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Title: The Cornplanter Memorial - An Historical Sketch of Gy-ant-wa-chia—The Cornplanter, - and of the Six Nations of Indians.
Author: Snowden, James Ross
Language: English
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Copyright Status: Not copyrighted in the United States. If you live elsewhere check the laws of your country before downloading this ebook. See comments about copyright issues at end of book.

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Transcriber Note

Emphasized text displayed as _Italics_.


The Cornplanter Memorial.

                        THE CORNPLANTER MEMORIAL.

                            HISTORICAL SKETCH

                    Gy-ant-wa-chia--The Cornplanter,

                               AND OF THE
                         SIX NATIONS OF INDIANS.

                         By JAMES ROSS SNOWDEN,

                            AND THE REPORT OF

                           SAMUEL P. JOHNSON,

                      TO THE MEMORY OF CORNPLANTER.

         Published by order of the Legislature of Pennsylvania.

                             HARRISBURG, PA:

                    SINGERLY & MYERS, STATE PRINTERS.


                                           SENATE OF PENNSYLVANIA, }
                                     _Harrisburg, March 15, 1867._ }

The report of Hon. SAMUEL P. JOHNSON, on the completion of the monument
authorized by the last Legislature, to be erected to the memory of
CORNPLANTER, a Chief of the Six Nations, having been presented to the
Senate, by Senator BROWN, of Mercer, the following resolution was adopted:

_Resolved_, That one thousand copies of said report, together with the
ROSS SNOWDEN, be printed, and that the thanks of the Legislature be
presented to these gentlemen for the able and satisfactory manner in
which they have discharged the duties assigned them.


A joint resolution of the Legislature of Pennsylvania was passed on the
7th day of March, 1867, inviting Hon. JAMES ROSS SNOWDEN to deliver,
in the Hall of the House of Representatives, his historical address on
CORNPLANTER, and the Six Nations of Indians.

Pursuant to this resolution, on the 14th of March, the members of both
Houses, and a number of citizens, being convened, Hon. JOHN P. GLASS,
Speaker of the House of Representatives, was called to the chair; and
GEO. W. HAMERSLY, Esq., Clerk of the Senate, A. W. BENEDICT, Esq., Clerk
of the House of Representatives, and JOHN A. SMULL, Esq., Resident Clerk
of the House of Representatives, were appointed Secretaries.

Mr. SNOWDEN was introduced to the audience by Mr. Speaker GLASS, with
some appropriate remarks.

Previous to the delivery of the historical sketch, Mr. SNOWDEN made the
following introductory remarks:

At the last session of the Legislature a joint resolution was adopted,
appropriating a sum of money for the erection of a monument to the memory
of CORNPLANTER, the celebrated Chief of the Seneca Nation of Indians.
The same resolution placed the subject in charge of the Hon. SAMUEL
P. JOHNSON, President Judge of the Sixth Judicial District. Under his
direction, an appropriate monument was prepared and placed in position
over the grave of the Chief, at Jennesadaga, (Cornplanter's village,)
in the county of Warren, on the Allegheny river, fifteen miles above
the borough of Warren. I was selected, by Judge JOHNSON, to deliver
an address upon the occasion. This duty I performed. The monument was
dedicated with appropriate exercises, on the 18th of October last.
There were present about four hundred Indians, and a large concourse of
citizens of Pennsylvania and New York.

I have, at hand, the report of Judge JOHNSON, to the Legislature, showing
the manner in which he has discharged the duties assigned him. His
report embraces his introductory remarks and the historical sketch which
I delivered. Also, the responses made by a Chief of the Six Nations,
and a councillor of the Seneca Nation. The responses were made in the
Indian language. They were reported, and taken down by me as they were
translated by an interpreter at the time of delivery.

I have here, also, a photograph of the monument and the audience, taken
during the delivery of the historical address. This report, with the
accompanying papers, will be presented to the Legislature. I am here,
this evening, at the request of the Senate and House of Representatives,
to deliver the historical and biographical sketch which I pronounced at
the grave of CORNPLANTER, when the monument, erected to his memory, was
dedicated. For the honor of this invitation, I beg to present to the
members of the Legislature my sincere thanks.

After Mr. SNOWDEN had concluded his address, the following resolutions,
offered by Senator M. B. LOWRY, of Erie, and seconded by Senator THOMAS
J. BIGHAM, of Allegheny, were unanimously adopted:

_Resolved_, That the members of the House of Representatives, jointly
assembled, hereby tender our thanks to the Hon. JAMES ROSS SNOWDEN, for
his excellent and carefully prepared historical address, prepared for and
delivered on the occasion of the dedication of the CORNPLANTER monument,
and which we have heard repeated with lively interest and satisfaction.

_Resolved further_, That the thanks of the members of both Houses is
also tendered to Hon. SAMUEL P. JOHNSON, for the judicious and admirable
manner in which he has discharged the duty assigned him, by the last
Legislature, in causing to be erected an appropriate and suitable
monument over the grave of the Seneca Chief.

_Resolved_, That copies of these resolutions be furnished to Colonel
SNOWDEN and Judge JOHNSON: and that the same be prefixed to the
publication of the CORNPLANTER memorial.

                                        JOHN P. GLASS, _President_


  A. W. BENEDICT,   }
  GEO. W. HAMERSLY, } _Secretaries_.
  JOHN A. SMULL,    }


  1. Report of S. P. JOHNSON.

  2. Historical sketch, by J. R. SNOWDEN.

  3. Speech of JOHN LUKE, Councillor of the Seneca Nation.

  4. Speech of STEPHEN S. SMITH, Chief of the Six Nations.

  5. Appendices, containing speeches of CORNPLANTER, and address

  6. Statement of the present condition of the Six Nations.

                      REPORT OF HON. S. P. JOHNSON.

_To the Senate and House of Representatives of the Commonwealth of

At the last session of the Legislature a joint resolution was passed
by your honorable bodies, appropriating five hundred dollars, for the
erection of a monument to the memory of CORNPLANTER, an Indian Chief of
the Seneca tribe, whose remains were deposited at Jennesadaga, where he
had resided, in the county of Warren. By said resolution, I was appointed
to superintend the execution of this generous purpose.

This duty might have been committed to more competent, but not more
willing hands. My personal relations with the venerated chieftain in his
life-time, had left a vivid recollection of his virtues that the abrasion
of more than thirty years could not obliterate.

In discharge of the duty thus imposed, I procured a monument of marble,
to be erected by Mr. W. H. FULLERTON, of South Dorset, Vermont. In size,
design and workmanship, it more than met my expectation, and was very
creditable to the artificer. The monument itself, of beautiful Vermont
marble, is over eleven feet high, and stands on a handsomely cut native
stone base, four feet in diameter, by one and a-half feet deep. It is
located immediately between the grave of CORNPLANTER, and that of his
wife, from whom he was separated by death but about three months. On the
second section are four well carved dies, in the form of a shield. Upon
the spire facing west, is cut in large raised letters:


Upon the die on the same side, is inscribed,

  "JOHN O'BAIL _alias_ CORNPLANTER, _died at
     Cornplanter town, February 18, 1836, aged about 100 years._"

On the die fronting south, the following inscription is handsomely

  _"Chief of the Seneca tribe, and a principal Chief of the
       Six Nations, from the period of the Revolutionary
        war, to the time of his death. Distinguished for
       talents, courage, eloquence, sobriety and love of
        his tribe and race, to whose welfare he devoted
            his time, his energies and his means,
            during a long and eventful life."_

On the die upon the East side is engraved:

             BY ACT JANUARY 25, 1866."

Desiring to make the munificence of the State as gratifying to the family
and friends of the good old Chief as possible, I appointed a time for
the erection and dedication of the monument, and was fortunate enough
to procure the services of Col. JAMES ROSS SNOWDEN, of Philadelphia,
to prepare an address suitable to the occasion, commemorative of the
character and services of the distinguished Chief.

