way. At length they reached the smooth
beach, and leaping into a canoe previously provided by the considerate
damsel, they plied the paddle vigorously, steering for the opposite shore.
Vain were their efforts. On the wind came cries of rage, and the quick
tramp of savage warriors, bounding over rock and glen in fierce pursuit.
The Algonquin with the reckless daring of a young brave, sent back a yell
of defiance, and soon after the splash of oars was heard, and a dozen war
canoes were cutting the billows in their rear. The unfortunate lovers on
landing, took a trail leading in a western direction over the hills. The
Algonquin, weakened by unhealed wounds, followed his active guide up the
aclivity, with panting heart and flagging pace; while his enemies, with
the grim old sachem at their head, drew nearer and nearer. At length
finding further attempts at flight useless, she diverged from the trail,
and conducted her lover to a table-crested rock that projected over a
ravine or gulf, one hundred and fifty feet in depth, the bottom of which
was strewed with misshapen rocks, scattered in rude confusion. With hearts
nerved to a high resolve, the hapless pair awaited the arrival of their
yelling pursuers. Conspicuous by his eagle plume, towering form and
scowling brow, the daughter soon descried her inexorable sire, leaping
from crag to crag below her. He paused abruptly when his fiery eye rested
on the objects of his pursuit. Notching an arrow on the string of his
tried and unerring bow, he raised his sinewy arms--but ere the missile was
sent, Wun-nut-hay, _the Beautiful_, interposed her form between her father
and his victim. In wild appealing tones she entreated her sire to spare
the young chieftain, assuring him that they would leap together from the
precipice rather than be separated. The stern old man, deaf to her
supplication, and disregarding her menace, ordered his followers to seize
the fugitive. Warrior after warrior darted up the rock, but on reaching
the platform, at the moment when they were grasping to clutch the young
brave, the lovers, locked in fond embrace, flung themselves

  'From the steep rock, and perished.'

"The mangled bodies were buried in the bottom of the glen, beneath the
shade of everlasting rocks; and two small hollows, resembling sunken
graves, are to this day pointed out to the curious traveler, as the burial
place of the lovers." It is a sweet, wild haunt, the sunbeams fall there
with softened radiance, and a brook near by gives out a complaining
murmur, as if mourning for the dead. [Footnote: Mr. Stone adds in a note--
"This interesting legend was derived many years ago from a Seneca chief of
some note, named Chequered Cap, and was communicated to me by W. H. C.
Hosmer, Esq., of Avon. On the top of Genundewa the remains of an Indian
orchard are visible, a few moss-grown and wind-bowed apple trees still
linger, sad, but fitting emblems of the wasted race by whom they were

Let us return to the inquiry we were pursuing. Of the origin of the
Iroquois confederacy, some traditionary accounts have been given, which
represent the different tribes as dwelling for a time, in the separate
locations assigned them, independent of each other. Here they increased in
valor, skill and knowledge, suited to their forest home. At length
becoming numerous, rival interests arose among them, which did not exist
when they were small and feeble. They fell into contention, and wasted and
destroyed each other. Each tribe fortified his own position, and dwelt in
constant fear of being surprised and overcome by his neighboring foe.

At length one of their sachems, distinguished for his wisdom and address,
proposed that they should cease from a strife, which was only destroying
themselves, and unite their energies against the Alleghans, the
Adirondacks, the Eries, and other ancient and warlike tribes, who were
their superiors in their isolated and divided condition. Already weary of
their unprofitable conflicts, the proposal was received with favor, and
Ato-tar-ho, an Onandaga chieftain, unequalled in valor, and the fame of
whose skill and daring was known among all the tribes, became the leading
spirit of this confederacy, and by common consent was placed at its head.
So fully did experience demonstrate the wisdom of this arrangement, that
they used every means to strengthen the bands of their union, and by the
most solemn engagements of fidelity to each other, they became the Ko-nos-
hi-o-ni, or United people. [Footnote: Schoolcraft's Report.]

How long this confederacy had existed before their discovery by the
whites, is unknown. There is a tradition which places it one age, or the
length of a man's life, before the white people came to this country.
[Footnote: Pyrlaus, a missionary at the ancient site of Dionderoga, or
Fort Hunter, writing between 1742 and 1748, gives this as the best
conjecture he could form, from information derived from the Mohawks. It is
thought however that this time is too short, to account for the degree of
development attained by the Iroquois, in their united capacity, at the
time of their first discovery by the whites.]

The union of these several tribes was the means of securing their pre-
eminence over the other Indians in this country. Their individual traits
are thus very fittingly represented;--"in their firm physical type, and in
their energy of character, and love of independence, no people among the
aboriginal race have ever exceeded, if any has equalled the Iroquois."
[Footnote: Schoolcraft.] They occupied a region surpassed by no other on
the continent, for grandeur and beauty united, and inherited from this or
some other source, a mental constitution of noble structure, which placed
them in the fore-front of their race, and when united, no tribe on this
continent could stand before them. This has served to render their
history, a matter of earnest and interesting inquiry.


Name Red Jacket, how acquired--Indian name--Conferred name--Singular
tradition--Red Jacket during the war of the Revolution--Neutrality of the
Indians--Services sought by Great Britain--Sketch of Sir William Johnson--
Position of Red Jacket--Taunt of cowardice--Testimony of Little Beard--
Charge made by Brant--Red Jacket's indifference--Anecdote--Early love of
eloquence--Interesting reminiscences.

The name Red Jacket, so familiar to the whites, was acquired during the
war of the Revolution. He was distinguished at this time as well as
afterward, for his fleetness on foot, his intelligence and activity.
Having attracted the attention of a British officer by the vivacity of his
manners, and the speedy execution of those errands with which he was
intrusted, he received either in token of admiration, or for services
rendered, or both, a beautifully ornamented jacket of a scarlet color.

This he took pride in wearing, and when worn out, he was presented with
another, and continued to wear this peculiar dress until it became a mark
of distinction, and gave him the name by which he was afterward best
known. At a treaty held at Canandaigua in 1794, Captain Parrish, who was
for many years agent of the United States for the Indians, presented him
with another _red jacket_ to perpetuate a name of which he was
particularly fond. [Footnote: McKenney's Indian Biography Politely favored
by Alfred B. Street, Esq., and assistant Mr. J. H. Hickox, of the State
Library, Albany, N. Y.]

His original name was Oti-ti-ani, _always ready_. Sa-go-ye-wat-ha, the
title conferred upon him at his election to the dignity of Sachem, has
been rendered, "_The keeper awake, he keeps them awake, and the author, or
cause of a wakeful spirit_." [Footnote: This latter translation was
given to the author by the late Wm. Jones, a half-blood, son-in-law of Red
Jacket and a chief of some note. This interpretation was given to some
gentlemen from Buffalo who proposed to erect a monument at Red Jacket's
grave. It was given in a full council of the chiefs of his tribe.]

The name is connected with a curious superstition among his people, and
will best be understood, by an acquaintance with the circumstances under
which it is used.

If during the still hours of night, an Indian's mind is taken up with
thoughts that cause sleep to pass from him, preventing every effort of
Morpheus to lock him in fond embrace, he ascribes it to a spirit, which he
calls Sa-go-ye-wat-ha.

The impressions made are regarded as ominous of some important event,
joyful or otherwise, according to the feelings awakened. If his thoughts
are of a pleasing nature, he is led to anticipate the occurrence of some
joyful event. If they are of a melancholy turn, he regards it as
foreboding evil.

He may be led to dwell with interest on some absent friend; that friend he
will expect to see the next day, or soon after. Yet should his thoughts be
troubled or anxious, he would expect to hear soon of that friend's death,
or that something evil had befallen him. [Footnote: Conversation with Wm.
Jones, Seneca chief.]

Such was the spirit they called Sa-go-ye-wat-ha. He could arrest the
current of their thought, bring before them visions of delight, or send
upon them melancholy reflections, and fill their minds with anxiety and

This title conferred on Red Jacket, while it indicated the cause of his
elevation, presented the highest compliment that could be paid to his
powers of oratory. By the magic spell of his words, he could control their
minds, make their hearts beat quick with emotions of joy, or send over
them at will the deep pulsations of grief.

The incident referred to as giving rise to the name, Red Jacket,
introduces him in connection with the war of the Revolution. As his
conduct during this period has been the subject of frequent remark,
severely criticised by some, and not very favorably viewed by others,
justice to the orator's memory requires a brief statement of his reasons
for the course he pursued.

While thoughts of this contest were pending, the colonists took measures
to secure the favorable disposition of the Iroquois, and these efforts at
the time were successful.

The general government advised them to remain neutral, during the
anticipated conflict. This course met the approval of their most
considerate sachems. For though inured to war, and apt to enter with
avidity into the excitement of a conflict, their forces had been reduced
by recent encounters with the Indians at the west, and south, and also
with the French; and the few intervening years of peace served to convince
them of its value, and caused them to receive with favor this proposition
from our government.

At a council held with the Iroquois at German Flats, in June, 1776, by
Gen. Schuyler, who had been appointed for this purpose, these assurances
of neutrality were renewed.

Great Britain also was not indifferent about the course these Indian
tribes would pursue. Wishing to prevent an alliance of the Indians with
the colonists, willing to secure forces already on the ground, and with a
view possibly, of striking terror into the minds of her rebellious
subjects, her agents in this country spared no pains to enlist the
sympathies of the Iroquois on her side.

In this they were but too successful. Through their agents, Britain had
been in correspondence with these tribes for more than a hundred years,
had supplied them with implements of war, articles of clothing, and with
many of the comforts and conveniences of life. The Indians had learned to
be dependent upon her, and they called her king their "_great father_
over the water." Her agents spent their lives among them. Through them
their communications were made to the crown, and they regarded them as
essential to their happiness. Hence they exerted a very great influence
over them.

This was especially true of Sir William Johnson, who died at Johnson Hall
in the month of June, 1774.

Mr. Johnson was a native of Ireland, of a good family and fitted by nature
and education, to adorn the walks of civilized life. He came to this
country not far from 1738, as land agent of his uncle, Sir Peter Warren,
an admiral in the English navy, who had acquired a considerable tract of
land upon the Mohawk, in the present county of Montgomery.

Possessing a romantic disposition, he readily adapted himself to the rude
customs that prevailed in the wilds of America.

The _Gentleman's Magazine_ of London said of him in 1755,--"Besides
his skill and experience as an officer, he is particularly happy in making
himself beloved by all sorts of people, and can conform to all companies
and to all conversations. He is very much of a gentleman in genteel
company, but as the inhabitants next to him are mostly Dutch, he sits down
with them and smokes his tobacco, drinks flip, and talks of improvements,
bear and beaver skins. Being surrounded with Indians, he speaks several of
their languages well, and has always some of them with him. He takes care
of their wives, and old Indians, when they go out on parties; and even
wears their dress. In short, by his honest dealings with them in trade,
and his courage, which has often been successfully tried with them, he has
so endeared himself to them, that they chose him as one of their chief
sachems, or princes, and esteem him as their father."

Not far from the year 1755, while the French and English were at war, he
was made general of the colonial militia, and by virtue of a leadership
that had been created by the Iroquois, he was head warrior of all the
Indian tribes, who favored the English.

[Illustration: JOHNSON HALL]

The gifts of his sovereign, and the opportunity he had of purchasing
Indian lands, were the means of his securing great wealth. The ease with
which he secured land of the Indians is illustrated by an amusing
occurrence between him and a noted chief, Hendrick. Soon after entering
upon his duties as Superintendent of Indian Affairs in this country, he
received from England some richly embroidered suits of clothes.

Hendrick, a Mohawk chief, was present, when the package containing them
was opened, and could not refrain from expressing his admiration of them.
He went away very thoughtful, but soon after returned and said to Sir
William, that he had dreamed a dream.

"Ah! And what did you dream?" said Sir William.

"I dreamed," said Hendrick, "that you gave me one of those new suits of

Sir William could not refuse it, and one of the elegant suits was
presented to Hendrick, who went away to show his gift to his countrymen
and left Sir William to tell the joke to his friends. A while after the
general met Hendrick and said--"Hendrick, _I have dreamed a dream_."

Whether the Sachem mistrusted he was now to be taken in his own net or
not, is not certain, but he also inquired,--"And what did you dream?"

The general said he dreamed that Hendrick presented him with a certain
piece of land which he described. It consisted of about five hundred
acres, of the most valuable land in the Mohawk valley.

Hendrick replied,--"It is yours;" but, shaking his head, said, "Sir
William I will never dream with you again." [Footnote: Drake's Book of the

Sir William's large estate, the partiality of his countrymen, together
with his military honors, and his great influence with the Indians,
rendered him "as near a prince as anything the back-woods of America has
witnessed." [Footnote: The expression of an English lady.--Turner.]

He built two spacious and convenient residences on the Mohawk river, known
as Johnson Castle and Johnson Hall. The Hall was his summer residence.
Here he lived something like a sovereign, kept an excellent table for
strangers and officers, whom the course of duty led into these wilds, and
by confiding entirely in the Indians, and treating them with truth and
justice, never yielding to solicitations once refused, they were taught to
repose in him the utmost confidence.

His personal popularity with the Indians, gave him an influence over them
greater it is supposed, than any one of our own race has ever possessed.
He was the first Englishman that contended successfully with French Indian
diplomacy, as exercised by their governors, missionaries and traders.
[Footnote: Turner's Phelps and Gorham Purchase.]

Had he lived until the war of the Revolution, it is supposed by some he
might have remained neutral, and have kept the Indians from engaging in
the conflict, though this is altogether uncertain. He lived to see the
gathering of the storm that swept away most of his great possessions.

On the death of Sir William, his son John Johnson succeeded to his titles
and estate. The office of General Superintendent of the Indians, fell into
the hands of Col. Guy Johnson, a son-in-law, who appointed Col. Claus,
another son-in-law, as his deputy.

Into their hands fell the property, and a large share of the influence
over the Indians, possessed by Sir William Johnson. This influence was
exerted in favor of Great Britain.

When the Indians heard of the uprising in Boston, and of the battle of
Lexington, they were told, that these out-breaks were the acts of
disobedient children, against the great king, who had been kind to them,
as he had to the Six Nations. That their "_great father over the water_,"
was rich in money and men; that the colonists were poor, and their numbers
small, and that they could easily be brought into subjection.

At a council of the Iroquois convened at Oswego, by Sir John Johnson and
other officers and friends of the crown, they were informed that the king
desired them to assist him in subduing the rebels, who had taken up arms
against him, and were about to rob him of a part of his great possessions.

But the chiefs one by one assured the British agents that they had the
year before, in a council with General Schuyler, pledged themselves to
neutrality, and could not without violating their promise, take up the

But they were assured that the rebels justly merited all the punishment
that white men and Indians could inflict;--that they would be richly
rewarded for their services, and _that the king's rum was as plenty as
the waters of Lake Ontario_.

This appeal to their appetites, already vitiated, together with the
promise of large rewards, at length prevailed; and a treaty was concluded,
in which the Indians pledged themselves to take up arms against the
rebels, and continue in service during the war. They were then presented
each with a suit of clothes, a brass kettle, a gun, a tomahawk, a scalping
knife, a quantity of powder and lead, and a piece of gold. [Footnote: Life
of Mary Jemison.]

The Senecas were among those who consented to join the royal standard. Of
this action Red Jacket did not approve. He declared plainly and
unhesitatingly to those who had determined to engage in the war,--"_This
quarrel does not belong to us,--and it is test for us to take no part in
it; we need not waste our blood to have it settled. If they fight us, we
will fight them, but if they let us alone, we had better keep still_."
[Footnote: Testimony given to the author by Wm. Jones, Seneca chief, and
confirmed by Col. Wm. Jones, son of the Indian interpreter, who affirms
that prominent Indian chiefs had declared in his hearing that these were
the sentiments of Red Jacket at this time.]

Red Jacket at this time was not far from twenty-six years old. His
forensic abilities had not been called forth, and his influence weighed
but little in comparison with that of older men. But it may be observed
that his conduct ever after this, will be found consistent with the
sentiments he entertained, and was free to express. Though young, his
perceptions were keen, he had a deep and penetrating mind and saw at a
glance that in this contest his people were doomed to suffer, to be ground
between the upper and nether mill stone.

When, in the summer of 1777, his people received an invitation to join the
forces that were preparing to march under the command of Col. St. Leger
upon Fort Stanwix, being assured that they would not be required to endure
the fatigues and dangers of the battle, but might "sit down quietly and
smoke their pipes, and see the sport;" Red Jacket endeavored, but in vain,
to prevent his people from going. He said to them, "_it's a cheat; the
design is to deceive you, and if you go you will find that you have been

They threw back the taunt,--"_You are a coward, you have the mind of a
woman, and are not fit to go to war_."

Red Jacket though not at this time a chief, was a young man of
acknowledged talent and influence, and having a right to express his
opinion, did not hesitate to give it in favor of peace. His opinion was
well known among his people. Little Beard has frequently been seen to bury
his face in his blanket, and give vent to his tears, in view of the havoc
made among the Senecas by the war, at the same time declaring,--"_Red
Jacket was opposed to the war_, HE WAS ALWAYS IN FAVOR OF PEACE, _and how
much better it had been, had we listened to his advice_." [Footnote:
Conversation of the author with Col. Jones.]

[Illustration: BARRY ST. LEGER]

Red Jacket's prediction was too nearly verified. The Senecas suffered most
severely in that campaign. They fell under the command of Thay-en-dan-e-
gea or Brant, who went with a company of Tories, led by Col. Butler, to
intercept General Herkimer, who was reported as coming to the relief of
the garrison. At a certain point on the way, where they expected the
general would pass, they formed an ambuscade, and though they selected
their ground with wisdom, and acquitted themselves with great bravery,
they were unable to stand before the invincible courage of the heroes of

The Senecas claim to have lost in that engagement thirty-three of their
chiefs, and their feelings in view of it are said to have been sad in the
extreme. [Footnote: "The mourning was excessive, and was expressed by the
most doleful yells, shrieks and howlings and by inimitable
gesticulations."--Mrs. Jemison's Narrative.]

The charge of cowardice applied by the young warriors to Red Jacket, upon
their first starting out on this campaign, was one frequently made during
the war. His views were at different times expressed in opposition to it,
and his arguments as often repelled by the young braves, who could not
endure his invectives. The reply was easily made, and hence in more
frequent demand, than if it had imposed a greater tax upon their
intellects. The epithet has often been applied to him since, and though
his tastes did not lead him to seek the fame of a warrior, still it is
believed he was not so devoid of courage, as has sometimes been

His views of the war, were not those of a partisan, hence his conduct was
often censured by those who had entered heartily into the contest.

Brant has charged him with being the occasion of trouble to him, in his
efforts to arrest the march of Sullivan, and his army, into the Indian
country. Particularly at Newtown, where considerable preparations had been
made for defense. Says Col. Stone,--"Sa-go-ye-wat-ha was then twenty-nine
years old, and though it does not appear that he had yet been created a
chief, he nevertheless seems to have been already a man of influence. He
was in the practice of holding private consultations with the young
warriors, and some of the younger and less resolute chiefs, for the
purpose of fomenting discontents, and persuading them to sue for what
Brant considered, ignominious terms of peace.

"On one occasion as Brant has alleged, Red Jacket had so far succeeded in
his treachery, as to induce some of the disaffected chiefs to send a
runner into Sullivan's camp, to make known dissensions he himself had
awakened, and invite a flag of truce, _with propositions of peace to the

Though charged with acting criminally, it is here expressly asserted,
_that it was to obtain peace_. Peace he most earnestly desired for his
people, who were doomed to be wasted in a contest not their own.

Nor, in view of his feelings respecting the war, is it surprising he
should have incurred the displeasure of Cornplanter, while endeavoring to
bring his countrymen to make a stand against a portion of the invading
army, on the beach of Canandaigua lake, where was an Indian village of
some size. Not finding in Red Jacket an ardor for the undertaking which
corresponded in any degree with his own, he turned to the young wife of
the orator and exclaimed,--"_Leave that man, he is a coward; your children
will disgrace you, they will all be cowards_." [Footnote: Col. Wm. Jones.]

The epithet thus applied occasioned uneasiness to none less than to the
orator himself. Whenever he chose to notice it, he would make a good
return for what he had received.--In a war of words, he was on his own
chosen ground. He was a match for their greatest champion, and in cross-
firing, it could easily be seen that his missiles were directed by one who
was perfect master of the art. He could handle at will the most cutting
sarcasm, and while maintaining a good natured, playful mood, deal his
blows with such power and effect, as to make the victim of his irony
resort to some other means of defense, than the tongue. It is said that
frequently by his cool, good natured railery, he has caused the victim of
his sport to turn upon and strike him. He would answer it by a hearty
laugh, unless the blow was of such a nature as to demand of him a
different reception. [Footnote: Wm. Jones, Seneca chief.] He seemed to be
armed at every point, as with a coat of mail, against the arrows of his
assailants. Their most powerful weapons would be turned aside by his
presence of mind, and matchless skill, and leave him apparently unharmed.

A circumstance illustrating this point, once occurred between him and
Little Billy, a chief of some note among the Senecas, who was frequently
in the orator's company. This chief, with Red Jacket and one or two
others, were once passing from their settlement on Canandaigua lake, to
the old Seneca Castle, near the foot of Seneca lake. On their way they
encountered a large grizzly bear. Little Billy and the others in the
company, were frightened and began to run. Red Jacket who was
distinguished as a hunter, and an excellent marksman, drew up his rifle,
and brought the monster to the ground.

It so happened, on one occasion sometime afterward, that Little Billy was
very pertinacious in calling Red Jacket a coward. The orator did not
appear to notice him at first; but finding that he persisted in the
charge, he turned to him and coolly and sarcastically said,--"_Well, if I
am coward I never run unless it's for something bigger than a bear_."
[Footnote: Conversation with Seneca chief, Wm. Jones.]

It is hardly necessary to add, that nothing more was heard from Little
Billy concerning his cowardice on that day.

This charge of cowardice was owing in a great degree to the orator's
position. He was not on the popular side. The majority of his people were
against him. Had he acted in accordance with their wishes, it is a
question whether anything would ever have been said about his deficiency
in courage. And this supposition is strengthened by the fact, that at a
subsequent period in his history, a little display of courage, when acting
in accordance with the wishes of his people, gained for him a marked
degree of approbation, and gave rise to the affirmation, "_the stain fixed
upon his character, was thus wiped away by his good conduct in the
field_." [Footnote: McKenney's Indian Biography.]

In opposing the wishes of his people, when bent on a war of which he did
not approve, he gained the epithet of _coward_. With less intelligence,
and less moral courage, he might have seconded the views of his nation,
and been ranked a brave.

Hence, though we do not claim for Red Jacket the possession of qualities,
adapted to make him conspicuous as a military chieftain, we are disposed
to attribute to him the higher courage of acting in accordance with his
own convictions of propriety and duty. "He was born an orator, and while
morally brave, lacked the stolid insensibility to suffering and slaughter,
which characterized the war-captains of his nation." [Footnote: Bryant's

We readily concede that Red Jacket was fitted by nature to excel in
councils of peace, rather than in enterprises of war; to gain victories in
a conflict of mind with mind rather than in physical strife, on the field
of battle.

And it may be questioned whether the qualities adapted to the highest
achievements of oratory, would be congenial to the rough encounters of
war. Especially when the mind is already preoccupied with inward
thirstings after the glory of the rostrum; it will not be apt to sigh for
the camp, or the noise and tinsel of mere military fame.

It is related of him that when a boy, he was present at a great council
held on the Shenandoah. Many nations were there represented by their wise
men and orators. The greatest among them was Logan, who had removed from
the territory of his tribe to Shamokin. He was the son of Shikellemus, a
celebrated chief of the Cayuga nation, who, before the Revolution was a
warm friend of the whites.

On the occasion referred to, Red Jacket was so charmed with Logan's style,
and manner of delivery, that he resolved to attain if possible the same
high standard of eloquence; though he almost despaired of equalling his
distinguished model.

On his return to Cunadesaga, near the Seneca lake, which was at that time
his home, he sometimes incurred the displeasure and reproof of his mother,
by long absence from her cabin, without any ostensible cause. When hard
pressed for an answer, he informed his mother, that "_he had been playing

"Thus in his mighty soul the fire of a generous emulation had been
kindled, not to go out until his oratorical fame threw a refulgent glory
on the declining fortunes of the once formidable Iroquois. In the deep and
silent forest he practiced elocution, or to use his own expressive
language, _played Logan_, until he caught the manner and tone of his great
master. Unconsciously the forest orator, was an imitator of the eloquent
Greek, who tuned his voice on the wild sea beach, to the thunders of the
surge, and caught from nature's altar his loftiest inspiration.

"Not without previous preparation, and the severest discipline, did Red
Jacket acquire his power of moving and melting his hearers. His graceful
attitudes, significant gestures, perfect intonation, and impressive
pauses, when the lifted finger, and flashing eye told more than utterance,
were the result of sleepless toil; while his high acquirement was the
product of stern habitual thought, study of man, and keen observation."

"He did not trust to the occasion alone for his finest periods, and
noblest metaphors. In the armory of his capacious intellect the weapons of
forensic warfare had been previously polished and stored away. Ever ready
for the unfaltering tongue was the cutting rebuke, or apt illustration. By
labor, persevering labor, he achieved his renown. By exercising his
faculties in playing Logan when a boy, one of the highest standards of
mortal eloquence, either in ancient or modern times, he has left a lesson
to all ambitious aspirants, that there is no royal road to greatness; that
the desired goal is only to be gained by scaling rugged cliffs, and
treading painful paths." [Footnote: This statement, together with the
remarks that follow, is presented almost entire, from a reminiscence of
Red Jacket, given by Mr. Turner in his Pioneer History of the Phelps and
Gorham Purchase, a work that has rescued from oblivion, many interesting
and valuable historical recollections.]

The habit thus acquired in the orator's youth, became characteristic of
him, at a later period of his life. Previous to his making any great
forensic effort, he could be seen walking in the woods alone, apparently
in deep study. [Footnote: Col. Wm. Jones.]


Early struggles--Red Jacket's opportunity for trial--Council at Fort
Stanwix--Red Jacket's office of Sachem--Red Jacket's opposition to the
proposed treaty--Excitement created by his speech--Allayed by Cornplanter
--His influence in deciding the treaty--How it affected him.

How long and toilsome the way, ere the ambitious aspirant passes from the
low grounds of obscurity, to the dazzling heights of fame! How many hours
of anxious toil, through wearisome days and nights, protracted through
months and years, are passed, before the arena even is entered, where the
race commences in earnest! How many struggling emotions between hope and
fear, encouragement and doubt, promise and despair, mark the experience,
and clothe it with the sublimity and interest that belong to action in its
highest forms!

Did this child of nature cherishing the bright dream from early life,
never suffer from these contending emotions, ere he awoke finally to the
consciousness of the reality, where he could exclaim, I am an orator, yes,

This idea Red Jacket began now to cherish. He had practiced in his native
wilds, the forest depths had echoed back those strains of eloquence, that
had struggled for utterance in his impassioned bosom, and their force
being expended here, served but to awaken a still stronger desire to try
his powers, where he could have the answering sympathy of human hearts.
His fame and greatness were yet to be achieved. With the inward
consciousness of strength that would secure for him the eminence he
desired, he awaited eagerly the opportunity for its exercise. This
opportunity came.

When the storm of war had rolled by, the hour came for deliberation, and
council. England and America had concluded peace, and the jurisdiction of
the country of the Iroquois had been surrendered to the United States.
Still no provision had been made by the crown for those tribes that had
freely fought in her defence. They were left to make their own peace, or
prosecute the war on their own account. Their attitude was yet hostile. No
expedition of importance was undertaken, but the border men were
constantly annoyed by Indians, who drove away their horses and cattle, and
committed other acts of depredation. And the inhabitants of the frontier
had suffered so severely from the Indian tribes during the war, that these
acts served to awaken still deeper feelings of hostility toward them, and
led some openly to recommend that the Indians be driven from their lands,
and that these be forfeited to the State.

These councils were strenuously resisted by the general government. The
humane and considerate Washington thought it wiser to try and conciliate
them, and if possible win their confidence and esteem, claiming that their
lands, when needed, could be obtained at a cheaper rate by negotiation and
purchase, than by war and conquest.

This course, the excellence of which experience has fully demonstrated,
was finally adopted, and in pursuance of this design, a general council of
the Iroquois was convened at Fort Stanwix, in the fall of 1784. It was
attended by Oliver Wolcott, Richard Butler, and Arthur Lee, who were
appointed commissioners on the part of the United States. The different
tribes of the Iroquois were represented, and Red Jacket was present, and
took an active part in its deliberations. He had now been elected to the
office of Sachem; at what time precisely, is not known, but probably not
far from the close of the war of the Revolution.

The manner in which he gained this office has been ascribed by some to
artifice as well as the force of his eloquence. Col. Stone says, that
"aspiring to the rank of chief, he not only wrought upon the minds of his
people, by the exertion of that faculty which was ever with them a high
standard of merit, but he succeeded in availing himself of the
superstitious constitution of his race, to effect his purpose. His first
essay was to dream that he was, or should be a chief, and that the Great
Spirit was angry that his nation had not advanced him to that dignity.
This dream, with the necessary variations, he repeated until, fortunately
for him, the small pox broke out among the Senecas. He then proclaimed the
loathsome infliction a judgment sent by the Great Spirit, to punish them
for their ingratitude to him. The consequence ultimately was, that by
administering flattery to some, working upon the superstitious fears of
others, and by awakening the admiration of all by his eloquence, he
reached the goal of his ambition." [Footnote: Col. Stone's Life and Times
of Thayendanegea and Life and Times of Red Jacket. This statement has been
denied by some, who affirm that his eloquence was the sole cause of his
elevation. If this representation came from Brant, it may be recollected
that between Red Jacket and Brant there did not exist a very strong
attachment, and statements made by one concerning the other, would not be
likely to bear the coloring of a very warm friendship.]

However this may have been, it is certain this course was not necessary to
establish Red Jacket's position among his people. The circumstances of
their history created a necessity for his transcendent abilities, and the
light of his genius, though it may have been obscured for a time, must
eventually have shone forth, in its original beauty and splendor.

Red Jacket was now called upon to assist in the deliberations of his
people, and from this time to the day of his death, we find him connected
with, and bearing an important part in all of their public transactions.

The council at Fort Stanwix was the first occasion in which he appeared
before the public. It was a meeting of no small moment. With an anxious
heart the Indian left his home and wended his way, through his native
forests, to the place where he was to meet in council, the chiefs of the
thirteen fires. His own tribes had been wasted, by a long and bloody war.
The nation they had so long clung to, and by whose artifice they had been
led to engage in the strife, stood confessedly vanquished. A new power had
arisen in the land, what bearing would it have on their future fortunes?

With the importance of this gathering none were more deeply impressed than
Red Jacket.--Yonder he stands, alone;--his knit brow, and searching glance
indicate a process of thought, which stirs deeply the emotions of the
inner man.--Tread lightly, lest you disturb the silent evolutions of that
airy battalion, that is wheeling into rank and file, thoughts that
discharged in words, reach the mark and do execution.--Now he wears a look
of indignation, which presently turns to one of proud defiance, as he
contemplates the encroaching disposition of the white race.--Now you may
detect an air of scorn, and his eye flashes fire, as he regards them at
first a feeble colony, which might easily have been crushed by the strong
arm of the Iroquois.--A feeling of deep concern directly overspreads his
features, as he thinks of their advancing power, and of the prospect of
their surpassing even the glory of his own ancestry.--A still deeper shade
steals over him as he thinks of the waning fortunes of his people.--
Presently his countenance is lighted up;--his feelings are all aglow,--a
bright thought, has entered his mind.--He conceives the idea of the union
of the entire race of red men, to resist the encroachments of the whites.
--Are they not yet strong? And united, would they not yet be, a
formidable power?

With anxious and matured thoughts, Red Jacket comes to this council
gathering. Its bearing on his nation and race, he deeply scans, and
treasures up those burning thoughts, with which he is to electrify, and
set on fire the bosoms of his countrymen.

Of the proceedings of this council, little is known aside from the bare
treaty itself. By this treaty perpetual peace and amity were agreed upon
between the United States, and the Iroquois, and the latter ceded to the
United States, all their lands lying west of a line commencing at the
mouth of a creek four miles east of Niagara, at a place on Lake Ontario
called Johnson's Landing; thence south, in a direction always four miles
east of the portage, or carrying-path, between Lakes Erie and Ontario, to
the mouth of Buffalo creek, on Lake Erie; thence due south to the north
boundary of the state of Pennsylvania; thence west to the end of said
boundary; thence south along the west boundary of the state of
Pennsylvania to the Ohio river.

In consideration of this surrender to the United States of their claim to
western lands, the Iroquois were to be secure in the peaceful possession
of the lands they inhabited in the state of New York.

This treaty Red Jacket strenuously resisted. He regarded the proposed
cession of lands as exorbitant and unjust, and summoned all the resources
of his eloquence to defend his position. The course of his argument and
the various means he took to enforce it, we have no means of adequately
presenting. A few hints respecting it, and the testimony of those present
as to the effect produced, is all we have to guide us in forming any
estimate of its merits.

After giving a vivid representation of the encroachments already made upon
them by the whites, and of the advances they were making in numbers and
power, as well as extent of territory, he reminded his hearers of the
ancient glory of the Iroquois, and contrasted it with their present wasted
and feeble condition. They had been passing through a mighty convulsion,
the hurricane had swept over their dwellings, their homes were laid waste,
their country made desolate.

He directed them to the extensive dominion they had exercised. Their
empire was wide, on the north, and east, and south, and west, there were
none to stay their hand, or limit their power. A broad continent was open
to them on every side, and their seats were large. But now they were met
by a people to whom they had surrendered a large portion of their lands,
and "they are driving us on toward the setting sun. They would shut us in,
they would close up the path to our brethren at the west. We demand an
open way."

They had no right, he affirmed, to part with their western lands. Their
laws, their ancient usages forbade it. They ought never to decide a
question so momentous as this, without giving all the parties a hearing,
who have any interest in its decision. They should be present and join in
their deliberations. Their brethren at the west had a right to be
consulted in this matter.--It would be unworthy of the name, and exalted
fame of the Iroquois, to decide the question without reference to them.--
It was a question that affected deeply the interests of the entire race of
red men on this continent. He declared finally that rather than yield to
the exorbitant demands of the treaty, they should take up their arms, and
prosecute the war on their own account.

Such is the scanty outline of a speech that made a wonderful impression on
the minds of all his people who were present. During the progress of his
speech, their emotions were wrought up to a pitch, that seemed to betoken
a rising storm, and at times it seemed as though it needed but a spark to
set on fire a flame that was ready to burst out with consuming force.

Those present, who did not understand the language of the orator, were
deeply interested in his voice, his manner of elocution, and his perfect
and inimitable action. They caught fire from his eye, and felt the
inspiration, which was kindled in the minds of all who listened to him
understandingly. When he sat down his work was accomplished. There was but
one heart among his people. From this time on, he was the peerless orator
of his nation.

A very interesting sketch of Red Jacket as an orator, refers, for the
existence of the facts which form the basis of its statements, to a treaty
held at Canandaigua in 1794. It has been copied by Drake, and published in
almost every sketch of the orator's life. Mr. Stone questions its
truthfulness on the ground that there is no notice of it in any notes of
this council taken at the time, and because also there was evidently an
absence of the peculiar circumstances, which the speech referred to, seems
to demand. Still he introduces it under the supposition that if delivered
there at all, it might have been during the excitement produced among the
Indians, by the rejection from the council, by Col. Pickering, of one
Johnson, a messenger from Brant, who had been invited to be present at
that council. Yet this is by no means probable, as Red Jacket would have
been far from rising into eloquence on an occasion, which from his known
relations to the proud Mohawk, he would naturally view with satisfaction,
instead of resentment. The more probable supposition is, that the writer
caught up this as a traditionary statement, which, owing to the lapse of
time and the uncertainty of memory, had been changed in one or two of its
items, and receiving it as correct, penned it in good faith, as having
transpired at that treaty. It is a correct presentation of some of the
points in the orator's speech on this occasion, and is as follows:
[Footnote: Mr. Stone justly supposes this speech might have been made at
the treaty of Fort Stanwix in 1784.]

"... The witnesses of the scene will never forget the powers of native
oratory. Two days had passed away in negotiation with the Indians for a
cession of their lands. The contract was supposed to be nearly completed,
when Red Jacket arose. With the grace and dignity of a Roman Senator, he
drew his blanket around him, and with a piercing eye surveyed the
multitude. All was hushed. Nothing interposed to break the silence, but
the rustling of the leaves. After a long and solemn, but not unmeaning
pause, he commenced in a low voice, and sententious style. Rising
gradually with the subject, he depicted the primitive simplicity and
happiness of his nation, and the wrongs they had sustained from the
usurpations of white men, with such a bold and faithful pencil, that every
auditor was soon roused to vengeance, or melted to tears. The effect was
inexpressible. But ere the emotions of admiration and sympathy had
subsided, the white men became alarmed. They were in the heart of an
Indian country, surrounded by ten times their number, who were inflamed by
a remembrance of their injuries, and excited to indignation by the
eloquence of a favorite chief. Appalled and terrified, the white men cast
a cheerless gaze on the hordes around them. A nod from the chiefs might be
the onset of destruction. At this portentious moment, Farmer's Brother
interposed. He replied not to his brother chief, but with a sagacity truly
aboriginal, he caused the cessation of the council, introduced good cheer,
commended the eloquence of Red Jacket, and before the meeting had
reassembled, with the aid of other prudent chiefs, he had moderated the
fury of his nation to a more salutary view of the question before them."

The commissioners replied, but without making much headway on account of
the agitation and excitement, produced by the orator's speech; that by the
common usages of war they might lay claim to a much larger extent of
territory; that their demand was characterized by great moderation, and
insisted on their yielding to the terms proposed.

There was little disposition among them to yield the point, yet the treaty
was finally brought to a successful issue, by the influence of

Cornplanter was a noble specimen of the Indian race. He had all the
sagacity for which his people were distinguished, and was equally active,
eloquent and brave. He was well qualified by his talents to engage in the
legislative councils of his nation, and was unsurpassed by any, for
prowess and daring in the bloody field of strife. No chief, Thayendanegea
not excepted, had gained higher laurels for personal valor, and none
commanded more fully the confidence and esteem of his nation. His people
looked up to him as a tower of strength, and when he spake, his words fell
upon them with the weight of great authority. Better acquainted than his
junior associate with the details of war, and understanding likewise the
wasted and feeble condition of his people, and having learned in the late
conflict something of the power of the enemy they would have to encounter,
he regarded the idea of their resistance as wholly impracticable, and
advised a compliance with the terms of the treaty. Though he regretted the
loss of any more territory, he wisely concluded it was better to lose a
part, than to be deprived of all. And by throwing his influence decidedly
in favor, he succeeded finally in quieting the minds of his people, and in
persuading them to accede to the proposals made.

It is a matter of regret that so few traces are left, of Red Jacket's
speech on this occasion. Yet had his speech been reported, we might have
been as much at a loss as at present, to derive from it a just estimation
of his talents. His speeches as reported are tame when compared with the
effect produced.

The Indian was an unwritten language. The most distinguished orators of
the Iroquois confederacy, matured their thoughts in solitude without the
aid of the pen, and when uttered in the hearing of the people, they passed
forever into oblivion, only as a striking passage may hare been retained
in memory. And with them the want of a written language was thus in a
measure compensated. They made an increased effort to treasure up their
thoughts. Yet how much must necessarily have been lost! and how liable to
waste away, that which remained.

Trusting to them how imperfect must have been a reported speech! And
relying on those who transferred their speeches to a different language,
we have little assurance of any thing better than mutilated transcripts of
the original. Need we be surprised then, to find in Red Jacket's published
speeches, a tameness unworthy of his fame? Red Jacket was esteemed by the
men of his time as an orator, surpassingly eloquent.

In his speeches as reported, this does not appear. Hence, his reported
speeches fail to do him justice, or the men of his time very much
overrated his talents.

Taking the latter horn of the dilemma we impeach the judgment and good
sense of those who have gone before us. Assuming the former, we present an
admitted and proclaimed fact. His contemporaries, while they conceded to
him the highest attributes and accomplishments of eloquence, unite in
affirming that his reported speeches come far short of the original.