These ceremonies took place on the 18th of October last, in presence of
the family and descendants of CORNPLANTER, about eighty in number, and
a large assembly of native Indians, remnants of the once formidable Six
Nations, from the Allegheny, Cattaraugus and Tonnawanda reservations in
the State of New York, and also a large concourse of the pale faces from
the surrounding country. Everything went off most satisfactorily, and to
the high gratification of our aboriginal friends. The exercises of the
day were conducted according to the following programme:

1. Invocatory prayer by the Chaplain.

2. Introductory address by your representative, as master of ceremonies.

3. Dedicatory address, by Hon. JAMES ROSS SNOWDEN.

4. Address on the personal character of CORNPLANTER, and the lessons it
taught, by Rev. W. A. RANKIN.

5. Responsive addresses, in the Seneca language, by JOHN LUKE, of the
Cattaraugus reservation, a Councillor of the Seneca Nations, and by the
Rev. STEPHEN S. SMITH, a native of the Tonnawanda reservation, Gennessee
county, N. Y., also a Seneca chief of the Six Nations.

These two latter addresses, as also those made by the Rev. Mr. RANKIN and
myself, were interpreted, as delivered, by HARRISON HALFTOWN and another
educated native of the Seneca nation. Before the dedicatory services
commenced, the assembly was addressed in the Seneca language, by SOLOMON
O'BAIL, a grandson of CORNPLANTER, and a chief of his tribe, dressed in
the full regalia of aboriginal royalty.

Three of CORNPLANTER'S children still survive, and were present to
enjoy the occasion; and, by them, I was solemnly charged to communicate
to your honorable bodies, their sincere and reiterated thanks for the
distinguished honor thus rendered to their beloved ancestor. I have
seldom seen deeper gratitude in human hearts than swelled the bosoms of
these now venerable children, and those of many grand-children of the
hero, whose virtues and memory it has delighted you to honor.

Of the excellent music, by a native brass band, that enlivened the
occasion, the pic-nic that followed, and the exciting war dance, that
closed the exercises of the day, I will not stop to speak.

There remains yet in my hands, unexpended, about $45 of the appropriation
made. The lateness of the season, the paucity of funds and the
pressure of other engagements, combined to prevent the erection of
such an enclosure around the monument as which Legislature evidently
contemplated, and as would be suitable for its permanent protection.

To construct such a fence, of imperishable material, as ought to surround
this memorial of State gratitude, to a public benefactor, will require
at least $100, judiciously expended. I think it is due to the credit
of the State, as it would be highly pleasing to the heirs and friends
of CORNPLANTER, that a small additional appropriation should be made
to consistently complete the work so generously begun. I am willing to
bestow my time and attention, gratuitously, to accomplish it. I append to
this report, the introductory remarks made at the dedication ceremonies,
and the excellent address delivered by Col. SNOWDEN, together with
brief sketches of the responses made by the native orators who graced
the occasion, that you may make such a disposition of them as, in your
judgment, may be creditable to the State and beneficial to posterity.

                                                         S. P. JOHNSON.

  WARREN, _January 25, 1867_.

                          INTRODUCTORY REMARKS


                           HON. S. P. JOHNSON.

_Friends of Cornplanter and fellow citizens:_

By a joint resolution of the Pennsylvania Legislature, approved by the
Governor the 25th of January, 1866, the State Treasurer was directed to
pay to me, the sum of five hundred dollars, "to be expended in erecting
and enclosing a suitable monument to CORNPLANTER, as a recognition of his
eminent services to the State during its early history."

This duty I have endeavored to perform, as well as the limited means at
my disposal would permit. You have before you to-day, the result of that
effort, which, for the price paid, is highly creditable to the State,
the Chieftain, whose virtues it is intended to commemorate, and the
architect who designed and executed it. It is befitting that the virtues
and services of public benefactors should receive public recognition and
be perpetuated by suitable memorials. There is much in the history of
CORNPLANTER, after his alliance with the American government, to elicit
admiration and secure the gratitude of this State and the nation.

Immediately upon the close of the Revolutionary war he became the fast
friend of the white man and the government. Satisfied that his nation had
been fraudulently decoyed into alliance with the British during the war,
and basely betrayed by then allies at its close, he hastened to repair
the wrong, by giving all his influence and energies to the inauguration
of a peace between the United States and the Six Nations, of which he was
then a distinguished Chief. Although resisted by all the craftiness of
BRANT, and the eloquence of RED JACKET, he persisted until his purpose
was consummated by the treaties of Fort Stanwix and Fort Harmar, both
of which were secured through and executed by himself. By them the
Indian claims to most of the land in Western New York, and North-Western
Pennsylvania, was surrendered, and a perpetual peace ordained.

But the great merit of his life, and which most entitled him to the
gratitude of the American government, and the State of Pennsylvania,
was his successful efforts to prevent the Six Nations uniting in the
Confederacy of western Indians formed in 1790-91. Had these tribes, then
the most powerful on the continent, joined that Confederacy, the bloody
realities of the war that followed, would have spread over the entire
western frontier of Pennsylvania, and its termination in 1794, by the
victory of General WAYNE, rendered exceedingly doubtful.

General ST. CLAIR anticipated and forwarned against this union, after
his defeat in '91, and General KNOX, then Secretary of War, dreaded and
fortified against it. But CORNPLANTER, with untiring exertions, and at
the hazard of his own life, prevented such a disastrous result, and thus
saved the settlers on the Allegheny and upper Ohio, from the horrors of a
merciless Indian warfare. For his invaluable services in the procurement
and maintenance of peace between his people and the infant nation,
just recuperating from its exhausting conflict with the British lion,
CORNPLANTER received the thanks and liberal donations of the government
and General WASHINGTON.

We are now assembled upon the homestead which CORNPLANTER lived, and
where, after an eventful life, during the most eventful period of this
continent, he lived and died, at peace with himself, with all the world,
and, we trust, with his Merciful Creator. For many years, the appearance
of his venerable form, at any point in the Valley of this beautiful
river, from its source to its outlet, was the signal for a courteous and
kindly greeting by all who knew him. His visitors, whether on business
or for curiosity, were always treated with a dignified kindness and
hospitality that would have graced the castle of a Duke, in the days of

On this beautiful spot, of his own selection, the gift of a grateful
Commonwealth for appreciated merit, he spent the last forty-five years of
his life, surrounded by his family and descendants, in the practice of
all those virtues that adorn both civilized and savage life.

He was the dauntless warrior and wisest statesman of his nation, the
patriarch of his tribe and the peacemaker of his race. He was a model man
from nature's mould. Truth, temperance, justice and humanity, never had a
nobler incarnation or more earnest and consistent advocate than he. As we
loved him personally, and revere the noble, manly character he bore, we
erect this tribute to his memory, that those who live after us may know
and imitate his virtues.

                     Gy-ant-wa-chia, or Cornplanter,

        _The last War Chief of the Senecas, and of the Iroquois,
                            or Six Nations._

                        AN HISTORICAL, SKETCH BY

                           JAMES ROSS SNOWDEN.

A solitary traveler, after the close of the Revolutionary war, in
1783, wandering near the shores of Chatanque lake,[A] found himself
benighted; and ignorant of the path which should lead him to his place
of destination, he feared he would be compelled to pass the night in
the forest and without shelter. But when the darkness of the night
gathered around him, he saw the light of a distant fire in the woods, to
which he immediately bent his steps. There he found an Indian wigwam,
the habitation of a Chief with his family. He was kindly received and
hospitably entertained. After a supper of corn and venison, the traveler
returned thanks to God, whose kind Providence had directed his way, and
preserved him in the wilderness. He slept comfortably on the ample bear
skins provided by his host.

[A] Cha-da-gweh, by the Senecas; meaning a place where one was lost.

In the morning the Indian invited the traveler to sit beside him on a
large log in front of his cabin. They were seated side by side; presently
the Indian told the traveler to move a little; which he did; and,
keeping by his side, again requested him to move. This was repeated
several times. At length, when near the end of the log, the Chief gave an
energetic push, and requested his companion to move further. The traveler
remonstrated, and said, "I can go no further; if I do I shall fall off
the log." "That is the way," said the Indian, in reply, "that you white
people treat us. When the United People, the Six Nations, owned the whole
land, from the lakes to the great water, they gave to CORLAER[B] a seat
on the Hudson, and to ONAS[C] a town and land on the Delaware. We have
been driven from our lands on the Mohawk, the Gennessee, the Chemung and
the Unadilla. And from our western door we have been pushed, from the
Susquehanna, then over the great mountains, then beyond the Ohio, the
Allegheny and the Conewango; and now we are here on the borders of the
great lakes, and a further push will throw me and my people off the log.
If I ask, where is our land? a bird whispers in my ear, the Great King
over the water has made peace with WASHINGTON and the thirteen fires,
and divided the land between them by a line through the great lakes.
Our Chiefs were not at the council, we were not warmed by its fire, nor
protected by its heat. Our ally, in his hurry to make peace, forgot his
red brethren; and did not even invite them to smoke the calamut which
he had prepared for the thirteen fires which had rebelled against him."
The Chief, in conclusion, with a sad and anxious countenance, asked the
question, "Where are we to go?" The only response that was made was the
sighing of the wind through the leaves of the forest. The traveler was

[B] The Indian name of the Governors of New York.

[C] The Indian name of WILLIAM PENN; and subsequently applied to the
Governors of Pennsylvania.

[D] Rev. SAMUEL KIRTLAND, missionary among the Indians, was the traveler
referred to. He stated the substance of this anecdote to my father, Rev.

I have seen a large medal of WASHINGTON, on one side of which is his
bust in armor facing to the right. On the reverse or opposite side, is a
full length figure of an Indian chief looking to the left, with an arrow
in his right hand, and leaning on a bow; it contains the inscription
"_The land was ours._" It also inscribes to WASHINGTON these words:
"_Innumerable millions yet unborn will venerate the memory of the man who
obtained their country's freedom._" Both these inscriptions command our
assent. It thus appears that what was partial evil to the red man may be
regarded as universal good to the human race. The former gives way to the
advancing column of civilization, and will disappear from the land unless
he abandons the life of a wanderer, and acquires a fixed home, where he
can cultivate the soil and pursue the arts of civilized industry.

It would be inappropriate to this occasion, to enter upon a discussion of
the causes of the gradual disappearance of the Indian race, when coming
in contact with white men, nor of the tendency of the intercourse between
these races of men to deteriorate the former and reduce their numbers.
Neither can I enter upon the ethics involved in such a discussion. I
leave these topics to the moral philosopher and the historian.

The distinguished Chief whose memory we this day commemorate, met these
questions as practical facts. CORNPLANTER had learned from observation
as well as experience, the influence and power of the whites, and as an
able statesmen and friend of his race, he yielded to the superior force,
and endeavored to preserve the existence of his family and nation, by
securing for his people, land and other property where they would not be
disturbed by the encroachment of the whites. It is a noticeable fact,
and highly illustrative of his far-seeing policy, that in the treaties
in which he took part as a Chief or representative of his tribe, he
declined to stipulate for, or receive money or goods, but asked for well
defined boundaries to their territories, or for land by title in fee
simple to himself and to his people. He had the sagacity to perceive
that if his nation and people depended upon a mere hunter's right to
roam over a section of country, they would be driven, like other Indian
tribes, from place to place, and at length be either exterminated or
removed to distant lands, where they would be regarded as new comers, and
be oppressed or destroyed by the Indians who had a prior claim to the

Before making further remarks upon the life, character and public
services of CORNPLANTER, I deem it proper to present some general
observations respecting the Indian League or Confederacy,[E] known
originally as the Five Nations, called by the French, Iroquois, and
afterwards as the Six Nations, of which the tribe of CORNPLANTER, the
SENECAS,[F] was the most numerous and powerful. The Confederacy was
originally composed of the Senecas, Oneidas, Mohawks, Onondagos and
Cayugas. To these were added in the year 1712, the Tuscaroras, who had
previously resided, and had their hunting ground in North Carolina, but
in that year were driven north by the southern Indians, and were added to
the League, thence afterwards called the Six Nations. In many authorities
and manuscripts, however, they continued to be denominated the Five

[E] Ho-de-no-sau-nee, or the United People.

[F] The original name of this tribe was Nun-da-wa-o-no, which means
Great Hill People. The modern name is a corruption of a Dutch word for
vermillion, _Sinnekar_; and has reference to the fact, that this tribe,
being the most warlike of the Six Nations, used the war paint more than
the others.

The power and influence of this Confederacy of nations, or Iroquois, at
the time when the emigrants from Europe set their feet upon the extensive
country, now embraced in the States of New York and Pennsylvania, and the
extensive region beyond the Ohio, even to the Mississippi, were greats
and overshadowed, if they did not actually control and govern, all other
tribes of Indians within what is at the present time a large portion of
the United States.

Their power even extended to the New England colonies and to Virginia.
In 1684 the Governors of New York, Massachusetts and Virginia, met in
council with the representative Chiefs of the Five Nations at Albany,
"to strengthen and burnish," so says the treaty, "the covenant chain,
and plant the tree of peace, of which the top should reach the sun, and
the branches shelter the wide land." This treaty related not only to
the territory in the actual possession of the Iroquois--called by them
"The Long House," but embraced the extensive country from the St. Croix
to the Albemarle. It may be interesting here, in order to illustrate
the extent of their claims and authority, to quote a few words from the
journal of Messrs. MASON and DIXON, when running their famous line. One
of the original manuscript copies of which is in possession of the
Historical Society of Pennsylvania. It is understood that there were
three copies, in manuscript, prepared by these celebrated surveyors. I
quote the following entries from the manuscript journal: "July 16, 1767.
This day we were joined by fourteen Indians, deputed by the Chief of the
Six Nations, to go with us on the line. With them came Mr. HUGH CRAWFORD,
interpreter," "October 9, 1767.--Crossed a war path near Dunkard creek.
This day the Chief of the Indians, which joined us on the 16th July,
informed us that the above mentioned war path was the extent of his
commission from the Chief of the Six Nations, that he should go with us
with the line; and that _he would not proceed one step farther_."

Their principal seats, however, were in Western New York and
North-western Pennsylvania. They were thus situated between the advancing
column of emigration and settlements of the English from the Hudson,
the Delaware, the Susquehanna and the Potomac on the one hand, and the
French from Canada, the St. Lawrence, and the great lakes on the other.
A territorial position, alike perilous to their aboriginal habits,
customs and means of subsistence, as to their existence as a free and
independent nation. And yet, notwithstanding these adverse circumstances,
they stood for nearly two centuries, with an unshaken front, against the
devastations of war, the blighting influence of foreign intercourse, and
the still more fatal encroachments of a restless and advancing border
population. United under their federal system, they maintained their
independence and their power of self-protection long after the New
England and Virginia races had surrendered their jurisdiction and fallen
into the condition of conquered and dependent nations. And they now
stand forth upon the canvas of Indian history prominent alike for the
wisdom of their civil institutions, their sagacity in the administration
of the affairs of the League and their courage in its defence. (MORGAN'S
League of the Iroquois.)

Their system of government was remarkable for its simplicity and
strength. The separate tribes, though united in one council fire, which
was usually kindled and kept burning at Onondago, were, to some extent,
sovereign and independent. In fact, their government was somewhat similar
in structure to that which is established in the United States. Several
republics were embraced in one. There were Chiefs for each tribe.
Hereditary to a qualified extent, but dependent upon a ceremony of
confirmation or investiture. Sometimes merit and public confidence would
induce this investiture, without regard to hereditary right.