_Captain Horatio Jones_, a favorite interpreter, has frequently
declared,--"_it is impossible to do Red Jacket justice_." The peculiar
shade given to the idea, its beauty in its own native idiom, was often
entirely lost in the transfer. In much the same way, Captain Jasper
Parrish, of Canandaigua, has frequently been heard to speak, when
referring to the forensic efforts of the orator.

And besides, those passages that were most deeply fraught with eloquence,
were often lost entirely, from the fact that the way having been prepared
by a recital of those details that are reported, the reporter himself has
been carried away by the very flood that surrounded, uplifted, and carried
away the mass of those who heard him speak. So that the only note that
would be made, of a passage of considerable length, is given in one or two
short sentences. [Footnote: Conversation of the author with Col. Wm.

By the generality of the Iroquois, the terms of the treaty at Fort Stanwix
were regarded as severe; and though the services of the renowned
Cornplanter were engaged by the commissioners, in an effort to persuade
the disaffected into a reconciliation with it, the attempt was but
partially successful, and was made at the expense of his own high standing
among his people. They were not easily reconciled, and were so much
displeased with his conduct on this, and one or two subsequent occasions,
that they even threatened his life. A circumstance he touchingly refers to
in a speech addressed to General Washington.

"Father," said he, "we will not conceal from you that the great God and
not man, has preserved Cornplanter, from the hands of his own nation. For
they ask continually--where is the land which our children, and their
children after them are to lie down upon? When the Sun goes down he opens
his heart before God, and earlier than the sun appears upon the hills, he
gives thanks for his protection during the night; for he feels that among
men become desperate by their danger, it is God only that can preserve


Claim of the United States to Indian lands--Conflicting claims of
different States--Difficulty settled--Attempt to acquire the land by a
lease--Purchase by Phelps and Gorham--Further purchase by Robert Morris.

At the close of the war of the Revolution, the territory ceded by Great
Britain to the United States, included large tracts of country occupied by
the Indians. In ceding these lands, she ceded only the right claimed by
herself, on the ground of original discovery, which was simply a priority
of right to purchase of the original occupants of the soil. The Indians
were allowed to dwell upon these lands, and were considered in a certain
sense the owners, but were required in case of a sale, to dispose of them
to the government. [Footnote: Kent's Commentary.]

As each State claimed to be sovereign in every interest not ceded to the
general government, each State claimed the territory covered by its
original charter. These charters, owing to great ignorance of geographical
limits, created claims that conflicted with each other. From this source
originated difficult questions about land titles and jurisdiction, between
the States of Connecticut and Pennsylvania,--Massachusetts and New York.
These difficulties which existed before, the greater question of the
Revolutionary war suspended for a time, but when peace was concluded, they
came up again for a consideration and settlement.

The way was in a measure prepared for this, by the relinquishment to the
general government, on the part of New York in 1781, and of Massachusetts
in 1785, of all their right to territory west of a meridian line drawn
south, from the western end of Lake Ontario.

In the adjustment of these difficulties, Connecticut relinquished her
claim to a tract of land on the Susquehanna in Pennsylvania, called the
Gore, and acquired that part of the State of Ohio called New Connecticut,
or Western Reserve. And Pennsylvania obtained a tract of land lying
immediately beyond the western boundary of the State of New York, and
north-east of her own, embracing the harbor of Presque Isle, on Lake Erie,
familiarly known as the Triangle, thus giving her access to the waters of
this Lake.

The question in controversy between the States of New York and
Massachusetts was more serious, owing to the large amount of territory
claimed by the latter in western New York. It was brought to an amicable
settlement, by Massachusetts surrendering to New York the right of
jurisdiction, over all the land west of the present eastern boundary of
the State; and by New York giving to Massachusetts the pre-emptive right,
or right of purchasing of the Indians, all of the lands lying west of a
meridian line drawn through Seneca Lake, from a certain point on the
northern boundary of Pennsylvania, reserving however, a strip of land one
mile in width, along the eastern shore of the Niagara river. Thus New
York, while she retained the sovereignty, lost the fee of about six
millions of acres of land, in one of the finest regions of country in the
new world. [Footnote: For a more full account, see "Turner's History of
the Phelps and Gorham Purchase."]

While these difficulties were being adjusted, a magnificent speculation
was in progress, which bid fair to meet the expectations of its earnest
projectors. A company was organized, called the New York and Genesee Land
Company, with a view to obtain the entire tract of Indian lands within the
State. To evade the law forbidding the sale of these lands to any party
not authorized by the State, it was proposed to obtain them by a lease,
that should extend nine hundred and ninety-nine years. A lease extending
so long, was regarded as equivalent to a sale.

With a view to further its designs another company, the Niagara Genesee
Company, was also formed in Canada, of those who were most in
correspondence with the Indians, and who would be influential in securing
from them a decision in favor of their object.

These organizations, especially the New York Land Company, were large, and
included men of wealth and prominence, both in New York and Canada. With
such appliances as they were enabled to bring to bear upon the Indians,
they secured, in November, 1787, a _lease for nine hundred and ninety-
nine years_, of all the lands of the Iroquois in the State of New York,
except some small reservations, and the privilege of hunting and fishing,
for an annual rent of two thousand dollars, and a promised gift of twenty
thousand dollars.

The formidable character of these associations created a just alarm, and
measures were immediately undertaken to circumvent their influence. An act
was passed by the Legislature of New York, in March, 1788, authorizing the
governor to disregard all contracts made with the Indians, and not
sanctioned by the State; and to cause those who had entered upon Indian
lands under such contracts, to be driven off, and their houses destroyed.
The sheriff of the county was directed to dispossess intruders and burn
their dwellings, and a military force was called out, that strictly
enforced these orders.

Thus by the energetic action of Governor Clinton of New York, the designs
of these organizations were overruled.

As early as 1784, the Legislature of New York had passed an act,
appointing the governor, and a Board of Commissioners, the Superintendents
of Indian affairs, and as there were other Indian lands within the State,
not covered by the pre-emptive right of Massachusetts, these commissioners
with the governor at their head, entered upon negotiations with a view of
purchasing them, and securing a title to them for the State. [Footnote:
The commissioners designated were: Abraham Cuyler, Peter Schuyler and
Henry Glen, who associated with them Philip Schuyler, Robert Yates,
Abraham Ten Broeck, A. Yates, Jr., P. W. Yates, John J. Beekman, Mathew
Vischer, and Gen. Gansevoort.]

A council of the Iroquois was appointed for this purpose, at Fort
Schuyler, on the first of September, 1788.

The Leasees disappointed and angered by the bold and decisive measures
taken against them, exerted their influence to prevent the Indians from
assembling. But by measures equally energetic in its favor, a
representation of the different tribes was obtained, and a treaty was
concluded on the 12th, in which was conveyed to the State the land of the
Onondagas; some reservations excepted, in consideration of one thousand
dollars, in hand paid and an annuity of five hundred dollars forever.

Then followed negotiations with the Oneidas. Speeches were interchanged,
propositions made and rejected, until finally an agreement was made, and a
deed of cession executed by the chiefs, conveying all their lands,
excepting certain reservations, in consideration of two thousand dollars
in money, two thousand dollars in clothing and other goods, one thousand
dollars in provisions, five hundred dollars for the erection of a saw and
grist mill on their reservation, and an annuity of six hundred dollars

The commissioners next appointed a council to be held at Albany, December
15, 1788. Great difficulty was experienced in getting the Indians
together, the Leasees it is said, "kept the Indians so continually
intoxicated, it was impossible to do anything with them." [Footnote:
Turner's History.]

It was not until the eleventh of the February following, that a sufficient
number were brought together, to proceed with the negotiations; and on the
twenty-fifth, the preliminaries having been settled, the Cayugas ceded to
the State all of their lands, excepting a large reservation of one hundred
square miles. It was in consideration of five hundred dollars in hand,
sixteen hundred and twenty-eight dollars in June following, and an annuity
of five hundred dollars forever.

Mr. Turner in alluding to these negotiations very properly observes, "it
was only after a hard struggle of much perplexity and embarrassment, that
the object was accomplished. For the honor of our country, it could be
wished that all Indian negotiations and treaties, had been attended with
as little wrong, had been conducted as fairly as were those under the
auspices and general direction of George Clinton. No where has the veteran
warrior and statesman left a better proof of his sterling integrity and
ability, than is furnished by the records of these treaties. In no case
did he allow the Indians to be deceived, but stated to them from time to
time, with unwearied patience, the true conditions of the bargains they
were consummating."

He says further, "the treaties for lands found the Six Nations in a
miserable condition. They had warred on the side of a losing party; for
long years the field and the chase had been neglected; they were suffering
for food and raiment. Half-famished they flocked to the treaties and were
fed and clothed. One item of expense charged in the accounts of the treaty
at Albany in 1789, was for horses paid for, that the Indians had killed
and eaten on their way down. For several years in addition to the amount
of provisions distributed to them at the treaties, boatloads of corn were
distributed among them by the State."

It does not appear that Red Jacket, Cornplanter, Brant, or other of the
more noted chiefs among the Iroquois, were present to take a part in these
negotiations. Hence exception was taken to these proceedings. When the
time drew near for paying the first annuity, the Onondagas sent an agent
to Governor Clinton, saying they had received four strings of wampum from
the Senecas, forbidding them to go to Fort Stanwix to receive the money,
and declaring also "that the governor of Quebec wanted their lands; that
Sir John wanted them; Col. Butler wants the Cayugas' lands; and the
commanding officer of Fort Niagara wants the Senecas' lands."

They were assured in reply that they might "make their minds easy," the
governor would protect them; that the Leasees were the cause of their

The Cayugas also sent a message to the governor, saying they were
"threatened with destruction, even total extermination. The voice comes
from the west; _its sound is terrible, our brothers the Cayugas and
Onondagas are to share the same fate_."

The complaint was, they had sold their lands without consulting the
_western tribes_.

The decided position of the Executive in giving them assurance of
protection, was the means of dissipating their alarm.

Historical evidence renders it apparent, that at this early period, the
design was entertained by those in Canada, whose control over the Indians
was well nigh supreme, to gain through them possession of Western New
York, and without compromising the government of Great Britain, sever it
from the United States, connect it with the territory of the North-west,
and hold it by Indian possession, in a sort of quasi allegiance, to the
crown of England.

Their design with respect to Western New York was defeated by the
energetic measures of its chief executive, but further on we will see they
did not relinquish the idea of holding from the United States, the
territory of the North-west.

Next in the race of competition for the broad and fertile lands of the
Genesee, appear the names of Oliver Phelps and Nathaniel Gorham. They were
the acknowledged representatives of a considerable body of men, who were
ambitious of securing an interest in what was regarded as the most
desirable region in this country.

From the advent of Gen. Sullivan's army into the Indian country in 1779,
their route being through the very finest portion of Western New York, and
at a season of the year when vegetation was in its highest perfection; the
beauty and fertility of these lands became the theme of praise, on the
part of every soldier that beheld them. Their fame was thus carried to
almost every village and hamlet in Pennsylvania and New England. Hence
great eagerness was manifested in regard to the title, and settlement of
these lands.

The company of which Messrs. Phelps and Gorham were the leading spirits,
having purchased the pre-emptive right of Massachusetts, in the spring of
1788, Mr. Phelps went on to the ground, and was successful in convening a
council of the Indians for the sale of their lands, at Buffalo creek,
during the month of July of the same year. [Footnote: His success in
obtaining this council, and securing a sale, was owing in a large degree,
to his policy in paying court to the powerful faction of the Leasees
residing in Canada, and giving them an interest in the purchase.]

The Indians at this treaty strenuously resisted the sale of any of their
land west of the Genesee river; yet with a view of furnishing "_a piece
of ground for a mill yard_" at the Genesee Falls, were finally persuaded
to give their assent to a boundary line, that included a tract twelve
miles square, west of that river. The eastern boundary of the lands sold,
was the Massachusetts pre-emptive line; the western, was a line "beginning
in the northern line of Pennsylvania, due south of the corner or point of
land made by the confluence of the Genesee river, and the Canaseraga
creek, thence north on said meridian line to the corner or point, at the
confluence aforesaid; thence northwardly along the waters of the Genesee
river, to a point two miles north of Canawangus village, thence running
due west 12 miles; thence running northwardly so as to be twelve miles
distant from the western bounds of said river, to the shores of Lake
Ontario." The lands thus ceded, are what has been called "_The Phelps and
Gorham Purchase_." It contained by estimation two million and six hundred
thousand acres, for which they agreed to pay the Indians five thousand
dollars, and an annuity of five hundred dollars forever.

Robert Morris, the distinguished financier of the Revolution, afterward
became owner of the greater part of this purchase, as well as of the pre-
emptive right of Massachusetts to the remaining part of Western New York.
Through his agent in London, Wm. Temple Franklin, grandson of Doctor
Franklin, these lands were again sold to an association of gentlemen,
consisting of Sir William Pultney, John Hornby, and Patrick Colquhoun, and
the farther settlement of this region, auspiciously commenced under its
original proprietors, was conducted principally under their

An intelligent and enterprising young Scotchman, Charles Williamson, who
had previously devoted his time while detained as a prisoner in this
country, during the war of the Revolution, to investigations respecting
its geographical resources and limits, and who from his disposition and
business capacity, was well qualified for the station, was appointed their
agent, and emigrating hither with his family, and two other young
Scotchmen as his assistants, John Johnstone, and Charles Cameron, he
became identified with the early history and progress of the extensive and
important part of the Indian territory, that as we have seen, had just
been opened, and was inviting a new race, to take possession of its virgin


Union of the Western Indian Tribes contemplated--Hostile influence of the
agents of Great Britain in Canada--Ambitious project of Thayendanegea or
Brant--Council at Tioga Point--Indian Ceremonies--Visit of Cornplanter and
others at the seat of government--Kindly feeling of Washington--Fresh
occasion of trouble.

When Red Jacket, at the treaty of Fort Stanwix, in 1784, projected the
bold idea of the union of all the Indian tribes on the continent, to
resist the aggressions of the whites, he may not have thought it would
soon come near having a practical fulfillment. This thought grew out of
the circumstances and necessities of the times, and was the natural
forecast of a great mind. His words sank deep into the hearts of his
people,--they were carried beyond the bounds of that council-fire,--they
went gliding along with the light canoe that plied the Lakes,--and were
wafted onward by the waters of the Ohio and Mississippi. Several causes
contributed to give direction and force to this movement.

Prominent among them was the fact, that the treaty of peace with Great
Britain in 1783, though it put an end to the war, did not secure friendly
relations between the two countries. Hostile feelings had been engendered
and were still cherished, particularly by those who had taken refuge in
Canada, in the early part of the Revolutionary struggle. Some of them were
very active in stirring up Indian hostilities among the tribes at the

But prominent above all others were the exertions of Thayendanegea, or
Brant, the famous war-chief, from whose leadership the inhabitants of our
frontier settlements had suffered so severely, during the war of the
Revolution. Very soon after the treaty at Fort Stanwix in 1784, from the
dissatisfaction growing out of that treaty, and other indications among
the Indians, he began to entertain the ambitious project of forming a
grand Indian confederacy, of which he would be chief, embracing not only
the Iroquois, but all of the Indian nations of the great North-west. He
had given the entire summer of 1785, to the business of visiting these
nations, and holding councils among them, with a view to the furtherance
of this object. [Footnote: See Stone's Life and Times of Brant, Vol. 2, p.

He visited England at the close of this year, "ostensibly for the purpose
of adjusting the claims of the loyal Mohawks upon the crown, for
indemnification of their losses and sacrifices in the contest, from which
they had recently emerged." [Footnote: See Stone's Life and Times of
Brant, Vol. 2, p. 248.]

... "Coupled with the special business of the Indian claims, was the
design of _sounding the British government, touching the degree of
countenance or the amount of assistance which he might expect from that
quarter, in the event of a general Indian war against the United
States_." [Footnote: Ibid.]

His arrival at Salisbury was thus noted in a letter from that place, dated
December 12, 1785, and published in London. "Monday last, Colonel Joseph
Brant, the celebrated King of the Mohawks, arrived in this city from
America, and after dining with Colonel De Peister, at the head-quarters
here, proceeded on his journey to London. This extraordinary personage is
said to have presided at the late Grand Congress of Confederate chiefs, of
the Indian nations in America, and to be by them appointed to the conduct
and chief command in the war, _which they now meditate against the United
States of America_. He took his departure for England immediately as
that assembly broke up; and it is conjectured that his embassy to the
British Court is of great importance." [Footnote: Life of Brant, Vol. 2,
p. 249.]

No public, decisive answer, for obvious reasons, was given to this
application for countenance and aid in the contemplated war, for this part
of the errand of the Mohawk chief, was "_unknown to the public at that
day_." [Footnote: Life of Brant, Vol. 2, p. 249.]

Captain Brant on his return to America in 1786, entered once more upon the
work of combining the Indian forces, and assembled a grand confederate
council, which was held at Huron village, near the mouth of Detroit River.
[Footnote: It was attended by the Six Nations, the Hurons, Ottawas,
Miamis, Shawanese, Chippewas, Cherokees, Delawares, Pottowattamies, and
Wabash, confederates.]

An address to the Congress of the United States was agreed upon at this
council, pacific in its tone, provided no encroachments were made upon
their lands west of the Ohio river. This was their ultimatum previous to
the war, in which they were afterwards united.

At the treaty of peace between Great Britain and the United States in
1783, it was stipulated that the military posts south of the great lakes
should be surrendered. This surrender was refused, on the plea that the
United States had not fulfilled an agreement on her part, to see the just
claims, due the subjects of Great Britain, cancelled.

From certain correspondence at this time it appears that there were other
reasons also, for the witholding of these forts. Their surrender was
earnestly desired on the part of the United States, as it was well
understood, they gave encouragement to the hostile combinations, that at
this time were going on.

In a letter to Captain Brant by Sir John Johnson dated Quebec, March 22d,
1787, he says, "Do not suffer an idea to hold a place in your mind, that
it will be for your interest to sit still and see the Americans attempt
the posts. [Footnote: Oswegatchie, Oswego, Niagara, Detroit and Mackinaw.]
_It is for your sakes chiefly, if not entirely, that we hold them._ If
you become indifferent about them, they may perhaps be given up; what
security would you then have? You would be at the mercy of a people whose
blood calls aloud for revenge; whereas, by supporting them, you encourage
us to hold them, and encourage new settlements, already considerable, and
every day increasing by numbers coming in, who find they can't live in the
States. Many thousands are preparing to come in. This increase of his
Majesty's subjects will serve as a protection to you, should the subjects
of the States, by endeavoring to make further encroachments on you,
disturb your quiet." [Footnote: Stone's Life and Times of Brant.]

Another letter soon after, by Major Mathews seems to confirm the above
statements. "His Lordship [Footnote: Lord Dorchester, Governor General of
Canada, formerly Sir Guy Carlton.] wishes them (the Indians), to act as is
best for their interest; he cannot begin a war with the Americans, because
some of their people encroach and make depredations upon parts of the
Indian country; but they must see it is his Lordship's _intention to
defend the posts_; and that while these are preserved, the Indians must
find great security therefrom, and consequently the Americans greater
difficulty in taking their lands; but should they once become masters of
the posts, they will surround the Indians, and accomplish their purpose
with little trouble." [Footnote: Life of Brant, Vol. 2, p. 271.]

Thus it is seen that those at the head of British affairs in Canada, while
they studiously avoided coming into open collision with the United States,
were viewing with satisfaction the gathering war-cloud, and were lending
their influence to extend and intensify its threatening character.

The only course left for the United States was to prepare for the
conflict; and while forces were being summoned to take the field, they
were preceded by efforts of a pacific character.

A treaty was held with the Six Nations at Fort Harmar, on the Muskingum,
in January, 1789, by Gen. St. Clair, in behalf of the United States, with
a view to renew and confirm all the engagements, made at the treaty of
Fort Stanwix in 1784. Goods amounting to three thousand dollars were
distributed among the Indians, after the satisfactory conclusion and
signing of the treaty. [Footnote: Indian treaties.]

At the same time a treaty was concluded with the Wyandot, Delaware,
Ottawa, Chippewa, Pottowattamie and Sac nations, and goods distributed
among them amounting to six thousand dollars, for a relinquishment of
their claim to western lands.

These negotiations were doubtless attended with a beneficial influence,
but they could not arrest the tide of warlike feeling that had been
created. Hostilities were continued throughout the long line of our
frontier settlements, and two of the Senecas having been killed by some
bordermen of Pennsylvania, a great excitement was awakened among them.

Our government, anxious to remove the new occasion of disaffection,
immediately disavowed the act, sought to bring the perpetrators of the
crime to justice, and invited a friendly conference of the Iroquois at
Tioga Point.

This council was convened on the sixteenth and remained in session until
the twenty-third of November, 1790.

The chiefs in attendance at this council, and who took an active part in
its deliberations, were Fish Carrier, Farmer's Brother, Hendrick, Little
Billy and Red Jacket.

Colonel Pickering, as commissioner on the part of the United States, was

Red Jacket, their principal speaker, portrayed in a vivid and strong
light, the sorrow they experienced, the injustice they had suffered, and
the unpleasant feelings aroused among them. A large number of Indians were
present, and were powerfully moved, and deeply affected by his speech.

Colonel Pickering, on the other hand, gave a very clear view of the facts
in the case, showing conclusively the innocence of the government in the
murder committed, and after a time succeeded in allaying the excitement,
drying up their tears, and wiping out the blood that had been shed.

This council was enlivened by good cheer, and the observance of ceremonies
common among the Indians.

Thomas Morris, who was present, was at this time adopted into one of their
tribes. His father, Robert Morris of Philadelphia, having purchased of
Massachusetts, in 1790, the pre-emptive right to that part of Western New
York, not sold to Phelps and Gorham, sent his son, as preparatory to the
negotiations he desired to make with the Indians, and for the general
management of his business connected with the undertaking, to reside in
Canandaigua. While here he was diligent in cultivating an acquaintance
with the principal chiefs of the Iroquois confederacy, who resided in that
region. In this he was successful, and soon became a general favorite
among them. He was in attendance with Colonel Pickering at Tioga Point,
where the Indians determined to adopt him into the Seneca nation, and Red
Jacket bestowed upon him the name himself had borne, previous to his
elevation to the dignity of Sachem; O-ti-ti-ani, "_Always Ready_." It is
beautifully described by Colonel Stone, and is given in his language.

"The occasion of which they availed themselves to perform the cermony of
conferring upon young Morris his new name, was a religious observance,
when the whole sixteen hundred Indians present at the treaty, united in an
offering to the moon, then being at her full. It was a clear night, and
the moon shone with uncommon brilliancy. The host of Indians, and their
neophite, were all seated upon the ground in an extended circle, on one
side of which a large fire was kept burning. The aged Cayuga chieftain,
Fish Carrier, who was held in exalted veneration for his wisdom, and who
had been greatly distinguished for his bravery from his youth up,
officiated as the high priest of the occasion;--making a long speech to
the luminary, occasionally throwing tobacco into the fire, as incense. On
the conclusion of the address, the whole company prostrated themselves
upon the bosom of their parent earth, and a grunting sound of approbation
was uttered from mouth to mouth, around the entire circle.

"At a short distance from the fire a post had been planted in the earth,
intended to represent the stake of torture, to which captives are bound
for execution. After the ceremonies in favor of Madam Luna had been ended,
they commenced a war-dance around the post, and the spectacle must have
been as picturesque as it was animating and wild. The young braves engaged
in the dance were naked, excepting a breech-cloth about their loins. They
were painted frightfully, their backs being chalked white, with irregular
streaks of red, denoting the streaming of blood. Frequently would they
cease from dancing, while one of their number ran to the fire, snatching
thence a blazing stick, placed there for that purpose, which he would
thrust at the post, as though inflicting torture upon a prisoner. In the
course of the dance they sung their songs, and made the forests ring with
their wild screams and shouts, as they boasted of their deeds of war, and
told the number of scalps they had respectively taken, or which had been
taken by their nation. During the dance those engaged in it, as did others
also, partook freely of unmixed rum, and by consequence of the natural
excitement of the occasion, and the artificial excitement of the liquor
the festival had well nigh turned out a tragedy. It happened that among
the dancers was an Oneida warrior, who in striking the post, boasted of
the number of scalps taken by his nation during the war of the Revolution.
Now the Oneidas, it will be recollected, had sustained the cause of the
colonies in that contest, while the rest of the Iroquois confederacy, had
espoused that of the crown. The boasting of the Oneida warrior therefore,
was like striking a spark into a keg of powder. The ire of the Senecas was
kindled in an instant, and they in turn boasted of the number of scalps
taken from the Oneidas in that contest. They moreover taunted the Oneidas
as cowards. Quick as lightning the hands of the latter were upon their
weapons, and in turn the knives and tomahawks of the Senecas began to
glitter in the moon-beams, as they were hastily drawn forth. For an
instant it was a scene of anxious, almost breathless suspense, a death-
struggle seeming inevitable, when the storm was hushed by the
interposition of Old Fish Carrier, who rushed forward, and striking the
post with violence, exclaimed '_You are all a parcel of boys. When you
have attained my age, and performed the warlike deeds that I have
performed, you may boast of what you have done; but not till then._'

"Saying which he threw down the post, put an end to the dance, and caused
the assembly to retire. This scene in its reality must have been one of
absorbing and peculiar interest. An assembly of nearly two thousand
inhabitants of the forest, grotesquely clad in skins and strouds, with
shining ornaments of silver, and their coarse raven hair falling over
their shoulders, and playing wildly in the wind as it swept past, sighing
mournfully among the giant branches of the trees above, such a group
gathered in a broad circle of an opening in the wilderness, the starry
canopy of heaven glittering above them, the moon casting her silver mantle
around their dusky forms, and a large fire blazing in the midst of them,
before which they were working their spells, and performing their savage
rites, must have presented a spectacle of long and vivid remembrance."
[Footnote: Stone's Life and Times of Sa-go-ye-wat-ha.]

This meeting conducted with evident good feeling, served much to allay the
excitement and anger of the Senecas, and other tribes there represented,
but the question concerning their lands, was still agitated and created

With a view to obtain some concession in their favor, Cornplanter, Half
Town and Big Tree visited Philadelphia, which was at that time the seat of
the general government, very soon after the council at Tioga Point. They
were especially anxious to obtain the restoration of a portion of land
south of Lake Erie, and bordering upon Pennsylvania, which was occupied by
Half Town and his clan. They represented it as the land on which Half Town
and all his people live, with other chiefs who always have been, and still
are dissatisfied with the treaty at Fort Stanwix. "They grew out of this
land, and their fathers grew out of it, and they cannot be persuaded to
part with it. _We therefore entreat you to restore to us this little

This appeal, so simple and touching, was responded to by President
Washington with great kindness. He reminded them that the treaty at Fort
Stanwix had been fully confirmed at Fort Harmar in 1789, that it was not
within his province to annul the provisions of a treaty, especially one
that had been concluded before his administration commenced, yet he
assured them that Half Town and his people, should not be disturbed, in
the peaceful occupancy of the land in question.

From the friendly manner in which they were received and treated by the
President, and the generous gifts bestowed, they returned home feeling
satisfied that the ruler of the thirteen fires would do them no injustice,
and they were hence better reconciled to the people he governed. Before
leaving, however, they were engaged to go in company with Colonel Proctor,
of the Indian Department, on an embassy of peace to the hostile tribes at
the West, which was undertaken in the following spring.

On reaching their own country it was found that another outrage had been
committed by a party of border-men, upon the Senecas at Beaver Creek, in
the neighborhood of Pittsburg, in which three men and one woman were

Cornplanter immediately sent runners with a dispatch to the government,
informing them of the event, and with the earnest inquiry, "Our father,
and ruler over all mankind, _speak now and tell us, did you order those
men to be killed_?"

The secretary of war utterly disclaimed and denounced the transaction,
promised them restitution, and that the offenders should be brought to
justice. These times were so fruitful in difficulties, that ere one was
healed another was created; yet our government by wise and prompt measures
were after this successful, in securing peace with all of the Iroquois
family within its borders.


Expedition under Gen. Harmar--Its failure--High hopes of the Indians--Col.
Proctor's visit to the Indians at Buffalo Creek--Red Jacket's speech--
Indian deputation refused--Interference of the matrons--Council at Painted
Post--Chiefs invited to Philadelphia.

The efforts of our government to secure peace with the Indians, were but
partially successful. As our settlements extended westward in
Pennsylvania, and along the Ohio and Kentucky borders, Indian hostilities
and depredations continued to multiply. From the year 1783 when peace was
concluded with Great Britain, until October, 1790, when the United States
commenced offensive operations against them, the Indians killed, wounded
and took prisoners on the Ohio and the frontiers, about fifteen hundred
men, women and children; besides taking away two thousand horses, and a
large amount of other property.

The Shawanese, Miamis and Wabash Indians were chiefly concerned in these
bloody transactions; and our government finding protection for her
citizens could not be secured by pacific means, resolved to proceed with
vigorous offensive measures.

General Harmar, a veteran of the Revolution, with a force of fourteen
hundred and fifty men, three hundred and twenty from the regular army, and
the balance made up of recruits from Kentucky and Pennsylvania, advanced
toward the Indian country.

The expedition left Fort Washington, the present site of Cincinnati, on
the 30th of September, 1790.

The Indians, who kept watch of his movements, burned before his coming,
their principal village and retired. Seizing a favorable opportunity, they
fell suddenly upon a detachment of the main army commanded by Colonel
Harding, consisting of two hundred and ten men, thirty of whom were

At the first onset the militia, the main part of the force, fled. The
regulars stood their ground bravely for a time, but at a fearful odds;
seven only escaped.

Colonel Harding, desirous of retrieving the disgrace, the next day with
three hundred militia and sixty regulars, gave battle to the Indians. They
fought near the junction of St. Joseph and St. Mary rivers, and the
struggle, though severe and bloody, ended with the defeat of the

Success elated and emboldened the Indians, and rendered hopeless the
negotiations for peace. Nevertheless the mission of Colonel Proctor, with
a deputation from the Iroquois was not given up, and when spring opened he
repaired to their country, to be joined by Cornplanter, Red Jacket and
others, and proceed on his visit to the hostile tribes of the West.

Anticipating his arrival, a council of the Iroquois had been called at
Buffalo Creek. Already messengers had been sent, earnestly soliciting them
to join the warriors that were rising everywhere, from toward the setting
sun. They had defeated the Americans, and nothing was wanting but the
united action of all the Indian tribes, to secure the broad lands of the
North-west, where they could spread their blankets in peace, and dwell
securely forever. The Senecas, particularly, were urged to join in a war,
that opened so many hopeful and glorious anticipations. The distinguished
warrior Brant was very solicitous on this point, and being encouraged by
those at the head of British affairs in Canada, was sanguine of ultimate

Colonel Proctor, accompanied by Cornplanter, arrived at the council fire
kindled at Buffalo Creek, on the 27th of April, 1791.

Among the Indian chiefs present were Young King, Farmer's Brother and Red
Jacket. The latter had now an acknowledged pre-eminence among his people,
and took a leading part in the deliberations of this council. It was
opened by a speech from Red Jacket, as follows:

"Brother: Listen. As is our custom we now address you, and we speak to you
as to a brother that has been long absent. We all address you, and our
chief warrior, Cornplanter; and we thank the Great Spirit for his and your
safe arrival, coming as you do hand in hand from Honandaganius [Footnote:
Name given to General Washington.] on important business.

"You have traveled long with tearful eyes, from the roughness of the way,
and the inclemency of the season. Besides the difficulties between the bad
Indians and our brothers the white people, everything has been conspiring
to prevent your coming, thwart your business, and cause you to lose your
way. The great waters might have prevented your coming; the wars might
have stopped you; sickness and death might have overtaken you, for we know
not what is to happen till it comes upon us. Therefore we thank the Great
Spirit, who has preserved you from dangers, that would have prevented our
hearing the good news you have come to bring us. And when filled with good
news, how is it possible that disasters should befall you on the way?

"Wipe therefore from your eyes, the tears that have been occasioned by the
dangers through which you have come. We now place you upon a seat where
you can sit erect, a seat where you will be secure from the fear of your
enemies, where you can look around upon all as your friends and brothers
in peace.

"You have come with your heart and lips firmly closed, lest you should
lose anything you had to say. With a brotherly hand we now open your
hearts, and we remove the seal from your lips, that you may open them and
speak freely without obstruction. Your ears too have been closed, that
they might hear nothing until saluted by our voice. Open your ears to hear
our counsels when we shall have had messages from you.

"We present therefore the compliments of the chiefs and head men of
Buffalo Creek, to you and to our great warrior, the Cornplanter, hoping
that you may each proceed safely with your business."

To this Cornplanter replied briefly, in behalf of himself and Col.
Procter, reciprocating the kindness manifested, in the welcome that had
been given them.

After which Col. Proctor explained fully the object of their coming, which
was to obtain from them a deputation of peace, to visit with him the
hostile Indian tribes at the West; and assured them of the liberal views,
and friendly feelings of the chief of the thirteen fires toward them.

Several days were thereupon consumed in devising expedients and raising
objections, which terminated finally in the declaration that nothing could
be done without consulting their _British friends at Fort Niagara_.
They desired the colonel to go with them there. His business not being
with the British, but with them, he declined going. They then insisted
upon having one of the officers of the fort to sit with them in council.

This being allowed, Col. Butler afterward appeared among them, and after a
little private consultation with him, they seemed to be utterly averse to
sending the proposed delegation.

Captain Brant, just before starting on a visit to western tribes, had been
holding a consultation with these chiefs, and had no doubt been
influential in causing them to be averse to joining this embassy.

Col. Proctor, finding further negotiation hopeless, declared his purpose
to return, and expressed his regret in having to carry back an unfavorable
report to the government, on whose kind and pacific errand he had been
sent forth.

This announcement made a deep impression on their minds, and immediately a
change took place in their proceedings, which revealed a peculiar feature
of Indian diplomacy.

The women, who had been carefully watching the proceedings of this
council, began to express their unwillingness to send to General
Washington an unfavorable reply. To them was conceded the right, in things
pertaining to the safety of their homes, of reversing, if they thought
proper, the decision of the men. They did so on this occasion, and
employed Red Jacket to present their views on the following day.

It was decided by them, in view of the threatening aspect of affairs, that
Cornplanter, their most experienced warrior, should not leave them; but
that a sufficient deputation, for which they had obtained volunteers,
should accompany Col. Proctor, at the same time advising him of the
danger, admonishing him to proceed with caution; "_to reach his neck over
the land, and take in all the light he could, that would show him his

The journey being regarded as too hazardous by land, and the Indians
unwilling to perform it with their canoes, the case was decided by the
British officers, who refused them a vessel for the undertaking.

So great was the excitement among the Indians at this time, that before
the result of Col. Proctor's mission was generally known, another council
of the Iroquois was invited to meet at Painted Post, and was held during
the month of June following. The British officers at Niagara, and runners
from the western tribes, exerted their influence to prevent the Iroquois
from coming into alliances of peace with the United States. But through
the exertions of Col. Proctor, assisted by Cornplanter and the elderly
matrons, the minds of the leading chiefs were turned from the proposed
western alliance to Colonel Pickering and the treaty ground at Painted

Red Jacket, together with other leading chiefs was present, and took an
active part in the deliberations of this council. It was well attended by
the Indians, as also by several American gentlemen, and a number of
speeches were interchanged, whose general drift was in the direction of

The result of this gathering was satisfactory to all parties. It served to
bind more closely the friendship of the leading chiefs to the United
States, and it served also to interest the minds of the young warriors,
who had else from a love of adventure followed the war path, with the
tribes at the West.

At the close of this council, a large entertainment was prepared purely
after the civilized style, and when it was about concluded, Colonel
Pickering took occasion to place before them the blessings and advantages
of a cultivated state of society; and the happy influences that would
arise from the introduction among them of the arts of civilized life. He
assured them of the kind interest felt by General Washington and others in
their welfare, and promised to aid them in any efforts they were disposed
to make, for the advancement of their people. Presents were then liberally
distributed among them, and they were invited at a convenient time to
visit General Washington, and confer with him more fully on the subject.

The Indians were pleased with these suggestions, and promised to accept of
the proffered invitation. Thus happily closed this council, gathered amid
distracting influences, the Indians returning home better satisfied with
their friendly attitude toward the government, and their feelings in
striking contrast with those of their brethren at the West.


Expedition to the Indian Country--Washington's charge to Gen. St. Clair--
Approach to the Indian villages--Sudden surprise--Disasterous battle--
Indian victory--Retreat of the Americans--Boldness of the Indians--
Friendly Indian deputation--Welcome of the governor of Pennsylvania--Red
Jacket's reply--Address of President Washington--Reply of Red Jacket--
Cause of Indian hostilities.

Indian hostilities still continued to destroy the peace and safety of our
frontier settlements. And Congress with a view to provide relief, resolved
to increase our military force, and place in the hands of the Executive,
more ample means for their defense. A new expedition was therefore
projected. General St. Clair, governor of the territory west of the Ohio,
was appointed commander-in-chief of the forces to be employed.

President Washington had been deeply pained by the disasters of General
Harmar's expedition to the Wabash, resulting from Indian ambushes. In
taking leave of his old military comrade, St. Clair, he wished him success
and honor; at the same time to put him on his guard, said,--"You have your
instructions from the secretary of war. I had a strict eye to them, and
will add but one word--Beware of a surprise! You know how the Indians
fight. I repeat it--_Beware of a surprise_!" With these warning words
sounding in his ear, St. Clair departed. [Footnote: Irving's life of

On the seventh of September, 1791, General St. Clair set out for the
Indian country. The American banner was unfurled and waved proudly over
two thousand of her soldiers, as with sanguine hopes and bright
anticipations, they took up their line of march for the Miami, designing
to destroy the Indian villages on that river, expel the savages from the
region, and by establishing a line of posts to the Ohio river, prevent the
Indians from returning to a point, where they had been the occasion of
great mischief. On their way they constructed two forts, Hamilton and
Jefferson, and advanced but slowly, having to open for themselves a way
through the forest. Too many of those composing this little army were
deficient in soldier-like qualities. They had been recruited from the off-
scourings of large towns and cities, enervated by idleness, debauchery,
and every species of vice, which unfitted them for the arduous service of
Indian warfare. Hence insubordination, and frequent desertion, were among
the difficulties encountered.

Not until the third of November, did they come near the Indian villages on
the Miami. On the evening of that day they selected a position on the bank
of a creek, which favored their purpose, and bivouacked for the night.
Their number, from desertion, and those left to garrison the forts,
amounted to but fourteen hundred. The place of their encampment was
surrounded by close woods, dense thickets, and the trunks of fallen trees,
affording a fine cover for stealthy Indian warfare.

It was the intention of St. Clair to throw up a slight work on the
following day, and then move on to attack the Indian villages. The plan of
this work he concerted in the evening with Major Ferguson, of the
artillery. In the mean time, Colonel Oldham, an officer commanding the
militia, was directed to send out that evening, two detachments, to
explore the country and gain what knowledge they could of the enemy. The
militia showed signs of insubordination, complained of being too much
fatigued, and the order apparently could not be enforced. The militia were
encamped beyond the stream, about a quarter of a mile in advance, on a
high flat, a position much more favorable than was occupied by the main
body. The placing of sentinels, about fifty paces from each other, formed
their principal security against surprise.

At an early hour the next morning, the woods about the camp of the
militia, swarmed with Indians, and a terrific yell, followed by sharp
reports of the deadly rifle, were startling sounds, in the ear of the
newly recruited soldier. The militia returned a feeble fire, and
immediately fled toward the main body of the army. They came rushing in,
pell-mell and threw into disorder the front rank, drawn up in the order of
battle. The Indians, still keeping up their frightful yell, followed hard
after the militia, and would have entered the camp with them, but the
sight of troops drawn up with fixed bayonets to receive them, checked
their ardor, and stopping short they threw themselves behind logs and
bushes, and poured in a deadly fire upon the first line, which was soon
extended to the second. Our soldiers were mown down at a fearful rate.