Sir WILLIAM JOHNSTON states, "that the Sachems of each tribe of the Six
Nations were annually chosen in a public assembly of the Chiefs and
Warriors, whenever a vacancy happened by death or otherwise. They were
selected from among the oldest Warriors, for their sense and bravery, and
approved of by all the tribe, after which they were selected as Sachems.
Military services were the chief recommendations to this rank; but in
some instances, a kind of inheritance in the office was recognized." I
think there was a distinction between the _Sachems_ and the _Chiefs_. The
former had the direction of civil affairs and government, and the latter
led the tribes in war. The rank of Sachem was in general hereditary,
whilst that of Chief was conferred on account of ability, and especially
bravery in war. A certain number of Chiefs were assigned to the different
tribes. These Chiefs formed the council of the League, and in them was
lodged the executive, legislative and judicial authority, for the general
purposes of the united nations. As illustrative of the character of
their government, I here insert the address of the Six Nations, to the
colonies of Pennsylvania, Virginia and Maryland, delivered at the treaty
made in Lancaster, Pennsylvania, in 1744. "We heartily recommend union
and agreement between you, our brethren. Never disagree, but preserve
a strict friendship for one another, and thereby you, as well as we,
will become the stronger. Our wise forefathers established amity and
friendship among the Five Nations. This has made us formidable, and has
given us weight and authority with the neighboring nations. We are a
powerful Confederacy, and by your observing the same means which our wise
forefathers pursued, you will acquire fresh strength and power. Therefore
whatever befalls you, never fall out with one another."

These are memorable words, and indicate the complacency of the members
of the Confederacy with their own condition and power. Feeling secure
in their castles beyond the mountains, and contented with their homes,
amidst their beautiful lakes, and rivers and forests, where they
possessed towns and villages, cultivated fields and orchards of various
fruits, and being kindly disposed to their white brethren of the English
colonies, they ventured the friendly task of giving them such wise and
excellent counsel and advice, as is worthy of being re-produced on this
occasion, although one hundred and twenty-two years have passed away
since its delivery on the banks of the Conestoga.

Governor DE WITT CLINTON, in his address before the Historical Society
of New York, December 6, 1811, quotes the foregoing address, and says:
"This ancient and cementing principle of union and fraternity, which has
connected them in friendship, and which was the basis of their power,
and the pillar of their greatness, has been entirely driven from them.
Party, in all its forms and violence, rages among them with uncontrolled
sway. The nations are split up into fragments; the son is arrayed against
the father; brother against brother; families against families; tribes
against tribes. They are divided into factions--religious, political and
personal; Christian and Pagan; American and British--the followers of
CORNPLANTER and RED JACKET, of Skonadoi and Captain PETER. The minister
of destruction is hovering over them; and before the passing away of the
present generation, not a single Iroquois will be seen in this State."

This sad picture, although true to some extent, was somewhat overdrawn
in consequence of the agitation and disputes which preceded the war with
England in 1812; the Indian tribes being divided upon that question,
some of them taking up the hatchet for England, and others, among whom
were the Six Nations, for the United States. But Gov. DE WITT CLINTON'S
_prophecy_ has utterly failed. The influence and example of CORNPLANTER,
assisted by other good men, white as well as red, leading their people
to agriculture, and to habits of industry and temperance, has saved from
destruction a remnant of the brave and once powerful nations, who lived
on these rivers and lakes, and possessed the land, both far and near.

Here, at the grave of the venerated CORNPLANTER, we can see the results
of his principles, his measures and example. Here he rests from his
labors, but his works do follow him. I see this in the evidences of
civilization, industry and competency around me. I see it in the
countenances of these intelligent and respectable people of the Indian
race, who are endeavoring to imitate his example, and who come here this
day to do honor to his immortal memory.

The Indian name of the venerable Chief, to whose memory this monument
is erected, is written in different manners, in publication documents
and papers, which have come under my notice. At the treaty of Fort
Harmer, his name was given thus: "Gy-ant-wa-chi-a;" and this orthography
I prefer. It means The Planter. But it is, also, elsewhere written,
"Gy-ant-wa-hia," and in this form it appears on this monument; also
"Ki-on-twog-ky," "Gy-ant-wa-ka," "Ki-end-twoh-ke," and "Cy-ent-wo-kee."
In Mr. DAY'S historical collection of Pennsylvania, and Mr. STONE'S
Life of RED JACKET, and in some other modern works, he is named,
"Ga-nio-di-euh," or "Handsome Lake;" but this is an error. That was the
name of a half-brother of our Chief, who was also designated as the
prophet, to whom I shall hereafter have occasion to refer. Our Chief was
frequently designated as Captain O'BAIL, or ABEEL, (Captain being the
highest military distinction known to the Indians;) but he was generally
named and best known as CORNPLANTER or THE CORNPLANTER.

He was born at Ganowaugus, otherwise written Connewaugus, an important
town of the Seneca Indians, situated on the Genessee river, and on the
trail or main road through the country of the Six Nations, to Niagara.

We have no precise knowledge of the date of his birth. He has been
heard to say, that he and General WASHINGTON were about the same age.
This would place his birth in the year 1732. In 1831, THOMAS STRUTHERS,
Esq., of Warren, visited CORNPLANTER at his house, in this town, on
which occasion the Chief, in answer to the question, "How old are you?"
replied, "One hundred years." I saw him in the summer of 1834. At my
interview with him, Mr. GEORGE POWERS, of Franklin, Venango county, acted
as interpreter. On that occasion he said he was more than one hundred
years of age. A learned writer,[G] speaking of a younger brother of
CORNPLANTER, named "Ganeodiyo, or Handsome Lake," says "he was born at
the Indian village of Ga-no-wau-ges, near Avon, about the year 1735." He
was a half-brother of our hero, having the same _mother_. Mr. THATCHER,
in his Indian biography, and some other writers, have fallen into the
gross error of making their relationship through a common _father_. I
refer, in this connection, to the statement of the time of the birth
of "Handsome Lake," in conjunction with the other facts mentioned, as
corroborative of the probability, that the subject of these remarks was
born about the year 1732.


At that period, the trade with the Six Nations was chiefly in the hands
of the English. One of their principal traders was JOHN ABEEL,[H]
generally named O'BAIL or O'BEEL; his name is mentioned in the annals
of that period on several occasions. At one time it is stated, that
he made presents of considerable value to the Indians. It was one of
the hospitable customs of these people, to give their friends a wife.
JOHN ABEEL had his Indian squaw, and CORNPLANTER was the fruit of that
temporary union. Although we have no certain information on the subject,
I think it probable that the mother was the daughter of an Indian Sachem.
I infer this from the fact, that the best and most respectable traders of
that period, were regarded with great favor by the Indians, and also from
the important circumstance, that three of her sons were recognized as
Chiefs of the Seneca tribe, namely: her celebrated son, CORNPLANTER, and
her younger sons, Ga-ne-o-di-yo, or Handsome Lake, and Ta-wan-ne-ars, or

[H] I have recently been informed that JOHN ABEEL, the father of
CORNPLANTER, was a Hollander or Dutchman. The inaccurate way of
writing the name O'BAIL, has given rise to the statement, generally
believed, that he was of a different nation. I learn that CORNPLANTER
visited a nephew of JOHN ABEEL, who resided in the city of New York,
and their relationship was recognized. I have this information from a
great-grandson of the nephew referred to. The original manner of writing
the name was ABEEL. The family now write it ABEEL. I regret that the name
is inaccurately engraved on the monument erected at Jennesadaga.

We may also reasonably infer that she faithfully and carefully discharged
her duty to her offspring, in accordance with the light and knowledge
which she possessed. It was the Indian woman who planted the fields of
corn, and kept the wigwam, when the hunter was in the forest, or the
warrior was upon the war path. Their attachment to localities was greater
than that of the Indian men. It sometimes happened that Indian women
interposed to prevent grant of lands by the chiefs and warriors. They
desired to preserve their wigwams, their fields and their orchards. The
father of CORNPLANTER being absent, chiefly residing at Albany, or on
the Mohawk river, the mother's influence was uncontrolled. I think it
highly probable that the remarkable attachment to the _land_, exhibited
by CORNPLANTER on all occasions, was the result, in some good degree, of
the teachings of his mother. When he speaks at the treaties, or sends a
"talk" or a message to the Chief of the thirteen tires, or to "Corlaer,"
(New York,) or to "Onas," (Pennsylvania,) he says: "We do not want money
or goods; we want homes; we want land; the trader's goods soon wear out,
the land lasts forever."

CORNPLANTER refers to his birth and childhood in his interesting address
to the Governor of Pennsylvania, in 1822, when the question of taxing his
property, hereinafter mentioned, was raised.

"I feel it my duty to send a speech to the Governor of Pennsylvania
at this time, and inform him the place where I was from; which was
_Connewaugus_, on the Genessee river.

"When I was a child, I played with the butterfly, the grasshopper and
the frogs. 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 of 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 of
Albany. I still ate my victuals out of a bark dish--I grew up to be a
young man, and married me a wife--but 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."[I]

[I] Journal House of Representatives of Pennsylvania, 1822-23.

The period when CORNPLANTER and his family removed from Connewaugus and
the Genessee country is unknown. Probably not until his native town was
destroyed by General SULLIVAN, in his expedition against the Six Nations,
in 1779. Of that expedition, CORNPLANTER speaks in his address to General
WASHINGTON in 1790. From the strong and eloquent language used by him,
and which I shall have occasion hereafter to cite, it is probable he was
an eye witness of the desolation produced by SULLIVAN'S army.

Of the early career of CORNPLANTER, we have but little information. It is
generally understood that his first appearance as a warrior, was at the
battle of the Monongahela, in 1755, where BRADDOCK was defeated, and that
he fought on the side of the French in that bloody field.

A word here explanatory of the position of the Senecas, and their
relations with the Indians of the League, and other neighboring nations,
may be useful. The Seneca tribe was more exposed to the French and their
Indian allies on the lower Ohio and the lakes, than the other members of
the League. They had the important and dangerous duties of keeping "the
western door of the long house," as they termed their possessions. Their
watch and ward extended from the Susquehanna to the Ohio and great lakes.
The duplicity, and in fact treachery of the English crown, during the
reign of the STUARTS, in not only abandoning the Six Nations in their war
with the French which they had undertaken in the interest of the English,
but when the League had defeated the French and well-nigh conquered them,
the English government compelled them to make peace with France, and
submit to the terms which the French dictated. These terms, however could
not concede to the French a region of country from which they had been
expelled, and which was in fact occupied by the Six Nations; and thus the
whole country, south of the chain of the great lakes, was rescued from
Canada. Referring to this period, Mr. BANCROFT says: "In the course of
events, New York owes its present northern boundary to the valor of the
Five Nations. But for them, Canada would have embraced the basin of the
St. Lawrence."[J] Although the Six Nations were afterwards informed that
the treachery and duplicity herein referred to, was not approved by the
successors of the STUARTS, nor by the English people, but was the result
of the bad conduct of English kings who were under French influence, yet
it left an impression on their minds which had an injurious effect in
after years.

[J] History United States, volume II, page 424.

By the regulations of the League, in cases where the United Council did
not act authoritatively for the whole Confederacy, it appears that the
separate tribes were not precluded from engaging in war; nor individual
warriors prevented from taking up the hatchet, as inclination might lead
them. Acting under these principles, some of the Six Nations fought on
the side of the French, during the war of 1755 and 1762, including that
part of the Senecas who had their seat north of the Ohio, and below
Fort Duquesne; and some on the upper Ohio, now called Allegheny, united
with them. From these considerations it is not at all improbable that
CORNPLANTER, then a warrior of twenty-three years of age, was on the
war path at BRADDOCK'S defeat. It was probably his first battle, as it
was also the first in which our WASHINGTON was engaged. The Indians
of the Ohio and the lakes were, at this period, more apprehensive of
the encroachments of the Virginians and the English generally, than of
the French. The former were accompanied by the land surveyor and the
woodman's axe;[K] the latter had in their train only the engineer to
build forts, and a commissariat which supplied the wants of the Indians,
as well as their own. Hence, a portion of the Senecas, of the upper Ohio,
were induced to take the side of the French. CORNPLANTER, with a portion
of his tribe, probably formed a part of that martial array which we are
told set forth from Fort Venango, at the mouth of Venango river, now
called French creek, (Franklin, Pennsylvania,) for the forks of the Ohio,
embarked in three hundred canoes and batteaux, and having eighteen pieces
of cannon.

[K] a few years later than this period the Virginians made great
encroachments upon the boundary of the Indians. Lord DUNMORE and others,
claimed large bodies of land north of the Ohio. The Indians, for a long
period of time, claimed that the Ohio was the boundary between them and
the whites. In 1773 Lord DUNMORE caused surveys to be made at the Falls
of the Ohio; and lands in that region are now held under his warrants and

The French war closed in the year 1763, by the treaty of UTRECHT.
The Indian tribes were at peace with each other and with their white
neighbors. It was about this time that CORNPLANTER married a wife, an
Indian woman of his own tribe. When that important event took place, he,
himself, informs us, that he was not well provided for housekeeping.
He "had no gun, and his wife no kettle." Under the impression that his
father would provide these useful articles for him, he made a journey
to Albany, to see him. But he was disappointed. In CORNPLANTER'S own
account of the interview, he says: "When I started home my father
gave me no provision to eat on the way. He gave me neither kettle nor
gun. Neither did he tell me that the United States were about to rebel
against the government of England." This conduct was alike unnatural and
unjust. For, if the result of the French war had impoverished the Indian
trader, of which we have no knowledge, he, at least, might have given his
son some information of the dark clouds which were beginning to gather
between England and the colonies, and which soon afterwards brought on
the Revolutionary war. CORNPLANTER, in the address just referred to,
intimates that it was a want of knowledge of the questions in dispute,
in conjunction with other causes which he mentions in his address to
WASHINGTON, in 1790, led the Confederacy to take part, in favor of the
King of England, in the war which ensued.

He says, in the address referred to, he was opposed to joining in the
conflict, inasmuch as the Indians had nothing to do with the difficulties
that existed between the two parties. If he had more clearly understood
the points in dispute his opposition might have been more effective.
When BRANT, early in the year 1777, with his Mohawks, had organized a
hostile expedition, in connection with some loyalists of that region, to
attack Unadilla, in New York, on the Upper Susquehanna, an embassy of
Sachems and war Chiefs of the Senecas and Cayugas repaired to Oghwago,
to which place BRANT had advanced, to remonstrate with him against
further hostilities to the Americans. BRANT yielded to their councils
and protestations, and withdrew, with his Indians and refugees, into the
Cayuga country. BRANT'S exertions and interference had much to do in
inducing the Six Nations to take part against the united colonies. Not
long after the above occurrence, in an interview with General HERKIMER,
of the Revolutionary army, he said: "The Indians were in concert with
their King, as their fathers had been. The King's belts, of Wampum, are
yet lodged with them, and they cannot violate their pledges. General
HERKIMER and his followers have joined the Boston people against their
sovereign. And, although the Boston people were resolute, yet the King
would humble them. That General SCHUYLER was very smart on the Indians,
at the treaty of German Flats, but, at the same time, was not able to
afford the smallest article of clothing; and finally, that the Indians
had formerly made war on the white people, when they were all united, and
as they were now divided the Indians were not frightened."[L]

[L] STONE'S life of BRANT, quoting from the HERKIMER papers and annals of
Tryon county.