The Indians fought with great desperation. They charged upon the center of
the two main divisions commanded by General Butler, and Colonel Darke with
unexampled intrepidity. They aimed a destructive fire upon the
artillerists from every direction, and swept them down by scores. The
artillery if not very effective, was bravely served. A quantity of
canister and some round shot were thrown in the direction whence the
Indians fired; but concealed as they were, and seen only occasionally, as
they sprang from one covert to another, it was impossible to direct the
pieces to advantage; and so effective was the fire upon them, that every
artillery officer, and more than two-thirds of the men, were killed or

St. Clair, unable to mount his horse, was borne about on a litter, and in
the midst of peril and disaster, gave his orders with coolness and
judgment. Seeing to what disadvantage his troops fought with a concealed
enemy, he ordered Colonel Darke, with his regiment of regulars, to rouse
the Indians from their covert with the bayonet, and turn their left flank.
This was executed with great spirit; the enemy were driven three or four
hundred yards; but for want of cavalry or riflemen, the pursuit slackened,
and the troops were forced to give back in turn, and the Indians came on
with a deadlier aim, the moment pursuit was relinquished. Strenuous
efforts were made by the officers, early in the engagement, to restore
order, which resulted in making themselves a mark, and they were cut down
by the quick-sighted enemy.

All the officers of the Second regiment were cut off except three. The
contest disastrous from the first, had now continued for more than two
hours and a half. The loss of so many officers, and the hopeless condition
of the army, the half of them killed, and the situation of the remainder
desperate, brought discouragement to many a brave heart. It was useless to
make further effort, which promised only a more fatal result. A retreat
therefore was ordered, Colonel Darke being directed to charge the Indians
that intercepted the way toward Fort Jefferson, and Major Clark with his
battalion to cover the rear; these movements were successfully made, and
the most of the troops that remained collected in a body, with such of the
wounded as could possibly hobble along with them; thus they departed,
leaving their artillery and baggage.

The retreat, though disorderly, was accomplished without difficulty, as
the Indians did not pursue them far, from a desire to return for plunder.
Yet the entire way, for near thirty miles, the distance to Fort Jefferson,
bore the marks of a trepidation that seemed to characterize the entire
engagement. The soldiers continued to throw away their guns, knapsacks, or
whatever else impeded their flight, even when at a wide remove from all

The army reduced by killed, wounded and desertion to about one-half its
original number, fell back upon Fort Washington, the point of starting,
and thus unfortunately closed a campaign, concerning which the highest
expectations had been entertained. It was a heavy blow upon our infant
republic, and spread over our country a gloom, which was greatly deepened
by a sorrow for the loss of many worthy and brave men, who though they
freely sacrificed their lives, could not avert these disasters.

The Indians, on account of this further victory, were elated beyond
endurance, and conducted more haughtily than ever before. Their incursions
were more frequent, their depredations more extensive, and their cruelties
more excessive. The frontier inhabitants, especially of Pennsylvania, and
Kentucky, never felt more insecure, and were never more exposed to loss of
life, plunder and burning. In some instances whole settlements were broken
up, by those who left their homes and sought, in the more densely peopled
sections of the east, places of greater security.

These circumstances served to impart a deeper interest to the visit of a
friendly deputation, consisting of about fifty chiefs of the Iroquois, who
came to Philadelphia early in the spring of 1792, in compliance with the
request of Colonel Pickering made at Painted Post the preceding year. Red
Jacket was a prominent member of this delegation.

Their presence had been solicited, with the view of calling the attention
of the leading chiefs, to thoughts and efforts for the improvement of
their race; as well as by kind and generous treatment, to bring them into
firmer alliance with the United States. And it is a pleasing thought that
amid the wrongs done to the Indian, we are able to point to earnest and
well intended endeavors, on the part of our government, to promote his

The governor of Pennsylvania cordially welcomed this deputation,
representing the happiness their coming had created, and assuring them
that every provision had been made, to render their stay agreeable,
closing his remarks in these words:

"Brothers: I know the kindness with which you treat strangers that visit
your country; and it is my sincere wish, that when you return to your
families, you may be able to assure them, that the virtues of friendship
and hospitality, are also practiced by the citizens of Pennsylvania."

To this welcome Red Jacket, a few days afterward replied, apologizing for
not answering it sooner, and expressing the pleasure it afforded them, of
meeting in a place where their forefathers in times past, had been wont to
greet each other in peace and friendship, and declaring it as his wish,
that the same happy relations might be established, and exist between the
United States and all of the Indian tribes.

His remarks on peace were introduced by a beautiful reference to a picture
of Penn's treaty with the Indians, and an enconium on the governors of
Pennsylvania for their uniformly peaceable disposition.

It has been said of him as having occurred at a subsequent visit to the
seat of our government, that when shown in the rotunda of the capitol, a
panel representing, in sculpture, the first landing of the Pilgrims, with
an Indian chief presenting them an ear of corn, in token of a friendly
welcome, he exclaimed,--"_That was good.--The Indian knew they came from
the Great Spirit, and he was willing to share the soil with his

When another panel was pointed out to him representing Penn's treaty,--he
exclaimed sadly,--"_Ah! all's gone now._" [Footnote: Drake's Book of
the Indians.]

The Indians were again addressed by President Washington, who gave them a
hearty welcome to the seat of government, declaring that they had been
invited by his special request, to remove all causes of discontent, devise
plans for their welfare, and cement a firm peace. He wished them to
partake of all the comforts of the earth to be derived from civilized
life, to be enriched by industry, virtue and knowledge, and transmit these
invaluable blessings to their children.

The western Indians had charged the United States with an unjust
possession of their lands. They desired no lands, he said, but such as had
been fairly obtained by treaty, and he hoped the error might be corrected.
For the further explanation of his views and wishes, he commended them to
General Knox, the secretary of war, and Colonel Pickering; concluding his
address with these words:--

"As an evidence of the sincerity of the desire of the United States for
perfect peace, and friendship with you, I deliver you this white belt of
wampum, which I request you will safely keep."

The president having thus appointed Colonel Pickering and General Knox, to
attend to the further conferences with the Indians, Red Jacket's reply to
the president's address, was made to them. His address was directed mainly
to Colonel Pickering.

Taking in his hand the belt presented by President Washington, he spoke
very much as follows:

"Your attention is now called to the words of the American Chief, when,
the other day he welcomed us to the great council fire of the thirteen
United States. He said it was from his very heart; and that it gave him
pleasure to look around and see so large a representation of the Five
Nations of Indians. That it was at his special request we had been invited
to the seat of the general government, with a view to promote the
happiness of our nation, in a friendly connection with the United States.
He said also that his love of peace did not terminate with the Five
Nations, but extended to all the nations at the setting sun, and it was
his desire that universal peace might prevail in this land.

"What can we, your brothers of the Five Nations, say in reply to this part
of his speech, other than to thank him, and say it has given a spring to
every passion of our souls.

"The sentiment of your chief, who wishes our minds might all be disposed
to peace,--a happy peace, so firm that nothing shall move it,--that it may
be founded on a rock,--this comparison of the peace to a _rock, which is
immovable_, has given joy to our hearts.

"The president observed also, that by our continuing in the path of peace,
and listening to his counsel, we might share with you all the blessings of
civilized life; this meets with our approbation, and he has the thanks of
all your brothers of the Five Nations.

"And further, that if we attended to his counsel in this matter, our
children and children's children, might partake of all the blessings which
should rise out of this earth.

"The president observed again, that what he had spoken was in the
sincerity of his heart, and that time and opportunity would give evidence
that what he said was true. And we believe it because the words came from
his own lips, and they are lodged deep in our minds.

"He said also that it had come to his ears that the cause of the
hostilities of the western Indians, was their persuasion that the United
States had unjustly taken their lands. But he assured us this was not the
case; that none of his chiefs desired to take any of their land, without
agreeing for it; and that the land, given up at the treaty at Muskingum,
he concluded had been fairly obtained.

"He said to us that in his opinion the hostile Indians were in error, that
whatever evil spirit, or lies had turned them aside, he wished could be
discovered, that they might be removed. He had a strong wish that any
obstacles to the extension of peace westward, might be discovered, so that
they might be removed.

"In conclusion he observed that our professions of friendship and regard,
were commonly witnessed by some token; therefore in the name of the United
States, he presented us with this white belt, which was to be handed down
from one generation to another, in confirmation of his words, and as a
witness of the friendly disposition of the United States, towards the
peace and happiness of the five confederated nations."

Red Jacket here laid down the white belt presented by the president, and
taking up a belt of their own, continued his speech as follows:

"Now let the president of the United States possess his mind in peace. Our
reply to his address to us the other day has been brief, for the belt he
gave us is deposited with us, and we have taken firm hold of it. We return
our united thanks for his address, in welcoming us to the seat of the
great council, and for the advice he has given us.

"We have additional pleasure in knowing that you, Con-neh-sauty [Footnote:
Col. Pickering.] are appointed to assist us, in devising the means to
promote and secure the happiness of the Six Nations.

"Now open your ears, Representatives of the Great Council, Hear the words
we speak. All present of the Great Council, [Footnote: Referring to
members of Congress present.] and our brethren of the Five Nations, hear!
We consider ourselves in the presence of the Great Spirit, the proprietor
of us all.

"The president has in effect told us we are freemen, the sole proprietors
of the soil on which we live. This has gladdened our hearts, and removed a
weight that was upon them. This indeed is to us an occasion of joy, for
how can two brothers speak freely together, unless they feel they are upon
equal ground?

"We now speak freely, as they are free from pressure, and we join with the
president in his wish, that all the evils which have hitherto disturbed
our peace, may be buried in oblivion. This is the sincere wish of our

"Now, Brother, continue to hear, let all present open their ears, while
those of the Five Nations here present speak _with one voice_. We wish
to see your words verified to our children, and children's children. You
enjoy all the blessings of this life; to you therefore we look to make
provision, that the same may be enjoyed by our children. This wish comes
from our heart, but we add that our happiness cannot be great if, in the
introduction of your ways, we are put under too much constraint.

"Continue to hear. We, your brothers of the Five Nations, believe that the
Great Spirit let this island [Footnote: The Indians use the term _island_,
in speaking of this continent.] drop down from above. We also believe in
his superintendency over this whole island. He gives peace and prosperity,
he also sends evil. Prosperity has been yours. American brethren, all the
good which can spring out of this island, you enjoy. We wish, therefore,
that we and our children, and our children's children, may partake with
you of that enjoyment.

"I observe that the Great Spirit might smile on one people, and frown on
another. This you have seen, who are of one color, and one blood. The king
of England, and you Americans strove to advance your happiness by
extending your possessions on this island, which produces so many good
things. And while you two great powers were contending for those good
things, by which the whole island was shaken, violently agitated, is it
strange that our peace, the peace of the Five Nations, was shaken and

"But I will say no more of the trembling of this island. All in a measure
is now quiet. Peace is restored. Our peace, the peace of the Five Nations
is beginning to bud forth. But still there is some shaking among our
brethren at the Setting Sun; and you, of the thirteen fires, and the king
of England know what is our situation and the cause of this disturbance.
Here now, you have an ambassador, [Footnote: Referring to the British
envoy to the United States.] as we are informed from the king of England.
Let him in behalf of the king, and the Americans, adjust all their
matters, according to their agreement, at the making of peace--and then
you will soon see all things settled among the Indian nations. Peace will
extend far and near. Let the president and the ambassador use all their
exertions to bring about this settlement, according to the peace, and it
will make us all glad, and we shall consider both as our real friends.

"Brother: Continue to hear! Be assured we have spoken not from our lips
only, but from our very hearts. Allow us then to say: That when you
Americans and the king made peace, he did not mention us, showed us no
compassion, notwithstanding all he said to us, and all we had suffered.
This has been the occasion to us, the Five Nations, of great loss, sorrow
and pain. When you and he settled the peace between you two great nations,
he never asked for a delegation from us, to attend to our interests. Had
this been done, a settlement of peace among all the western nations might
have been effected. But neglecting this, and passing us by unnoticed, has
brought upon us great pain and trouble.

"It is evident that we of the Five Nations have suffered much in
consequence of the strife between you and the king of England, who are of
one color and of one blood. But our chain of peace has been broken. Peace
and friendship have been driven from us. Yet you Americans were determined
not to treat us in the same manner as we have been treated by the king of
England. You therefore desired us at the re-establishment of peace, to sit
down at our ancient fireplaces, and again enjoy our lands. And had the
peace between you and the king of England been completely accomplished, it
would long before this have extended far beyond the Five Nations.

"BROTHER CON-NEH-SAUTY: We have rejoiced in your appointment, for you are
specially appointed with General Knox, to confer with us on our peace and
happiness. We hope the great warrior will remember, that though a
_warrior_, he is to converse with us about _peace_; letting what concerns
war sleep; and the counselling part of his mind, while acting with us, be
of _peace_.

"Have patience, and continue to listen. The president has assured us that
he is not the cause of the hostilities now existing at the westward, but
laments it. Brother, we wish you to point out to us of the Five Nations,
_what you think is the real cause_.

"We now publicly return our thanks to the president, and all the
counsellors of the thirteen United States, for the words he has spoken to
us. They were good, unqualifiedly good. Shall we observe that he wished
that if the errors of the hostile Indians could be discovered, he would
use his utmost exertions to remove them?

"BROTHER! You and the king of England are the two governing powers of this
island. What are we? You both arc important and proud; and you cannot
adjust your own affairs agreeably to your declarations of peace. Therefore
the western Indians are bewildered. One says one thing to them, and
another says another. Were these things adjusted, it would be easy to
diffuse peace everywhere.

"In confirmation of our words, we give this belt, which we wish the
president to hold fast, in remembrance of what we have now spoken."
[Footnote: This speech, given by Col. Stone from a manuscript of J. W.
Moulton, Esq., on account of its importance, is presented almost entire. A
few changes have been made, but the ideas of the orator, and the language
mostly in which they are given, have been strictly maintained, while the
changes are no greater than would have been made, had two reporters taken
the words as they came from the lips of the orator.]

A very touching reference is made in this speech, to the manner in which
the Indians had been treated by Great Britain, when peace was concluded
with the United States. Notwithstanding the promises and high expectations
held out to them, at the commencement of the war, and their sacrifices and
services during its continuance, no notice was taken, no mention made of
them in the treaty of peace. In the expressive language of Red Jacket,
"_the king showed them no compassion_." They had for years fought side
by side with the soldiers of Britain, they had, with stealthy tread, come
down upon our settlements far removed from the seat of war, surprised
peaceful inhabitants, slain defenseless women and children, plundered and
burned their dwellings, and wrought in the hearts of the American people a
sense of wrong, that cried for redress. What could be their position, now
that the armies of Britain are withdrawn? The armies of Britain defeated,
could they, single handed, cope with the American army? These were
questions that weighed deeply on their minds. Did they expect the hand of
friendship to be extended toward them? To be invited to councils of peace,
--to the intimacies, hospitalities, and kindly feeling manifested on this
occasion? The orator was deeply impressed by it, and notes the contrast
apparent in the conduct toward them, of Britain and America. "_You
Americans were determined not to treat us in the same manner, as we had
been treated by the king of England. You desired us at the re-
establishment of peace, to sit down at our ancient fire-places, and again
enjoy our lands_." He further very significantly refers to the occasion of
the hostile feelings among the Indians at the West. It was because the
peace between England and America "_had not been fully accomplished_." In
other words, hostile feelings were still cherished, and their _outward
manifestation_ could be seen, in the plundering and massacres, still
carried on among our frontier settlements. The establishment of a _true
peace_ between the two countries,--the existence and cultivation of
genuine amicable relations between them, would, in his view, end all this
trouble, and "_diffuse peace everywhere_."

We have already had occasion to notice the unfriendly feeling, cherished
by the British Indian Department in Canada, toward the United States; and
evidence will be afforded further on, of their being deeply implicated in
the hostilities endured, coming from the Indians on our western border.


Indian appropriation--Embassy sent West--Instructions--Medal presented to
Red Jacket--Military suits--Close of conference--Washington's parting
words--Visit of Thayendanegea--Council at Au Glaize--Result--Another
commission--Indian diplomacy--Washington's letter to Mr. Jay--Commission
goes West--Various interviews--Result of council--Re-organization under
General Wayne--Ready for action--Advice of Little Turtle--Wayne's battle
and victory--Treaty of peace.

While these Indian chiefs were at Philadelphia, a bill was passed by
Congress, and ratified by the president, appropriating fifteen hundred
dollars annually, for the benefit of the Iroquois, in purchasing for them
clothing, domestic animals, implements of husbandry, and for encouraging
useful artificers to reside in their villages.

They were engaged also to go on a pacific embassy to the hostile Indians
of the West, and assure them of the friendly disposition of the United
States toward them;--that they want nothing which belongs to the hostile
Indians;--that they appointed commissioners to treat with them for their
lands, and give them a large quantity of goods;--that a number of chiefs
signed the deeds, and from the reports of the commissioners, it was
supposed the lands had been fairly obtained;--that under this supposition
large tracts had been sold, and hence difficult to restore again; but as
the United States desire only what is just, they will attentively hear the
complaints of the western Indians;--they will re-examine the treaties, and
inquire into the manner in which they were conducted;--and if the
complaints of the western Indians, appear to be well founded, the United
States will make them ample compensation for their lands. They will do
more;--so far from desiring to injure, they would do them good; they would
cheerfully impart to them that knowledge, and those arts, by which they
propose to increase the happiness, and promote the welfare of the Six

It was during this visit that President Washington, in token of his
friendship and esteem, gave Red Jacket a large silver medal bearing his
likeness, which he ever after preserved with much care, and took great
pride in wearing.


General Knox, the secretary of war, directed also that a military suit of
clothes be given to each member of the deputation, including a cocked hat,
as worn by the officers of the United States army. When Red Jacket's suit
was presented to him he eyed it carefully, and rather admiringly, but
requested the bearer to inform General Knox that the suit would hardly
become him, as he was not a war-chief but a sachem, the sachems being
civil, rather than military officers. He desired therefore that another
suit be prepared, which would accord better with the relation he sustained
to his people; at the same time declaring the one sent very good, and
manifesting a disposition to retain it, until the other was prepared. A
plain suit was accordingly prepared and brought to him, and with this he
seemed to be highly pleased. The bearer tarrying a little, and manifesting
a readiness to carry back the other suit, Red Jacket coolly and rather
playfully remarked, that though the present suit was more in keeping with
his character as sachem, it nevertheless, occurred sometimes, in cases of
emergency, that the sachems also went to war, and as it would then be very
becoming and proper for him to wear it, he was happy to have one in case a
circumstance of this kind should occur.

These Indian chiefs were all highly gratified with the attention shown
them, during this visit to the general government. They were especially
pleased with the interest that had been taken in the improvement of their
people, and the pledges they had received of aid in carrying out the
benevolent designs entertained toward them. And they all, Red Jacket with
the rest, were favorably impressed with the views of Washington, in
desiring to introduce among them the improvements of civilized life.

These conferences were brought to a close on the thirtieth of April, and
President Washington in a concluding speech, said to them,--"When you
return to your country, tell your nation that it is my desire to promote
their prosperity, by teaching them the use of domestic animals, and the
manner that the white people plough and raise so much corn, and if upon
consideration, it would be agreeable to the nation at large, to learn
those arts, I will find some means of teaching them at some places within
their country, as shall be agreed upon." [Footnote: Irving's Life of

The government had taken special pains also to secure the attendance of
the celebrated Thayendanegea or Brant, with this deputation of friendly
chiefs. The invitation, though a pressing one, was declined, and not
without reason. For besides the powerful influence exerted over him by the
officers of the British government in Canada, who strenuously opposed his
coming, it has since been ascertained that he was the leading spirit who
directed with so much success to the Indians, the onslaught upon General
St. Clair's army, the preceding fall. Hence his own feelings could not
have been of the most friendly character. He was, nevertheless, induced to
visit the seat of government during the month of June following, and
pledged himself to exert his influence in an effort to secure peace for
the United States, with the Indians at the West.

A very large Indian council, composed of delegates from many and some of
them very distant nations, was held at Au Glaize, on the Miami of Lake
Erie, in the autumn of 1792. A large delegation from the Six Nations,
friendly to the United States, was present and took part in the
deliberations. Red Jacket was the principal speaker, and strenuously
advocated the settlement of their difficulties, by peaceful negotiations
instead of war.

The Shawanese as strenuously advocated the continuance of hostilities.
They taunted the Six Nations with having induced them to form a great
confederacy, a few years before, and of having come to the council now,
"with the voice of the United States folded under their arm;"--referring
to the belt which was significant of their embassy.

The Shawanese, Miamis and Kickapoos were addicted to horse-stealing, and
while hostilities were continued, they reaped from this source, their
greatest harvests.

Captain Brant on account of sickness was unable to be present, and it may
be noticed that from this time on, his efforts to form a North-western
Indian Confederacy, were very sensibly remitted. He no doubt found there
were so many conflicting interests and national jealousies in the way, as
to render the project comparatively hopeless. But more than all, he had
depended upon the following of the entire body, composed of the Six
Nations, and when he saw them coming largely under the influence of the
United States, he could realize that the strength and permanence of his
contemplated position, were so seriously affected, as to render its
attainment extremely doubtful. The addition of the entire Iroquois family,
to the proposed confederation, would have brought into it an element of
intellectual superiority, and their long established polity of acting in
concert, would have been of essential service among forces that were wild
and chaotic. And we are not surprised that the diversion effected among
them, should have changed somewhat the views of the distinguished

No decisive action was reached at this council, but an agreement was made
to suspend hostilities during the winter, provided the United States would
withdraw their troops from the west side of the Ohio; and another council
was appointed to meet at the Miami Rapids during the following spring.

The Iroquois delegation forwarded to our government a report of the
service they had rendered, the action taken by the council, and the
agreement to meet in the spring, and requested that agents might be sent,
"who were men of honesty, not land-jobbers, but men who love and desire
peace. We also desire that they may be accompanied by some Friend, or
Quaker, to attend the council."

On the 19th of February, 1793, General Benjamin Lincoln, Beverly Randolph
and Colonel Pickering were commissioned by the president to attend the
great Indian council at Miami Rapids, in the ensuing spring.

Meanwhile the Indians, dissatisfied with the views of the president, as
transmitted by the Six Nations, held another council at Au Glaize in
February, and framed a very explicit address to the Six Nations, affirming
they would listen to no proposition from the United States, that did not
concede the Ohio river, as the boundary line between them, and the Indian
country. They desired the United States to be fully apprised of this,
before sending their delegation; and they notified the Six Nations of a
private council at Miami Rapids, before meeting the American
commissioners, to adjust their opinions, so as to speak but one language
at the council; they further declared their intention not to meet the
commissioners at all, until assured they had authority to conclude a
treaty on this basis.

In this determination they were encouraged, and sustained by the British
Indian Department of Canada. President Washington, in a letter to Mr. Jay,
our minister in London, writing in 1794, very clearly sets forth the work
thus accomplished.--He says:--"There does not remain a doubt, in the mind
of any well informed person in this country, not shut against conviction,
that all the difficulties we encounter with the Indians, their
hostilities, the murder of helpless women and children, along our
frontiers, result from the conduct of agents of Great Britain in this
country. In vain is it then for its administration in Britain to disavow
having given orders which will warrant such conduct, whilst their agents
go unpunished; while we have a thousand corroborating circumstances, and
indeed as many evidences, some of which cannot be brought forward, to
prove that they are seducing from our alliances, and endeavoring to remove
over the line, tribes that have hitherto been kept in peace and friendship
at great expense, and who have no causes of complaint, except pretended
ones of their creating; whilst they keep in a state of irritation the
tribes that are hostile to us, and are instigating those who know little
of us or we of them, to unite in the war against us; and whilst it is an
undeniable fact, that they are furnishing the _whole with arms,
ammunition, clothing, and even provisions to carry on the war_, I might go
farther, and if they are not much belied, add, _men in disguise_."
[Footnote: Marshall's Washington.]

The commissioners of the United States appointed to confer with the Indian
tribes at the West, proceeded on their way, arriving at Niagara the latter
part of May, 1793. Here they were very kindly entertained by Governor
Simcoe until the council was ready to receive them.

While here they were visited by a large deputation from the council at
Miami Rapids, who desired an explicit answer to the inquiry whether they
were authorized to run and establish a new boundary? Which they answered
in the affirmative, at the same time reminding the Indians that in almost
all disputes there were wrongs on both sides, and that, at the approaching
council, both parties must expect to make some concessions.

This reply was well received and sanguine hopes were entertained of a
favorable termination of their mission.

The Indians returned again to their council at Miami, and the
commissioners supposing they would now be prepared to receive them,
proceeded on their voyage westward. Arriving at the mouth of Detroit river
they were obliged to land, being forbidden by the British authorities to
proceed any farther toward the place of meeting.

They were met here by another Indian deputation, bringing a paper with a
written statement of their determination, to make the Ohio the boundary
line between the Indian country and the United States, and requiring the
latter, if sincere in their desires for peace, to remove their settlements
to the south side of that river. To this the commissioners were desired to
give an explicit written answer.

They replied, referring to the understanding from their conference at
Niagara, that some concessions were to be made on both sides, and giving a
brief history of the treaties by which a title had been acquired to land
north of the Ohio, on the faith of which, settlements had been formed
which could not be removed; hence they answered explicitly.--"_The Ohio
river cannot be designated as the boundary line._"

They expressed the hope that negotiations might proceed on the basis of
these treaties, closing with some concessions, and liberal offers for some
lands still held by the Indians.

The debate at this council, it is said, ran high. Thayendanegea, and
others of the Six Nations were strenuous in their advocacy of peace. The
offer of the commissioners to establish a boundary line that would include
the settlements already made north of the Ohio, they regarded as
reasonable, and that farther concessions ought not to be required. Quite a
number of tribes were influenced to adopt this view, which at one time it
was thought would prevail. But there were certain ruling spirits present
determined to make no concession, and the council broke up without
allowing the commissioners, or any other white person, not in sympathy
with Britain, to be present.

Previous to the holding of this council, the army had been re-organized
under the command of General Anthony Wayne, an officer of untiring energy
and vigilance; a larger number of soldiers had been called into the field,
and as they were placed under a severe discipline, to inure them to the
dangers and hardships of the campaign, it was undertaken with flattering
prospects of success.

Pittsburgh had been made the place of rendezvous; but fearing the
influence of an encampment near a town, and wishing to inspire in his
soldiers a feeling of self reliance, General Wayne, on the 27th of
November, 1792, marched his army to a point twenty-two miles distant on
the Ohio, which he called Legionville, fortifying it and taking up his
quarters there for the winter.

On the 30th of April, 1793, as spring had opened, he broke up his garrison
at Legionville, and led his army down the river, to Fort Washington, its
site being that of the present beautiful and flourishing city of

Here he remained while the negotiations were going on with the Indians at
the West. As soon as they were ended and the result known, he took a more
advanced position, marching in October in the direction pursued by,
General St. Clair, to a point on the south-west branch of the Miami, six
miles beyond Fort Jefferson, and eighty from Fort Washington, which he
fortified and called Greenville.

On the 23d of December, a detachment of the army commanded by Major
Burbeck took possession of the ground where the army of General St. Clair,
two years before on the 4th of the preceding November, had sustained a
terrible defeat. Here they gathered up sadly and sacredly the bones that
marked this as a place of human slaughter, put in order the field-pieces
that were still upon the ground, served them with a round of three times
three, over the remains of their fallen comrades, and erected a fortress,
appropriately naming it Fort Recovery.

The army at different points had skirmishes with the enemy that were not
serious, but they served to create confidence and inspire courage in the
minds of the soldiers.

It was not until the 20th of August, 1794, that General Wayne had a
regular engagement with the Indians. Yet like a true gladiator he had been
preparing for the struggle, and his wariness, which had gained for him the
title of "_Black Snake_" may be gathered from the speech of Little Turtle,
chief of the Miamis, and one of the most active and brave warriors of his
time. He counselled his countrymen to think favorably of the proposals of
peace offered by General Wayne before giving them battle; saying,--"We
have beaten the enemy twice under separate commanders. We cannot expect
the same good fortune always to attend us. The Americans are now led by a
chief who never sleeps. The night and the day are alike to him; and during
all the time he has been marching on our villages, notwithstanding the
watchfulness of our young men, we have never been able to surprise him.
There is something that whispers to me,--_it would be prudent to listen to
his offers of peace_."

But this counsel was rejected by the Indians, who determined to give
battle to the Americans the next day. They fought in the vicinity of a
British fort, which Governor Simcoe of Canada had caused to be erected at
the foot of the rapids of the Miami emptying into the lakes, far within
the acknowledged territory of the United States.

The ground occupied by the Indians was well chosen, being a thick wood,
where were old fallen trees that marked the track of some ancient
hurricane, where the use of cavalry would be impracticable, a place suited
to afford them shelter and well adapted to their peculiar mode of warfare.
But the order of General Wayne to advance with trailed arms, and rouse the
Indians from their covert at the point of the bayonet, and when up deliver
a close and well directed fire on their backs, followed by a brisk charge,
so as not to give them time to load again; was executed so promptly, and
with so much effect that the Indians were driven in one hour more than two
miles, and soon dispersed in terror and dismay, leaving the ground in full
and quiet possession of the victorious army.

This battle, which terminated within reach of the British guns, decided
the fate of the campaign. The Indians after this were dispirited and
unable to make a general rally. The distrust awakened by the coolness of
their supposed friends, the gates of whose fort remained unopened while
they were fleeing thither for a covert, served not less than the victory
to dishearten them, and incline their thoughts toward peace.

The few days spent by the army on the battle ground after its victory,
were occupied in destroying the property of the Indians in that vicinity,
including also the extensive possessions of Colonel McKee, an officer of
the British Indian Department, whose influence had been exerted in
promoting these hostilities, whose effects were now being experienced. The
fort itself was poised in the General's mind, as was also the torch of the
gunner, who was only restrained by his commanding officer from firing upon
Wayne, who, as he thought came too near, in making his observations on one
of His Majesty's forts. Prudence prevailed. The fighting was confined to a
war of words in a spirited correspondence between General Wayne, and the
officer in command of the fort.

General Wayne after laying waste their principal towns in this region,
continued in the Indian country during the following year, bringing his
campaign to a close by a treaty with the North-western tribes, which was
entirely agreeable to the wishes of the United States.


Canandaigua at an early day--Facts in the early settlement of Bloomfield--
Indian Council--Its object--Indian parade--Indian dress--Opening of
Council--Speeches--Liberal offers of the government--Mr. Savary's Journal
--Treaty concluded--Account of Red Jacket by Thomas Morris.

Canandaigua at an early day was the objective point for all who were
seeking what was called the Genesee country. It was at the head of
navigation. Parties coming from the east could transport their goods by
water from Long Island Sound to Canandaigua, with the exception of one or
two carrying places, where they were taken by land.

We can hardly realize that at that time there was here a widely extended
forest, in all its loneliness and grandeur. Its first trees were cut down
in the fall of 1788, soon after Mr. Phelps had concluded his treaty of
purchase with the Indians. By means of them a log store-house was
constructed, near the outlet of the lake. The family of a Mr. Joseph Smith
took possession of it in the spring of 1789. Judge J. H. Jones, who in the
fall of 1788, was one of a party to open a road between Geneva and
Canandaigua, witnessed, on revisiting the latter place in 1789, a great

"When we left," he says, "in the fall of '88, there was not a solitary
person there;--when I returned fourteen months afterwards, the place was
full of people; residents, surveyors, explorers, adventurers; houses were
going up; it was a thriving, busy place." During the following year quite
a nucleus for a town had gathered here. In 1794, Mrs. Sanborne, an
enterprising landlady, whose eye kindled with the recollection of those
days, served up in a tea saucer the first currants produced in the Genesee
country. [Footnote: Conversation of the author with Mrs. Sanborne.]
Canandaigua at that time and for many years after was head-quarters for
all who were making their way into what at that time was called the Indian
country, and from the respectability and enterprise of its early
inhabitants, it became attractive as a place of residence.

But though considerable improvements had been made here, the entire region
was new, romantic and wild. Such was its condition at the time of the
great Indian council that convened here in the autumn of 1794. Indians and
deer, and wolves, and bear were very abundant and were mingled with the
early associations of those who contributed to make this an abode of
elevation and refinement. The cow-boy, often startled while on his way by
the appearance of a bear, went timidly forth on his evening errand,
inspired with courage by the thought that he might, for his protection,
shoulder a gun. Bear incidents, narrow escapes from fighting with bears,
and bear stories of every description, entered largely into the staple of
their conversation, and many an evening's hour was thus beguiled away,
around the huge and brightly blazing fire of the early pioneer.

"Did you hear," said a Mrs. Chapman to a Mrs. Parks, how neighbor Codding
came near being killed yesterday?

"Mercy! no. How did it happen?

"Mr. Codding was in the woods splitting rails, and just as he was turning
around to take up his axe to cut a sliver, don't you believe he saw a
great bear sitting up on his hind legs, and holding out both fore paws
ready to grab him."

"Mercy on us! What did he do?

"What did he do? He took up his axe, and instead of cutting the sliver,
cut into the old bear's head. But the axe glanced and only cut into the
flesh, without killing the bear, and he ran away with the axe sticking
fast in the wound.

"Awful! Awful! How thick the bears are getting to be! Husband says they
have killed off most all of our hogs.

"Your hogs! Just think once, there was a great bear came the other night
and got hold of a hog in Asahel Sprague's hog-pen, and would have killed
him, if Mr. Sprague hadn't shot the old fellow.

"Yes, and last summer when Mr. Sperry was gone off to training, there was
a bear came in the day time and tackled one of their hogs right in their
own door yard; but Mrs. Sperry and the children screamed so awfully, and
gave him such a tremendous clubbing, he was glad to put off into the woods

"Ha! Ha! She was about up to Jim Parker, who broke a bear's back with a
hand-spike in driving him out of his corn field, just as he was climbing
over the fence." [Footnote: Facts which transpired in the early history of
Bloomfield. See Turner's History.]

Wolves were equally if not more numerous, destroying in some instances
entire flocks of sheep, so that there was not a farmer in the region who
did not suffer more or less from their depredations.

It was something of an off-set to these annoyances that deer were very
abundant, and furnished the inhabitants with an ample supply of their
delicious meat. The Indians while assembled here during the council, often
killed more than a hundred of them in a single day.

The object of convening this council was to settle difficulties of long
standing, and quiet the minds of the Iroquois, who were much disturbed by
the warlike spirit prevailing at this time among the Indians at the West.
The influences from this source were of such a nature as to render many
among these friendly tribes exceedingly bold. In some instances on
entering the houses of settlers they would manifest a very haughty temper,
and rudely demand a supply of their wants as though they were still
proprietors and lords of the soil, and the settlers only their servants or

The settlers themselves began to feel unpleasantly about their position.
During the spring of this same year while Thomas Morris was painting his
house, erected the previous summer, and making other improvements around
it, indicating his design of having a permanent and inviting home, it so
happened that a company of settlers in passing by, paused to view with
astonishment what was going on. From a feeling of insecurity they had just
abandoned their new locations in this region, and had come thus far on
their way, having resolved to return to the more safe and quiet homes they
had left at the east. But beholding the enterprise of Mr. Morris, and the
business and thrift that prevailed here on every side, they inferred that
their situation could not be so very precarious, and wisely concluded to
return and carry forward the improvements commenced by themselves.

The Indian council, held during the months of October and November, had
been appointed before the victory of General Wayne, noticed in the
preceding chapter, had transpired. This had much to do in giving a
favorable turn to the proceedings, and of securing those pacific relations
with the Iroquois, that were then established. Before this these tribes
and the Indians generally were stimulated with the idea that they might
form and maintain in the North-west an independent nationality, that would
reflect once more the pride and glory of the ancient dominion of the
Iroquois. But when the news of this signal victory was circulated among
them, their spirits were humbled and broken. They seemed to relinquish
this dream of greatness, and gave themselves up to the stern demands of an
evident necessity. This sad intelligence, however, did not reach them
until the council had been for several days in progress. Its first opening
was darkened by no cloud of evil. There was nothing to hinder the exercise
of that proud bearing with which their past greatness, and a hopeful
future inspired them.

They began to assemble by the arrival of the Oneidas on the eleventh of
October. The Onondagas, Cayugas, and a part of the Senecas, led by
Farmer's Brother, came in on the fourteenth. Cornplanter at the head of
the Allegany clan of Senecas arrived on the sixteenth, and Red Jacket with
his, on the eighteenth.

On assembling, a degree of dignity and decorum was manifested, which
served to indicate their ideas of the forms and proprieties due to the
occasion. Before reaching the council fire the chiefs and warriors halted,
carefully decorated themselves after their manner, and then marched to
meet those appointed to confer with them on the part of the government,
and after passing around and encircling them, with the train, the leader
stepped forth, formally announced their arrival in obedience to the
summons they had received, at the same time delivering the belt brought by
the messenger sent to call them together.

The next tribe that came, halted and prepared themselves as the others,
were received by the tribe or tribes already on the ground, who also
arrayed themselves in their uniform, and having received their welcome,
salutes being fired and returned, they marched all together and formed in
a circle around the commissioners, when the same ceremony was observed, as
before, of delivering the belt. They proceeded thus until all the Indians
had assembled to the number of about sixteen hundred.

It was an occasion for the display of Indian pageantry, and though it may
have been more rude than among nations calling themselves civilized, it
was the same in its essential elements, and this council was ushered in
with as true a military spirit as though banners had been flying, bayonets
gleaming, and soldiers marching to the liveliest, or most heart-stirring
sounds of music.

The uniform of the Indian was not as the dress of the European,
ornamented, epauletted, tinselled; it was a more simple, less expensive,
but not a less time honored mode of adorning his person. Though his
military coat was of paint of different colors with which he was striped
in a distinguishing manner, he regarded it no doubt as gorgeous and gay.
Instead of the gracefully waving plume he was bedecked with the feathers
of the kingly eagle; beads and shells served in the place of military
buttons; and his trophies in the chase, and in war, he regarded as forming
a prouder sash than the richest scarf of scarlet or of blue.

Canandaigua, in years gone by, has often witnessed scenes of proud
military display. But never will there be witnessed so grotesque, and in
many respects so imposing a parade as appeared on this occasion. The
neighboring forest swarmed with life, and resounded with the wild yell and
deafening war-whoop of the Indian. It was his gala day, and highly fitting
that before surrendering these grounds forever to the dominion and usages
of another race, he should come forth once more from his native wilds, and
depart in the fullness of his strength, as the sun passing from under a
cloud, sheds his full glory over the earth before sinking beneath the
western horizon. This was his last day of pride on ground hallowed in the
memories of the past.

The occasion called forth an unusual attendance. It was known that Colonel
Pickering who had been appointed to hold this treaty, would come prepared
to give them a grand feast, and distribute among them a large amount of
money and of clothing. Hence they all came. "For weeks before the treaty,
they were arriving in squads from all their villages, and constructing
their camps in the woods, upon the lake shore, and around the court-house
square. The little village of whites was invested, overrun with the wild
natives. It seemed as if they had deserted all their villages, and
transferred even their old men, women and children to the feast, the
carousal, and the place of gifts. The night scenes were wild and
picturesque; their camp fires lighting up the forest, and their whoops and
yells creating a sensation of novelty not unmingled with fear, with the
far inferior in numbers who composed the citizens of the pioneer village
and the sojourners of their own race." [Footnote: History of the Phelps
and Gorham Purchase.]

The council was formally opened on the eighteenth of October, by a speech
of condolence on the part of the Oneidas and Onondagas, to the Senecas,
Cayugas, Tuscaroras and Delawares, some of whom were present, on account
of the death of a number of their chiefs since the last meeting.--It was
with a view to "_wipe away their tears,--brighten their faces, and clear
their throats_,"--that they might speak freely at the council fire.

Red Jacket in reply made a very sympathetic, and as it was regarded at the
time, beautiful address, presenting belts and strings of wampum to
"_unite each to the other as the heart of one man_."

Next was given a speech of congratulation by Colonel Pickering, who
appointed a council of condolence on the following Monday for the
Delawares, who were mourning for a young brother killed by a white man.