But when the representative Chiefs of the Confederacy at Oswego, at
a general council held in the summer of 1777, decided to take up the
hatchet for the King of England, CORNPLANTER and his tribe considered
themselves bound by the decision. His nation was at war, and he had to
be at war. As the boys say at school, "when you are in Rome, you must do
as Rome does." In his address to WASHINGTON, at Philadelphia, in 1790,
he justifies, or at least palliates the conduct of his nation in taking
the side of the King, in the following eloquent and impressive words:
"Father, when you kindled your thirteen fires separately, the wise men
assembled at them told us you were all brothers--the children of one
great Father, who regarded the red people as his children. They called
us brothers, and invited us to their protection. They told us that he
resided beyond the great water, where the sun first rises, and that he
was a King, whose power no people could resist, and that his goodness was
as bright as the 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. 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. We were deceived; but your
people teaching us to confide in that King, had helped to deceive us, and
we now appeal to your heart. Is all the blame ours?"

In addition to these considerations, thus cautiously presented by
CORNPLANTER, it is well known that the hostilities commenced on the
north-western frontier of Virginia, by the cruel and unprovoked war
waged against the Indians by the land-jobbers, under the direction of
the notorious Captain MICHAEL CRESAP, had a decided effect upon the Six
Nations, in determining on which side they would take in the conflict
which soon followed. The atrocious murder of the family of LOGAN, by
CRESAP, is well known, and need not be repeated on this occasion.
LOGAN was the son of SHIKELLIMUS, a distinguished Cayuga Sachem. JAMES
LOGAN, an eminent member of the Colonial Council of Pennsylvania, was
the friend of SHIKELLIMUS; the Sachem had named his son for Mr. LOGAN.
CONRAD WEISER, the well known Indian agent and interpreter, writing from
Tulpehocken, in Berks county, under date of July 6, 1747, to Secretary
PETERS, says: "SHIKELLIMUS gives his respects to his; old friend, Mr.
LOGAN. He intends to see him in Philadelphia before next fall."[M]
SHIKELLIMUS had been sent by the Six Nations to preside over and govern
the Delawares, Shawanees, Conoys, Nantikokes, Monseys and Mohicans.
This interesting fact shows the superior power and authority of the Six
Nations, and that these tribes were subordinate to them. SHIKELLIMUS
resided at Shamokin, a large Indian village near the junction of the
North and West Branches of the Susquehanna river, the site of the
present borough of Sunbury, in Northumberland county, Pennsylvania. This
memorable Sachem, governed these tribes with ability and integrity, for a
great many years.

[M] Colonial Records of Pennsylvania.

LOGAN had a temporary residence on, Kishicokelas creek, a beautiful
limestone spring, a mile or two above the wild gorge where the creek
passes Jack's mountain, (now in Mifflin county, Pennsylvania). Here he
lived several years. This was before the year 1768, when, by the treaty
of Fort Stanwix, the Indians relinquished to the proprietary government
all that region of country. He then moved with his family to the country
beyond the Ohio, and fixed his cabin below Wheeling, where, a few years
later, his whole family were barbarously murdered. On the Sciota, in
1774, he delivered his well known speech to Lord DUNMORE, first published
in Mr. JEFFERSON'S notes on Virginia. A careful historian, Mr. DAY,
says: "That it is now well authenticated that LOGAN, himself, composed
the speech, and that the common supposition, that Mr. JEFFERSON was the
author of it, is an error."

It is well known that LOGAN, born at Shamokin, where the Moravians had
a missionary station, received some rudimental education from them, and
was baptized; his father, SHIKELLIMUS, giving him the name LOGAN, after
his friend JAMES LOGAN, the Secretary of the Province. LOGAN'S speech,
on the occasion referred to, though often published, I insert here. It
was as follows: "I appeal to any white man to say, if ever he entered
LOGAN'S cabin hungry, and he gave him not meat; if ever he came naked,
and he clothed him not. During the course of the last long and bloody
war, LOGAN remained idle in his cabin, an advocate for peace. Such was my
love for the whites that my countrymen pointed, as they passed, and said,
'LOGAN is the friend of white men.' I had even thought to have lived with
you, but for the injuries of one man, Colonel CRESAP, the last spring
in cold blood, and unprovoked, murdered all the relations of LOGAN, not
even sparing my women and children. There runs not a drop of my blood in
the veins of any living creature. This called on me for revenge. I have
sought it. I have killed many. I have fully glutted my vengeance. For my
country I rejoice at the beams of peace. But do not harbor a thought that
mine is the joy of fear. LOGAN never felt fear. He will not turn his heel
to save his life. Who is there to mourn for LOGAN? Not one."

The cruel murder of the family of LOGAN, (himself a distinguished Chief,
and the friend of the whites and of peace,) made a deep impression upon
the Six Nations, and was probably one of the causes which induced them
to take up the hatchet for the King of England. The final decision, as
already stated, was made at Oswego, where the representative Chiefs and
warriors were assembled, being, drawn thither by the united exertions
of Sir JOHN JOHNSTON and Colonel JOHN BUTLER, aided by BRANT, the
indefatigable and bitter enemy of the united colonies. The British
commissioners promised the Indians an ample reward if they would assist
the English to subdue the rebel colonies. The Chiefs, in reply, stated
that they were bound, by the treaties at German Flats and Albany, to be
neutral to the war. Their objections, however, were overcome, by the
commissioners telling them, "that the people of the colonies were few
in number, and would be easily subdued; and that, on account of their
disobedience to the King, they justly merited all the punishment that
it was possible for white men and Indians to inflict upon them." "The
King," they said, "was rich and powerful, both in money and subjects. His
rum was as plenty as the water in Lake Ontario, and his men as numerous
as the sands upon its shore. And the Indians were assured that if they
would assist in the war, and persevere in their friendship for the King,
until its close, they should never want for goods or money." Overcome by
these importunities, and by a recital of the injuries they had received
from some of the people of the colonies, aided by a display of a large
quantity of trinkets, blankets, clothes, guns, and other articles and
implements, the Indians concluded a treaty of alliance with Great
Britain, and took up the hatchet against the united colonies. At the
close of the treaty, each Indian was presented with a suit of clothes,
a brass kettle, a gun, a tomahawk and scalping-knife, a quantity of
ammunition and a piece of gold. MARY JEMISON, from whom we quote this
statement, says, "as late as 1823, the brass kettles received at Oswego,
were in use by the Senecas." Here CORNPLANTER, no doubt, secured the
"gun and kettle" which he had, in vain, expected from his father. And the
contrast between these munificent gifts, and the fact stated by BRANT,
that General SCHUYLER, at the treaty of German Flats, was not able to
afford to the Indians the smallest article of clothing, no doubt assisted
to turn the scale in favor of the King.

During the military operations which followed this important transaction,
CORNPLANTER fought against the United States. It is said that he was in
the bloody battle of Wyoming, which occurred on the 3d of July, 1778. It
is considered to be a doubtful point, whether the celebrated BRANT was in
that battle. There is high poetical authority[N] in favor of it, and some
corroborative evidence of the fact. But there is no evidence that has
come under my notice, that CORNPLANTER was present.

[N] CAMPBELL'S Gertrude of Wyoming.

CORNPLANTER was with his tribe, in endeavoring to resist the advance of
General SULLIVAN into the country of the Six Nations, in the year 1779.
He was present and took part in the battle of New Town, the present
site of Elmira, New York, where the Indians and British troops, the
latter under the command of Colonel JOHN BUTLER, were signally defeated.
CORNPLANTER and RED JACKET were with the Senecas. We do not know which
of these Chiefs had the immediate command of the warriors of that tribe.
It is known, however, that BRANT, who had by general consent a superior
authority, charged RED JACKET with being the principal cause of the
disaster of that day, and said that although he was a great orator, he
was no warrior; on the contrary, he was a coward. In a council held some
years afterwards, CORNPLANTER made a similar charge against RED JACKET,
to which the latter replied, "I am an orator--I was born an orator."

This decisive action on the Chemung, was followed by the devastation of
the Indian towns and settlements throughout the country of the Senecas
and Cayugas. They had several towns and many large villages laid out
with a considerable degree of regularity. They had framed houses, some
of them well finished, and painted and having chimneys. They had broad
and productive fields, and in addition to abundance of apples, they
had orchards of peaches, pears and plums. But after the battle of New
Town, terror led the van of the invader, whose approach was heralded by
watchmen stationed upon every height, and desolation followed weeping
in his train. The Indians every where fled, as SULLIVAN advanced, and
the whole country was swept as with the besom of destruction. Towns
were burned, fields laid waste, cattle destroyed and the orchards cut
down.[O] CORNPLANTER was a sad witness to the destruction of his own
home and village, and that of his people. He refers to these scenes
most eloquently, in his address to WASHINGTON, in 1792. "When your
army entered the country of the Six Nations, we called you the "town
destroyer;" and to this day, when that name is heard, our women look
behind them, and turn pale, and our children cling close to the necks
of their mothers. Our councillors and warriors are men, and cannot
be afraid, but their hearts are grieved with the fears of women and

[O] STONE in his Life of BRANT.

This expedition of General SULLIVAN'S, was followed by numerous
retaliations by the Indians. The most prominent of which was the invasion
of Schoharie and its destruction, together with the towns and settlements
in the valley of the Mohawk. Whilst Sir JOHN JOHNSTON and BRANT had the
principal command, CORNPLANTER led his tribe in this invasion, and was in
the battle of Klock's Field, on the Mohawk river; the result of which was
a decided check upon the Indians and their allies, and compelled them to
fall back to Oswego.

The residence of JOHN ABEEL, the father of CORNPLANTER, was in the
vicinity of the recent battle ground. Before retiring with his warriors,
CORNPLANTER made a detour in the direction of his father's residence, and
took him prisoner. After taking him a few miles into the forest, he made
to him the following address: "My name is JOHN ABEEL, commonly called
CORNPLANTER. I am your son. You are my father. You are 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. 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 you choose to follow the fortunes of your red son, and 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 friends,
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. They are your friends." This address
shews the magnanimity of CORNPLANTER, and that he could forget his
father's neglect to supply him with a "gun and kettle," on the occasion
hereinbefore mentioned. The elder ABEEL declined the offer. His son
fulfilled his word, and gave his father a suitable escort. He returned to
his dwelling in safety. The proud Seneca and his warriors moved off to
their own wilds.[P] These events transpired in 1780. Of the subsequent
military career of CORNPLANTER, little is known. He probably participated
in the skirmishes and expeditions during the subsequent years of the
Revolutionary war and until its close. He never spoke in after life of
his career as a Chief or warrior; and history gives us no details of
these expeditions and skirmishes, except as to the second invasion of the
Mohawk valley, and the battle of Durlagh, in 1781, in which there is no
mention of CORNPLANTER being present.

[P] This anecdote is related in MARY JAMISON'S narrative, and is cited
by Mr. STONE, in his interesting life of BRANT, wherein the author says
"In every instance in which he has had an opportunity of testing by other
authorities, the correctness of MARY JAMISON'S statement, they have
proved to be remarkably correct." Mr. STONE adds: "CORNPLANTER was an
able man, distinguished in subsequent negotiations; he was an eloquent
orator and a great advocate for temperance."

The United States successfully maintained by the sword the principles
announced on the 4th of July, 1776, at Philadelphia; and England, at
the close of the war in 1783, acknowledged their independence. From
that period CORNPLANTER became the friend of the United States, and
the uniform and consistent advocate for peace. He put forth, on all
occasions, his best efforts to secure the friendship of the United
States, and to preserve his nation from the destruction which seemed so
eminently impending. England, in her treaty of peace, made no provision
for her allies of the Six Nations. Many of the Chiefs of the latter were
disposed to make common cause with the other Indians of the continent,
and continue the war. But the sagacious mind of CORNPLANTER led him
to the just conclusion, that a continuance of the war would be the
destruction of his nation and tribe. He was the chief instrument in
effecting the treaty of peace at Fort Stanwix, in 1784.

There had been a former treaty at Fort Stanwix, namely: on the 5th of
November, 1768, between the Proprietors of Pennsylvania and the Chief of
the Six Nations. The territory granted to Pennsylvania, is particularly
described in the second volume of SMITH'S Laws of Pennsylvania, page
122-3. At the second treaty of Fort Stanwix, held in October, 1784, the
Pennsylvania commissioners inquired what creek was meant by Tiadaghton,
also the Indian name of Burnett's hills, which was left blank in the deed
of 1768. The Indians then said that Tiadaghton, is the same creek which
the whites called Pine creek, (now in Lycoming county). As to BURNETT'S
hills, they called them the "Long mountains," and knew them by no other
name. The boundaries established by the treaty of October 23, 1784, made
the said Pine creek the line, and down the same to its mouth, on the
West Branch of the Susquehanna; thence up the south side thereof to the
fork of the same river, which lies nearer to a place on the Ohio river,
(Allegheny,) called Kittanning, and from the fork by a straight line to
Kittanning, and thence down the said river Ohio, to where the western
bounds of Pennsylvania crosses the same river.

CORNPLANTER "very well knew," says Mr. STONE, in his life of RED JACKET,
that by assenting to the large cessions of territory exacted by the
treaty, he was jeopardizing his popularity with his people. But if others
had not, he had the sagacity to perceive, that although he and his
people had served the crown of Great Britain with all fidelity, they had
nevertheless been abandoned to their fate by their more powerful ally,
and the alternative was presented to them of giving up as much of their
territory as the United States demanded, or of yielding the whole of
it. His course, and it was also the course of wisdom, was prescribed by
the necessity of the case, and by the energy and ability with which he
conducted the negotiation, he yet retained for his people an ample and
beautiful territory. He was the most prominent Indian Chief in the treaty
of Fort Harmer, in 1789.

By this treaty other grants of land were made. The cession of the
Presque Isle lands, is dated January 9, 1789, in which the signing
Chiefs acknowledge the right of soil and jurisdiction over that tract of
country, ceded by New York and Massachusetts, on the margin of Lake Erie,
including Presque Isle, and the bays and harbors above the margin of Lake
Erie. This territory was afterwards, namely, on the 13th of April, 1791,
purchased from the United States, by the State of Pennsylvania, for the
consideration of $151,640 25, paid in Continental certificates of various

CORNPLANTER was present as a prominent Chief, at the treaty held with
the Indians, in Marietta, Ohio, in the year 1789. On this occasion, an
elegant entertainment was provided The utmost satisfaction appeared to
prevail among all the parties to the treaty. Good wine was served after
the dinner, and CORNPLANTER being called on for a toast, took up a glass
and said: "I thank the Great Spirit for this opportunity of smoking the
pipe of friendship and love. May we plant our own vines, be the fathers
of our own children, and maintain them."