The ceremony of burying the dead,--covering the grave with leaves to
obscure it from sight,--of burying the hatchet taken from the head of the
victim, thus representing his death by violence,--of covering it with
stones and pulling up and planting over it a pine tree, so that in after
years it should never be disturbed; of wiping the blood from the head of
the victim, and tears from the eyes of the mourners,--these things
represented by speech and action having been performed, the council was
opened in earnest on the day following.

In reply to Colonel Pickering's remarks of the preceding day respecting
peace, and upon keeping the chain of friendship bright, Fish Carrier, an
aged and influential chief, in a speech of some length recounted the
history of the whites and of their intercourse with the red men from their
first settlement in this country. He referred to the manner in which they
had been received, to the friendship, that had existed before the
controversy of the United States with Great Britain, and to the
negotiations that had taken place since that time, the grievances they had
suffered, dwelling particularly upon the dissatisfaction still existing
among them about the treaty at Fort Stanwix in 1784. "The commissioners
were too grasping, they demanded of us too much." But as they had taken
hold of the chain of friendship with the fifteen fires they were disposed
to hold fast; but he thought it needed brightening up a little.

Colonel Pickering in reply to them said they ought not to think very hard
of them about that treaty, for they had just come out of a long and bloody
war, and as they had been victorious the Six Nations ought not to blame
them for feeling a little proud; and they ought not to be surprised, in
view of what had taken place during the war, if the commissioners were
somewhat severe.

A deputation from the Quakers was present at this council, and their
address being read and interpreted, was received by the Indians with much

At the opening of the council the next day, a request was presented by
some of the Indian women, who desired that their views might be heard; and
permission being granted, Red Jacket spake in their behalf.

He represented that the women had taken a deep interest in everything
pertaining to the wellfare of their nation; and he requested the sachems
and warriors, as well as the commissioner, to give an attentive
consideration to the views of those he had been chosen to represent. They
had attended upon the council, had listened to all that had been said, and
they desired it to be understood that their views were in accordance with
those of their sachems and chiefs. They felt that the white people had
caused them a great deal of suffering. The white people had pressed and
squeezed them together until their hearts were greatly pained, and they
thought the white people ought to give back all their lands. A white woman
had told the Indians to repent; [Footnote: Referring to Jemima Wilkinson.]
they wished in turn to call upon the white people to repent; they needed
to repent as much as the Indians; and they hoped the white people would
repent and not wrong the Indians any more.

The commissioner thanked them for their speech, saying he had a high
respect for the women, and would be happy to hear from them whenever they
had anything to say.

After several days had passed without coming to anything decisive in
regard to the main object of the council; Colonel Pickering called their
attention to the fact of their grievances, saying they had been together
sometime and talked them over and had found but two rusty places in the
chain of friendship, one of which they had already brightened. But the
other spot they thought was too deep to be cleared up. It related to their
lands. He then showed them maps which clearly pointed out the limits
agreed upon in their treaties, and by a distinct statement of the
negotiations and treaties that had been made at different times with them,
and afterward confirmed, proving that the claims of the United States were
just, he declared himself ready to stipulate concerning their grievances,
that they should still have the privilege of hunting upon the lands they
had ceded, and that their settlements thereon should remain undisturbed.
He further assured them that the United States would increase their
annuity from fifteen hundred to four thousand five hundred dollars, to say
nothing about the presents he had brought them amounting to ten thousand
dollars. These he would distribute in case of a favorable termination of
their council. He hoped in view of these liberal offers they would dismiss
their complaints, bury the hatchet deep and take hold of the chain of
friendship so firmly as never again to have it torn from their grasp.

The Indians appeared to be pleased with these offers, and promising to
regard them favorably, spent several days in deliberating among
themselves, inviting to their councils the Quakers, a deputation of whom,
as we remarked were present. William Savary, one of their number made the
following interesting note of his observations at the time.--

"Oct. 30. After dinner John Parrish and myself rode to view the Farmer's
Brother's encampment which contained about five hundred Indians. They are
located by the side of a brook in the woods: having built about seventy or
eighty huts, by far the most commodious and ingeniously made of any I have
seen. The principal materials are bark, and boughs of trees, so nicely put
together as to keep the family dry and warm. The women as well as the men
appeared to be mostly employed. In this camp there are a large number of
pretty children, who in all the activity and buoyancy of health, were
diverting themselves according to their fancy. The vast number of deer
they have killed, since coming here, which they cut up and hang round
their huts inside and out to dry, together with the rations of beef, which
they draw daily, give the appearance of plenty to supply the few wants to
which they are subjected. The ease and cheerfulness of every countenance,
and the delightfulness of the afternoon, which the inhabitants of the
woods seemed to enjoy with a relish far superior to those who are pent up
in crowded and populous cities, all combined to make this the most
pleasant visit I have yet made to the Indians; and induced me to believe
that before they became acquainted with the white people, and were
infected with their vices, they must have been as happy a people as any in
the world. In returning to our quarters we passed by the Indian council,
where Red Jacket was displaying his oratory to his brother chiefs on the
subject of Colonel Pickering's proposals."

Mr. Savary again observes:--"Red Jacket visited us with his wife and five
children, whom he had brought to see us. They were exceedingly well clad,
in their manner, and the best behaved and prettiest Indian children I have
ever met with." [Footnote: As quoted by Col. Stone.]

Various councils and deliberations with the Indians, resulted finally in
the conclusion of a treaty, which was quite satisfactory to all the
parties.--By this treaty peace was again declared to be firmly
established, the different tribes were confirmed in their reservations,
and lands that had not been sold, the boundaries of which were accurately
described, and the United States engaged never to claim these lands, or
disturb the Six Nations in the free use and enjoyment of them. The Six
Nations pledged themselves also not to claim any other lands within the
boundaries of the United States, nor disturb the people of the United
States in the free use and enjoyment thereof. It was stipulated also that
the United States should have the right of way for a public road from Fort
Schlosser to Lake Erie, have a free passage through their lands, and the
free use of harbors and rivers adjoining and within their respective
tracts of land, for the passing and securing of vessels and boats, and
liberty to land their cargoes, where necessary for their safety.

In consideration of these engagements the United States were to deliver
the presents, and pay the annuity as already intimated in the promise of
Colonel Pickering.--The money thus pledged was to be expended yearly
forever in purchasing clothing, domestic animals, implements of husbandry,
and other utensils suited to their circumstances, and for compensating
useful artificers who might be employed for their benefit.

It was further agreed that for injuries done by individuals on either
side, private revenge should not take place, but that complaint be made by
the injured party to the nation to which the offender belonged, and that
such measures were then to be pursued as should be necessary for the
preservation of peace and friendship. [Footnote: Indian Treaties. Favored
with a copy by O. Parrish. Esq., of Canandaigua, N. Y.]

The conclusion of this treaty was regarded as a great point gained.
Previous to this time, such of the Iroquois as remained in their ancient
seats, were but partially reconciled to the United States, and were
oscilating in their friendship. But henceforth they were uniformly
steadfast in the allegiance they had promised.

The holding of this council was further useful in withdrawing the
attention of this large body of Indians with their warriors, who had been
earnestly solicited to join their hostile brethren at the West.

During the progress of the council there were several speeches made, but
as they are not of special interest or importance they have not been
given. Colonel Stone mentions an evening when quite a number of the chiefs
dined with Colonel Pickering. He says,--"Much good humor prevailed on this
occasion. The Indians laid aside their stoicism, indulged in many
repartees, and manifested the keenest relish for wit and humor. Red
Jacket, in particular, was conspicuous for the readiness and brilliance of
his sallies." [Footnote: Col. Stone's Life and Times of Red Jacket.]

Not far from this time, and with reference it is believed to this treaty,
Thomas Morris says,--"Red Jacket was, I suppose, at that time about thirty
or thirty-five years of age, of middle height, well formed, with an
intelligent countenance, and a fine eye; and was in all respects a fine
looking man. He was the most graceful public speaker I have ever known;
his manner was most dignified and easy. He was fluent, and at times witty
and sarcastic. He was quick and ready at reply. He pitted himself against
Colonel Pickering, whom he sometimes foiled in argument. The colonel would
sometimes become irritated and lose his temper; then Red Jacket would be
delighted and show his dexterity in taking advantage of any unguarded
assertion of the colonel's. He felt a conscious pride in the conviction
that nature had done more for him, than for his antagonist."

"A year or two after this treaty, when Colonel Pickering from post master
general, became secretary of war, I informed Red Jacket of his promotion.
--'Ah!' said he,--'We began our public career about the same time; he knew
how to read and write; I did not, and he has got ahead of me.--If I had
known how to read and write I _should have got ahead of him_.'"


Valley of the Genesee--Indian misgivings--Mill yard--Effort to obtain
their land--Council at Big Tree--Coming of the Wadsworths--Indian villages
--Refusal to sell--Discussion between Red Jacket and Thomas Morris--
Breaking up of the Council.

The valley of the Genesee was a favorite resort of the Indian. His trail
led along its banks and brought him at short intervals to Indian villages,
or the head-quarters of Indian chiefs. Its flats were broad and beautiful,
and were bordered on either side by hills that rose gradually to their
summit, where they stretched out into extensive table lands. These hills,
as we ascend the valley gradually become higher and higher, until we are
brought into the vicinity of mountain elevations, where the scenery
becomes very romantic, and the country much broken. The valley itself is
almost of uniform width from its commencement, a few miles south of the
city of Rochester, to the pleasant and thriving village of Mount Morris.
Here these flats which are quite extensive and exceedingly rich and
beautiful, appear to leave the river and follow its tributary, the
Canaseraga, to a point about sixteen miles above; diminishing somewhat in
width as they ascend, until they come near the present village of
Dansville, where the hills again recede and forming a large basin, enclose
it on the south, presenting the appearance of a magnificent amphitheater.

The Canaseraga is here joined by two streams, Stony Brook and Mill Creek,
which flow down from the highlands beyond, over precipices, and through
gorges deep and wild, where rugged cliffs defying all attempts at culture,
rise abruptly at times, from one to three hundred feet on either side. The
Indian's trail conducted him to these wilds, which still remain the most
unchanged of all his ancient haunts. Here are solitudes seldom visited by
man, where are treasured sublimities that enchain the mind, and inspire a
feeling of devotion in the heart of the beholder. Here the Indian,
undisturbed by other sights or sounds, may yet listen to the voice of the
waterfall as it sounded in the ear of his fathers, or to the gentle murmur
of the stream discoursing now, as it did to them, in passing hurriedly
over its rocky bed. [Footnote: Who would ever suspect that a railroad
would stride across any of these deep chasms? How presumptuous.]

Beyond this point the Canaseraga itself, as it flows from its source among
the hills bordering on Pennsylvania, passes often through deep ravines,
narrow defiles, and overhanging cliffs. The same is true also of the
Genesee river above Mount Morris. Its course is marked by scenery rarely
surpassed in sublimity and grandeur. [Footnote: The High Banks, as they
are called, near Mt. Morris, and a similar formation, together with the
falls, near Portage, have attracted the attention, and are often visited
by the tourist.--J. N. H.]

The Indian as he followed his trail leading up along its banks, paused
often to listen to the thunder of its waterfalls, or to watch its course
while threading its way at the bottom of ravines, hundreds of feet beneath
the jutting point where he was standing. The territory marked by this
river was unsurpassed in the magnificence and beauty of its scenery, and
in the variety and richness of its soil; and the Indian who lived for the
most part in the open world, found here a home congenial to his spirit,
and he loved it. The white man saw and loved it too. But he loved it not
as the Indian, who looked upon it as already complete. The hills brought
him venison, the valleys corn, and the streams on every side abounded in
fish, the beautiful speckled trout, which fairly swarmed in all of these
waters. What could he want more? He loved it as it was; just as it came
from the forming hand of the Great Spirit.

The white man loved it for what he saw he could make of it; but how little
he thought his making, would mar the desirableness and beauty of the
Indian's home. He had already obtained of the Indian a title to all his
land lying on the east side of this river. He had even been allowed to
cross over to the west side, and look upon that generous _Mill Yard_,
twelve miles square, as his own. A very extensive gift it is true, but as
it was proposed to erect at the Genesee falls a saw mill, which was
claimed to be a vastly benevolent institution, and would be useful to the
Indians as well as whites, inasmuch as it would save the immense labor of
splitting and hewing logs for plank, as they were going to make the water
of the river split the logs and hew them at the same time; it was claimed
that this surrender on the part of the Indians, would be but a just offset
against the self-denial, great expense, and severe labor of the whites, in
establishing so benign an institution as a _saw mill_, in these western
wilds. This is one among many instances of the benevolence of the white
man toward the Indian.

If the Genesee country was prized by the Indian, it was regarded with a
wishful eye by the white man. And as he had obtained what was on the east
side of the Genesee river, he was not content without a larger portion on
the west. Already the tide of emigration had brought him to the utmost
limit of his possessions, and he could hardly refrain from looking, with a
wishful eye, upon the fertile fields lying beyond.

The Indian on the other hand, began to feel uneasy about having sold so
much of his land. He regretted very much the permission he had given the
white man to own one foot of ground, on the west side of the Genesee
river. Natural boundaries with him weighed more than with the white man;
and had the white man's possessions been confined strictly to the east
side of the river, he would have felt better satisfied though it had cost
him a larger area of ground. The white man's mode of running lines and of
measuring land, he did not comprehend or appreciate. But when the line was
made by a creek, river, or mountain, he understood it, and it harmonized
better with his views of fitness, in dividing up the surface of this great
earth. He was utterly unschooled in the art of computing by acres and
roods. But the water's edge he had traversed with his light canoe, and
with every point and islet on the lakes he was familiar. He had followed
the rivers to where they came bubbling up from their rocky bed amid
mountain elevations, and there was not a tributary stream or run, by whose
side he had not rested, or by whose music he had not been charmed, keeping
pace with it, as it went innocently busying and babbling along on its
downward way. With any or all of these landmarks he was familiar, and when
fixed upon as boundaries, he could readily recur to, and religiously keep
them; for they had been made by the Great Spirit, and it was his life-
study to know them.

Not satisfied with the large purchase already made, the white man
contemplated still greater acquisitions of Indian land. Little did the red
man suspect, while roaming unmolested over his native hills, that in
civilized circles, the advantages and disadvantages of his cherished home
were canvassed, and made the subject of negotiation and purchase. And it
awakened his deepest surprise when assured, that without his knowledge or
consent, his land had been sold. He was not aware that his ignorance of
the value of his country, for the purposes of civilization, was made a
subject of barter among his superiors in knowledge, and that men of
enterprize were willing to pay for the privilege of making a bargain with
him for his lands.

This right, as we have seen, was claimed by the government; Massachusetts
holding the right of buying the Indian lands in Western New York. This
right, under sanction of which the Phelps and Gorham purchase was made,
was in part sold, as related in a preceding chapter. The pre-emptive right
to the remainder was bought by Robert Morris in the spring of 1791. He re-
sold soon after, to a company of gentlemen in Holland; pledging himself to
survey the entire tract, and extinguish the Indian title. Thirty-five
thousand pounds sterling of the purchase money were retained, as a
guaranty of his fulfilling these engagements.

It became an object therefore for Mr. Morris to obtain, at as early a
period as practicable, a conference with the Indians, and their consent to
sell this land. Owing to their extreme reluctance to part with any more
land, he had not been able to persuade them to appoint a council for this
purpose, and committed the further prosecution of this to his son Thomas.
Hence the occasion given to notice the presence of Thomas Morris at the
Indian councils, particularly that at Tioga Point. For several years he
had been cultivating an acquaintance with the Indians, residing in their
midst, attending their councils, and making himself generally agreeable;
and by means of his own personal influence with the chiefs, and unwearied
exertions he gained their permission to hold a council, which assembled at
Big Tree, the present site of Genesee, in August, 1797.

This had already become the residence of the white man. James and William
Wadsworth, from Durham, Conn., had emigrated hither as early as the year
1790. Under their auspices a new settlement had been commenced. On rising
ground which commanded a fine view of the flats, stood their large block
house. The same site has still its attractions, for what at a later day,
was the old Wadsworth mansion.

The coming of the Wadsworths into this region, which was still in
possession of the Indians, and their prominence in its subsequent history,
would seem to justify a more extended notice.

In the spring of 1790, James Wadsworth, then a young man of twenty-two,
was debating with himself the question of his future calling in life. He
had graduated at Yale College in the fall of '87:--had spent the winter of
'87 and '88, at Montreal, Canada, teaching school. He had no thought of
teaching as his life-work, and what would he do next? was his earnest
inquiry. Some one suggested that he should study medicine; but this did
not suit him. As he had received a liberal education, it was further
intimated that he should lead a professional life and become a lawyer, or
a minister.

After duly considering the matter, choosing for this purpose the
retirement of a neighboring wood, he returned the answer,--"I am not
satisfied with either of these professions."

"What will you do, then?" was the inquiry. He replied, "I know God has
made me for something, and I am trying to find out what that is."

With his mind thus unsettled, he determined to visit his uncle, Colonel
Jeremiah Wadsworth, of Hartford. This uncle had pursued a sea-faring life,
entering upon it at first for the benefit of his health, and following it
afterward, from a love for the employment. From a sailor before the mast,
he came to be mate, and captain, and at the breaking out of the
Revolutionary war he had retired from the sea, and had settled at
Hartford, Conn. He was appointed commissary of the Connecticut line, and
subsequently had important trusts committed to his charge, by his own
State, and also by the Congress at Philadelphia, having reference to the
pay, clothing and subsistence of the Continental troops.

In the discharge of his official duties he had formed an acquaintance with
Oliver Phelps; and after Mr. Phelps had secured an interest in the Genesee
country, he represented its advantages to Colonel Wadsworth in such
glowing colors, as led him to purchase a considerable tract of land in
that region. Being a man of wealth and advanced in life, he had no thought
of emigrating thither, but designed to provide for his interests by
employing an agent.

As soon as James Wadsworth arrived at the house, he was met at the door by
his uncle, who eagerly grasped his hand and exclaimed,--"James, I am glad
you have come, you are the very man I have been wanting to see."

It was not long before they were deeply engaged in discussing the Genesee
question, this becoming the chief topic of conversation during the visit.
As the result, James purchased on advantageous terms a part of the tract
at Big Tree, and became agent for the remaining lands, qualified by the
condition that his brother William would consent to accompany him in the
proposed emigration. [Footnote: Conversation of the author with Nehemiah
Hubbard, Esq., of Middletown, Conn., and statements in Turner's History.]

The two brothers jointly entered upon the undertaking, and commenced
preparations for their journey into this, at that time, far-off
wilderness. An ox cart, and ox team, are in wide contrast with the
conveniences of travel enjoyed at present. Yet with these, and two or
three hired men, and a colored woman, a favorite slave belonging to the
family, William set forth to encounter the vicissitudes and dangers
involved in the enterprise. It was a slow and wearisome journey, most of
the way rough, and some of the way requiring to be opened and prepared for

James, with provisions and a small supply of household furniture, went by
the sound, the Hudson, and the head of navigation on Canandaigua outlet.
He arrived at Canandaigua three days in advance of his brother.

From this point their journey was comparatively easy. They pursued the
route taken by Sullivan in '79, yet not without having frequently to cut a
way for their team and cart. They arrived at their point of destination on
the 10th of June, 1790.

Captain Horatio, and John H. Jones preceded the Wadsworths, and other
families came into the region soon after. But the country was full of
Indians. Their villages swarmed with life in every direction. Ken-de-wah
or Big Tree, as principal chief was at the head of a numerous clan,
located on the bluffs near by. Not far from them on the river was a
village of the Tuscaroras. Two miles below was Oneida Town, a large
village of Oneidas. Near the present site of West Avon was another
principal village, whose chief was Ga-kwa-dia, or Hot Bread. Above was
another large village called Little Beard's Town, occupying the present
site of Cuylerville. Further on were Allen's Hill, Squaky Hill and
Gardeau, the residence of the "White Woman." Her husband was principal
chief of the clan at this point. Further on at Nunda, was another village,
its principal chiefs were Elk Hunter and Green Coat. Still higher up on
the river at Caneadea, was another considerable village, whose chief was
John Hudson. [Footnote: It was here the author's grandfather, as an Indian
prisoner, had to run the gauntlet in the spring of 1782.

The author remembers Hudson very well. Often visiting his grandfather's
house in Angelica, N. Y. When a boy he often sat on Hudson's knee, whom he
regarded as a very pleasant, kind Indian.]

These villages were mostly in the vicinity of Big Tree, a region which at
that time was not without its charms, and has since been regarded as
possessing attractions in soil and scenery, unsurpassed by any in the

It was here the council, solicited by Thomas Morris, assembled.

The unfinished block house of the Wadsworths was engaged for the
accommodation of those particularly interested with Mr. Morris in
conducting the council; and a large tent covered with boughs, and prepared
with rows of seats, and a platform, furnished a place suited to their

The United States, though not directly concerned as a party in this
council, were interested in the welfare of the Indians, and appointed a
commissioner to watch over their rights, and see that no injustice took
place. Massachusetts reserved this right in the sale of her pre-emptive
title. Accordingly Colonel Wadsworth of Connecticut, appeared as
commissioner on the part of the United States, and General Wm. Shepard in
behalf of the commonwealth of Massachusetts. William Bayard of New York
represented the interests of the Holland company, and Mr. Morris, appeared
through his agents, Thomas Morris and Colonel Williamson. The engagements
of Mr. Williamson calling him away, the responsibility of conducting the
treaty devolved upon Thomas Morris.

A large number of Indians were present, brought together by the prospect
of good cheer, no less than their interest in the object of their

The council being duly opened, the commissioners offered their
credentials, and explained the reason of their appointment; after which
Mr. Morris presented in a speech of some length, the object for which they
had been convened. Representing the desire of his father to obtain by
purchase a part, or all of their lands, and how much better it would be
for them to dispose of all, except what were actually needed for
settlement, and place the money at interest, than to retain in their
possession uncultivated wastes, whose only value to them could be such as
were derived from the chase; and that this advantage would not be lost,
for they could still use it for hunting, the same as before. He concluded
by offering them the sum of one hundred thousand dollars, for the entire
tract that remained to them in the State, allowing them such reservations
as might be needed for actual use.

The Indians after deliberating for a time returned an unfavorable answer;
saying "they did not wish to part with any more of their land."

Mr. Morris replied, urging them to reconsider the case, that they ought
not to decide hastily, setting before them in various ways the favorable
terms he had proposed.

After deliberating once more, they returned the answer they had already

Meetings and speeches thereupon succeeded; Farmer's Brother, Cornplanter,
Little Billy, Little Beard, and Red Jacket, taking part in the discussion,
the chief burden of which fell upon the latter.

When Mr. Morris urged upon their attention the liberal sum he had proposed
to pay for their lands:--

Red Jacket replied,--"We are not yet convinced that it is best for us to
dispose of them at any price."

"But," said Mr. Morris, "what value can they be to you as they now are,
any further than the consciousness that you own them?"

"Yes," said Red Jacket, _but this knowledge is everything to us. It
raises us in our own estimation. It creates in our bosoms a proud feeling
which elevates us as a nation_. Observe the difference between the
estimation in which a Seneca and an Oneida are held. We are courted, while
the Oneidas are considered as a degraded people, fit only to make
_brooms_ and _baskets. Why this difference_? It is because the
Senecas are known to be the proprietors of a _broad domain_, while the
Oneidas are _cooped up in a narrow space_."

"Ah," said Mr. Morris, "you presume too much in regard to the consequence
of your nation. It is far from being as great as you seem to suppose; and
in proof of this let me refer you to the manner in which your deputation
to the Miamis was received in 1793. Though large and composed of many of
the first men of your nation, it had but little influence."

"Very true," replied Red Jacket, "_and why_? It was because we were in
_bad company. We went with the pale faces_. Had we gone alone, we
should have been treated with the _dignity which belongs to the Senecas
throughout the world_."

While Red Jacket was still standing some one interposed the remark,--
"_he's a coward_." Turning round with a look of contempt, and in tone
and manner expressing the deepest sarcasm, he said,--"YES, I AM A COWARD."
And then waving his hand over the broad and beautiful lands that were
spread out before them, added: "_assure me that you can create lands like
these, which the Great Spirit has made for us his red children, so that
you can give us lands like them in return, and I will be brave:_ UNTIL
Conversation of the author with Wm. Jones.]

The commissioners together with the agent of the Holland company, who had
been looking on and anxiously observing the proceedings for about two
weeks, began to regard the undertaking as hopeless, and urged Mr. Morris
to use more decisive means with them, and bring them to terms one way or
the other.

Though contrary to Mr. Morris' convictions from his knowledge of the
Indian character, as to its being the best method to pursue, he yielded to
their solicitations; and when the Indians presented him the offer of a
single township on the line of Pennsylvania, at one dollar an acre, Red
Jacket assuring him that he could sell this at a sufficient advance, to
pay for the trouble and expense of the treaty, he told them if that was
all they could offer, they might return to their homes, for the sooner
their conference was ended the better.

Red Jacket thereupon sprang to his feet and said, "You have now come to
the point to which I wished to bring you. You told us in your first
address, that even in the event of our not agreeing to sell our lands, we
would part friends. Here then is my hand." Mr. Morris taking his hand, he
then added; "I now cover up the council fire."


Interview between Farmer's Brother and Thomas Morris--Mr. Morris addresses
the women--Distributes presents--Negotiations continued--Treaty concluded
with the women and warriors--Manner of payment--Inquiries about a Bank--
Their reservations--White woman--Young King's dissent--Charge of

The Indians appeared to regard the breaking up of the council at Big Tree,
with great satisfaction. Their joy was unbounded; they made the forest
ring with their wild yells, inveighing loudly and insultingly against Mr.
Morris, and the commissioners, and assuming such menacing attitudes, as
fairly to intimidate those unaccustomed to their rude manners.

To all present but Mr. Morris, the prospect of accomplishing any thing
after this seemed utterly hopeless, and it was with some difficulty the
commissioners were persuaded to remain, for the purpose of giving him the
opportunity of another trial. Yet his hopes of success were so sanguine,
as to induce them to tarry a short time longer.

The day after the breaking up of the council, Farmer's Brother called on
Mr. Morris, expressed his regret at what had transpired, and the hope that
it might not destroy the interest he had manifested for his nation.
"Certainly not," said Mr. Morris,--"you had a right to refuse to sell your
lands;" but he added, the treatment he had received from his people at the
close of the council, especially in allowing a drunken warrior to menace
and insult him; while they were yelling in approbation of his conduct, was
uncalled for, and ungenerous. He had not deserved this from them. They had
for years had food at his house in Canandaigua, and liquor as much as was
for their good, and whenever any of them had been at Philadelphia, his
father had treated them with equal kindness and hospitality.

Farmer's Brother acknowledged that all this was true, and regretted that
the council fire had been extinguished so hastily, or they might have had
a meeting, to smooth over these difficulties.

"Yes,"--said Mr. Morris, "and here is another ground of complaint. Red
Jacket assumed the right of covering up the fire. This did not belong to
him. For according to your custom, he only who kindles the council fire,
has a right to cover it up."

"That is so,"--said Farmer's Brother.

"Then as I did not cover it up the council fire is still burning."

After thinking a moment he replied,--"_Yes_:"--and appeared to be
pleased that it was so, and proposed to have the council convene again.

Mr. Morris signified his pleasure to delay a few days, to give him time to
look over his accounts, pay for the provisions that had been consumed,
collect his cattle that had not been slaughtered, and arrange other
matters preparatory to his leaving the treaty ground.

He had become so well acquainted with Indian customs, that he had resolved
upon another expedient, when his negotiations with the sachems had failed.

It is a rule among the Indians that their sachems shall have a right to
transact whatever business belongs to their nation, whether relating to
their lands, or anything else. But in transactions that concern their
lands, if their course is not satisfactory to the women and warriors, they
have a right to arrest the proceedings, and take the management into their
own hands. The reason they assign for this practice is,--that the land
belongs to the warriors, because they are the defense and strength of
their nation, and to the women, because they are mothers of the warriors.
In their polity therefore they recognize head or chief women, whose
privilege it is to select a speaker to represent their views.

Mr. Morris determined as a last resort, to refer his case to the chief
women and warriors. He accordingly sought and obtained such a meeting.

He made known to them his business, told them of the offer he had made
their sachems, portrayed to them in glowing colors, the advantages they
would receive from the annuity so large a sum would bring,--how it would
furnish them with food and clothing, without any anxiety or toil on their
part, and that they would thus be relieved of many hardships, which they
were now compelled to endure.--That the sachems, who were unwilling to
sell the land, always had enough to supply their wants.--That they could
kill game, and feast on the meat, and go to the settlements and sell the
skins, and buy them clothing. Hence they did not care to exchange their
land for money, that would enable the women to obtain for themselves and
children food and clothing, whereas they were now often compelled to go
hungry and naked. By selling such a portion of their land as they had no
use for, they would have the means of supplying their necessary wants, and
of making themselves comfortable. He then displayed before them a large
supply of beads, blankets, silver brooches, and various other ornaments,
of which the natives were particularly fond, and said he had brought these
with the design of making them presents, in the event of a successful
treaty. But in as much as the women were not to blame for breaking off the
negotiations, he was determined they should have the presents he had
intended for them. He accordingly proceeded to distribute among sparkling
eyes, and joyous hearts, the beauties and treasures, he had brought for

These gifts proved a most powerful addition to his argument, and were the
means of giving a favorable turn to their counsels. For several days after
this the chiefs, and women, and warriors, could be seen scattered about
here and there in small parties, engaged in earnest conversation, which
resulted in a renewal of their negotiations.

Mr. Morris was informed that their council fire was still burning, and
that their business might proceed,--but instead of being carried on by the
sachems, would be conducted by the women and warriors.

Cornplanter being the principal war-chief, appeared on this occasion in
their behalf.

He said,--"They had seen with regret the misconduct of the sachems; that
they thought also the action of Mr. Morris was too hasty; but still they
were willing the negotiations should be renewed; and hoped they would be
conducted with better temper on both sides."

Mr. Morris offered a few conciliatory remarks in reply; and Farmer's
Brother, on the part of the sachems, represented these proceedings of the
women and warriors, as in accordance with the customs of their nation.

The way being thus opened, the negotiations were readily carried forward
to a successful termination.

They consented to sell their lands for the sum proposed, which was one
hundred thousand dollars, leaving their reservations to be settled, as
they could agree.

The simplicity of the Indian character was apparent, in the eagerness with
which they desired to know about a _Bank:_ the president having
directed that the money they received for their lands, in case they were
sold, should be invested for their benefit in stock of the United States
Bank; in the name of the president, and his successors in office, as
trustees of the Indians; they earnestly inquired,--_what is a Bank_?

Several attempts were made at explanation, when finally they came to
understand, that the United States Bank, at Philadelphia, was a large
place where their money would be planted, and where it would grow, like
corn in the field.

As it was desirable also for them to understand, that the dividends from
it might be greater some years than others, this was explained by
referring to the idea of planting, as they could know from experience,
that some years they would have from the same ground a better crop than
others. Hence after this when speaking to Mr. Morris about their money,
they would inquire _what kind of a crop they were going to have that

Another point of interest with them, was to ascertain _how large a pile,
the money they were to receive, would make_?

This was shown them by representing the number of kegs of a given size, it
would take to hold, and the number of horses that would be necessary to
draw it.

These questions being settled, the next point to be agreed upon, was the
size of their reservations. Mr. Morris had stipulated, in case their
demands were reasonable, no deduction would be made from the price they
were to receive. But instead of moderate, very exhorbitant claims were
presented, growing out of a degree of rivalry between different chiefs.

Their comparative importance would be graduated in a measure by the size
of their domain, and the number of people they would thus be enabled to
have about them; hence they were individually ambitious of not being out-
done, in the size of their reservations.

Red Jacket put in a claim to about one-fourth of the entire tract
purchased. Cornplanter desired about as much; and other chiefs were alike
ambitious in securing extensive reservations; and they wished to have them
marked out by natural boundaries, such as rivers, hills or the course of
streams. To all of these demands Mr. Morris was obliged to give a stout
and resolute denial, requiring them to fix upon a certain number of square
miles, which, in the aggregate, should not be far from three hundred and

Here also arose difficulties about the size of their respective
allotments, which they were unable to settle, so that Mr. Morris was
obliged to assume the office of arbiter, and decide these for them, which
he accomplished generally to their satisfaction.

In only one instance did he depart from his purpose of not allowing
natural boundaries, in describing their reservations. It was in case of
Mary Jemison, the White Woman, who lived on the Genesee river, some few
miles above Mt. Morris. Her history is one of singular interest, and as
belonging to this region, and connected with the circumstances under
consideration, a brief notice of this remarkable woman, will not be out of

Hers is an instance of the entire change that may be wrought, in the taste
and inclination, so that instead of a civilized, a person may prefer an
uncultivated state of society. Though descended from the whites, she
became so thoroughly Indian in her feelings and habits, that she was
regarded as a curiosity, and called by way of distinction--the "_White

She was born on the ocean, while her parents were emigrating from Ireland
to this country, about the year 1742 or 3. Her father and mother soon
after landing at Philadelphia, removed to a frontier settlement of
Pennsylvania, lying on what was called Marsh Creek. During the war between
the French and English, she was taken captive with her parents, by a party
of Shawnee Indians. On the way, her father and mother were killed. The
mother anticipating, from tokens she had observed, what would be their
fate, advised her child not to attempt an escape from the Indians, as she
most likely would be taken again, and treated worse. But as a course
better adapted to promote her welfare, she was told to try and please her
captors, adding as her parting counsel,--"don't forget, my daughter, the
prayers I have taught you,--repeat them often; be a good child, and may
God bless you."

After this, under various trials she went with the party, until they came
to Fort Du Quesne. [Footnote: Afterwards called Fort Pitt, now the site of
Pittsburg.] Here she was given to two Indian women, who were of the Seneca
nation, and lived eighty miles below, on the Ohio river, at a place called
She-nan-jee. With the usual ceremony observed by the Indians on such
occasions, she was adopted into their family, and called De-ha-wa-mis. At
length under kind treatment she began to feel as one of them. In time she
was married to a young chief of the Delaware tribe, with whom she lived
happily for several years in the Shawnee country. She became devotedly
attached to her Indian husband, who treated her with marked tokens of

After a time she welcomed with the joy of a young mother's heart, the
appearance in her wigwam of a daughter, her first born. The bright morning
of her domestic joy was soon overcast with sorrow; she is seen strewing
over her little one's grave, the fallen leaves of autumn. She-nin-jee, her
Indian husband once more became a father. Together they gladly embraced a
son. Their lonely cabin after this was enlivened and cheered by his
childish prattle; nothing now remained to interrupt the joy of the mother,
but the absence of the father, whom the season of hunting, took far away
from his cherished home. Yet with returning spring these toils are
forgotten, as he is surrounded once more with the charms of the domestic
fireside. But at length there came a spring whose joyful return, brought
not the long wished for She-nin-jee, back to his lonely cabin. Many an
evening fire blazed brightly to bid him welcome, yet he did not come.
Choice venison had been dried and laid up for him, new skins had been
prepared and spread for his couch, and many a silent hour whiled away with
thoughts of the absent one, but he came not. His returning comrades
brought back the sad news of his death. De-ha-wa-mis mourned long and
deeply for the pride of her Indian wigwam. Her own kindred could not have
extended to her more genuine sympathy, than did her new relatives by
adoption. They kindly offered to take her back, if she desired to go, to
her former friends among the whites, or if she chose to remain among them,
they promised to give her a home of her own.

A part of her Indian relatives lived in the valley of the Genesee, and
this was the occasion of her removal there, from her home on the Ohio. A
few years intervened, and she again became the wife of an Indian, the
distinguished Seneca warrior Hio-ka-too. She resided with him until his
death, at Gardeau, the place where she was living, at the time of her
appearance at this treaty. The chiefs desired for her a special
reservation. To this Mr. Morris readily assented, in case she would
specify a certain number of acres.

She said to him,--"I do not know any thing about acres, but I have some
improved places;" pointing them out on the ground; "here a patch of
potatoes, there, a few beans, and another still, where there's a little
corn." She wished these might be embraced in her reservation, at the same
time giving boundaries, which she thought would include them.

Mr. Morris owing to the lateness of the hour, and the impatience of the
commissioners, gave his consent to the boundary named, supposing it might
include a hundred or a hundred and fifty acres. But much to his surprise,
the tract when surveyed, was found to contain not less than seventeen
thousand, nine hundred and twenty-seven acres. [Footnote: Indian Treaties,
p. 39. This reservation has been variously represented to contain, four
thousand, and by others a larger number of acres. Col. Stone makes it
thirty thousand. The amount given in the text is that obtained by actual
survey of the boundaries in question. They are as follows: "Beginning at
the mouth of Steep Hill Creek, thence due east until it strikes the Old
Path, thence south until a due west line will intersect with certain steep
rocks on the west side of the Genesee river, thence extending due west,
due north, and due east, until it strikes the first mentioned bound,
enclosing as much land on the west side, as on the east side of the

The survey by Augustus Porter, surveyor, gives it 17,927.]

Mary Jemison, the White Woman, had thus secured to her, according to the
pledge of the Indians to give her a home, a princely domain, where for
years after in primitive simplicity, she planted her beans, potatoes and
corn, and maintained, as in former years, the usages of her Indian life.

The most of this tract she afterward sold to John Grey and Henry B. Gibson
of Canandaigua; a deed for which was executed bearing date of September
3d, 1823.

She retained for her own use twelve hundred and eighty acres, and received
for the balance, the sum of four thousand two hundred and eighty-six
dollars, or an annuity of three hundred dollars forever.

The Senecas became gradually dispossessed of their lands in the valley of
the Genesee, and in the year 1825, removed to their reservation at
Buffalo. At the time of their removal, the White Woman refused to part
with the residue of her land, and continued to reside at the place, where
she had passed the greater part of her long life, and which was now
endeared to her by many associations in the past.

But here she soon found herself surrounded by another race, and as time
advanced, she longed to be among the people she had chosen for her
kindred, and disposing of her possessions in the Genesee valley, removed
to Buffalo in 1831.

She had now upon her the infirmities of age. Long had the parting
injunction of her christian mother passed from memory. The religion as
well as habits of the Indian, had become hers. Ninety summers had passed
over her head. The missionary had visited her, and had been assured that
her faith had long been in accord with that of the red man, and she had no
desire to change her religious views.

But ere her last hour came a voice reached her from the distant past. It
awakened memories long forgotten. She sent for the missionary. He came and
stood by her. She was almost withered away. Her small, shrivelled, finely
wrinkled face, silvery hair, toothless mouth, the nose almost touching her
chin, and her thin, wasted form, indicated the presence of second
childhood. The memory of that long lost mother rushed back upon her mind.
She cried out in anguish, as well as sincerity of heart, "Oh, God! have
mercy upon me!" The prayer of her childhood returned; she instinctively
began to say.--"_Our Father which art in heaven._"

As a child she received the instructions of the missionary, and before
departing this life, her soul was lighted up with a cheering hope, based
upon a reception of the clear and living truths of Christianity.

No one had sought to disturb the serenity of her advanced life, by
intruding upon her the idea that she was a sinner. How came she to be thus
exercised? The lessons given in childhood, availed more than sermons, and
impressions were then made, which though apparently effaced, still
remained to be quickened into life, and bring forth fruit, which cheered
the closing days of her singularly eventful history.

With the settlement of the White Woman's reservation, Mr. Morris regarded
the business of the treaty, as about concluded. Yet a new obstacle was
presented by the arrival of Young King, a descendant of "Old Smoke," a
renowned chief, held in great veneration among the Senecas. None had ever
attained a greater degree of power, or swayed a more commanding influence.
The son though not possessing the high endowments of the father, yet when
he chose to exert it, commanded an extensive hereditary influence, which
carried with it great weight. Having been informed of the proceedings of
the council thus far, he expressed his disapproval.

Cornplanter and Farmer's Brother informed Mr. Morris that the treaty could
not be completed contrary to the wishes of Young King; that however
unreasonable it might appear to him, for one man to defeat the will of the
entire nation, it was a power he received from his birth, and one of which
he could not be deprived. Yet after much persuasion, Young King, though
not reconciled to the idea of selling their lands, acquiesced; saying--"he
would not stand out against the wishes of his nation."

The signing of the treaty yet remained; and Red Jacket according to the
testimony of Mr. Morris, though he had strenuously resisted the sale,
desired nevertheless to have his name appear among the chiefs of his
nation, whose signatures were appended to the deed executed on the 15th of
September, 1797, conveying to Robert Morris of Philadelphia, the title to
all their lands west of the Genesee river, not included in their
reservations, or previously sold.

From this fact the inference has been derived, that the orator was
_insincere_ in his opposition to the sales made of his people's lands.
His sincerity though questioned now, was never after this a matter of
doubt. If he had been insincere before, the effect of this sale on the
destiny of his people, imposed upon him considerations of so grave a
nature, as to render the idea of his indifference extremely improbable,
and no one after this ever thought of imputing to him such a motive. Yet
in all the sales the Senecas made of their land, subsequent to this
period, Red Jacket's name, however much he may have resisted the act, was
appended to the deed or instrument of conveyance. The reason he assigned
for this, was his desire to have his name go, whether for better or worse,
with the destinies of his people. Having exerted all his energies to
prevent the sale of their lands, he felt that his duty had been
discharged. And when his people decided against him, he regarded the
responsibility of the transaction as resting on those who had effected it,
and whether he gave or witheld his name, it would have no influence in
determining the result.

He may have had some pride also in having his name appended to a document,
which he knew the white people regarded, as of much importance, and were
very careful to preserve.

It is related of him as having transpired at a later period, when Mr.
Greig of Canandaigua, acting for the Ogden Company, was holding a council
with a view to purchase some of the smaller Indian reservations, lying
along the Genesee river, he was opposed step by step, by the persistent
efforts of Red Jacket. Yet notwithstanding the opposition, Mr. Greig was
successful in securing the extinguishment of their title, to about eighty
thousand acres of their land. When the time came for signing the deed, Mr.
Greig said to Red Jacket,--"_As you have been opposed to the sale of the
land, you need not have your name attached to the deed_." But he would
hear to nothing of the kind, and insisted upon signing it, seeming to take
pride in having his name appended to the paper. [Footnote: Conversation of
the author with the Hon. John Greig of Canandaigua. Some years ago a story
illustrating the eloquence of Red Jacket went the rounds of the papers, in
which Mr. Greig was represented as arguing a case in opposition to and as
being defeated by Red Jacket. Not happening to see it at the time, the
author sought for a copy, but learning that its principal statements were
fictitious, he relinquished the undertaking. Mr. Greig never argued the
case as represented, but took down a speech from the interpreter which he
read to the orator, who was much pleased with its correctness and bestowed
on him an Indian name, signifying--"_a ready writer_."]


Council at Canawangus--Interesting reminiscence of Red Jacket--Address of
Farmer's Brother--Jasper Parrish--Horatio Jones--Red Jacket's visit at
Hartford, Conn.

A council of the Iroquois was held at Ca-na-wau-gus, near West Avon, in
the autumn of 1798. Connected with it is a reminiscence of Red Jacket of
much interest, as an item of history, and it serves well to illustrate the
orator's mental habit.

His conduct was such on this occasion, as to excite the observation as
well as curiosity of Captain Parrish, who related the occurrence.

For the first few days of the council, he uttered not a word. He appeared
to be in deep thought, and was exceedingly reserved.--The expression of
his countenance was severe, and there was much _hauteur_ in his manner. He
ate scarcely anything, and his appearance was so remarkable, as to excite
the wonder of all present. At length on the third or fourth day of the
council, he arose with great dignity, and solemnity of air, and commenced
speaking. His exordium was for the most part a beautiful and highly
wrought enconium on the character and history of the Indians; particularly
of his own people, in the past. They were taken back, as by a magic spell,
to primitive times. The days of their renown, when the name and glory of
their nation, were the admiration of the world. When from the rising to
the setting sun, there was no power to stand before them, or hinder the
victorious march of their warriors through the land. As they glided over
the waters of river or lake, as they ascended the mountain, or passed
through the valley, they could feel that their dominion was wide, and
undisputed. Every deer that bounded through the forest, every bird that
winged the air, and the fish in all the waters, were theirs, and they were
happy. Such was the glowing picture he drew, they did not realize the
present, from the engrossing theme of the past.

He next proceeded to sketch their history, as affected by the coming of
the white man among them. The friendly relations, that marked their early
intercourse. Their small beginnings, and the imperceptible manner of their
increase. How they began to line the eastern shores,--plant themselves
upon the borders of their rivers, and gather into neighborhoods, and
towns, and cities. How these new and wonderful things engaged the
attention of the Indians, and kept them spell-bound, so that they were
insensible to what had been going on till the whites were firmly planted,
like a tree that has taken deep root, and sends its branches out over the

He next drew their attention to a time when the signs of a great tempest
began to appear. When the clouds began to overspread the heavens, when the
lightning flashed, and the thunders rolled, and the land was shaken by
their power. A mighty whirlwind came sweeping through the land, the tall
trees of the forest were uprooted, the branches torn off and sent flying
through the air. So has our nation he said been uprooted,--the strong men
torn from us, and scattered, and laid low. Thus he went on recounting as
few could, the circumstances of their history, and as he advanced, his
expressions matured in their intensity, his thoughts appeared to be
winged, and came glowing, as if from some furnace in nature, where all her
materials are wrought under intense heat, and sent forth in forms of
highest brilliancy, and beauty. His hearers were amid the heavings of the
earthquake,--the blackness of the storms,--the wild and irresistible sweep
of the tornado. The heavens, the earth, the elements, seemed to be
careering under the rapid and startling flights of his fancy.

He next adverted with much feeling, and with evident sadness, to the
transactions of the past year, by which they had become dispossessed of
the largest part of their ancient inheritance: and then he drew, with a
prophetic hand, a picture of their probable future, that brought sorrow to
their hearts, and tears to their eyes.--He closed his harangue by
pronouncing a most withering phillipic against the whites.--The effect of
his speech was wonderful.--Mr. Parrish declared that it exceeded, in its
brilliancy and force, all his former utterances, of which he had any
knowledge; and he never heard from him afterward, anything that could
compare with it. His auditors were mainly those of his own people. His
flow of thought was not interrupted by the slow, and embarrassing process
of interpretation. The full grief of his heart, in view of the
transactions of the previous year, was poured forth, and came like the
irresistible sweep of a whirlwind. [Footnote: Conversation of the author
with Samuel J. Mills, Esq., formerly of Mt. Morris, N. Y., later of
Nevada, Iowa. Mr. Mills heard Mr. Parrish give this description of Red
Jacket and of his speech, while sitting at one time on the porch of one of
the hotels at Avon Springs. Mr. Parrish pointed out the ground occupied by
the Indians, when this speech was delivered. It was only a little distance
from the porch where they were sitting.]

It was some little time after the delivery of this speech, before the
minds of the Indians were sufficiently composed to attend to the main
business of their council, which was presented in a speech by Farmer's
Brother, and embodied in an address to the Legislature of New York, thus:
"The Sachems, Chiefs and Warriors of the Seneca Nation, to the Sachems,
and Chiefs assembled about the great Council Fire of the State of New

"BROTHERS: As you are once more assembled in council for the purpose of
doing honor to yourselves and justice to your country, we, your brothers,
the Sachems, Chiefs and Warriors of the Seneca Nation, request you to open
your ears, and give attention to our voice and wishes.

"You will recollect the late contest between you and your father, the
great king of England. This contest threw the inhabitants of this whole
island into a great tumult and commotion, like a raging whirlwind, which
tears up the trees, and tosses to and fro the leaves, so that no one knows
whence they come, or where they will fall.

"BROTHERS: This whirlwind was so directed by the Great Spirit above, as to
throw into our arms two of your infant children, Jasper Parrish, and
Horatio Jones. We adopted them into our families, and made them our
children. We loved them and nourished them. They lived with us many years.
At length the Great Spirit spoke to the whirlwind, and it was still. A
clear and uninterrupted sky appeared. The path of peace was opened, and
the chain of friendship was once more made bright. Then these, our adopted
children, left us, to seek their relations. We wished them to return among
us, and promised if they would return, and live in our country, to give
each of them a seat of land for them, and their children to sit down upon.

"BROTHERS: They have returned, and have for several years past been
serviceable to us as interpreters. We still feel our hearts beat in
affection for them, and now wish to fulfil the promise we made them, and
to reward them for their services. We have therefore made up our minds to
give them a seat of two square miles of land lying on the outlet of Lake
Erie, about three miles below Black Rock, beginning at the mouth of a
creek known by the name of Scoy-gu-quoy-des Creek, running one mile from
the river Niagara, up said creek, thence northerly as the river runs two
miles, thence westerly one mile to the river, thence up the river as the
river runs to the place of beginning, so as to contain two square miles.

"BROTHERS: We have now made known to you our minds; we expect and
earnestly request that you will permit our friends to receive this our
gift, and will make the same good to them, according to the laws and
customs of your nation."

By the laws of the State, no sale or transfers of Indian lands could be
made to private individuals, without permission from the government. Hence
the address embodying the request as presented above, which was complied
with, and the land secured as desired by the Indians.

The above is certainly an able document, and has been justly admired for
its originality, and the boldness of its figures. It is in keeping with
the high order of mind, that has marked the history of the Six Nations.
One expression in it has been pointed out, as an instance of the truly

We may observe here that in tracing the history of the Iroquois, the
instances are not rare of a true nobility of character. Their confidence
and esteem once secured, no slight cause would interrupt, none appreciated
more highly the offices of kindness,--and none would go further in making
a generous return for favors rendered.

Jasper Parrish and Horatio Jones were favorite interpreters of Red Jacket,
and as they passed no inconsiderable part of their lives among the
Indians, a further notice of their history is desirable.

The early life of Captain Jasper Parrish was marked by scenes alike trying
and eventful. He was a native of Connecticut, from which State his family
removed to the waters of the Delaware, in the state of Pennsylvania. In
1778, when but eleven years old, he accompanied his father on a short
expedition, to remove a family of backwoodsmen, to a less exposed part of
the settlement. On their way they were attacked by a small party of
Indians, and made captives. The father was taken to Niagara, and after a
captivity of two years, was exchanged and enabled to return to his own

The son was claimed by a war-chief, who treated him kindly, and after a
time took him to the waters of the Chemung. On entering an Indian village,
the war-party which accompanied them, sounded the war-whoop, and it was
answered by the Indians and Indian boys who came out to meet them. They
pulled the young prisoner from the horse he was riding, scourged him with
whips, and beat him with the handles of their tomahawks, one of the forms
of their gauntlet, until his master humanely rescued him. He was after
this sold to a family of Delawares, and taken to reside with them on the
Delaware river, where he suffered much from want of proper clothing, and
from scanty fare. To inure him to cold, the Indians compelled him almost
daily, to strip and plunge into the icy waters of the river.

He was with the Indians when General Sullivan invaded their country, and
witnessed their retreat, after the battle at Newtown, until they found
protection from the guns of the British, at Fort Niagara. Here they
subsisted during the winter by rations from the garrison, and to induce
them to return again to their villages, on the Genesee river, the officers
pledged them an increased bounty for American scalps.

On one occasion, while with the Delaware family at Niagara, he came near
being a victim of the British bounty for scalps. Left alone with some
Indians, who were having a carousal, he overheard a proposal to kill the
young Yankee, and take his scalp to the fort, and sell it for rum. In a
few moments one of them took a large brand from the fire and hurled at
him, but being on the alert he dodged it, and made his escape. The Indians
pursued, but it was dark and they did not find him.

From the Delaware family, he was sold to an Indian of the Mohawk tribe,
called Captain David Hill. At a council of the British and Indians, he was
afterwards adopted with much ceremony, into the family of Captain Hill, as
his own son. He resided with him at the Mohawk settlement near the present
village of Lewiston, till the close of the war, and being surrendered in
accordance with the stipulations of the treaty at Fort Stanwix in 1784, he
returned once more to his own father's house.

It was with some effort he recovered again the use of his own native
tongue. During his captivity he had acquired and could speak fluently, the
language of five different tribes, and his qualifications as an
interpreter, together with his known faithfulness and integrity, coming to
the knowledge of our government, he received an appointment in the Indian
service, and during the greater part of his subsequent life, was actively
employed in business relating to the welfare of the Indians. He died at
his residence in Canandaigua, July 12th, 1836, in the sixty-ninth year of
his age.

Captain Horatio Jones, was a native of Chester county, Pennsylvania. At
the age of sixteen he enlisted as a volunteer, in a company commanded by
Captain John Boyd. It was when the Indians, led by the notorious Butler,
Brant, and Nellis, were committing their depredations and massacres among
the settlers of the frontier, sparing neither age nor sex, from the
tomahawk and scalping knife. With the ardor of youth he engaged in the
active employments of a soldier, and accompanied Captain Boyd on several
important and dangerous expeditions, in which himself and commander had
the good fortune to escape unhurt.

At length in the spring of 1781, while Captain Boyd and his men, numbering
thirty-two, were in pursuit of Nellis, they were surprised by a large
party of Indians, who killed about half their number, and of the rest took
eight prisoners, Jones and his commanding officer being among the number.
The Indians conducted them to their towns on the Genesee river, where they
had to run the gauntlet, and having passed with safety through this trying
ordeal, they next came near losing their lives in a savage frolic. The
warriors, on returning from their excursion, gave themselves up to
drinking and merriment. Partaking freely of the intoxicating bowl, they
soon became much excited, and the ferocity, which a time of war engenders,
was thoroughly aroused among them. One of the prisoners they killed, and
severing his head from the body, carried it about the camp, on the end of
a pole, with wild shouts and frantic yells.

They next meditated the death of Boyd and Jones, and while discussing the
manner in which they would have them suffer, a few squaws conveyed them
away and hid them. Jones was subsequently adopted into an Indian family,
became familiar with their customs and language, and after the declaration
of peace, was appointed by President Washington as Indian interpreter, the
duties of which office he discharged with fidelity, until within a year or
two of his death.

Mr. Jones was about the ordinary stature, firmly built, and qualified by
nature for duties requiring activity and endurance. Possessing uncommon
mental vigor, and quick perception, he was enabled to form a just estimate
of character, and determine with readiness the springs of human action.
His bravery, physical power, energy and decision of character, gave him
great command over the Indians with whom he was associated, and having
their entire confidence, he was enabled to render the government
invaluable service in her treaties with the northern and north-western
tribes. He was a favorite interpreter of Red Jacket, and his style is said
to have been energetic, graphic, and chaste. He died at his residence near
Genesee, on the 18th of August, 1836.

It was not far from the time of this council at Canawangus that Red Jacket
visited Hartford, Conn.

In the adjustment of the land difficulties between the states of
Connecticut and Pennsylvania, owing to the indefinite terms of their
original charters, Connecticut obtained, as we have seen, a title to that
part of Ohio, called Western Reserve. The Senecas laying claim to this, on
the ground of conquest, negotiations were entered into with them for the
extinguishment of their title. This was the occasion of the orator's
visit, concerning which there is but a very brief record. His appearance,
however, has been spoken of in terms of high commendation, and a single
passage only of the speech he made on that occasion has been preserved.

"We stand,"--said he, when representing the condition of his people,--"a
small island in the bosom of the great waters. We are encircled,--we are
encompassed. The evil spirit rides upon the blast, and the waters are
disturbed. They rise, they press upon us, and the waves once settled over
us, we disappear forever. Who then lives to mourn us? None. What marks our
extermination? Nothing. We are mingled with the common elements."

The entire speech was listened to with feelings of profound admiration,
and his action elicited praise for its dignity and grace. He entered the
august assemblage, before which he was called to appear, with a step
measured, firm and dignified,--a countenance erect, bold and discursive,--
without manifesting surprise, fear or curiosity; and his effort sustaining
fully his high reputation as an orator, made the occasion one of great
interest, to those whom it had been the means of bringing together, or who
had been attracted by curiosity, to see one whose fame had reached the
land of steady habits. [Footnote: Col. Stone, from collections by J. W.


Cornplanter in disrepute--Effort to regain his standing--Red Jacket
charged with witchcraft--His defense--Further notices of Cornplanter--
Early recollections--At the defeat of General Braddock in 1755--With the
English in the war of the Revolution--Takes his father a prisoner--His
address--Releases him--Address to the Governor of Pennsylvania--Visit of
President Alden--Close of his life.

Not long after the large sale of their domain to Robert Morris, which had
been negotiated at Big Tree, the Senecas began to realize that they had
committed a great mistake. The broad lands, mountain, hill, and valley,
over which they had roamed, the springs and streams of water by whose side
they had been wont to encamp, and above all the graves of their sires,
where affection's altar had been hallowed by their sighs and tears, these
were still in view, but they appeared not as in days gone by, to wear for
them the smiles of old and long tried friends. They seemed to present a
look and utter a voice of reproach, as though chiding them for having
broken in upon the harmony of those time honored arrangements, which had
bound them together, and the thought of this filled their minds with
anxiety and grief. Had they been aware of the sorrow they would experience
in looking upon these lands, as no longer their own, their consent to part
with them would not so readily have been given.

The reverse which thereupon took place in their minds, fell heavily on
those who had taken the most active part of the business of selling their
country. Cornplanter, having borne a prominent part in these proceedings,
fell deeply under the displeasure of his people. Their displeasure was so
marked as to lead him to cast about for some means of relief. Aware of the
credulity and superstition of his people, he resolved to avail himself of
these characteristics of his nation, to accomplish the end he had in view.

For this purpose he was in consultation with his brother Ga-ne-o-di-yo,
who on one occasion terminated a scene of great dissipation, by the
announcement that he had been delegated by the Great Spirit, with a new
revelation, and with supernatural gifts. A severe illness became the
occasion during which he made a visit to the unseen world, where visions
and revelations of a most extraordinary nature, had been made known to
him. The happiness of the good, and the tortures of the wicked, had thus
become matters of personal observation. The announcement of these, in
language and gesture indicating his assurance of their reality, gained for
him credence among the people, as well as chiefs of his nation, and he was
received as a prophet.

His earliest attempts were successful in accomplishing a desirable reform,
especially among the Onondagas, the most profligate of the Six Nations,
from the degrading vice of intemperance. His influence in this direction
was salutary, and had he confined his efforts to the recovery of his
people from drunkenness, his mission would truly have been one of mercy,
and his career might have terminated with the highest usefulness and

But sympathizing with Cornplanter, his brother, he conceived the idea of
instituting against their enemies, the charge of _witchcraft_. In this
the Indians generally believed, and a charge of this nature, coming from
such a source, was a very grave matter. Through the instrumentality of
Congress selected by himself, the sentence of death was procured against
certain "familiars of Satan," and this sentence would have been executed,
had there been no interference, from the knowledge of it coming to the
whites, living in the vicinity.

In no way discouraged, but rather emboldened by their success, they
proceeded so far as to bring such a charge against Red Jacket himself, who
was thus publicly denounced, at a great council held at Buffalo Creek, and
put upon trial.

A degree of rivalry had hitherto existed between Cornplanter and Red
Jacket, and as the former descended in the estimation of his people, for
the part he had taken in the sale of their lands, the latter rose for the
same reason, so that the highest aim of Cornplanter was reached, when he
could, by this means, affect materially the character, and influence of
his distinguished rival.

The orator was thus placed in circumstances the most critical and trying,
of any that had hitherto met him in life. He perceived at a glance, that
his entire history in the future, would depend on the decision that would
then and there take place. He might be doomed, if his life were spared,
and this was not altogether certain, to be the victim of surmises and
superstitions, that would be annoying, if they did not prove to be utterly
destructive of his happiness. He accordingly summoned himself for an
effort as great, as his position was dangerous.

He conducted the trial in his own defense. In this he exhibited the
exceeding wariness, which was ever a prominent characteristic of his
nature. The slightest circumstance affecting the character, or bearing
suspiciously upon his adversary was not overlooked, and his history was
scanned with the searching scrutiny of a mind, that seemed to grasp
intuitively, the secret springs, which had influenced his conduct. One by
one the professions that had formed his garb of sanctity, were exposed to
the burning power of his keen satire, and step by step he advanced to a
point, where, from the full assurance he had established this conviction
in the minds of his people, he pronounced him AN IMPOSTER,--A CHEAT.
[Footnote: Conversation of the author with Wm. Jones, a chief among the
Senecas, and a son-in-law of Red Jacket.]

His speech riveted the attention of his hearers for nearly three hours. He
OF HIS ELOQUENCE."--The Indians divided and a majority appeared in his

"Perhaps,"--says the distinguished author just quoted,--"the annals of
history cannot furnish a more conspicuous instance of the triumph and
power of oratory, in a barbarous nation, devoted to superstition, and
looking up to the accuser as a delegated minister of the Almighty."
[Footnote: Governor Clinton's Historical Discourse.]

The victory which Red Jacket thus achieved recoiled heavily on
Cornplanter, and gave him a blow, from which he never afterward fully
recovered. He retired to his reservation, on the waters of the Alleghany
river, within the boundaries of Pennsylvania, where he devoted himself,
during the remainder of his long life, to the elevation and improvement of
his people. He did not, after the example of his great rival Red Jacket,
spurn the improvements of civilization, but engaged in agriculture after
the example of the whites, and welcomed to his abode the teachers of
christianity, and himself openly avowed his belief in its doctrines.

Cornplanter was a native of Ca-na-wan-gus, on the Genesee river, a half
breed, the son of an Indian trader, from the valley of the Mohawk, a white
man named John O'Bail. Of his early life little is known further than he
himself intimated, in a letter written long afterward, to the governor of
Pennsylvania:--In which he said,--"When I was a child I played with the
butterfly, the grasshopper, and the frogs; and as I grew up, I began to
pay some attention, and play with the Indian boys in the neighborhood; and
they took notice of my skin, being a different color from theirs and spoke
about it. I inquired of my mother the cause, and she told me that my
father was a resident in Albany. I still ate my victuals out of a bark
dish. I grew up to be a young man, and married me a wife, and I had no
kettle or gun. I then knew where my father lived, and went to see him, and
found he was a white man, and spoke the English language. He gave me
victuals, while I was at his house, but when I started to return home, he
gave me no provision to eat on the way. He gave me neither kettle or gun."

He was with his people when they fought in alliance with the French in the
year 1755. The principal part of the force which met and defeated the
English under General Braddock was Indian, and it was through their
prowess mainly, if not entirely, that the victory was gained.

What part Cornplanter took in that engagement is not known, but in the war
of the Revolution, he was a war-chief, and ranked high in the estimation
of his people.

In a speech addressed to President Washington in 1790, he related the
manner in which the Indians came to be in alliance with the English.

"Many nations inhabited this country; but they had no wisdom, therefore
they warred together. The Six Nations were powerful and compelled them to
peace; the lands to a great extent were given up to them; the French came
among us and built Niagara; they became our fathers and took care of us.
Sir William Johnson came and took that fort from the French; he became our
father and promised to take care of us, and did so until you were too
strong for his king.

"When you kindled your thirteen fires separately, the wise men that
assembled at them told us that you were all brothers, the children of one
great father, who regarded the red people also as his children. They
called us brothers, and invited us to his protection; they told us that he
resided beyond the great water, where the sun first rises; that he was a
king whose power no people could resist, and that his goodness was as
bright as that sun. What they said went to our hearts; we accepted the
invitation, and promised to obey him. What the Seneca Nation promise, they
faithfully perform; and when you refused obedience to that king, he
commanded us to assist his beloved men, in making you sober. In obeying
him we did no more than yourselves had led us to promise. The men that
claimed this promise told us that you were children, and had no guns; that
when they had shaken you, you would submit. We hearkened to them and were

As a leader he was very active and brave, and as a partisan of the
English, bore a prominent part in all of the principal engagements, in
which the Indians were concerned during that war. He was on the war-path
with Brant during the campaign of General Sullivan against the Indian
towns in the Genesee country in 1779, and also when under the command of
Brant and Sir John Johnson, the Indians subsequently avenged the invasion
of Sullivan, by the fearful destruction they wrought in the valley of the

It was during this expedition that Cornplanter visited his father a second
time. He was residing then in the vicinity of Fort Plain, and ascertaining
where he lived, Cornplanter watched his opportunity and made his father a
prisoner, but managed so adroitly, as to avoid recognition. He marched his
sire ten or twelve miles up the river, and then stepped in front of him,
faced about, and addressed him in the following manner:--

"My name is John O'Bail, commonly called Cornplanter. I am your son! You
are my father! You are now my prisoner, and subject to the customs of
Indian warfare. But you shall not be harmed: you need not fear. I am a
warrior! Many are the scalps I have taken! Many the prisoners I have
tortured to death! I am your son! I was anxious to see you, and greet you
in friendship. I went to your cabin, and took you by force. But your life
shall be spared. Indians love their friends and their kindred, and treat
them with kindness. If now you choose to follow the fortunes of your
yellow son, and to live with our people, I will cherish your old age with
plenty of venison, and you shall live easy. But if it is your choice to
return to your fields, and live with your white children, I will send a
party of my trusty young men to conduct you back in safety. I respect you,
my father: you have been friendly to Indians, and they are your friends."

The father preferred to return to his white children, and was therefore
set at liberty, and escorted back in safety to his own home.

In another address to the governor of Pennsylvania, he used this language:
"I will now tell you, that the Great Spirit has made known to me that I
have been wicked; and the cause was the Revolutionary war in America. The
cause of Indians having been led into sin, at that time, was that many of
them, were in the practice of drinking and getting intoxicated. Great
Britain requested us to join with them in the conflict against the
Americans, and promised the Indians land and liquor. I myself was opposed
to joining in the conflict, as I had nothing to do with the difficulty
between the two parties.

"They told me they would inform me of the cause of the Revolution, which I
requested them to do minutely. They then said it was on account of the
heavy taxes, imposed on them by the British government, which had been for
fifty years increasing upon them; that the Americans had grown weary
thereof, and refused to pay, which affronted the king. There had likewise
a difficulty taken place about some tea, which they wished me not to use,
as it had been one of the causes that many people had lost their lives.
And the British government now being affronted, the war commenced, and the
cannons began to roar in our country.

"The white people who live at Warren, called on me, some time ago to pay
taxes for my land; which I objected to, as I had never been called upon
for that purpose before; and having refused to pay, the white people
became irritated, called upon me frequently, and at length brought four
guns with them, and seized our cattle. I still refused to pay, and was not
willing to let the cattle go. After a time of dispute, they returned home,
and I understood the militia was ordered out to enforce the collection of
the tax. I went to Warren, and to avert the impending difficulty, was
obliged to give my note for the tax, the amount of which was forty-three
dollars and seventy-nine cents. It is my desire that the governor will
exempt me from paying taxes for my land to the white people; and also
cause that the money I am now obliged to pay, may be refunded to me, as I
am very poor."

This appeal was brought before the Legislature of Pennsylvania, and an act
was passed by which the chief was exonerated from the tax.

One writer speaks of him as possessing uncommon genius, a strong and
discriminating mind, and as having the power of enduring great mental
application. He anxiously inquired into the evidences in support of the
scripture account of creation, and of the scheme of doctrines which
Christianity unfolded.

President Alden of Alleghany college, speaks with delight of a visit he
made to the old chief. He found him on the banks of the Alleghany, on a
piece of first rate bottom land, a little within the limits of
Pennsylvania. He was the owner of thirteen hundred acres of land, on a
part of which stood his village, whose inhabitants gave signs of industry
and thrift.

He found it pleasant to behold the agricultural habits of the place as
appeared from the numerous enclosures of buckwheat, corn and oats. He also
speaks of seeing a number of oxen, cows and horses; and many logs designed
for the saw mill, and the Pittsburgh market. "Cornplanter had for some
time been very much in favor of the christian religion, and hailed with
joy such as professed it. When apprised of Mr. Alden's arrival he hastened
to welcome him to his village, and to wait upon him. And notwithstanding
his high station as a chief, having many men under his command, he chose
rather, in the ancient patriarchal style, to serve his visitors himself;
he therefore took care of their horses, and went into the field and cut
and brought oats for them." [Footnote: Drake's book of the Indians.]

He died at his reservation March 7th, 1836, a hundred winters having
passed over him, and was buried beneath the sheltering branches of a noble
tree standing in his field. No other monument marks his grave.


Change in Red Jacket's views--How caused--His opposition to Christianity--
Visit of a Missionary--Missionary's speech--Red Jacket's reply--Unpleasant
termination of the Council.

As time advanced, the mind of Red Jacket gradually receded from the
favorable opinion he had entertained, with respect to the introduction
among his people, of the customs of civilized life. Before this he
regarded with favor the philanthropic designs of Washington and others,
which contemplated such a change. But henceforth his influence and
energies were uniformly exerted, in resisting any innovation, upon the
anciently established usages of the Iroquois. Several causes seemed to
influence such a result.

First of all was the condition of his people, as affected by the whites.
They had been wasted and greatly enfeebled by the wars carried on between
the whites, taking sides, as in the Revolution, against each other. And in
their own conflicts, though in some instances successful, they had been so
effectually overcome, that no hope now remained to them of resistance by
war; no matter what combinations they might be able to effect among

A still deeper source of regret, was the loss of so large a portion of
their wide and beautiful country. Since parting with it, swarms of
settlers had been flocking to the more favored portions, and were
irresistibly advancing to full and entire possession. The idea that they
could have their country to hunt in, as well after it was sold as before,
was rapidly dissipated by the busy sounds, all through the forest, of the
woodman's axe, and by the roar of the stately trees, as they fell down
before the enterprising pioneer. The Indian brooded over this in silence,
while all of these sounds, delightful to the emigrant, were as a knell of
death to his ear. The eloquence of Red Jacket had been exerted in vain, to
arrest the progress of the white men. Onward they swept, bidding defiance
to all the obstacles in their way. They were in possession of the ancient
seats of the Iroquois. The red man's inheritance, was but a beggarly
portion, when compared with his former princely domain. The thought of
this weighed heavily upon Red Jacket's lofty spirit, and affected
materially the disposition with which he regarded the white man.

He had observed also that the Indian had not been improved, but rather
made worse by intercourse with the white man. He more readily acquired his
vices, than his virtues.

The schools likewise that had been established among the Indians, had not
been attended with very salutary results. And some of the Indian boys that
had been sent to the schools of the whites, had failed to be qualified for
usefulness among white men, and were unfitted in their tastes and habits
for a life among the Indians. As was observed by Red Jacket: "they have
returned to their kindred and color, neither white men nor Indians. The
arts they have learned are incompatible with the chase, and ill adapted to
our customs. They have been taught that which is useless to us. They have
been made to feel artificial wants, which never entered the minds of their
brothers. They have imbibed, in your great towns, the seeds of vices,
which were unknown in the forest. They become discouraged and dissipated,
--despised by the Indians, neglected by the whites, and without value to
either,--less honest than the former, and perhaps more knavish than the
latter." [Footnote: Washington had always been earnest in his desire to
civilize the savages, but had little faith in the expedient which had been
pursued, of sending their young men to our colleges; the true means he
thought, was to introduce the arts and habits of husbandry among them.--
Irving's Life of Washington.] Red Jacket was not alone in this opinion.

One of Cornplanter's sons, Henry O'Bail, had been educated in
Philadelphia; but on returning to his people, became a drunkard, and was
discarded by his father. He had other sons, but resolved that no more of
them should be educated among the whites, for said he, "it entirely spoils

"What have we here?" exclaimed Red Jacket on one occasion addressing one
of them. "What have we here? _You are neither a white man, or an Indian;
for heaven's sake tell us, what are you?_"

But further than this, Red Jacket had witnessed among the whites so many
evidences of deceit and fraud; he had so often seen the Indians
circumvented by their avarice and craft, that he looked with suspicion
even on their attempts to do the Indians good. The language of the Trojan
patriot concerning the Greeks--represents very nearly the feelings he
entertained toward the whites.

  "Timeo Danaos et dona ferrentes.
  "The Greeks I fear, e'en in the gifts they bear."

Hence Red Jacket began to look unfavorably on the attempts that had been
made to civilize the Indian. He scorned to use the white man's axe, or
hoe, or any implement of husbandry. He would not even use his language.
Understanding well what was said to him in English, he spurned the idea of
holding any communication with a white man, save through an interpreter.
The Indian he looked upon as the rightful lord of this part of creation,
the white man, as an intruder. The white man's ways were good for the
white man; but in his view they would spoil the Indian. He believed that
the peculiar characteristics of the Indian, were conferred on him by the
Great Spirit for a wise purpose, and for his good, they needed to be
maintained. Hence all the ancient habits of his people, he earnestly
strove to preserve, and had it been in his power, he would have built a
wall like the Chinese, to keep his people from meeting with, and being
contaminated by the whites. He would frown contempt on the Indian, who
used a stool or chair in his cabin, and no king in his palace, ever sat
more proudly, or with greater dignity on his throne, than did Red Jacket
on his bear-skin in his humble dwelling.

We can but admire in this, his independence of character; and when we
reflect upon his conduct as influenced by the conviction, that such a
course was essential for the good of his people, we may view it as
meriting the praise of philanthrophy. Had he been as firm in resisting
every enticement of the whites, he would have maintained a greater
consistency, and himself attained a higher degree of excellence.

Red Jacket was equally opposed to the introduction of Christianity among
his people. He looked upon the religion of the white man, with the same
feeling of suspicion and distrust as everything else coming from that
source. He had no evidence from experience, of the benefits that would
arise to them from its introduction among them. On the contrary his
convictions, arising from observation, were against it; because he saw his
people were made worse, by associating with the whites. When asked on one
occasion, why he was opposed to the coming of missionaries among his
people, he replied,--"Because they do us no good. If they are not useful
among the white people, why do they send them among the Indians?--If they
are useful to the white people, why do they not keep them at home? They
are surely bad enough, to need the labor of every one, who can make them

The Indians made no distinction between those who professed religion and
those who made no profession. Their own religion was national. There was
no division between the religious and irreligious. All were religious. In
other words, they were all educated in the same faith, all united in
observing the same religious rites, and all entertained the same religious
belief, as had been handed down to them from their forefathers. This was
salutary in promoting among them many virtues, worthy of commendation.
They very properly estimated the value of religion, by the practical
influence it exerted on those who received it. And they judged of the
Christian religion, by the conduct and character of the nation that
received and cherished it; who were nominally Christian.

Unfortunately for the success of Christianity among them, they had
witnessed so much deceit and fraud, there were so many among the whites,
who were ready to take advantage of them,--to make them drunk, and then
cheat them, they were unable to perceive in what way the religion of the
whites, from whom they had received such treatment, could be better or as
good, even as their own. They had not learned to regard those only as
Christians, who reduced the principles of Christianity to practice, and
were not aware that as a system, it enforced only what was right, and
tolerated no conduct that was wrong.

Hence in the efforts made to introduce Christianity among the Senecas, we
find Red Jacket summoning the entire force of his influence, and eloquence
in opposition to the measure.

The arrival among them of a missionary from Massachusetts, was the
occasion of a forensic effort, which defines very clearly his position,
and though it may have suffered, as did most of his speeches, from coming
through an interpreter, it displays nevertheless, indications of deep
thought, and of a high order of talent. It was regarded at the time as an
effort of great ability, and is perhaps as fair a specimen of his oratory,
as has come down to us from the past.

A council having been called to consider the matter, the missionary was
introduced, who spoke as follows: [Footnote: The speech of the missionary
is quoted from Col. Stone; the reply of Red Jacket from Drake, who is Col.
Stone's authority for the same speech.]

"My Friends: I am thankful for the opportunity afforded us of meeting
together at this time. I had a great desire to see you, and inquire into
your state and welfare. For this purpose I have traveled a great distance,
being sent by your old friends, the Boston Missionary Society. You will
recollect they formerly sent missionaries among you, to instruct you in
religion, and labor for your good. Although they have not heard from you
for a long time, yet they have not forgotten their brothers, the Six
Nations, and are still anxious to do you good.

"Brothers: I have not come to get your lands, or your money, but to
enlighten your minds, and instruct you how to worship the Great Spirit,
agreeably to his mind and will, and to preach to you the gospel of his
Son, Jesus Christ. There is but one religion, and but one way to serve
God, and if you do not embrace the right way, you can not be happy
hereafter. You have never worshipped the Great Spirit, in a manner
acceptable to him, but have all your lives, been in great errors and
darkness. To endeavor to remove these errors, and open your eyes, so that
you might see clearly, is my business with you.

"Brothers: I wish to talk with you as one friend talks with another; and
if you have any objections to receive the religion which I preach, I wish
you to state them; and I will endeavor to satisfy your minds, and remove
the objections.

"Brothers: I want you to speak your minds freely; for I wish to reason
with you on the subject, and if possible remove all doubts, if there be
any on your minds. The subject is an important one, and it is of
consequence, that you give it an early attention, while the offer is made
you. Your friends, the Boston Missionary Society, will continue to send
you good and faithful ministers, to instruct and strengthen you in
religion, if on your part you are willing to receive them.

"Brothers: Since I have been in this part of the country, I have visited
some of your small villages, and talked with your people. They appear
willing to receive instruction, but as they look up to you, as their elder
brothers in council, they want first to know your opinion on the subject.
You have now heard what I have to propose at present. I hope you will take
it into consideration, and give me an answer before we part."

The chiefs were in consultation for about two hours, when Red Jacket arose
and spoke as follows:

"Friend and Brother: It was the will of the Great Spirit that we should
meet together this day. He orders all things, and has given us a fine day
for our council. He has taken his garment from before the sun, and caused
it to shine with brightness upon us. Our eyes are opened that we see
clearly; our ears are unstopped, that we have been able to hear distinctly
the words you have spoken. For all these favors we thank the Great Spirit,
and Him only.

"Brother: This council fire was kindled by you. It was at your request
that we came together at this time. We have listened with attention to
what you have said. You requested us to speak our minds freely. This gives
us great joy: for now we consider that we stand upright before you, and
can speak what we think. All have heard your voice, and all speak to you
now as one man. Our minds are agreed.

"Brother: You say you want an answer to your talk before you leave this
place. It is right you should have one, as you are a great distance from
home, and we do not wish to detain you. But we will first look back a
little, and tell you what our fathers have told us, and what we have heard
from the white people.

"Brother: Listen to what we say.--There was a time when our fathers owned
this _great island_. [Footnote: The term used by the Indians when
speaking of this continent.] Their seats extended from the rising to the
setting sun. The Great Spirit had made it for the Indians. He had created
the buffalo, the deer, and other animals for food. He had made the bear,
and the beaver. Their skins served us for clothing. He had scattered them
over the country, and taught us how to take them. He had caused the earth
to produce corn for bread. All this he had done for his red children
because he loved them. If we had some disputes about our hunting ground,
they were generally settled without the shedding of much blood. But an
evil day came upon us. Your forefathers crossed the great water, and
landed on this island. Their numbers were small. They found friends and
not enemies. They told us they had fled from their own country for fear of
wicked men, and had come here to enjoy their religion. They asked for a
small seat. We took pity on them, granted their request, and they sat down
amongst us. We gave them corn and meat; they gave us poison in return.
[Footnote: Spirituous liquors.]

"The white people had now found our country. Tidings were carried back,
and more came amongst us. Yet we did not fear them. They called us
brothers. We believed them and gave them a larger seat. At length their
numbers had greatly increased. They wanted more land;--they wanted our
country. Our eyes were opened, and our minds became uneasy.

"Wars took place. Indians were hired to fight against Indians, and many of
our people were destroyed. They also brought strong liquors among us;--
they were strong and powerful, and have slain thousands.

"Brother: Our seats were once large, and yours were very small. You have
now become a great people, and we have scarcely a place left to spread our
blankets. You have got our country, but are not satisfied;--you want to
force your religion upon us.

"Brother: Continue to listen. You say that you are sent to instruct us how
to worship the Great Spirit agreeably to his mind, and if we do not take
hold of this religion which you white people teach, we shall be unhappy
hereafter. You say that you are right, that we are lost. How do we know
this to be true? We understand that your religion is written in a book. If
it was intended for us as well as you, why has not the Great Spirit given
it to us, and not only to us, but why did he not give to our forefathers
the knowledge of that book, with the means of understanding it rightly? We
only know what you tell us about it. How shall we know when to believe,
being so often deceived by the white people?

"BROTHER: You say there is but one way to worship and serve the Great
Spirit. If there is but one religion why do you white people differ so
much about it? Why are you not all agreed,--as you can all read the book?

"BROTHER: We do not understand these things. We are told that your
religion was given to your forefathers, and has been handed down from
father to son. We also have a religion which was given to our forefathers
and has been handed down to us their children. We worship in that way. It
teaches us to be thankful for all the favors we receive; to love each
other, and to be united. We never quarrel about religion.

"BROTHER: The Great Spirit has made us all, but he has made a great
difference between his white and red children. He has given us different
complexions, and different customs. To you He has given the arts. To these
He has not opened our eyes. We know these things to be true. Since He has
made so great a difference between us in other things, why may we not
conclude that He has given us a different religion according to our
understanding? The Great Spirit does right. He knows what is best for is
children; we are satisfied.

"BROTHER: We do not wish to destroy your religion, or take it from you. We
only want to enjoy our own.

"BROTHER: You say you have not come to get our land or our money, but to
enlighten our minds. I will now tell you that I have been at your
meetings, and saw you collect money from the meeting. I cannot tell what
this money was intended for, but suppose it was for your minister, and if
we should conform to your way of thinking, perhaps you may want some from

"BROTHER: We are told that you have been preaching to the white people in
this place. These people are our neighbors. We are acquainted with them.
We will wait a little while, and see what effect your preaching has on
them. If we find it does them good, makes them honest, and less disposed
to cheat Indians, we will then consider again of what you have said.

"BROTHER: You have now heard our answer to your talk, and this is all we
have to say at present. As we are going to part, we will come and take you
by the hand, and hope the Great Spirit will protect you on your journey,
and return you in safety to your friends."

Suiting the action to the word, he then drew near the missionary with the
other chiefs, to take him by the hand; but he would not receive them, and
rising hastily from his seat, said, there was no fellowship between the
religion of God, and the works of the devil, and he could not therefore
join hands with them.

When this was interpreted to the Indians, they smiled and retired from the
interview, without saying anything further.

Such is the account given of this transaction. The termination is painful.
It is a sad thought, that when the Indians had been invited to make known
their objections, if they had any; and when they had been offered in good
faith by this unlettered son of the forest, he should have been answered
with so little patience or kindness. We hesitate not to say that the red
man in this, manifested the better spirit.

Mr. Crane afterward regretted the course he had taken, saying, "he
supposed by shaking hands with them, they would regard it as signifying
his approval of what they had said."


Tecumseh and Indian confederation--Aid given by Elskawata--Doings at the
Prophet's Town--Great Indian Council at the West--Red Jacket's claim for
precedence of the Senecas--His adherence to the United States--Hostilities
encouraged by British Agents--Warriors gathered at Prophet's Town--Visited
by Gen. Harrison at the head of his troops--Hostilities disclaimed--
Surprised by a sudden attack--Indians defeated--War proclaimed against
England--Indians take sides--Unfavorable commencement--Different successes
--Part taken by Red Jacket.

Sixteen years had intervened since the treaty of peace, concluded with the
Indians at Greenville, by General Wayne in 1795. During this time friendly
relations had been maintained with the various Indian tribes, who were in
correspondence with the United States. This period had not closed,
however, ere the ambitious designs of an active and influential chief,
began to wear the appearance of open hostility.

The possession of rare mental endowments, together with physical
qualifications, that were the means of extending his renown, as an
intrepid brave, far beyond the boundaries of his own tribe, rendered the
name of Tecumseh, a rallying word for the dusky warriors, even among the
remote wilds visited by the Indian. Tecumseh entertained the ambitious
project, at various times a favorite design with the Indian, of uniting
all their tribes at the West and South-west, in one strenuous endeavor, to
resist the further advance of the whites into their country, and of
forming here a confederacy, similar to that which had existed among the

In these views he was greatly assisted and strengthened by the influence
and efforts of his brother, Elskawata.

Elskawata, on the death of Penagashega, an aged and revered prophet, very
adroitly assumed the sacred office of this Indian saint, and began to
proclaim himself, as a delegated messenger of the Great Spirit to his

He commenced his career among the Shawnees, the people of his tribe, as
early as 1805. But not content with so narrow a sphere for his endeavors,
he went from tribe to tribe, and assembled as he was able, different
nations, that he might make known to them the important instructions, he
had been divinely authorized to communicate.

For a long time his efforts wore the appearance of a religious, and
pacific character. He proclaimed the high superiority of the Indians over
the whites, and of his own tribe among the Indian tribes. He declared it
to be the will of the Great Spirit, that the Indians should abandon the
use of intoxicating drinks, refrain from intermarrying with the whites,
live at peace with each other, have their property in common, and maintain
their customs, as they had been anciently established. At a later period
he affirmed with much solemnity, that he had received power from the Great
Spirit, to cure all diseases, confound his enemies, and stay the arm of
death, in sickness, or on the field of battle.

As time advanced, the prophet passed from nation, to nation, artfully
sustaining his assumptions, and proclaiming his doctrines. He gathered
around him adherents from various tribes, encouraged pilgrimages to his
camp, became conspicuous in all their general councils, and extended his
influence to the various Indian towns, in the vicinity of the northern
lakes, and on the broad plains, watered by the Mississippi and its
branches. He could now, as he did, forward very effectively the ambitious
views of his brother Tecumseh.

From the Prophet's town, which was established on the banks of the Wabash,
near the mouth of its tributary the Tippecanoe, as early as 1808, a
correspondence was kept up with the numerous tribes at the North and West,
and means were taken also to extend the combination they were forming, to
the Cherokees and other nations of the South. Runners were sent as far
even as the country of the Senecas, and the Iroquois in New York and
Canada, were solicited to join the Great Western Confederacy.

Connected with this movement was the holding of Indian councils, at
different places in the West. A very large council, was held at or near
Detroit, which embraced in it deputations from the most distant tribes. A
strong deputation was sent from the Senecas, with Red Jacket at its head.

At the opening of this council a question arose as to precedence in
debate, which is said to have been the occasion of one of Red Jacket's
most effective and brilliant speeches, and was the means of securing for
himself and fellow delegates, the high position he ever claimed, as
belonging rightfully to his nation.

The right of precedence was claimed by the Wyandots, a large and powerful
nation, which for a long time, had been pre-eminent among the Western
tribes. To them had been committed for preservation and safe keeping, the
Great Belt, the symbol of a previous union among the tribes. It had been
used in gathering them to form their league, to resist the settlements of
the whites north and west of the Ohio river. The concert of action among
the Indians, in the wars at the West between 1790 and 1795, is to be
traced to this league. To the Wyandots also had been given the original
duplicate of the treaty of peace, concluded at Greenville in 1795.

Hence the claim they presented to precedence at this council; a claim
which was eloquently supported by their most able chiefs.

This claim was denied by Red Jacket, who maintained that the place in
question belonged rightfully to the Senecas, and sustained his position by
a reference to facts and usages in the past, which displayed a minute and
accurate knowledge of the history of the different Indian tribes, that
surprised as well as delighted his hearers. His speech was characterized
throughout by great ability, and displayed such a power of oratory,
particularly of invective, as to excite the wonder of all present, who
could understand his language, and comprehend the force of his allusions.
His effort was entirely successful. No attempt was made at reply. The
first rank after this, without further hesitation, was given to the

It is due to the memory of Red Jacket, who has been, called _double
tongued and deceitful_, to state that from the time he fully gave his
adherence, he never swerved from his allegiance to the United States. Ever
afterward he was their faithful friend and ally. The impatient affirmation
of Brant, that "Red Jacket had vowed fidelity to the United States, and
sealed his promise, by kissing the likeness of General Washington," though
in a measure true, as expressive of his fidelity, had never any occasion
to be qualified, by a statement to the contrary.

During the present council, his views were in opposition to those
generally entertained and expressed, and no consideration availed with
him, to break faith with the United States. He had before this notified
the Indian agent of the formation of another league, and of the avowedly
warlike purpose of certain Indian councils, that had been held at the

Early in the year 1810, at the head of a delegation of his people and
accompanied by the agent, and Captain Parrish as interpreter, he visited
the city of Washington, and informed our government of the hostilities
that were in contemplation, and of the efforts of his people to secure

The pacific councils of Red Jacket were of little avail. The warlike
agitation was continued. The retreat of the Prophet on the banks of the
Wabash, became not less noted for warlike exercises, than for its
religious harangues. The minds of the Indians were already ripe for an
outbreak, whenever a sufficient pretext should offer. The visit of
Tecumseh at Vincennes in the summer of 1810, with three hundred well armed
warriors, and his haughty and insulting bearing toward Governor Harrison,
indicated clearly, the hostile spirit that was rife among them.

Not long after this, the report came that a thousand warriors awaited his
command, in and about the Prophet's town. So large a horde of Indians
together, without the means of support, and practicing themselves in the
arts of war, were viewed with suspicion. Charity must have been blind, to
have supposed they were assembled merely for the purpose of devotion.
Frequent plundering, midnight arson, and occasional massacres in frontier
settlements, proclaimed the fact, that hostilities had already commenced,
and that our people in this region needed protection.

The Indians were greatly encouraged in their warlike feeling, by the
intercourse they constantly maintained with the British Indian Department.
The British Fur Company also by her traders, had correspondence with the
leading men of all these Western and North-western tribes, and this
intercourse resulted in holding the Indians more firmly, in alliance with
the English. The desire they entertained for dominion on this continent,
led them to encourage the Indians, in their effort to hold in check the
settlements of the United States, that were pushing their way westward.
Thus countenanced and encouraged, the Indians became more determined and
bold in their hostility.

These threatening indications, coming to the knowledge of our government,
General Harrison was directed to go with an armed force to the Prophet's
town, and his visit resulted in the battle of Tippecanoe, fought on the
seventh of November, 1811.

His officers desired him to attack the town on the day before, but wishing
to avoid fighting if possible, and having been met by several chiefs, who
disclaimed having hostile intentions, and offered submission and peace, he
made a careful survey of the country, and selecting an advantageous
position, encamped for the night.

At an early hour in the morning they were furiously assailed by the
Indians, who had stealthily crept up very near without being observed. A
bloody and, for a time doubtful, engagement ensued, but at length the
Indians were repulsed and a decisive victory gained.

The Prophet was securely stationed on an adjoining eminence during the
battle, and the American bullets having a more powerful effect upon the
Indians than they had been led to anticipate, a runner was sent to him
with the intelligence. He was engaged singing very piously, one of his old
war songs. When told what was taking place, he said, "Go,--fight on: it
will soon be as I have said;" and commenced singing again more loudly.
[Footnote: The Prophet had assured them that the Americans would not be
successful. That their bullets would not hurt the Indians, who would have
light while their enemies would be in darkness.--Life and Times of Wm. H.

Tecumseh was absent when the battle was fought, being engaged in
forwarding his designs among the Indian tribes at the South. He was
disappointed and grieved with the result, regarding the battle as
premature, and tending very much to thwart the purposes he had in view.

He awaited a more favorable turn in the wheel of fortune, and thought this
would come with the war anticipated between England and the United States.
Difficulties, growing out of the right assumed by the former, of boarding
American vessels, to discover and remove any English sailors belonging to
the crew, which frequently resulted in seizing American seamen and forcing
them into the British navy, had now assumed so formidable an aspect, as to
call forth from our government a proclamation of war against England,
issued on the 19th of June, 1812.

In anticipation of this event, as well as after it, means were employed by
the agents of Britain, to secure the services of the Indians during this
contest. The opportunity was gladly welcomed by the Miamis, Shawnees and
other Indian tribes, who had recently been severely chastised by General
Harrison. The Mohawks and other Indians in Canada were also induced to
take up the hatchet, and efforts were made to influence such of the Six
Nations, as resided within the state of New York, to take sides with the
British in this war, but they were not successful.

The United States, instead of seeking among the Indians recruits for their
army, advised the Senecas, and other tribes of the Iroquois within their
borders, to remain neutral. A council was convened by the Indian agent,
Mr. Erastus Granger, for the purpose of spreading the whole matter before
them. It resulted in securing from them a pledge of neutrality. So well
convinced were they of the wisdom of this course, they determined to send
a deputation of their brethren to Canada, to dissuade them if possible,
from taking any part in the war. It was sent, but did not accomplish the
end desired; the Mohawks had fully resolved upon engaging in the contest.

It was difficult however, for the Senecas to enforce their decision upon
their young braves, who were made restless by the sound of war, and were
eager to engage in it; yet their sympathies were with the United States.
The stirring music, martial array, noise and pomp of war, wrought so
effectually on their minds, they would fain have persuaded their nation to
declare war on their own account. The circulation among them of a rumor
that the British had taken possession of Grand Island, a part of their own
domain, led them to convene a council, which Mr. Granger was invited to
attend, and after stating the case to him, Red Jacket declared the purpose
of the Senecas in the following language:--

"BROTHER: You have told us, that we have nothing to do with the war, that
has taken place between you and the British. But we find that the war has
come to our doors. Our property is taken possession of, by the British and
their Indian friends. It is necessary for us now to take up the business,
defend our property, and drive the enemy from it. If we sit still upon our
seats, and take no means of redress, the British according to the customs
of you white people, will hold it by conquest. And should you conquer the
Canadas, you will claim it on the same principle, as though you had
conquered it from the British. We therefore request permission to go with
our warriors, and drive off those bad people, and take possession of our

Their request was granted, and the chiefs regarding themselves as an
independent nation, issued a formal declaration of war, against the
provinces of Upper and Lower Canada, and summoned their warriors to
protect their rights and liberties, with the Americans.

Four hundred warriors, armed and painted, and ready for the field,
answered to this call, led by the brave though now aged Farmer's Brother,
who was said by Colonel Worth, to have been "the noblest Indian in form
and mould, in carriage and in soul, of that generation of his race."
[Footnote: Col. Worth as given by Col. Stone.]

The principal scene of war at this time was on our north-western frontier.
Its commencement had been disastrous. The capture of Mackinaw, Chicago,
and Detroit, attended by the surrender of General Hull, commander of the
American forces at the latter place, spread a feeling of insecurity and
dismay all along our western frontier settlements. For an immense extent
they were without protection. But new troops were raised and brought on to
the field, under the wise conduct of General Harrison, and the signal
naval victory of Commodore Perry on Lake Erie, September 10, 1813, and the
equally decisive battle on the river Thames, in the October following,
very materially improved the prospect of the American arms. After this
battle, the Western Indians were disposed to entertain propositions of

Thus far they had proved to be efficient allies of the British, increasing
their force by an addition of nearly eighteen hundred, commanded by the
renowned Tecumseh, who had been called the "Indian Bonaparte." His pre-
eminence among them was now widely acknowledged, and he swayed by his
influence a greater number of warriors, than any Indian of his time.
Before engaging in the Battle of the Thames, he seemed to have a
presentiment of his death. He said to the chiefs about him, "brother
warriors, we are about to enter into an engagement from which I shall
never come out,--my body will remain on the field of battle." [Footnote:
Life of Tecumseh, by Benjamin Drake.]

His prediction was verified; as marking the field of strife where the
Americans were victorious, the ashes of this celebrated warrior here
repose, near the borders of a willow marsh, the willow and the wild rose
weaving a chaplet over his grave.

The Indians who had volunteered their services in the American army, were
first employed in the gallant defense made at Black Rock, during the month
of July, of this same year, 1813.

A surprise party from the British head-quarters at Lundy's Lane, was sent
against the American stores, collected at Black Rock and at Buffalo, and
were not at this time strongly guarded. They were successful in their
first attempt, but were in turn unexpectedly met by the adroit management
of General Porter, under whose supervision the forces in this vicinity had
been placed, who rallied volunteers at Buffalo, turned back the retreating
garrison, and by a well planned attack, succeeded in driving the enemy
from the post they had taken a short time before.

The Indians were soon after in another engagement, in the vicinity of Fort
George, and from an official report made at the time, it appears that this
formed a part of Red Jacket's military experience. A company of volunteers
and Indians commanded by Major Chapin, to which was added a force of about
two hundred regulars under Major Cummings, amounting in all to about five
hundred, the whole being under the direction of General Porter, proceeded
to attack the British and Indian encampment, and were entirely successful.

In an official statement of this affair given by General Boyd, then
commanding the post at St. George, he says:--"Those who participated in
this contest, particularly the Indians, conducted with great bravery and
activity. General Porter volunteered in the affair, and Major Chapin
evinced his accustomed zeal and courage. The principal chiefs who led the
warriors this day were Farmer's Brother, Red Jacket, Little Billy,
Pollard, Black Smoke, Johnson, Silver Heels, Captain Half Town, Major
Henry O'Bail, and Captain Cold, who was wounded. In a council held with
them yesterday, they covenanted not to scalp or murder; and I am happy to
say, that they treated the prisoners with humanity, and committed no
wanton cruelties on the dead."


Taking of Fort Erie--Battle of Chippewa--Service rendered by the Indians--
General Porter's account of the campaign--Red Jacket commended--Withdrawal
of Indian forces--Other successes--Conclusion of peace.

Directly across from Buffalo, at the head of Niagara river, on the Canada
side, stood Fort Erie. Chippewa, at that time head-quarters of the British
army, was eighteen miles below, on the same side. Fort Erie was garrisoned
by about one hundred and seventy men; at Chippewa and within available
distances from it, was stationed the principal part of the British force
in this region.

The plan with which it was proposed to open the campaign of 1814,
contemplated an attack on both of these places.

The campaign of the previous year, though favorable in a good degree, did
not close with entire success to the American arms. The idea was
entertained of descending the St. Lawrence, with a view of capturing
Montreal, a design which signally failed. Taking advantage of the feeble
defense of our frontier, by the withdrawal of the regular troops for the
purpose named, the enemy, on the 18th of December, surprised and took Fort
Niagara, and sweeping along our frontier settlements on the Niagara river,
ravaged the country by fire and sword, as they passed rapidly on, carrying
the works at Lewiston, and Manchester, and laying in ashes the thriving
villages of Black Rock and Buffalo. They burned also without opposition, a
village of the Tuscaroras.

The voice of Red Jacket was thereupon heard, arousing his people again, to
the necessity of taking up arms. And as the result, about six hundred
warriors, mostly from the Seneca nation, were in readiness to offer their
services, at the opening of the present campaign.

Buffalo was the appointed place of rendezvous, and on the first of July,
General Brown, who commanded our forces, regarding them as sufficient to
warrant the commencement of the plan of operations, began by
reconnoitering Fort Erie. During the night of the second of July, General
Ripley, with a part of his brigade, embarked in boats, with a view of
landing on the opposite shore, one mile above the Fort, at about day break
the next morning.

General Scott with his brigade was to cross the Niagara river, through a
difficult pass in the Black Rock Rapids, and make a simultaneous landing
below the fort. The two brigades enclosing the fort, could prevent the
escape of the garrison, until artillery to reduce it, should be brought
from Buffalo.

General Scott with his usual promptness, made good his landing, and was on
the ground at the hour appointed, and by the aid of a few Indians and
volunteers who accompanied him as guides, invested the fort, so as to
secure its garrison. General Ripley though prompt in his departure, was
delayed in reaching his position, by a dense fog which misled his pilots.

As the sun rose the British commandant and his officers, could see the
busy operations going on in ferrying across from Buffalo, artillery,
Indians and soldiers, with their various preparations of war. They
discovered also how completely they were invested. At the demand of
General Brown, without firing a gun or making any attempt at resistance,
the fort and garrison were surrendered.

This part of their enterprise being accomplished, they next turned their
thoughts toward Chippewa.

The Chippewa or Welland river, is a considerable stream not far from one
hundred yards wide, and from twelve to twenty feet deep, entering the
Niagara at right angles, as it flows in from the west.

On the north or left bank of this stream, near its mouth, the British army
had its station and defenses, consisting of two block houses, connected
and flanked by a parapet.

Street's creek was two miles above, or south of this, a small sluggish
stream, which enters the Niagara in a direction parallel with the
Chippewa. The mouth of this creek was selected by the American commanders,
as affording a favorable position for their army before the battle.

On the evening of the same day of the capture of Fort Erie, General Scott
with his brigade and Towson's artillery, proceeded down the river on his
way toward Chippewa, and on the morning of the fourth, encamped in the
open field, on the south side of Street's creek, having driven in some
advanced posts of the enemy. In the evening he was joined by General
Brown, with General Ripley's brigade, which took post in the same field,
in rear of General Scott.

General Porter with the Indians, and Pennsylvania volunteers, crossed the
Niagara at Black Rock during the night of the fourth, and on the morning
of the fifth, marched for the camp, arriving there at about noon.

The two armies nearly equal in numbers, and well qualified by their
thorough equipments, and the skill of their commanders, to harm each other
effectually, were now encamped with only two miles, and the two streams,
on whose banks they rested, between them.

But though thus near, intervening objects prevented their seeing each
other. Between them was a strip of woodland about one-fourth of a mile in
width, extending from the forest on the west, near to the bank of the
river, where it was cleared for the public highway. This effectually shut
out from the view of the other, the manoeuvres of each army.

The Indians and militia from the British army infested these woods, and
became annoying to our forces. General Porter being well acquainted with
the country, and having charge of the Indians, was requested to take them,
and a part of his Pennsylvania volunteers, and dislodge this portion of
the enemy; General Brown assuring him, that none of the British regulars
would be found south of the Chippewa on that day, and promising him in
case of so improbable a contingency, the support of General Scott's

At about three o'clock of the same day of his arrival, General Porter
formed his men, half a mile in rear of the main camp, into single or
Indian file, placing the Indians on the left, and a part of the
Pennsylvanians on the right.

"Thence he marched into the woods in the same order, in a line at right
angles to the river, until the whole Indian force was immerged in the
forest, leaving the white troops in the open field; they had only to halt
and face to the right, when the whole were formed in line of battle,
three-fourths of a mile long and one man deep, looking in the direction
of Chippewa. Red Jacket was placed on the extreme left of the line, and
General Porter took his station on the margin of the woods between his
white and red troops, accompanied by Captain Pollard, a Seneca chief, who,
in this campaign, was considered first in command among the Indians;
Colonel Flemming, the Quarter-master of the Indian corps, Lieutenant
Donald Fraser his aid, and Henry Johnson his interpreter. He was also
accompanied by Major Jones, and Major Wood of the Engineers, as
volunteers; and was supported by a company of regular infantry, marching
in column in rear, as a reserve.

"The Indians were commanded by their war-chiefs, who were indulged in
their own mode of conducting the attack, marching about twenty yards in
advance of the warriors of their respective tribes. General Porter having
sent out scouts to reconnoiter the enemy, the march was commenced by
signal, and proceeded at first with great stillness and caution. The
chiefs have signals, by which, on the discovery of any circumstance
requiring consultation, or change of route or action, they convey notice
through their ranks with great celerity, on which the whole line of
warriors drop instantly on the ground, and remain there until further
orders. Two manoeuvres of this kind occurred on the march, the first of
little moment, but the second communicating through the scouts, the exact
position of the enemy, who, apprised of their assailants' approach, lay
concealed in a thicket of bushes, along the margin of Street's creek.

"A consultation was thereupon held, and new orders given, the purport of
which was to change the line of march, so as to meet the enemy to more
advantage, to increase the speed as much as was consistent with the
preservation of order, and to receive their first fire, but not to return
it except singly, and when it could be done with certain effect, and then
to raise the war-whoop, pursue, capture, and slay as many as practicable,
until they should reach the open ground in front of Chippewa, and thence
return to camp.

"The march was accordingly resumed, the fire of the enemy received, and a
rush accompanied with savage yells made upon them, and continued for more
than a mile, through scenes of frightful havoc and slaughter, few only of
the fugitives offering to surrender as prisoners, while others, believing
that no quarter would be given, suffered themselves to be cut down with
the tomahawk, or turning back upon their pursuers, fought hand to hand to
the last.

"On reaching the open field in front of Chippewa, the assailants were met
by a tremendous discharge of musketry, by which the warriors, who were
principally in front, were thrown back upon the volunteers and reserve,
who for want of equal speed were a short distance in the rear. Presuming
that the fire had come from the enemy he had been pursuing, and who had
rallied on reaching the open ground, General Porter made an effort, not
without success, to reform his line with volunteers, reserve and a portion
of the warriors; but on again advancing to the margin of the woods, found
himself within a few yards of the whole British regular army, formed in
line of battle, and presenting within a given space at least three men
fresh from their camp, to a single one in his own attenuated and exhausted
line. After receiving and returning two or three fires, the enemy rushed
forward with charged bayonets, when hearing nothing from General Scott, he
gave the order to retreat and form again on the left of General Scott's
brigade, wherever it should be found.

"It appears that the British commander had resolved on making a general
attack, that day, on the American camp; and in execution of this purpose
had marched his whole force across the Chippewa, a short time before
General Porter entered the woods with the Indians; and having sent forward
his Indians and militia, which was the British force met in the woods, to
commence his attack on the left flank of the Americans, formed in the
meantime his battalions of regulars on the plain, under cover of the strip
of woodland which divided the two camps, with his artillery on his left,
near the gorge occupied by the road along the bank of the river; ready to
act the moment the effect of the flank attack should be developed.

"The repulse of General Porter's command was thus effected by the main
body of the British army, while General Scott's brigade was more than a
mile in the rear, and had not yet crossed the bridge over Street's
creek.... In a retreat of a mile in a diagonal direction to the right, so
as to uncover the enemy to the fire of the American line, then just
beginning to form, they gained but little distance on the British columns,
who were in hot pursuit. When General Porter and his staff arrived at
Street's creek, they were met by Major Jessup's battalion, then in the act
of taking its position, which was on the left, and a short distance from
the remainder of General Scott's brigade; and the volunteers fatigued as
they were, aided Major Jessup's evolutions, which were executed with great
order and celerity, by breaking down the fences to enable him to pass from
the road bordering on Street's creek, to his position in the field.

"Nothing could exceed the coolness and order with which General Scott's
brigade crossed the bridge and formed its line, under the galling fire of
the enemy's artillery, and the headlong approach of his infantry, who,
when only fifty yards distant, were received by a tremendous discharge of
musketry from the American line, which forced them to fall back for a
considerable distance. But they speedily rallied and advanced again, when
they were met in the same gallant manner; and they thereupon fled, with as
much precipitation as they had entered it, not halting until they had
recrossed the Chippewa and destroyed their bridge.

"General Scott pursued them around the point of woods, beyond which he
could only advance in face of their batteries, and these he could not
reach by reason of the intervening river. He therefore deployed to the
left, and forming a line in the open field, in front of Chippewa, directed
his men to lie down with their heads toward the batteries, the better to
avoid the effect of their fire.

"The battle between the regular troops, was but of a few minutes duration,
with the exception of the artillery, which on both sides was earliest and
longest engaged, and served with the most destructive effect; Colonel
Towson occupying the right of the American line, on Street's creek, and
the British artillery the left of theirs, at the point of woods, and both
commencing with the first movements of the regular troops.

"Immediately after the two lines had encountered on Street's creek, a
magnificent charger completely caparisoned, but without a rider, was seen
prancing and curveting in the centre of the battle field, and endeavoring
to make his escape through the American line to the rear. Presuming that
he belonged to some officer who had fallen, he was forthwith secured by
the servant of General Porter, and immediately mounted by the General, to
whom he was a most acceptable acquisition, after the labors of the day,
which he had performed on foot.

"Riding up to General Brown, who was also in the midst of the action,
General Porter received his orders to march with the two hundred
Pennsylvanians, who had been left in camp, to the support of General
Scott; which orders were promptly executed by following General Scott's
brigade around the point of woods, receiving the fire of the British
batteries, and taking post on his left, with the men in the same recumbent
position. Here they awaited the arrival of General Ripley's brigade, which
on the first discovery that the whole British army was in the field, had
been ordered to make a detour through the woods, and attack the enemy's
right. They soon came up, in the same muddy plight with the volunteers and
Indians, who had previously traversed the same ground; when the whole army
at about sundown quietly retired to their camp, on the south side of
Street's creek.

"And thus ended the battle of Chippewa, which probably produced more
important results in favor of the American arms, than any other engagement
by land in the course of that war; although there were several battles
fought on the Niagara, if not elsewhere, during the same campaign,
exhibiting a greater number of combatants engaged, a larger number of
slain, and a result equally creditable to the gallantry and good conduct
of the American soldiers.

"The first advantage gained was in driving from the British army those
troublesome enemies, their Indian allies, who had been the terror of our
troops in the west, during all the preceding stages of the war, and had
kept the camps of General Dearborn, General Lewis, and General Boyd, in a
perpetual panic during the campaign of 1813. Terrified and disheartened by
the reception they met with at Chippewa, they fled from the battle field
to the head of Lake Ontario, a distance of thirty miles, without halting,
and never again during the remainder of the war appeared in the British
camp." [Footnote: Colonel Stone's Life and Times of Red Jacket. Mr. Stone
refers to General Porter, as his authority, representing him as having
voluntarily prepared the account given of this campaign.]

The Indians during this engagement performed a most important service.
Their conduct was highly commended by General Porter. Speaking of those
under his command, General Porter says: "The great body of warriors as
well as volunteers, engaged in the opening attack, fought with boldness,
not to say desperation, unsurpassed by any other troops, until they were
placed in a situation where it would have been madness not to retreat."

The part Red Jacket took in this battle, though by no means conspicuous,
was such as to call forth from an early biographer the affirmation, that
"he displayed the most undaunted intrepidity, and completely redeemed his
character from the suspicion of that unmanly weakness, with which he had
been charged in early life; while in no instance did he exhibit the
ferocity of the savage, or disgrace himself, by any act of outrage towards
a prisoner, or a fallen enemy."

The same writer adds: "His therefore was that true moral courage, which
results from self respect, and the sense of duty, and which is more noble,
and a more active principle, than that mere animal instinct which renders
many men insensible to danger. Opposed to war, not ambitious of martial
fame, and unskilled in military affairs, he went to battle from principle,
and met its perils with the spirit of a veteran warrior, while he shrunk
from its cruelties with the sensibility of a man and of a philosopher."
[Footnote: Life of Red Jacket. McKenny's Indian Biography.]

Red Jacket as a civil officer was not called to take so prominent a place
on the field of battle, as the war chiefs. Yet in all of their
deliberations, which were frequent during the campaign, he could act as
their counsellor, as he did on every such occasion. He was uniformly their
principal orator, and his manner on these occasions is represented as
being "graceful and imposing in the eye of every beholder, and his voice
music, especially in the ears of his own people. He had the power of
wielding them at will, and the soul stirring trumpet could not produce a
more kindling effect in the bosoms of a disciplined army, than would his
appeals upon the warriors of his race." [Footnote: Col. Stone's Life of
Red Jacket.]

That the battle of Chippewa was particularly severe to the Indian forces
engaged in it, may be inferred from the fact that the British Indians
retreated not only beyond the Chippewa, but stayed not until they had gone
thirty miles further. The battle ground was strewed with many of their
number who had been slain. Two, who had been mortally wounded, and were
still alive, were despatched by a party of New York Indians, who were
looking for the bodies of their fallen friends. Being reproached for their
conduct in taking the life of an unresisting foe, one of them replied, in
a manner that indicated evident sorrow for the deed done, "That it did
seem hard to take the lives of these men, but they should remember that
these were very hard times." [Footnote: Col. Stone.]

The sight of slain warriors was far from being a pleasing object for Red
Jacket to behold, and having ever been opposed to his people engaging in
contests that did not really concern them, he proposed now that the
Indians had helped chastise the British for burning one of their villages,
and as they were no longer on Indian ground, that they should withdraw
from a further participation in the war, in case they could prevail on
their Canadian brethren to do the same.

With the consent and approval of General Brown, a deputation of two brave
and influential chiefs was sent to the Indians, who had fought with the
British, with this in view. They were successful in persuading them to
enter into this arrangement. The Indians therefore after this retired to
their villages, with the exception of a few young braves, with whom the
love of war, was a more potent influence, than the counsels of the aged
and more considerate of their nation.

Soon after the battle, our army forced a passage across the Chippewa, and
after a short engagement the enemy gave way, and retired to Lake Ontario.
Our army continued its march down the Niagara river, destroying some of
the British works on their way.

With new forces brought into the field, General Drummond took command of
the British, and on the 25th of July the two armies met again, and there
was a hard fought, but not very decisive battle, at Lundy's Lane, near
Niagara Falls. The American army soon after fell back to Fort Erie. A
British force of five thousand advanced and laid siege to the Fort, making
a vigorous assault on the 15th of August. They were repulsed with a loss
of a thousand men. Later, General Brown issued from the fort and gave them
so stunning a blow as caused them to relinquish the siege.

Other successful engagements during the year, ending with the signal
victory at New Orleans under General Jackson, inspired greatly the hopes
of the American people, and served likewise to repress the ardor of their
opponents; which led to the return of peace with England, which was
concluded at Ghent on the 24th of December, 1814.


Pre-emptive right to the Indian Reservations sold to Ogden and Company--
Council to obtain the lands--Mr. Ogden's speech--Red Jacket's reply--
Indians refuse to sell--Another Council called--Account of it by Hon.
Albert Tracy--Various utterances of the orator on that occasion--Indians'
appeal to the governments of the United States and New York--Noble
response of Governor De Witt Clinton of New York--Final success of the
Ogden Company.

Though the Indian lands within the state of New York, had now been
narrowed down to a comparatively small compass, there were not wanting
those who would take from them, the remaining portion of their ancient
inheritance. The preemptive right to their reservations was sold by the
Holland Land Company, to Colonel Aaron Ogden and others, who were known as
the Ogden Company. The efforts of these gentlemen to induce the Indians to
dispose of their reservations, resulted in calling several Indian
councils, at which Red Jacket was the prominent speaker, and in which the
entire force of his great powers was summoned, to withstand and thwart
their endeavors.

A council for this purpose was convened at their village near Buffalo,
during the summer of 1819. The Hon. Morris S. Miller of Oneida, was
present as a commissioner on the part of the United States; and the Hon.
Nathaniel Gorham of Canandaigua, represented the interests of the state of
Massachusetts. Captain Parrish of Canandaigua, and Captain Horatio Jones
of Genesee, were present as interpreters.

As it was known Red Jacket was to speak in opposition to the interests of
the Land Company, the occasion drew together a large concourse of people;
pale faces as well as red, who were interested in the result of the
negotiations contemplated, as also by a desire to hear the speech of the
distinguished orator of the Senecas. Of this Colonel Stone remarks: "No
subsequent assemblage of the Indians within the state of New York, has
presented so numerous and imposing an array, nor is it likely that so many
of them will ever again meet, on the soil of their fathers."

A gentleman who was present at this treaty by the invitation of a friend,
speaks of it, in the following terms:--"My friend and myself having
arrived on the ground at an early hour; we saw at a little distance from
the wigwams, a group of Indians, under the shade of a cluster of plum
trees, lying on the ground. Among these were a number of chiefs, of whom
in a conspicuous place, was Red Jacket, apparently in deep thought, with a
pile of little small sticks, two or three inches long, before him.

"I inquired of a gentleman who was conversant with Indian proceedings,
what Red Jacket was doing? He replied that he was studying his speech, and
advised us to retire, as he perceived it disturbed him. About this time
the commissioners, Governor Ogden, his friends, and the two celebrated
Indian interpreters, Parrish and Jones, and a large concourse of people,
gentlemen and ladies, began to assemble under another cluster of trees,
where benches had been prepared in two parallel lines, with a wide space
between, and seats across the upper end, for the commissioners. The long
seats were occupied on the right by Messrs. Ogden, their officers, and
other gentlemen and ladies; the left by Red Jacket, a large number of
chiefs, and other Indians.

"There was order, dignity, and perfect silence. The contest soon
commenced. Governor Ogden, a dignified, fine looking man, rose and opened
the case. Mr. Parrish, a man of large stature, stood up at the same time,
and interpreted it to the Indians, sentence by sentence." [Footnote:
Author's Scrap Book.]

The object was to buy the Indian title, as they had already brought the
pre-emptive right. Governor Ogden told them it was the wish of their great
Father, the President of the United States, that they should sell these
lands, and go down to a reservation on the Allegany river, where they
could live in peace, and have a good foothold forever; and used various
arguments in favor of such a course.

After Governor Ogden had finished his speech, Red Jacket rose with a great
deal of composure, and adjusting his belt of handsome wampum, and looking
to the sky for a moment spoke. Mr. Parrish interpreted: "Red Jacket says
he thanks the Great Spirit that we are all alive and here this pleasant
day." He then addressed the commissioners, answering all the statements
and arguments of Governor Ogden in their order, unfolding a long roll of
parchments attached together, of treaties that had been made at different
times by the United States, with the Six Nations. They had been preserved
in good order. He pointed to the dates, and to the substance of the
treaties from time to time, with great accuracy, as appeared from the
interpretation, answering Governor Ogden with the most forcible arguments,
interspersed with wit and humor. His speech on this occasion, as quoted by
Col. Stone, is as follows:

"Brother: We understand that you have been appointed by our great Father,
the President, to make these communications to us. We thank the Great
Spirit for this pleasant day given us for our reply, and we beg you to

"BROTHER: Previous to your arrival at this council fire, we were told that
our great Father had appointed a commissioner to meet us. You have
produced your commission, and it has been read and explained to us. You
have also explained the object of your mission, and the wishes of the
President in sending you to the council fire of the Six Nations. We do not
doubt that the sealed document you produced, contained the words of the
President, our great Father. When first informed of your appointment, we
supposed that you were coming to meet us on a very different subject.
Since the war of the Revolution, we have held various councils with our
white brothers, and in this same manner. We have made various speeches,
and entered into several treaties, and these things are well known to our
great Father; they are lodged with him. We, too, perfectly understand them
all. The same interpreters were then present as now. In consequence of
what took place during the late war, we made it known to our great Father,
through our interpreter, that we wished to have a talk. Our application
was not complied with. We sent a messenger to brighten the chain of
friendship with our great Father, but he would not meet around the council
fire, and we were disappointed. We had supposed that the commissioner he
has now sent, came forward to brighten the chain of friendship, to renew
former engagements. When we made a treaty at Canandaigua with Colonel
Pickering in 1794, we were told, and thought that it was to be permanent,
and to be lasting, between us and the United States forever. After several
treaties had been entered into under our great Father, General Washington,
large delegations from the Six Nations were invited to meet him. We went
and met him in Philadelphia. We kindled a council fire. A treaty was then
made, and General Washington then declared that it should be permanent
between the red and white brothers; that it should be spread out on the
largest and strongest rocks, that nothing could undermine or break; that
it should be exposed to the view of all.

"BROTHER: We shall now see what has been done by the United States. After
this treaty had been formed I then said that I did not doubt, but that the
United States would faithfully perform their engagements. But I told our
white brothers at that time, that I feared eventually they would wish to
disturb those contracts. You white brothers have the faculty to burst the
stoutest rocks. On our part we would not have disturbed those treaties.
Shortly after our interview with our great Father, General Washington, at
Philadelphia, a treaty was made at Canandaigua, by which we widened our
former engagements with our white brothers, and made some new ones. The
commissioner, Colonel Pickering, then told us that this treaty should be
binding and should last, without alteration for two lives. We wished to
make it extend much farther, and the Six Nations then wished to establish
a lasting chain of friendship. On our part, we wished the treaty to last
as long as trees grow, and waters run. Our Brother told us that he would
agree to it.

"BROTHER: I have reminded you of what had taken place between our
confederates, the Six Nations, and our white brothers, down to the treaty
of Canandaigua. At the close of that treaty it was agreed, it being as
strong and binding, as by my former comparisons I have explained, that if
any difficulty should occur, if any monster should cross the chain of
friendship, that we would unite to remove those difficulties, to drive
away the monster; that we would go hand in hand and prolong the chain. So
it was agreed.

"BROTHER: Many years ago we discovered a cloud rising that darkened the
prospect of our peace and happiness. We heard eventful things from
different quarters, from different persons, and at different times, and
foresaw that the period was not very distant, when this threatening cloud
would burst upon us.

"BROTHER: During the late war we intended to take no part. Yet residing
within the limits of the United States, and with the advice of General
Porter, we agreed around our council fire, that it was right, and we took
a part. We thought it would help to promote our friendship with our white
brothers, to aid the arms of the United States, and to make our present
seats still stronger. These were our reasons. What were the results? We
lost many of our warriors. We spilt our blood in a cause between you, and
a people not of our color.

"BROTHER: These things may be new to you, but they are not new to your
government. Records of these things are with our great Father, the
President. You have come, therefore, for a very different purpose from the
one we expected. You come to tell us of our situation, of our
reservations, of the opinion of the President that we must change our old
customs for new ones; that we must concentrate in order to enjoy the fair
means you offer of civilization, and improvement in the arts of

"BROTHER: At the treaty of Canandaigua, we were promised that different
kinds of mechanics, blacksmiths, and carpenters, should be sent among us;
and farmers with their families, that our women might learn to spin. We
agreed to receive them. We even applied for these benefits. We were told
that our children were too young to be taught. Neither farmers or
mechanics were sent.

"BROTHER: We had thought that the promises made by one President, were
handed down to the next. We do not change our chiefs as you do. Since
these treaties were made, you have had several Presidents. We do not
understand why the treaty made by one, is not binding on the other. On our
part we expect to comply with our engagements.

"BROTHER: You told us when the country was surrounded by whites, and in
possession of Indians, that it was unproductive, not being liable to
taxes, nor to make roads nor improvements, it was time to change. As for
the taxing of Indians, this is extra-ordinary; and was never heard of,
since the settlement of America. The land is ours, by the gift of the
Great Spirit. How can you tax it? We can make such roads as we want, and
did so when the land was all ours. We are improving our condition. See
these large stocks of cattle, and those fences. We are surrounded by the
whites, from whom we can procure cattle, and whatever is necessary for our
improvement. Now that we are confined to narrow limits, we can easily make
our roads, and improve our lands.

"Look back to the first settlement by the whites, and then look at our
present condition. Formerly we continued to grow in numbers, and in
strength. What has become of the Indians, who extended to the salt water?
They have been driven back and become few, while you have been growing
numerous, and powerful. This lands is ours, from the God of Heaven. It was
given to us. We cannot make land. Driven back and reduced as we are, you
wish to cramp us more and more. You tell us of a pre-emptive right. Such
men you say own one reservation, and such another. But they are all ours,
ours from the top to the bottom. If Mr. Ogden had come from heaven, with
flesh on his bones, as I we now see him, and said that the Heavenly Father
had given him a title, we might then believe him.

"BROTHER: You say that the President has sent us word that it is for our
interest to dispose of our lands. You tell us that there is a good tract
of land at Allegany. This too is very extraordinary. Our feet have covered
every inch of that reservation. A communication like this has never been
made to us, at any of our councils. The President must have been
disordered in mind, when he offered to lead us off by the arms, to the
Allegany reservation. I have told you of the treaty we made with the
United States. Here is the belt of wampum, that confirmed that treaty.
Here too is the parchment. You know its contents. I will not open it. Now
the tree of friendship is decaying; its limbs are fast falling off. You
are at fault.

"Formerly we called the British brothers. Now we call the President, our
Father. Probably among you, are persons with families of children. We
consider ourselves the children of the President. What would be your
feelings, were you told that your children were to be cast upon a naked
rock, there to protect themselves? The different claims you tell us of, on
our lands, I cannot understand. We are placed here by the Great Spirit,
for purposes known to him. You have no right to interfere. You told us
that we had large and unproductive tracts of land. We do not view it so.
Our seats, we consider small; and if we are left here long, by the Great
Spirit, we shall stand in need of them. We shall be in want of timber.
Land after many years' use wears out; our fields must be renewed, and new
ones improved, so that we have no more land in our reservations than we
want. Look at the white people around us, and back. You are not cramped
for lands. They are large. Look at that man. [Footnote: Mr. Ellicott,
agent of the Holland Land Company.] If you want to buy, apply to him. He
has lands enough to sell. We have none to part with. You laugh, but do not
think I trifle. I am sincere. Do not think we are hasty in making up our
minds. We have had many councils, and thought for a long time upon this
subject. We will not part with any, not with one of our reservations.

"We recollect that Mr. Ogden addressed his speech to you, therefore I have
spoken to you. Now I will speak to Mr. Ogden.

"BROTHER: You recollect when you first came to this ground, that you told
us you had bought the pre-emptive right. A right to purchase given you by
the government. Remember my reply. I told you, you had been unfortunate in
buying. You said you would not disturb us. I then told you as long as I
lived, you must not come forward to explain that right. You have come. See
me before you. You have heard our reply to the commissioner sent by the
President. I again repeat that, one and all, chiefs and warriors, we are
of the same mind. We will not part with any of our reservations. Do not
make your application anew, nor in any other shape. Let us hear no more of
it. Let us part as we met, in friendship."

Col. Stone refers to the kindness of Major Joseph Delafield, for the
speeches made at this council, as given in his work, and the most
important of which is presented here; they were taken down at the time
from the lips of the interpreter, who stated that "he could not translate
some of Red Jacket's figurative flights, they were too wild and difficult
to be rendered in English, and he did not attempt it." Much doubtless that
served to give point and zest to his speech, was either omitted, or lost
its force, in being transferred to our language. The writer of the sketch
previously alluded to, among several points in this speech which were
impressed on his memory, mentions one not found in the above. "The
gentleman says, that our great Father says, we can go Allegany, and have a
good foothold forever; _yes, a good foothold, for it is all rock_."

Though the efforts of the Ogden Company to obtain the consent of the
Indians to sell their remaining lands, were at this time unsuccessful,
they were nevertheless repeated. The demand of Red Jacket, "do not make
your application anew, nor in any other shape," was unheeded.

Col. Stone, on the authority of the Hon. Albert Tracy, mentions a treaty
held for this same purpose in 1822 or 1823, in which Red Jacket replied to
a speech made by the commissioner, and also by Governor Ogden, entering,
as in the preceding speech, upon a regular and connected history of the
transactions of the Indians with the whites, up to that time, and in the
course of his speech, used the language very happily alluded to by Mr.
Bryant, in his memorial address.

At the close of the speech that has been quoted almost entire, some of his
people desired him to apologize for one or two utterances he had made,
regarding them as rude, and adapted to awaken unpleasant reflections. He
refused, saying, "NO, IT HAS GONE FORTH, LET IT STAND." A circumstance
doubtless alluded to, in the words which immediately follow: "Often the
fierceness of his temper, the righteous indignation that swelled his
bosom, impelled him to hurl defiance at his foes, and to use language, the
possible consequences of which, caused the more timid and abject of his
followers, to tremble with apprehension. But Red Jacket would retract not
a single word, although a majority of the chiefs, would sometimes secretly
deprecate the severity of his utterances."

"Again on other occasions, sorely beset and almost despairing, he would
essay to melt the hearts of the pitiless pursuers of his people, and give
utterance to such touching words as these:

"We first knew you a feeble plant, which wanted a little earth whereon to
grow. We gave it to you, and afterward, when we could have trod you under
our feet, we watered and protected you; and now you have grown to be a
mighty tree, whose top reaches the clouds, and whose branches overspread
the whole land; whilst we, who were then the tall pine of the forest, have
become the feeble plant and need your protection."

"Again assuming the pleading tones of a supplicant, he said, 'when you
first came here, you clung around our knee, and called us FATHER. We took
you by the hand and called you BROTHERS. You have grown greater than we,
so that we can no longer reach up to your hand. But we wish to cling
around your knee, and be called YOUR CHILDREN.'"

In this same speech, referring to their services during the late war with
England, he said:

"Not long ago you raised the war-club against him, who was once our great
Father over the waters. You asked us to go with you to the war. It was not
our quarrel. We knew not that you were right. We asked not; we cared not;
it was enough for us, that you were our brothers. We went with you to the
battle. We fought and bled for you; and now," his eye kindling with
emotion, and the deepest feeling indicated in his utterance, as he pointed
to some Indians present, that had been wounded in that contest; "and now,
dare you pretend to us, that our Father the President, while he sees our
blood running, yet fresh from the wounds received, while fighting his
battles, has sent you with a message to persuade us to relinquish the poor
remains of our once boundless possessions; to sell the birth place of our
children, and the graves of our fathers! No! Sooner than believe that he
gave you this message, we will believe that _you have stolen your
commission, and are a cheat and a liar_."

Once more, speaking of the pre-emptive right and the assurance given them
that their lands were desired only in return for a fair equivalent of
their value, he called their attention to the great cessions the Indians
had already made, together with the solemn declarations that they should
not be importuned to relinquish their remaining reservations, he said:
"You tell us of your claim to our land, and that you have purchased it
from your State. We know nothing of your claim, and we care nothing for
it. Even the whites have a law by which they cannot sell what they do not
own. How then has your State, which never owned our land, sold it to you?
We have a title to it, and we know that our title is good; for it came
direct from the Great Spirit, who gave it to us, his red children. When
you can ascend where he is," pointing toward the skies, "and will get his
deed, and show it to us, then, and never till then, will we acknowledge
your title. You say you came not to cheat us of our lands, but to buy
them. Who told you that we have lands to sell? You never heard it from

Then rising up and giving Mr. Ogden a look of deep earnestness, if not of
indignation, he said:

"Did I not tell you the last time we met, that whilst Red Jacket lived,
you would get no more lands of the Indians? How then, while you see him
alive and strong," striking his hand violently on his breast, "_do you
think to make him a liar?_"

The persistence with which the Senecas were importuned to sell their
lands, led them to make an appeal to the president, and afterward to the
governor of New York.

The latter, Governor De Witt Clinton, sent them a reply worthy of his name
and office. It is as follows:

"All the right that Ogden and his company have to your reservations, is
the right of purchasing them when you think it expedient to sell them,
that is, they can buy your lands, but no other person can. You may retain
them as long as you please, and you may sell them to Ogden as soon as you
please. You are the owners of these lands in the same way that your
brethren the Oneidas, are of their reservations. They are all that is left
of what the Great Spirit gave to your ancestors. No man shall deprive you
of them without your consent. The State will protect you in the full
enjoyment of your property. We are strong and willing to shield you from
oppression. The Great Spirit looks down on the conduct of mankind, and
will punish us if we permit the remnant of the Indian nations which is
with us to be injured. We feel for you, brethren; we shall watch over your
interests. We know that in a future world we shall be called upon to
answer for our conduct to our fellow creatures."

Col. Stone refers to the Hon. Albert H. Tracy, as having furnished the
notes of the council we have just been considering. The same authority
speaking of the eloquence of Red Jacket, says: "It is evident that the
best translations of Indian speeches, must fail to express the beauty and
sublimity of the originals; especially of such an original as Red Jacket.
It has been my good fortune to hear him a few times, but only of late
years, and when his powers were enfeebled by age, and still more, by
intemperance. But I shall never forget the impression made on me, the
first time I saw him in council:

  "Deep on his front engraven,
  "Deliberation sate, and public care,
  "And princely counsel in his face yet shone,
  "Majestic, though in ruin.

"I can give no idea of the strong impression it made on my mind, though
conveyed to it through the medium of an illiterate interpreter, Even in
this mangled form, I saw the _disjecta membra_ of a regular and
splendid oration." [Footnote: Col. Stone's Life and Times of Red Jacket.]

The Ogden Company though defeated time and again by the watchfulness, and
powerful influence of Red Jacket, continued to ply their endeavors, until
by degrees, the remaining portion of their once proud inheritance, was
wrested from them, and the orator was left in the decline of life to
survey, as he often did in a spirit of dejection, the haunts of his youth,
which had nearly all passed into other hands, through the craft and
avarice of the white man.


Witchcraft--Lease of Tom-Jemmy--Testimony of Red Jacket--Red Jacket's
Philippic--Finding of the court--Remarkable interview of Dr. Breckenridge
with Red Jacket--Further expression of views.

In the spring of 1821, a man belonging to Red Jacket's tribe, fell into a
languishing condition, and after lingering for some time, unable to obtain
relief, died. The _medicine men_ were unable to divine the cause of
his malady; the circumstances of his sickness and death, were thought to
be very peculiar, and his friends could discover no better way of
explaining the matter, than to suppose he had been bewitched.

The Indians believed in sorcery, and at different times in their history
had been known to execute summary judgment, on those whom they supposed to
be guilty of practicing the Satanic art. In the present instance suspicion
rested on the woman, by whom he had been attended, during his sickness. In
pursuance of the customs of their nation she was condemned to die. The
sentence was executed by Soo-nong-gise, a chief, commonly called Tom-
Jemmy. It took place at their reservation near Buffalo. Coming to the
knowledge of the whites in the vicinity, it excited feelings of horror,
mingled with indignation. The case was taken in hand by their authorities,
who without regard to Indian jurisdiction, arrested Tom-Jemmy and threw
him into prison.

At his trial the plea was set up in his defense, that the Indians were a
sovereign and independent nation, having their own laws, and their own
mode of carrying them into execution; that the offense was within the
acknowledged bounds of their own territory, that according to their laws,
it was not a crime, inasmuch as the act of the prisoner was in the
execution of a sentence, that had been passed upon the woman in question.

The trial was conducted with reference to this issue, and numerous
witnesses were examined to substantiate the facts having a bearing on the
case. Red Jacket, among others, was called upon the stand, and examined
with reference to the laws, and usages of his people.

The counsel who conducted the prosecution, wishing to exclude his
testimony, inquired whether he believed in the existence of a God? "_More
truly than one who could ask me such a question_;" was his instant and
indignant reply.

On cross examination the inquiry was made, as to the rank he held among
his own people? "Look at the papers, which the white men keep the most
carefully," meaning the treaties ceding their lands, "and they will tell

The orator's testimony, as did also that of other witnesses, who testified
in the case, went to show that this woman, according to the judgment of
the Indians, was a witch. That she had been regularly tried, and condemned
by their laws; and her death was in conformity with usages, that had been
in existence among them, from time immemorial.

During the course of this examination, Red Jacket perceived that the
belief of the Indians in witchcraft, was made a subject of ridicule among
the bystanders, as well as legal gentlemen present, and he took occasion
when an opportunity offered, to break forth in the following language:

"What! Do you denounce us as fools and bigots, because we still believe
that which you yourselves believed two centuries ago? Your black coats
thundered this doctrine from the pulpit, your judges pronounced it from
the bench, and sanctioned it with the formalities of law; and you would
now punish our unfortunate brother, for adhering to the faith of _his_
fathers and of _yours_! Go to Salem! Look at the records of your own
government, and you will find that hundreds have been executed for the
very crime, which has called forth the sentence of condemnation against
this woman, and drawn down upon her the arms of vengeance. What have our
brothers done, more than the rulers of your own people have done? And what
crime has this man committed, by executing in a summary way, the laws of
his country, and the command of the Great Spirit?" [Footnote: Col. Stone,
and also Drake's Book of the Indians.]

It has been observed of Red Jacket's appearance on this occasion: "there
is not, perhaps in nature, a more expressive eye than that of Red Jacket;
when fired by indignation or revenge, it is terrible; and when he chooses
to display his unrivalled talent for irony, his keen sarcastic glance, is
irresistible." [Footnote: Drake.]

This trial resulted in finding the allegations in the prisoner's plea to
be true; yet the judgment being suspended, it was referred finally to the
Supreme Court. A thorough examination of the laws, treaties and history
relating to our correspondence with the Indian tribes, gave evidence of a
sort of sovereignty among them, but as it was thought inexpedient to
render a decision, that would recognize their independent jurisdiction,
the prisoner was liberated, and the case dismissed.

Not far from the time we are now considering, a remarkable conversation
took place between Red Jacket and a young candidate for the clerical
office, who afterward became an eminent divine. [Footnote: Rev. John
Breckenridge, D. D.] It serves very much to illustrate the orator's
character and views, and as we have permission, we give it entire, as

"The first-opportunity I ever enjoyed of seeing that deservedly celebrated
Indian chief, Red Jacket, was in the year 1821, at the residence of
General Peter B. Porter, Black Rock, New York. Being on a visit to the
general and his family, it seemed a peculiarly fit occasion to become
acquainted with the great Seneca orator, whose tribe resided within a few
miles of Black Rock. General Porter embraced in his command, the Indian
warriors who fought with us on that line, during the late war, with Great
Britain. From this cause; from his high character; his intimate
acquaintance with the chiefs; and his known attachment to these
interesting people, he had great influence over them; and his lamented
lady, who it is not indelicate for me to say, was my sister, had by her
kindness won the rugged hearts of all their leading men. So that their
united influence, and my near relationship to them, secured to me at once
access to the chiefs, and their entire confidence.

"I had not only a great desire to see Red Jacket, but also to use this
important opportunity to correct some of his false impressions, in regard
to Christianity, and the missionaries established in his tribe. To this
end it was agreed to invite Red Jacket and the other chiefs of the
Senecas, to visit Co-na-shus-ta, [Footnote: Name given by Red Jacket to
General Porter.] and meet his brother at his house. The invitation was
accordingly given, and very promptly and respectfully accepted.

"On the appointed day they made their appearance in due form headed by Red
Jacket, to the number of perhaps eight or ten, besides himself. Red Jacket
was dressed with much taste, in the Indian costume throughout. He wore a
blue dress, the upper garment cut after the fashion of a hunting shirt,
with blue leggings, very neat moccasins, a red jacket, and a girdle of red
about his waist. I have seldom seen a more dignified or noble looking body
of men than the entire group. It seems, though no such impression was
designed to be made by the terms of the invitation, that some indefinite
expectation had been excited in their minds, of meeting an official agent
on important business. And they have been so unworthily tampered with, and
so badly treated by us, as a people, and many of their most important
treaties have been so much the result of private and corrupting appeals,
that they very naturally look for some evil design in every approach to
them, however open and simple it may be. So it was on this occasion. As
soon as the ceremonies of introduction had passed, with the civilities
growing out of it, the old orator seated himself in the midst of the
circle of chiefs, and after a word with them, followed by a general
assent, he proceeded in a very serious and commanding manner, always
speaking in his own nervous tongue, through an interpreter, to address me
as follows:

"'We have had a call from our good friends,' (pointing to the general and
his lady), 'to come down to Black Rock to meet their brother. We are glad
to break bread and to drink the cup of friendship with them. They are
great friends to our people, and we love them much. Co-na-shus-ta is a
great man. His woman has none like her. We often come to their house. We
thank them for telling us to come to-day. But as all the chiefs were asked
we expected some important talk. Now, here we are: what is your business?'

"This, as may be readily supposed, was an embarrassing position to a young
man just out of college. I paused. Every countenance was fixed upon me,
while Red Jacket in particular seemed to search me with his arrowy eye,
and to feel that the private and informal nature of the meeting, and the
extreme youth of the man, were hardly in keeping with the character and
number of the guests invited; and his whole manner implied, that 'but for
the sake of the general and his good viands, I should have waited for you
to come to us.' With these impressions of his feelings, I proceeded to say
in reply:

"That I should have thought it very presumptuous in me to send for him
alone, and still more for all the chiefs of his tribe, to come so far to
see me; and that my intention had been to visit him, and the other chiefs
at his town; but the general and his lady, could not go with me to
introduce me. Nor were we at all certain that we should find him and the
other chiefs at home; and at any rate the general's house was more
convenient. He intended, when he asked them, to keep them as long as they
could stay, and to invite them to break his bread, and drink his cup, and
smoke his pipe; that his woman, and he as well as I, desired to see them
at their house; that as to myself, I was a young man, and had no business
with them, except that I had heard a great deal of Red Jacket, and wished
to see him and hear him talk; and also that I had some things to say to
him, when we were better acquainted, which though not _business_, were
important to his people; and I thought it would be interesting to him, as
I knew he loved his people much; and finally that I would return his
visit, and show him that it was not out of disrespect, but out of regard
for him, and great desire to see him, that we had sent for him, this being
the way that white men honor one another.

"Mrs. Porter immediately confirmed what I had said, and gave special point
to the hospitality of the house, and the great desire I had to see Red
Jacket. Her appeal, added to the reply, relaxed the rigor of his manner
and that of the other chiefs, while it relieved our interview of all
painful feelings.

"After this general letting down of the scene, Red Jacket turned to me
familiarly and asked; 'What are you? You say you are not a government
agent, are you a gambler? [Footnote: The name given by Red Jacket to a
land speculator.] or a black coat? or what are you?' I answered: 'I am yet
too young a man to engage in any profession: but I hope some of these days
to be a black coat.' He lifted up his hands accompanied by his eyes, in a
most expressive way, and though not a word was uttered, every one fully
understood that he very distinctly expressed the sentiment, what a fool!

"I had too often been called to bear from those reputed great and wise
among _white_ men, the shame of the cross, to be surprised by his
manner; and I was too anxious to conciliate his good feelings to attempt
any retort, so that I commanded my countenance, and seeming not to have
observed him, I proceeded to tell him something about our colleges, etc.,
etc. That gradually led his mind away from the ideas with which it was
filled and excited when he arrived.

"A good deal of general conversation ensued, addressed to one and another
of the chiefs, and we were just arriving at the hour of dinner, when our
conference was suddenly broken up by the arrival of a breathless
messenger, saying that an old chief, whose name I forget, had just died,
and the other chiefs were immediately needed to attend his burial. One of
the chiefs shed tears at the news; all seemed serious; but the others
suppressed their feelings, and spent a few moments in very earnest
conversation, the result of which Red Jacket announced to us. They had
determined to return at once to their village; but consented to leave Red
Jacket and his interpreter. In vain were they urged to wait until after
dinner, or to refresh themselves with something eaten by the way. With
hurried farewell and quick steps they left the house, and by the nearest
footpath returned home.

"This occurrence relieved me of one difficulty. It enabled me to see Red
Jacket at leisure and alone. It seemed also to soften his feelings, and
make him more affable and kind.

"Soon after the departure of the chiefs, we were ushered to dinner. Red
Jacket behaved with great propriety, in all respects; his interpreter,
Major Berry, though half a white man and perhaps a chief, eat like a true
savage. After a few awkward attempts at the knife and fork, he found
himself falling behind, and repeating the old adage which is often quoted
to cover the same style among our white urchins of picking a chicken-bone,
'_that fingers were made before knives and forks_,' he proceeded with
real gusto, and much good humor, to make up his lost time upon all parts
of the dinner. It being over, I invited Red Jacket into the general's
office, where we had, for four hours a most interesting conversation on a
variety of topics, but chiefly connected with Christianity; the government
of the United States; the missionaries; and his loved lands.

"So great a length of time has passed since that interview, that there
must be supposed a failure in the attempt perfectly to report what was
said. I am well assured I cannot do justice to his language, even as
diluted by the ignorant interpreter; and his manner cannot be described.
But it was so impressive a conversation, and I have so often been called
on to repeat it, that the substance of his remarks has been faithfully
retained by my memory. It is only attempted here to recite a small part of
what was then said, and that with particular reference to the illustration
of his character, mind and opinions.

"It has already been mentioned and is largely known, that Red Jacket
cherished the most violent antipathy toward the American missionaries, who
had been located among his people. This led to very strenuous resistance
of their influence, and to hatred of their religion, but of the true
character of which, he was totally ignorant. His deep attachment to his
people, and his great principle that their national glory and even
existence, depended upon keeping themselves distinct from white men, lay
at the foundation of his aversion to Christianity. Though a pagan, yet his
opposition was political, and he cared very little for any religion except
so far as it seemed to advance, or endanger the glory and safety of the

"He had unfortunately been led by designing and corrupt white men, who
were interested in the result, falsely to associate the labors of the
missionaries, with designs against his nation; and those who wished the
Senecas removed from their lands that _they_ might profit by the
purchase, and who saw in the success of the mission the chief danger to
_their_ plans, artfully enlisted the pagan party, of which Red Jacket
was the leader, to oppose the missionaries, and thus effectually led to
the final frustration of Red Jacket's policy; in and by the defeat of the
missionary enterprise. But as this question is discussed in the sequel, I
will not anticipate. Thus much it was necessary to premise, in order to
explain the nature and ends of my interview with Red Jacket.

"My object was to explain the true state of the case to him, and after
this to recommend the doctrine of Christ to his understanding and heart.
My first step, therefore, was to ask him why he so strongly opposed the
settlement and labors of the missionaries? He replied, because they are
the enemies of the Indians, and under the cloak of doing them good are
trying to cheat them out of their lands. I asked him what proof he had of
this. He said he had been told so by some of his wise and good friends,
among the white men, and he observed that the missionaries were constantly
wanting more land, and that by little and little, for themselves, or those
who hired them to do it, they would take away all their lands, and drive
them off.

"I asked him if he knew there was a body of white men, who had already
bought the exclusive right to buy their lands, from the government of New
York, and that therefore the missionaries could not hold the lands given
or sold them by the Indians, a moment after the latter left their lands
and went away. He seemed to be startled by the statement, but said
nothing. I proceeded to tell him that the true effect of the missionary
influence on the tribe was to secure to them the possession of their
lands, by civilizing them, and making them quit the chase, for the
cultivation of the soil, building good houses, educating their children,
and making them permanent citizens and good men. This was what the
speculators did not wish. Therefore they hated the missionaries. He
acknowledged that the Christian party among the Indians did as I said; but
that was not the way for an Indian to do. Hunting, war and manly pursuits,
were best fitted to them. But, said I, your reservation of land is too
little for that purpose. It is surrounded by the white people, like a
small island by the sea; the deer, the buffalo and bear, have all gone.
This won't do. If you intend to live so much longer, you will have to go
to the great western wilderness, where there is plenty of game, and no
white men to trouble you. But he said, we wish to keep our lands and to be
buried by our fathers. I know it, and therefore I say that the
missionaries are your best friends; for if you follow the ways they teach,
you can still hold your lands, though you cannot have hunting grounds, and
therefore you must either do like white men, or remove from your lands,
very soon. Your plan of keeping the Indians distinct from the white people
is begun too late. If you would do it and have large grounds, and would
let the missionaries teach you Christianity, far from the bad habits and
big farms of the white people, it would then be well: it would keep your
people from being corrupted, and swallowed up by our people who grow so
fast around you, and many of whom are very bad. But it is too late to do
it here, and you must choose between keeping the missionaries, and being
like white men, and going to a far country: as it is, I continued, Red
Jacket is doing more than any body else to break up and drive away his

"This conversation had much effect upon him. He grasped my hand and said
if that were the case it was new to him. He also said he would lay it up
in his mind (putting his hand to his noble forehead), and talk of it to
the chiefs, and the people.

"It is a very striking fact that the disgraceful scenes now passing before
the public eye over the grave of Red Jacket, so early and so sadly fulfil
these predictions; and I cannot here forbear to add that the thanks of the
nation are due to our present chief-magistrate, [Footnote: The President
alluded to is Mr. Van Buren.--W. L. S.] for the firmness with which he has
resisted the recent efforts to force a fraudulent treaty on the remnant of
this injured people, and drive them against their will, and against law
and treaties sacredly made, away from their lands, to satisfy the rapacity
of unprincipled men.

"It may be proper here to say likewise, that I do by no means intend to
justify, all that possibly may have been done by the missionaries to the
Senecas. It is probable the earliest efforts were badly conducted; and men
of more ability ought to have been sent to that peculiar and difficult
station. But it is not for a moment to be admitted, nor is it credible
that the authors of the charge believe it, that the worthy men who at
every sacrifice went to the mission among the Senecas, had any other than
the purest purposes. I visited the station, and intimately knew the chief
missionary. I marked carefully their plan and progress, and do not doubt
their usefulness any more than their uprightness; and beyond all doubt it
was owing chiefly to malignant influence exerted by white men, that they
finally failed in their benevolent designs. But my business is to narrate,
not to discuss.

"My next object was to talk with Red Jacket about Christianity itself. He
was prompt in his replies, and exercised and encouraged frankness, with a
spirit becoming a great man.

"He admitted both its truth and excellence, as adapted to white men. He
said some keenly sarcastic things about the treatment that so good a man
as Jesus, had received from white men. The white men, he said, ought all
to be sent to hell for killing him; but as the Indians had no hand in that
transaction, they were in that matter innocent. Jesus Christ was not sent
to them; the atonement was not made for them; nor the Bible given to them;
and therefore the Christian religion, was not meant for them. If the Great
Spirit had intended that the Indians should be Christians, he would have
made his revelation to them, as well as to the white men. Not having done
so, it was clearly his will that they should continue in the faith of
their fathers. He said that the red man was of a totally different race,
and needed an entirely different religion, and that it was idle as well as
unkind, to try to alter their religion, and give them ours.

"I asked him to point out the difference of the races, contending that
they were one, and needed but one religion, and that Christianity was that
religion, which Christ intended for, and ordered to be preached, to all
men. He had no distinct views of the nature of Christianity as a method of
salvation, and denied the need of it. As to the unity of the races, I
asked if he ever knew two distinct races, even of the lower animals to
propagate their seed from generation to generation. But do not Indians and
white men do so? He allowed it; but denied that it proved the matter in
hand. I pressed the points of resemblance in every thing but color, and
that in the case of the Christian Indians there was a common mind on
religion. He finally waived this part of the debate, by saying that one
thing was certain, whatever else was not, that white men had a great love
for Indian women, and left their traces behind them wherever they could!

"On the point of needing pardon, from being wicked, he said the Indians
were _good_ till the white man corrupted them. But did not the Indians
have _some_ wickedness _before_ that? 'Not so much.' And how was
_that_ regarded by the Great Spirit?--Would he forgive it? He hoped
so, 'did not know.' Jesus, I rejoined, came to tell us He would, and to
get that pardon for us.

"As to suffering and death among the Indians, did not they prove that the
Great Spirit was angry with _them_, as well as with white men? Would
he thus treat men that were _good_? He said they were not wicked
before white men came to their country, and taught them to be so. But they
_died before that_? And why did they die, if the Great Spirit was not
angry, and they wicked? He could not say, and in reply to my explanation
of the gospel doctrine of the entrance of death by sin, he again turned
the subject by saying he was a 'great doctor,' and could cure any thing
but death.

"The interpreter had incidentally mentioned that the reason the chiefs had
to go home so soon, was that they always _sacrificed a white dog on the
death of a great man_. I turned this fact to the account of the
argument, and endeavored to connect it with, and explain by it the
doctrine of atonement, by the blood of Christ, and also pressed him on the
questions, how can this _please_ the Great Spirit on _your_ plan?
Why do you offer such a _sacrifice_, for so it is considered? And
_where_ they got such a rite from? He attempted no definite reply.
Many other topics were talked over. But these specimens suffice to
illustrate his views, and mode of thinking.

"At the close of the conversation he proposed giving me a _name_, that
henceforth I might be numbered among his friends, and admitted to the
intercourse and regards of the nation. Supposing this not amiss, I
consented. But before he proceeded he called for some whiskey. He was at
this time an intemperate man, and though perfectly sober on that occasion,
evidently displayed toward the close of the interview, the need of
stimulus, which it is hardly necessary to say, we carefully kept from him.
But he _insisted_ now, and after some time a small portion was sent to
him in the bottom of a decanter. He looked at it, shook it, and with a
sneer said, 'why here is not whiskey enough for a name to float in.' But
no movement being made to get more, he drank it off, and proceeded with a
sort of pagan orgies, to give me a name. It seemed a semi-civil, semi-
religious ceremony. He walked around me again and again, muttering sounds
which the interpreter did not venture to explain; and laying his hand on
me pronounced me 'Con-go-gu-wah,' and instantly, with great apparent
delight, took me by the hand as a brother. I felt badly during the scene,
but it was beyond recall, and supposing it might be useful in a future
day, submitted to the initiation.

"Red Jacket was in appearance nearly sixty years old at this time. He had
a weather-beaten look; age had done something to produce this, probably
intemperance more. But still his general appearance was striking, and his
face noble. His lofty and capacious forehead, his piercing black eye, his
gently curved lips, and slightly aquiline nose, all marked a great man,
and as sustained and expressed by his dignified air, made a deep
impression on every one that saw him. All these features became doubly
expressive when his mind and body were set in motion by the effort of
speaking, if effort that may be called which flowed like a free, full
stream from his lips. I saw him in the wane of life, and I heard him only
in private, and through a stupid, careless interpreter. Yet
notwithstanding these disadvantages, he was one of the greatest men and
most eloquent orators I ever knew. His cadence was measured and yet very
musical. In ordinary utterance it amounted to a sort of musical monotony.
But when excited he would spring to his feet, elevate his head, expand his
arms and utter with indescribable effect of manner and tone, some of his
noblest thoughts.

"After this interesting conference had closed, the old chief with his
interpreter, bade us a very civil and kind farewell, and set forth on foot
for his own wigwam.

"It was four years after this before I had the pleasure of again seeing my
old friend. I was then on a flying visit to Black Rock. At an early day I
repaired to his village, but he was not at home. Ten days after, as we
were just leaving the shore in the steamboat to go up the lake, he
suddenly presented himself. It was unhappily too late to return. He hailed
me by name, and pointed with much animation to such parts of his person as
were decorated with some red cloth which I at parting had presented to
him, and which, though not worn as a jacket, was with much taste
distributed over his person. These he exhibited as proofs of his friendly

"The last time I ever saw him was at the close of Mr. Adams'
administration. He, with a new interpreter (Major Berry having been
removed by death), had been on a visit to his old friend, Co-na-shus-tah,
then Secretary of War. After spending some time at the capital, where I
often met him, and had the horror to see his dignity often laid in the
dust, by excessive drunkenness, he paid me by invitation a final visit at
Baltimore, on his way home. He took only time enough to dine. He looked
dejected and forlorn. He and his interpreter had each a suit of common
infantry uniform, and a sword as common, which he said had been presented
to him at the war department. He was evidently ashamed of them. I confess
I was too. But I forbear. He was then sober and serious. He drank hard
cider, which was the strongest drink I could conscientiously offer him, so
I told him. He said it was enough. I said but little to him of religion,
urged him to prepare to meet the Great Spirit, and recommended him to go
to Jesus for all he needed. He took it kindly, said he should see me no
more, and was going to his people to die. So it was, not long after this,
he was called to his last account."

Col. Stone represents the testimony of Dr. Breckenridge as corresponding
with hundreds of others, who confess their inability to do the orator
justice. He laments "his inability to make even an approach to justice, as
to the language, and figures in which Red Jacket clothed his thoughts, and
by which he illustrated and enforced them."

At another time the benefits of Christianity and the advantages of
civilization, being urged by a benevolent gentleman on Red Jacket's
attention, he made use of the following language: "As to civilization
among the white people, I believe it is a good thing, and that it was so
ordered they should get their living in that manner. I believe in a God,
and that it was ordered by Him that we, the red people, should get our
living in a different way, namely: from the wild game of the woods, and
the fishes of the waters. I believe in the Great Spirit who created the
heavens and the earth. He peopled the forests, and the air and the waters.
He then created man and placed him as the superior animal of this
creation, and designed him as governor over all other created beings on
earth. He created man differing from all other animals. He created the red
man, the white, the black and the yellow. All these he created for wise
but inscrutable purposes."

Reasoning from analogy and from the different varieties of the same
species, and the different species under one genus, among all other
animals, he pointed out their different modes of living, and the different
designs of the Creator, that appeared to be evinced with respect to them.
He then proceeded:

"This being so, what proof have we that he did not make a similar
arrangement with the human species, when we find so vast, so various, and
so irreconcilable a variety among them, causing them to live differently,
and to pursue different occupations.

"As to religion, we all ought to have it. We should adore and worship our
Creator, for his great favor in placing us over all his works. If we
cannot with the same fluency of speech, and in the same flowing language,
worship as you do, we have our mode of adoring, which we do with a sincere
heart; then can you say that our prayers and thanksgivings, proceeding
from grateful hearts, and sincere minds are less acceptable to the Great
God of the heavens and the earth, though manifested either by speaking,
dancing, or feasting, than yours, uttered in your own manner and style?"
[Footnote: As quoted by Col. Stone from MS collections of Joseph W.


Personal characteristics--Interview with General Lafayette--Visit of a
French Nobleman--Col. Pickering reproved--Address on launching a schooner
bearing his name--Anecdote of Red Jacket and Capt. Jones--His humor--
Strong memory--Its cultivation--Contempt for pretension without merit--
Love for the sublime--Portraits--Acute perception--Refined sense of
propriety--First bridge at Niagara Falls--Loss of his children--Care for
his people.

A prominent characteristic of Red Jacket's mind, was self esteem, which
led him to be quite tenacious of his own opinion. He probably did not
underrate his own ability. He felt conscious of possessing talents, which
would enable him to act with dignity and propriety, in any emergency
calling for their exercise. He never appeared to be intimidated or
embarrassed at the thought of meeting with great men, but seemed always to
be at home in their society, and to feel and act as though he regarded
himself on an equality with them. This was evident in his interview with
General Lafayette, in 1825.

On being presented to the general, the orator inquired if he recollected
being present, at the treaty of peace with the Six Nations at Fort
Stanwix, in 1784. Lafayette replied that he remembered that great council
very well. "And what," said he, "has become of the young chief, who
resisted so strenuously and eloquently on that occasion, the idea of the
Indians' burying the hatchet?"

"_He is before you_," was the instant reply. Upon which the general
remarked, that time had wrought very great changes upon them both since
that memorable period. "Ah!" said Red Jacket, "time has not been so severe
on you, as it has on me. It has left you a fresh countenance, and hair to
cover your head; while to me,--behold!"--And taking a handkerchief from
his head, with an air of much feeling, he disclosed the fact that he was
nearly bald. Several persons present could not refrain from smiling at the
simplicity of the Indian, who appeared ignorant of the way the white man,
was wont to repair the ravages of age in this respect. His simplicity was
enlightened by the fact, that the general was indebted to a wig, for his
generous supply of hair. Whereupon the orator playfully remarked,
referring to the practice of his people in war, that it had not occurred
to him before, that he might supply the deficiency by _scalping_ some of
his neighbors. M. Lavasseur, the secretary of General Lafayette, remarks
of the orator's appearance at that time. "This extraordinary man, although
much worn down by time and intemperance, preserves yet in a surprising
degree, the exercise of all his faculties. He obstinately refuses to speak
any language, but that of his own people, and affects a great dislike to
all others. Although it is easy to discern, that he perfectly understands
the English. He refused nevertheless, to reply to the general before his
interpreter had translated his questions into the Seneca language."
[Footnote: See Drake, Col. Stone and others.]

A few Indian words, which the general had picked up during his previous
visit to this country, on being repeated by him to the orator, gratified
him exceedingly, and appeared to increase very much his regard for

Red Jacket appeared always to be gratified by attentions received from
distinguished characters. Yet even to enjoy their society, he would not
compromise his own dignity. It is said that "about the year 1820, a young
French nobleman, who was making the tour of the United States, visited the
town of Buffalo. Hearing of the fame of Red Jacket, and learning that his
residence was but seven miles distant, he sent him word, that he was
desirous to see him, adding a request that the chief would visit him in
Buffalo the next day. Red Jacket received the message with contempt, and
replied: 'Tell the _young man_ that if he wishes to see the _old
chief_, he may find him with his nation, where other strangers pay their
respects to him; and Red Jacket will be glad to see him.'

"The count sent back his mesenger to say he was fatigued with his journey,
and could not go to the Seneca village; that he had come all the way from
France, to see the great orator of the Senecas, and after having put
himself to so much trouble, to see so distinguished a man, the latter
could not refuse to meet him at Buffalo.

"'Tell him,' said the sarcastic chief, 'It is very strange he should come
so far to see me, and then stop within seven miles of my lodge.' The
retort was richly merited. The count visited him at his wigwam, and then
Red Jacket accepted an invitation to dine with him, at his lodgings at

"The young nobleman was greatly pleased with him, declaring that he
considered him a greater wonder than the falls of Niagara. This remark was
the more striking as it was made within view of the great cataract. But it
was just. He who made the world, and filled it with wonders, has declared
man to be the crowning work of the whole Creation." [Footnote: McKenney's
Indian Biography.]

On one occasion at a treaty attended by Colonel Pickering, Red Jacket
observed that the attention of the colonel, who was in the habit of taking
down, as they were interpreted, the Indian speeches made, was withdrawn
from himself, and his eye directed to the paper on which he was writing.
Red Jacket paused. The colonel desired him to proceed. "No," said the
orator, "not when you hold down your head." "Why can you not go on while I
write?" "Because," replied the chief, "if you look me in the eye, you will
then perceive if I tell you the truth or not." [Footnote: Col. Stone.]

On another occasion, Colonel Pickering turned, while the orator was
addressing him to speak to a person near. The chief thereupon rebuked him,
saying with much emphasis, "When a Seneca speaks he ought to be listened
to with attention, from one extremity of this great island to the other."
[Footnote: Ib.]

Toward the close of his life he was present by invitation, at the
launching of a schooner at Black Rock, bearing his name. He made a short
address on the occasion which indicates the estimation in which he
regarded his own merit. In the course of his speech, addressing himself
directly to the vessel, he said: "You have a great name given you, strive
to deserve it. Be brave and daring. Go boldly into the great lakes, and
fear neither the swift winds, nor the strong waves. Be not frightened nor
overcome by them, for it is by resisting storms and tempests, that I,
whose name you bear, obtained my renown. Let my great example inspire you
to courage, and lead you to glory." [Footnote: Col. Stone.]

Also late in life, when at one of the hotels in Auburn, N. Y., observing a
person whom he thought did not treat him with proper deference, he came
and stood before him and stamping his foot on the floor, exclaimed with
much emphasis, "_I am Red Jacket!_" [Footnote: Incident given to the
author by J. C. Ivison, Esq., of Auburn.]

He did not relish being trifled with even in playfulness.

"At one time when visiting the house of Captain Jones, on taking his seat
at the breakfast table with the family, Mrs. Jones, knowing his extreme
fondness for sugar, mischieviously prepared his coffee without the
addition of that luxury. On discovering the cheat, the chief looked at the
captain with an offended expression, and thus rebuked him: 'My son,'
stirring his cup with energy, 'Do you allow your squaw thus to trifle with
your father?' Perceiving at the same time, by the giggling of the
children, that they had entered into the joke, he continued, 'And do you
allow your children to make sport of their chief?' Jones and his wife
thereupon apologized, and the latter made the _amende honorable_, by
handing him the sugar-bowl, which he took, and with half angry sarcasm
filled the cup to the brim, with sugar. The liquid not holding so large a
quantity in solution, he ate the whole with his spoon." [Footnote: Col.

Still he enjoyed a laugh when he was making the sport. He was very
entertaining in conversation, and would sometimes in the presence of his
associates, relax his dignity, and for a time, when he felt in the mood,
keep them in a roar of laughter, by his anecdotes, or by taking off
something ludicrous, he had observed among the whites. When he had carried
it sufficiently far, he would draw himself up, and resume his dignity,
when by common consent, the sport would cease. [Footnote: Wm. Jones, to
the author.]

He very often entertained his people also, by recounting his interviews
with distinguished persons, or by describing what he had seen in great

One conversant with him thus speaks of the manner in which he represented
to his people, what he had seen during his visit at the seat of
government. "I remember having seen him on one of those occasions, when,
after having seated the Indians around him in a semi-circle, taking the
cocked hat that had been presented to him by General Knox, then Secretary
of War, in his hand, he went round bowing to the Indians, as though they
were the company at the president's house, and himself the president. He
would then repeat to one and another all the compliments which he chose to
suppose the president had bestowed upon him, and which his auditors and
admiring people, supposed had been thus bestowed." [Footnote: Thomas
Morris to Col. Stone.]

Red Jacket had a very _tenacious memory_. The Indians were noted for
the care they bestowed on this faculty of the mind. In the absence of
written records, they formed a device, which was quite ingenious, and
indicated a high degree of intelligence, by which they perpetuated the
knowledge of important events, in their history. They used belts, and
strings of wampum.

For instance, they are assembled to form some important treaty. This
_treaty_ would be represented by the _belt_. Each string in that
belt would represent a distinct article, or provision in that treaty. As
they fixed their eye upon the belt, they knew it as well as though it had
been labelled. As they took hold of each string, they could as it were,
read each article of the treaty. For the preservation of these belts they
had what were termed their council-houses, where they were hung up in
order, and preserved with great care. At times they were reviewed. The
father would go over them, and tell the meaning of each belt and of each
string in the belt to the son, and thus the knowledge of all their
important events, was transmitted from one generation to another.

Red Jacket, without any doubt excelled all of his race, in the perfection
to which he had brought this faculty of his mind. Nothing escaped the
tenacious grasp of his memory.

The following is an instance in point. At a council held with the Indians
by Gov. Tompkins of New York, a contest arose between him and Red Jacket
in regard to a fact connected with a treaty of many years' standing. Mr.
Tompkins stated one thing, and the Indian chief corrected him, insisting
that the reverse of his assertion was true. "But" it was rejoined: "you
have forgotten." We have it written down on paper. "The paper then tells a
lie," was the confident answer; "I have it written down here;" he added,
placing his hand with great dignity on his brow. "You Yankees are born
with a feather between your fingers, but your paper does not speak the
truth. The Indian keeps his knowledge here. This is the book the Great
Spirit gave them; it does not lie." A reference was immediately made to
the treaty in question, when to the astonishment of all present, and the
triumph of the unlettered statesman, the document confirmed every word he
had uttered. [Footnote: McKenney's Indian Biography.]

He held in utter contempt _pretensions_ without _merit_. "On one
occasion not many years before his death, a gentleman from Albany, on a
visit at Buffalo, being desirous of seeing the chief, sent a message to
that effect. The gentleman was affluent in money and in words, the latter
flowing forth with great rapidity, and in an inverse ratio to his ideas.
He had also a habit of approaching very near to any person with whom he
was conversing, and chattering with almost unapproachable volubility. On
receiving the message, Red Jacket dressed himself with the utmost care,
designing, as he ever did when sober, to make the most imposing
impression, and came over to the village.

"Being introduced to the stranger, he soon measured his intellectual
capacity, and made no effort to suppress his disappointment, which was
indeed sufficiently disclosed in his features. After listening, for a few
moments to the chatter of the gentleman, Red Jacket with a look of mingled
chagrin and contempt, approached close to him and exclaimed, 'cha, cha,
cha,' as rapidly as utterance would allow. Then drawing himself to his
full height, he turned proudly upon his heel, and walked away in the
direction of his own domicil, _as straight as an Indian_, nor deigned to
look behind while in sight of the tavern. The gentleman with more money
than brains, was for once lost in astonishment, and longer motionless and
silent than he had ever been before." [Footnote: Col. Stone.]

He held the mere sensualist in equal contempt. "Many years ago, before the
Indian towns were broken up along the valley of the Genesee, a clan of the
Senecas resided at Canawangus, in the vicinity of the present town of
Avon. The chief of the clan was a good, easy man, named Hot Bread. He was
a hereditary sachem, not having risen by merit, was weak and inefficient,
and of gluttonous habits. On a certain occasion, when Mr. George Hosmer
was accompanying Red Jacket to an Indian council, in the course of general
conversation he inquired the chief's opinion of Hot Bread. 'Waugh!'
exclaimed Red Jacket: 'He has a little place at Canawangus, big enough for
him. _Big man here_,' laying his left hand on his abdomen, '_But very
small here_,' bringing the palm of his right hand _with significant_
emphasis to his forehead." [Footnote: Ib.]

He loved to hold communion with the sublime and grand in nature. He never
wearied when viewing the falls of Niagara, and their roar, the baritone of
nature's anthem, stirred within, depths that other harmonies failed to
reach. When Mr. Catlin, the celebrated Indian portrait painter, desired to
obtain the orator's picture, his consent was given, but he must be
represented as standing on Table Rock, "for," said he, "when I pass to the
other world, my spirit will come back, and that is the place around which
it will linger." [Footnote: Catim's North American Indians.]

The artist gratified the orator, and represents him as standing there in
the attitude of deep thought, dressed with much care in complete Indian
costume, a very interesting memorial, presenting evident marks of being
one of nature's noblemen.

Since then Red Jacket has gone to his grave, and this rock where he often
stood and feasted his soul on sublimities unrivalled in nature, has
likewise fallen, while the world, like the impetuous flood, rolls on
unconscious of both.

Of the various paintings of Red Jacket, Col. Stone remarks, "The picture
by Mr. Robert W. Weir, taken in 1828, at the request of Doctor John W.
Francis of New York, is of far the highest order of merit, and has become
the standard likeness of the last of the Seneca orators." To this is
subjoined the following description from the pen of Doctor Francis, of the
orator's appearance on the occasion,

"For this purpose he dressed himself in the costume which he deemed most
appropriate to his character, decorated with his brilliant overcovering
and belt, his tomahawk, and Washington medal.

"For the whole period of nearly two hours, on four or five successive
days, he was as punctual to the arrangements of the artist, as any
individual could be. He chose a large arm chair for his convenience, while
his interpreter, as well as himself, was occupied for the most part in
surveying the various objects, which decorated the artist's room. He had a
party of several Senecas with him, who, adopting the horizontal position,
in different parts of the room, regaled themselves with the fumes of
tobacco, to their utmost gratification. Red Jacket occasionally united in
this relaxation; but was so deeply absorbed in attention to the work of
the painter, as to think, perhaps, of no other subject. At times he
manifested extreme pleasure, as the outlines of the picture were filled
up. The drawing of his costume, which he seemed to prize, as peculiarly
appropriate, and the falls of Niagara, scenery at no great distance from
his residence at the reservation, forced him to an indistinct utterance of
satisfaction. When his medal appeared complete in the picture, he
addressed his interpreter, accompanied by striking gestures; and when his
noble front was finished, he sprang upon his feet with great alacrity, and
seizing the artist by the hand, exclaimed with great energy, 'Good! Good!'
The painting being finished, he parted with Mr. Weir with a satisfaction
apparently equal to that which he doubtless, on some occasions had felt,
on effecting an Indian treaty. Red Jacket must have been beyond his
seventieth year when the painting was made. He exhibited in his
countenance, somewhat of the traces of time and trial, on his
constitution. Nevertheless he was of a tall, erect form, and walked with a
firm gait. His characteristics are preserved by the artist to admiration;
and his majestic front exhibits an attitude surpassing every other, that I
have ever seen of the human skull. As a specimen for the craniologist, Red
Jacket need not yield his pretensions to those of the most astute
philosopher. He will long live by the painting of Weir, the poetry of
Halleck, and the fame of his own deeds."

Red Jacket had a quick and acute perception, he was very adroit. He at one
time exposed the false pretenses of Jemima Wilkinson by arranging it with
a few Indians to converse in her presence, in a manner that excited her
curiosity. The ruse was successful, she anxiously inquired what they were
talking about? Turning upon her a searching glance, he exclaimed, "What!
Are you Jesus Christ? and not know Indian?"

Though unacquainted with the usages of society, in the refined circles
where he often appeared, he readily adapted himself to the new position,
and conducted with propriety and ease, careful to conceal his ignorance at
the time. Mr. Thomas Morris in a letter to Colonel Stone, observes: "He
once on his return from Philadelphia, told me that when there he perceived
many things, the meaning of which he did not understand, but he would not
make inquiry concerning them there, because they would be imputed to his
ignorance. He therefore determined on his return to ask me.

"He said when he dined at General Washington's, a man stood all the time
behind his chair, and would, every now and then run off with his plate,
and knife and fork, which he would immediately replace by others. 'Now,'
said Red Jacket, 'what was this for?' I replied that he must have observed
on the president's table a variety of dishes, that each dish was cooked in
a different manner, and that the plates and knives and forks of the
guests, were changed as often as they were helped from a different dish.
'Ah!' said he, 'is that it?' I replied in the affirmative. 'You must then
suppose,' he continued, 'that the plates, and knives, and forks, retain
the taste of the cookery?' Yes, I replied. 'Have you then,' he added, 'any
method by which you can change your palates every time you change your
plates? For I should suppose that the taste would remain on the palate
longer than on the plate?' I replied that we were in the habit of washing
that away by drinking wine. 'Ah!' said he, 'now I understand it. I was
persuaded that so general a custom among you was founded in reason, and I
only regret that when I was in Philadelphia I did not understand it; when
dining with General Washington and your father. The moment the man went
off with my plate I would have drunk wine until he brought me another; for
although I am fond of eating, I am more so of drinking.'" [Footnote: Col.
Stone's Life of Red Jacket.]

It has been well observed of him, "He had an innate refinement and grace
of manner, that stamped him the true gentleman, because with him these
virtues were inborn, and not simulated or acquired." [Footnote: W. C.
Bryant's Memorial Address.]

On one occasion when Mr. George Hosmer of Avon, and several others of his
tribe, were on their way to attend a certain treaty, the Indians one
evening after the fatigues of the day, were unusually mirthful. Red Jacket
conceiving the idea that Mr. Hosmer, who was unacquainted with their
language might suppose he was the subject of their mirth, caused them to
be silent, and through his interpreter, Captain Parrish, thus addressed

"We have been made uncomfortable by the storm; we are now warm and
comfortable, it has caused us to feel cheerful and merry. But I hope our
friend who is traveling with us will not feel hurt at this merriment, or
suppose that we are taking advantage of his ignorance of our language, to
make him in any manner the subject of our mirth."

To which Mr. Hosmer replied, that knowing himself to be in the company of
brave and honorable men, he could not allow himself to entertain such an
impression. After which they resumed their merriment, and Red Jacket his
gravity. [Footnote: Col. Stone.]

The first efforts to construct a bridge at Niagara Falls was unsuccessful.
It was supposed the force of the water where it flowed smoothly, would not
be as great as where it dashed against the rocks and appeared more
boisterous. This was a mistake. Every endeavor to fix a bent where the
water was smooth, proved utterly abortive. At length an architect
conceived the idea of placing the bridge, down where the water began to be
broken in its descent, and of obtaining a foot-hold for his bent, behind
some rock against which the water dashed. This resulted in the successful
completion of a bridge, leading to Goat Island. After its completion, Red
Jacket, in company with General Porter, was passing over it one day, when
the chief, whose curiosity was excited, examined minutely every part of
its construction, evidently regarding it, as a great wonder. At length
discovering the secret, he exclaimed, "_Ugh! still water_!" and
immediately added, "_d--n Yankee_." [Footnote: Given to the author by T.
M. Howell, Esq., of Canandaigua, N. Y.]

Red Jacket was not a stranger to _tender and refined sensibilities_.

William Savary in his Journal, while attending the Indian treaty held at
Canandaigua in 1794, speaks of the children of Red Jacket in terms of high
commendation. Most of them died of consumption, "in the dew of their

On one occasion, when visiting an aged lady of his acquaintance near Avon,
who from early life had been more or less familiar with his history, she
inquired of him, if any of his children were still living? Fixing his eyes
upon her, with a sorrowful expression, he replied:

"Red Jacket was once a great man, and in favor with the Great Spirit. He
was a lofty pine among the smaller trees of the forest. But after years of
glory he degraded himself, by drinking the firewater of the white man. The
Great Spirit has looked upon him in anger, and his lightning has stripped
the pine of its branches." [Footnote: Related to Col. Stone by Mrs. George
Hosmer of Avon.]

Some four or five years before his death, three brothers, named Thayer,
were executed at Buffalo for the crime of murder. The occasion was
unusual, and multitudes of both sexes, from the surrounding region,
flocked to witness the unhappy spectacle.

On the day of the execution, Red Jacket was met by Judge Walden, of
Buffalo, wending his way from the town to his home. The judge inquired
where he was going? At the same time expressing his surprise that he did
not go with the multitudes, flocking to witness the spectacle. His answer
was brief; "Fools enough there already. Battle, is the place to see men

The reply was a merited rebuke to the desire so prevalent, to witness
these awful sights. [Footnote: Mrs. George Hosmer to Col. Stone.]

Red Jacket ever cherished a watchful regard over the interests of his
people, and was always ready to speak in their behalf.

At the trial of an Indian for burglary, himself and other chiefs were
present to render any aid in their power, to their brother in bonds. The
prisoner was found guilty of having broken into a house and stolen a few
silver spoons. The crime of petit larceny, was thus merged in the greater
one of burglary.

At a fitting opportunity Red Jacket arose and spoke eloquently in his
brother's defense; urging the independence of his nation, the existence
among them of laws for the punishment of theft, and boldly demanding the
surrender of the prisoner, assuring the court that the prisoner should be
tried by these laws, and suffer the penalty they demanded. His effort
though regarded as able and brilliant, did not avail to rescue the
prisoner from the white man, whose sentence in the case being for burglary
instead of theft, Red Jacket regarded as unnecessarily severe.

When the proceedings were over, Red Jacket, who happened to be standing
with a group of lawyers, took the following method of expressing his

Beholding on the sign of a printing office near by, an emblematic
representation in large figures and characters, of Liberty and Justice; he
asked in broken English, pointing to one of them, "_What-him-call?_"
It was answered, _Liberty_. "Ugh!" was his significant and truly
aboriginal response. Pointing then to the other figure, he inquired,
"_What_-HIM-call?" It was answered, JUSTICE. Whereupon his eye
kindling with animation, he asked with evident emotion, "WHERE-HIM-LIVE-
NOW?" [Footnote: Geo. Hosmer, Esq., to Col. Stone.]

If the sincerity of Red Jacket's regard for the welfare of his people was
ever questioned, it was by those who knew not his inner self. In guarding
the interests of his people, he was in the habit of closely watching
strangers, not only, but even his own friends.

Owing to slanderous reports that had been circulated, he at one time began
to suspect that his friend Captain Jones, was actuated by motives of self-
interest, and did not property regard the interest of the Indians.

Jones soon after met Red Jacket with his usual cordiality of manner, but
was received with evident marks of coldness and distrust. "After the lapse
of a few minutes, during which time the questions of Jones were answered
in monosylables, the captain asked an explanation of the orator's conduct.
Fixing his searching glance upon him, as if reading the secrets of his
soul, Red Jacket told him of the rumor circulated, in reference to his
fidelity to the Indians, and concluded by saying with a saddened
expression, 'And have _you_ at last deserted us?' The look, the tone, the
attitude of the orator, were so touching, so despairing, that Jones,
though made of stern materials, wept like a child; at the same time
refuting the calumny in the most energetic terms. Convinced that Jones was
still true, the chief, forgetful of the stoicism of his race, mingled his
tears with those of Jones, and embracing him with the cordiality of old,
the reconciled parties renewed old friendship over a social glass."
[Footnote: W. H. C. Hosmer to Col. Stone.]


Views at the close of life--Incident--His life work--Unfavorable
influences--Advance of the Christian party--Conversion of Red Jacket's
wife--He leaves her--His return--Red Jacket deposed--Journey to Washington
--His restoration--Rapid decline--Regards his end as near--Talks with his
people--Endeavors to unite them.

With the views entertained by Red Jacket, the objects that met him on
every side, as he drew near the close of life, were far from pleasant.
Yonder hillside, exposed to the gaze of the world, its huge rocks laid
bare; those fields, stretching further than eye could reach, bounded not
by woodland, lake, or river, but by the white man's fence; ten thousand
dwellings, smiling with the abundance and thrift of the husbandman, city
and village, bustling with tumult, and the noise of busy hammers, and
rattling wheels, and roaring engines; all of these however gratifying to
the white man, as marks of improvement, afforded him no pleasure. He saw
in them the sepulcher of his people's pride and glory.

The hillside opened to the sunlight, for the innocent lamb to sport upon,
or to make the stable ox a home, he would have loved better, as when
sheltered once by the sturdy oak or stately pine, its rocks jutting out
from behind the ivy, and its bosom threaded by the path of the deer. The
fields might have appeared inviting and green, but the white man's barrier
would have warned him away, the road he would have looked upon as a
prisoned path, and he would have taken to the woods, as a place more
congenial to his spirit.

It is said of him "that in the days of his youth he was wont to join the
hunters in the beautiful valley of the Genesee, with great enthusiasm.
Game was then plenty, and they were the finest hunting grounds, he could
traverse. Toward the close of his life he went thither to indulge once
more, in the pleasures of the chase, where a forest apparently of
considerable extent, yet remained. He entered it, recognizing some of his
ancient friends among the more venerable of the trees, and hoping yet to
find abundant game. But he had not proceeded far before he approached an
opening; and his course was presently impeded by a fence, within the
enclosure of which, one of the pale faces was guiding the plow. With a
heavy heart he turned in another direction, the forest seeming yet to be
deep, and where he hoped to find a deer, as in the days when he was young.
But he had not traveled long, before another opening broke upon his view,
another fence impeded his course, and another cultivated field appeared
within. He sat down and wept." [Footnote: Circumstances related to Col.
Stone by a Seneca chief.]

It has been well observed: "The whole life of the Seneca chief was spent
in vain endeavors to preserve the independence of his tribe, and in active
opposition as well to the plans of civilization proposed by the
benevolent, as to the attempts at encroachment on the part of the
mercenary.... He yielded nothing to persuasion, to bribery, or to menace,
and never to his last hour remitted his exertions, in what he regarded the
noblest purpose of his life." [Footnote: McKenney's Biography.]

But at the close of life, Red Jacket began to realize more than ever the
power of those forces bearing down upon him, to resist which he had
summoned all the energies he could command. His people, notwithstanding
his efforts, were constantly brought by the encroachments of the whites,
into a narrower compass, and the religion and customs of the whites
continued to gain ground, and threatened to supercede the time honored
usages of his fathers.

Intoxicating drinks also, the bane of the Indian race, wrought sad havoc
among his people, and had well nigh ruined himself. His influence was thus
effectually crippled, and his opposition to Christianity, and the efforts
of the whites to obtain their land, carried much less weight, than at an
earlier period of his life. He saw and felt this, and in view of it, was
much cast down.

His opposition to Christianity, is said to have been much encouraged by
wicked and designing men among the whites, who feared that the presence of
missionaries among the Indians, would interfere with their unworthy and
base designs.

But his decision when formed, as already intimated, was consistently and
perseveringly maintained. He narrowly watched every proceeding, gathered
around him such as would be controlled by his influence, or example, and
inculcated in them those sentiments of steadfastness, in the religion of
their fathers, so strikingly manifested in his own conduct.

After various discouragements and reverses, the missionary was at length
established among his people, and the adherents of Red Jacket, which at
first were the most numerous, by degrees diminished, until finally those
friendly to Christianity, outnumbered the others. Red Jacket's people one
by one, became interested in the religion the missionary had come to
teach. The schools established began to be well attended, several chiefs
embraced the new religion; some of them were men of influence and carried
with them many others. Finally in 1826, Red Jacket's wife became
interested on the subject of religion, attended the meetings of the
Christians, was led to abandon the pagan worship, she formerly attended,
altogether, and giving evidences of piety, proposed to unite with the
mission church, under the care of the Rev. Mr. Harris.

Before uniting, she laid the subject before Red Jacket and desired his
consent. This he utterly refused, and threatened in case she did so, to
leave her and never visit her again. Her trial in view of this refusal,
she referred to Mr. Harris, who kindly endeavored to show her what the law
of Christianity demanded, that it required her to obey God, rather than
man; that though her course might subject her to trial, she had the
promise of the grace of Christ to help her, and that in the end it might
promote her good. Still he committed the matter wholly to her own
conscience, advising her to pursue the course that might thus be
indicated, and leave the event in the hands of God.

After deliberating for a time she united with the church, and Red Jacket,
true to his threat, left her and went to another reservation. She bore his
displeasure with a meek and Christian spirit, remained at home with her
family, and conducted discreetly, pursuing as before the duties of her

Red Jacket after a few months' absence returned, desiring to be welcomed
again by his wife, who received him on condition of his not interfering
with her, in her religious views, or attendance on the meetings of the
mission. To this he gave his assent, and was ever afterward faithful in
observing his pledge; not opposing, but aiding her in performing,
according to her desire, her religious obligations.

A division was now apparent among the Senecas, in regard to religion.
There was a Christian, and a Pagan party. The former led by Young King,
Captain Pollard, and others; the latter recognized Red Jacket as its
ruling spirit.

The opposition he had so long exerted, began to be regarded with
impatience. As the Christian party advanced and became more numerous, they
were unwilling to submit to the dictation of the orator. They began to
feel that in his opposition to the education and improvement of his
people, he was acting the part of an enemy, and not a friend.

His habits of intemperance also, having greatly lessened their esteem,
they became unwilling he should longer hold the commanding position he had
enjoyed, and so well adorned, in the earlier part of his life. At a
council held in September, 1827, a paper was drawn up, containing charges
against the orator, which were assigned as a reason for the extraordinary
course they pursued, closing with the declaration, that they renounced him
as their chief, and forbade him to act as one, affirming that he should
thereafter be regarded as a private man.

This proceeding stung the orator to the quick, and aroused him to action,
He could not endure the thought of the humiliation thus brought upon him,
at the close of life. The thought too, that it had been effected by those
who differed from him, in their religious sentiments, and would be
regarded as a triumph over him, touching the views he had long
entertained, as to what would best promote the welfare of his people,
affected him in a point so near his heart, as to forbid his resting under

"It shall not be said," thought he, "that Sa-go-ye-wat-ha, lived in
insignificance, and died in disgrace. Am I not yet strong? Have I not yet
power to withstand my enemies?"

He set out for Washington, to spread his griefs before his great Father.
On arriving there he visited Colonel McKenney, who had charge of Indian
affairs. That officer had been informed, through the Indian agent, of all
that had transpired among the Senecas, and of the cause of their
displeasing Red Jacket.

When the customary salutations were over, Red Jacket remarked through his
interpreter, "I have a talk for my Father." "Tell him," said Colonel
McKenney, "I have one for him. I will make it, and will then listen to
him." The colonel then proceeded to give a minute history of all that had
recently transpired, and dwelt upon the various causes that had operated
in producing the rupture, that had taken place. He pointed out to him the
course he ought to have pursued, that he should have manifested a spirit
of forbearance, and allowed the Christian party the same liberty in the
exercise of their sentiments, which he demanded for himself; and that this
course would have saved him the mortification he now experienced, in being
expelled from office and power.

During this conversation Red Jacket never took his keen and searching eye
from the speaker, but at its close turned to the interpreter, and pointing
in the direction of his home and people, said, "_Our Father has got a
long eye._"

He then proceeded to vindicate himself and his cause, not forgetting to
pour upon the Black coats plentiful effusions of wrath. The colonel
advised him to return to his people, convene a council and come to a
better understanding with them, by allowing those among them who desired
to do so, to become Christians, while himself and those who thought like
him, might claim the privilege of following unmolested, the faith of their
fathers. [Footnote: Col. McKenney's Indian Biography.]

About one month had passed since Red Jacket's deposition. In the mean time
Red Jacket had been very active in going from one reservation to another,
and sparing no pains, in gathering a Great Council, from those belonging
to the Six Nations.

Another council was convened, much larger than the former, composed of
members from other reservations, belonging to the Iroquois confederacy. It
assembled at the upper council-house of the Seneca village near Buffalo.

At the opening of the council, the paper declaring the orator's deposition
was read. Half Town, a Seneca chief of the Cattaraugus reservation then
arose, and said there was but one voice in his nation, and that was of
general indignation at the contumely cast on so great a man as Red Jacket.
The council was then addressed by several other chiefs very much to the
same effect. After which the condemned orator arose slowly, as if grieved
and humiliated, but yet with his ancient air of command.

"My Brothers:" said he, after a solemn pause, "You have this day been
correctly informed of an attempt to make me sit down, and throw off the
authority of a chief, by twenty-six misguided chiefs of my nation. You
have heard the statements of my associates in council, and their
explanations of the foolish charges brought against me. I have taken the
legal and proper way to meet these charges. It is the only way in which I
could notice them. Charges which I despise, and which nothing would induce
me to notice, but the concern which many respected chiefs of my nation,
feel in the character of their aged comrade. Were it otherwise I should
not be before you. I would fold my arms, and sit quietly under these
ridiculous slanders.

"The Christian party have not even proceeded legally to put me down." He
then made some artful observations on the origin of the attack made upon
him. He laid open its history step by step. He dwelt upon the various
circumstances connected with the introduction of Christianity among them.
He alluded to the course taken by the Christians as ruinous and
disgraceful, especially in their abandonment of the religion of their
fathers, and their sacrifices, and of the lands given them by the Great
Spirit, for paltry considerations. As for the _Black coats_, Mr.
Calhoun had told him at Washington four years before, that the Indians
must treat with them as they thought proper; the government would not
interfere. "I will not consent," said he, sagaciously identifying his
disgrace with his opposition to the Christians, "I will not consent
silently to be trampled under foot. As long as I can raise my voice, I
will oppose such measures. As long as I can stand in my moccasins, I will
do all I can for my nation. Ah! it grieves my heart, when I look around me
and see the situation of my people, in old times united and powerful, now
divided and feeble. I feel sorry for my nation. Many years have I guided
my people. When I am gone to the other world, when the Great Spirit calls
me away, who among them can take my place?" [Footnote: Thatcher's Indian

No adequate account of this speech has been preserved. It is said he spoke
three hours in his own defense; that it was a masterly effort, and equal
to the speeches he used to make in his palmiest days. [Footnote:
Conversation of the author with Wm. Jones, Seneca chief.]

Though greatly dilapidated in his powers by intemperance, he was
thoroughly aroused on this occasion, and the eloquence, pathos, and fire
of a former day, shed around him the luster of a superior mind, and his
people for the time, forgot and forgave his delinquencies, and by
unanimous consent, reinstated him in office and power.

Thus by means of one more great exertion of this wonderful faculty, by
which he controlled the minds of his people, they were led to reverse the
decision that had been made against him, and though he stood among them
but the blasted trunk of that tree, which, in its full and luxuriant
prime, cast a deep and mellowing shade over their closing history, and
invested it still with the appearance of strength; they resolved he should
yet wear the title, that better befitted him in other days, though it
served but slightly to hide the deformity, wrought in his noble nature, by
the demon of intemperance.

With this speech the public career of Red Jacket is closed. The effort he
made on this occasion, added to his exertions previous to the gathering of
the council, was too great for his aged and enfeebled condition. After
this he declined very rapidly, and seemed to realize that his end was
drawing near. He often adverted to this event, but always in language of
philosophic calmness.

In view of it he visited successively all of his most intimate friends, at
their cabins, and talked with them in the most impressive and affecting
manner. He told them that he was passing away, and his counsels would soon
be heard no more. He ran over the history of his people, from the most
remote period to which his knowledge extended, and pointed out as few
could, the wrongs, the privations, and the loss of character, which almost
of themselves constituted that history. "I am about to leave you," said
he, "and when I am gone, and my warnings shall be no longer heard, or
regarded, the craft and avarice of the white man will prevail. Many
winters have I breasted the storm, but I am an aged tree, I can stand no
longer. My leaves are fallen, my branches are withered, and I am shaken by
every breeze. Soon my aged trunk will be prostrate, and the foot of the
exulting foe of the Indian, may be placed upon it in safety; for I leave
none who will be able to avenge such an indignity. Think not I mourn for
myself. I go to join the spirits of my fathers, where age cannot come; but
my heart fails, when I think of my people, who are soon to be scattered
and forgotten."

Many noticed that his feelings at this time were greatly modified and
mellowed, with respect to the stand he had taken against Christianity. His
wife's example, who was a woman of humble, consistent piety, exerted a
salutary, and happy influence upon him. It led him to regard Christianity
more favorably, and to recede very much from the hostile position he had
previously maintained. He talked of peace, and sought to bring about a
reconciliation between the two parties. He convened a council with this in
view. He made special preparations to attend it, dressing himself with
more than ordinary care, with all his gay apparel and ornaments. He went
with the intention of making what would have been his farewell speech, and
giving them his last counsel.

He was taken suddenly ill at the Council-house, of cholera morbus and
returned home, saying to his wife, "I am sick; I could not stay at the
council, I shall never recover."

He then took off his rich costume, and laid it carefully away, reclined
upon his couch, and did not rise again till morning. His wife prepared him
medicine, which he took, but said, "it will do no good. I shall die."

The next day he called his wife and the little girl he loved so much,
requested them to sit beside him and listen to his parting words.
Addressing his wife, he said: "I am going to die, I shall never again
leave this house alive. I wish to thank you for your kindness to me. You
have loved me. You have always prepared my food, and taken care of my
clothes, and been patient with me. I am sorry I ever treated you unkindly.
I am sorry I left you, because of your new religion. I am convinced it is
a good religion, and has made you a better woman, and wish you to
persevere in it. I should like to live longer for your sake. I meant to
build you a new house, and make you more comfortable, but it is now too

Addressing his daughter, he said; "I hope my daughter will remember what I
have so often told her, not to go in the streets with strangers, or
associate with improper persons. She must stay with her mother, and grow
up a respectable woman."

He said again: "When I am dead, it will be noised abroad through all the
world, they will hear of it across the great waters, and say, Red Jacket
the great orator is dead. And white men will come and ask you for my body.
They will wish to bury me. But do not let them take me. Clothe me in my
simplest dress, put on my leggins and my moccasins, and hang the cross I
have worn so long, around my neck, and let it lie upon my bosom. Then bury
me among my people. Neither do I wish to be buried with Pagan rites. I
wish the ceremonies to be as you like, according to the customs of your
new religion, if you choose. Your minister says the dead will rise.
Perhaps they will. If they do, I wish to rise with my old comrades. I do
not wish to rise among pale faces. I wish to be surrounded by red men. Do
not make a feast according to the customs of the Indians. Whenever my
friends chose, they could come and feast with me, when I was well, and I
do not wish those who have never eaten with me in my cabin, to surfeit at
my funeral feast."

When he had finished he laid down on his couch and did not rise again. He
lived several days but was most of the time in a stupor, or else
delirious. He often asked for Mr. Harris, the missionary, and would
afterward unconsciously mutter: "I do not hate him. He thinks I hate him,
but I do not, I would not hurt him." The missionary was sent for
repeatedly, but was from home at the time, and did not return till after
the chief's death.

When the messenger told him Mr. Harris had not come, he replied: "Very
well, the Great Spirit will order it as he sees best, whether I shall
speak with him or not." [Footnote: Conversation of the author with Wm.
Jones, Seneca chief, and sketch of Red Jacket in "The Iroquois." The
account of the orator's closing hours given in this work, is more full,
but in perfect accord with the statements made to the author by Mr.
Jones.] Again he would murmur: "He accused me of being a snake, and trying
to bite somebody. This was true, and I wish to make satisfaction."

The cross he wore was a very rich one of stones set in gold, and large; by
whom it was given, his friends never knew. This is all the ornament he
requested to have buried with him.

It was customary among the Indians to make funeral feasts. No family was
so poor as not thus to honor the dead. If all they possessed was a cow, it
was slaughtered for the occasion. Red Jacket desired nothing of this kind.
A pagan funeral for a distinguished person is a pompous affair, and lasts
for ten days. Every night a fire is kindled at the grave, and around it
the mourners gather, and utter piteous wails.

The wife and daughter were the only ones to whom he spoke parting words,
or gave a parting blessing. As his last hour drew nigh, his family all
gathered around him, but the children were not his own, they were step-
children, his own were all sleeping in the churchyard, where he was soon
to be laid.

His step-children he always loved and cherished, their mother had taught
them to love and honor him. The wife sat by his pillow and rested her hand
on his head. At his feet stood the two sons, now aged and Christian men,
and by his side the little girl, whose hand rested on his withered and
trembling palm. His last words were still, "Where is the missionary?" He
then clasped the child to his bosom, while she was sobbing in anguish, her
ears caught his hurried breathing, his arms relaxed their hold, she looked
up, he was gone.

There was mourning in the household, there was great mourning among the
people. The orator, the man of matchless gifts, of surpassing eloquence
was no more; and there were none to fill his place.

Red Jacket desired after his death, a vial of cold water might be placed
in his hand. His reason for this his friends did not understand. Red
Jacket felt that intemperance had been the bane of his life. Possibly from
this conviction he may have desired to be accompanied in his journey to
the spirit-land, by the beverage of which his better judgment most

The arrangements of his funeral Red Jacket committed to his wife's son-in-
law Wm. Jones. His friends, who belonged mostly to the Christian party,
chose to have at his funeral the simple and appropriate services of that
religion. It was largely attended by his own race, and by the whites
living in that vicinity. He was buried in the mission burying ground,
where were reposing many of his race, the aged and young, warrior, sachem,

His death was at his residence near the church and mission-house at Seneca
village on the 20th of January, 1830.


Alden, Pres.
Alien's Hist.
Angelica, N. Y.
Au Glaize
Avon Springs

Bayard, Wm.
Beaver Creek
Beekman, John J.
Berry, Major
Big Tree
Boyd, Capt. John
Braddock, Gen.
Breckenridge, Rev. John
Bryant, W. C.
Buffalo Creek
Burbeck, Maj.
Butler, Col.

Calhoun, M.
Cameron, Charles
Canandaigua Lake
Carlton, Sir Benj.
Catlin, Mr.
Chapin, Maj.
Chapman, Mrs.
Clark, Major
Claus, Col.
Clinton, Gov.
Codding, Mr.
Crane, Mr.
Cummings, Maj.
Cusick, David
Cuyler, Abraham

Darke, Col.
Dearborn, Gen.
Delafield, Maj. Joseph
Detroit River
Dorchester, Lord
Drummond, Gen.
Durham Conn.
Dwight, Dr.

Elk Hunter
Ellicott, Mr.

Farmer's Brother
Ferguson, Major
Fish Carrier
Fleming, Col.
Fort Du Quesne
Fort Hamilton
Fort Harmar
Fort Hunter
Fort Jefferson
Fort Niagara
Fort Put
Fort Plain
Fort Recovery
Fort Schlosser
Fort Stanwix
Fort Washington
Francis, John W.
Franklin, Doctor
Franklin, W. T.
Fraser, Donald

Gansevoort, Gen.
Genesee County
Genesee Falls
German Flats
Gibson, H. B.
Glen, Henry
Gorham, Nath.
Granger, Erastus
Greig, John
Grey, John

Half Town
Harding, Col.
Harmar, Gen.
Harris, Rev. M.
Harrison, Gov.
Hartford, Conn.
Hendrick, King
Herkimer, Gen.
Hickox, J. H.
Hill, Capt. David
Hornby, John
Hosmer, Geo.
Hosmer, W. H. C.
Howell, T. M.
Hubbard, Nehemiah
Hudson, John
Hull, Gen.

Ivison, J. C.

Jackson, Gen.
Jennison, Mary
Jessup, Major
Johnson, Henry
Johnson, Sir Wm.
Johnson, Sir John
Johnson, Col. Guy
Johnstone, John
Jones, Capt. Horatio, II
Jones, J. H.
Jones, Col. W.

Ken de-wah
Knox, Gen.

Lafayette, Gen.
Lake Erie
Lake Ontario
Lavasseur, M.
Lee, Arthur
Lewis, Gen.
Lincoln, Gen. Benj.
Little Billy

Matthews, Col.
McKee, Col.
Miami Rapids
Middletown, Conn.
Miller, M. S.
Mills, Samuel
Morris, Robert
Morris, Thomas
Moultan, J. W.
Mount Morris

New Connecticut
New York Genesee Land Co.
Nevada, Iowa
Newtown, N. Y.
Niagara Genesee Co.

O'Bail, Henry
Ogden, Col. Aaron
Oldham, Col.
Oswego Falls

Painted Post
Parker, Jim
Parks, Mrs.
Parrish, Joseph
Parrish, John
Parrish, O.
Perry, Com.
Phelps, O.
Pickering, Col.
Pollard, Gen.
Porter, Augustus
Porter, Gen.
Porter, Peter B.
Presque Isle
Proctor, Col.
Pultney, Sir Wm.


Randolph, Beverly
Ripley, Gen.

Sanborne, Mrs.
Savary, William
Schoolcraft, II
Scott, Gen.
Schuyler, Peter
Schuyler, Gen.
Seneca Castle
Seneca Lake
Shepard, Wm.
Simcoe, Gov.
Smith, Joseph
Sperry, Mr.
Sprague, Ashhael
Squaky Hill
St. Clair, Gen.
St. Joseph's River
St. Leger, Col.
St. Mary's River
Stone, Col.
Street, A. B.
Sullivan, Gen.

Ten Broeck, Abraham
Tioga Point
Tompkins, Gov.
Towson, Major
Tracy, Albert

Van Buren, Mr.
Vischer, Matthew

Wadsworth, James
Wadsworth, Jeremiah
Wadsworth, Wm.
Walden, Judge
Warren, Sir Peter
Washington, Gen.
Wayne, Gen. Anthony
Weir, Robert W.
West, Avon
Western Reserve
Wilkinson, Jemima
Wolcott, Oliver
Wood, Major
Worth, Col.

Yates, A.
Yates, P. W.
Yates, Robert
Young King

*** End of this LibraryBlog Digital Book "An Account of Sa-Go-Ye-Wat-Ha, or Red Jacket, and His People, 1750-1830" ***

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