The services of CORNPLANTER on this, and other occasions, were highly
appreciated by the Ohio Land Company. This company was formed in 1786,
by officers of the army of the Revolution. At the close of the war of
1783, the officers and soldiers were paid in Loan Office certificates,
worth, in specie, about 2_s._ 6_d._ in the £. On the 16th June, 1783,
a large number of them, with the approval of WASHINGTON, memorialized
Congress for lands to settle on north-west of the Ohio river. The action
of the Government in this matter does not very clearly appear, although
it seems that the officers of their Treasury recognized the validity of
an arrangement to receive loan certificates in payment for the land. In
1786, the Ohio company was organized, and by their agents contracted
with the Government for 1,500,000 acres of land, in the North-Western
territory, for $1,000,000, in Loan Office certificates, reduced to specie

At a meeting of the directors and agents of the company, held at Campus
Martius, (Marietta,) Ohio, February 9, 1789, the following proceedings
were had:

"_Whereas_, GYANTWACHIA, or THE CORNPLANTER, Chief of the Seneca nation,
has since the treaty of peace, made in the year 1784, between the United
States and the Indian nations, in many instances, been of great service
to the United States; and the friendship he has manifested to the
proprietors of hind purchased by the Ohio company, has been of particular
service to them; therefore,

_Resolved_, That one mile square of the donation lands be granted to
GYANTWACHIA, and his heirs forever, in such place as the committee
appointed to examine proper places of settlement shall assign; and that
the duties, conditions and limitations required of other settlers on
such land, shall in this grant be dispensed with. And the said committee
of five are directed to give him a deed accordingly."--[_Ohio Company
Records, p, 54._]

The above interesting transaction was communicated to me by W. S. WARD,
Esq., of Marietta, Ohio. He says, however, that there is no evidence,
so far as he can learn, that the committee or agents ever selected this
"mile square," donated to CORNPLANTER; consequently he received no deed
for the land. Probably there may be some documents on this subject among
the papers of CORNPLANTER. The Chief always carefully preserved his
important papers, and they are now in the hands of his descendants at

The grants of lands made at these treaties, gave offence to many of the
Senecas and others of the Six Nations, led on by the opposition of RED
JACKET and BRANT. He was not only vilified and misrepresented, but his
life was even threatened. He resolved to present to _his_ friend, and the
friend of the human race, WASHINGTON, the condition of his nation and his
own peril.

CORNPLANTER came to Philadelphia, by the way of Fort Franklin and Fort
Pitt, traveling with his party down the Allegheny river in canoes. At
Fort Franklin, ensign JEFFERS, of the 1st Pennsylvania regiment, was in
command. He furnished our Chief with a letter of recommendation, in which
he says: "The bearer hereof, CYENTWOKEE, the head Chief of the Seneca
nation, is an undoubted friend of the United States. When the Indians
have stolen horses and other things from our people, I have known him,
with the greatest dignity, to give orders for them to be returned. I
never knew his orders to be disobeyed. When the people of Cussewago (now
Meadville) were about to fly on account of unfavorable reports about
some of the Southern (Western) Indians, he sent a speech to me, in which
he said, 'he wished the people to keep their minds easy, and take care
of the corn fields, that the Six Nations were friends; that should the
Western Indians invade the settlements, he would gather his warriors and
help to drive them to the setting of the sun.' In consequence of this,
the people rested easy. On his arrival here, he told me that should I be
invaded, so that I could not get provisions, that he and his warriors
would clear the way; he said that at the Council at the Muskingum the
great men asked him which side he would die on? He told them on the
side of the Americans. He says he is of the same mind yet. Sundry other
things might be said, but as he is now on his way to attend the Assembly
at Philadelphia, I will only recommend him to the particular attention
of the good people of Pennsylvania, between here and that place. They
may depend upon it, that they not only entertain a friend, but a friend
of great consequence, for the Seneca nation is so much governed by him,
that if he says _war_, it is _war_; and if he says _peace_, it is
_peace_. He is, therefore, a man worthy of the greatest attention. The
other Chiefs with him, second him in every thing, and are men worthy of
great attention."

This interesting letter was addressed "To the good people between here
(Fort Franklin) and Philadelphia." It was of great service to CORNPLANTER
on his journey; and when he arrived in Philadelphia, he placed it in
the hands of Governor MIFFLIN. The paper is among the archives of
Pennsylvania, and is endorsed "1790, recommendary letter from I. JEFFERS,
ensign of the 1st Pennsylvania regiment, commanding Fort Franklin, on
French creek, in favor of CYENTWOKEE, or CORNPLANTER."[Q]

[Q] Pennsylvania Archives, 1790, p. 86.

It appears that from Pittsburg to Philadelphia, CORNPLANTER and his
party were accompanied by Mr. JOSEPH NICHOLSON, the interpreter. Dr.
JOHN WILKINS, Sr., writes from Shippensburg, to Gov. MIFFLIN, under
date October 14, 1790, as follows: "I have just met at this place,
CORNPLANTER, and the other Indian Chiefs, invited by Council. The
reasons they assign for being detained, are such as I hope will induce
Council to exert themselves in doing every thing in their power to
give them satisfaction. CORNPLANTER says when he was preparing to come
down, agreeably to the invitation from Council, his nation was excited
to great tumult, by the killing the two Chiefs, on Pine creek, and he
was obliged to stay to pacify them. The Shawanese Indians, who are the
most troublesome, sent a message to the Seneca nation, telling them,
that unless they declared war against the white people, they should be
cut off. This message had to be taken into consideration by a general
Council of the Nation, and this required time. The subject of this
visit of the Chiefs of the Seneca nation is of great consequence to
the people of the western country. The conductor and interpreter, Mr.
JOSEPH NICHOLSON, has brought them thus far at his own expense, but his
money being exhausted, I have advanced him a sum sufficient to pay his
expenses to the city. I need not give you a character of the CORNPLANTER;
his friendship for the people of Pennsylvania, his pacific temper and
integrity are sufficiently known."[R]

[R] Pennsylvania Archives, 1790, p. 321.

He traveled to Philadelphia, then the seat of government of the United
States, accompanied by his steadfast friends and Chiefs of his nation,
HALF TOWN and BIG TREE. On the arrival of the Chiefs at Philadelphia,
they had an official audience with the President, on which occasion
CORNPLANTER made an eloquent and dignified address, and which called
forth an appropriate reply from WASHINGTON. To WASHINGTON he said,
referring to General SULLIVAN'S destruction of the Seneca towns: "We
called you the 'town destroyer,' but when you gave us peace, we called
you father, because you promised to secure us in the possession of our
lands. Do this, and so long as the lands shall remain, that beloved name
shall live in the heart of every Seneca." He then gives a terse and
clear statement of the means taken to induce the Six Nations to make
such extensive grants of their lands--grants, he adds, "made at a time
when you told us that we were in your hand, and that by closing it, you
could crush us to nothing; and you demanded from us a great country as
the price of that peace which you had offered us; as if our want of
strength had destroyed our rights." Referring to his own conduct and
its effect upon his tribe, he uses the following eloquent and patriotic
words: "Father, we will not conceal from you, that the Great God, and
not man, has preserved THE CORNPLANTER from the hands of his nation. For
they continually ask, where is the land which our children, and their
children after them, are to lie down upon? You told us, say they, that
the line drawn from Pennsylvania to Lake Ontario, would mark it forever
on the east, and the line running from Buffalo creek to Pennsylvania,
would mark it on the west, and we see that it is not so. You, first
one and then another, comes and takes it away by order of that people,
which you tell us promised to secure it to us. He is silent--for he has
nothing to answer. 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 him. He
loves peace and all that he has had in store, he has given to those who
have been robbed by your people, lest they should plunder the innocent
to re-pay themselves. The whole season which others have employed in
providing for their families, he has spent in his endeavors to preserve
peace. At this moment his wife and children are lying upon the ground,
and in want of food. His heart is in pain for them, but he perceives that
the Great Spirit will try his firmness in doing what is right."

WASHINGTON made an appropriate reply to this address, which he caused
to be engrossed, and was signed by himself and by Mr. JEFFERSON, then
Secretary of State, and presented to CORNPLANTER. The Chief valued this
document among his highest treasures. A lithographic copy of it has been
prepared for this occasion, and I will annex to this address, a copy of
it and of the speeches of CORNPLANTER made on that occasion. A single
remark made by WASHINGTON, I here introduce. "The merits of CORNPLANTER,
and his friendship for the United States, are well known to me, and shall
not be forgotten."

When CORNPLANTER arrived in Philadelphia, WASHINGTON was absent at his
seat in Virginia. In his absence, the Chief was cordially received by
the President and members of the Executive Council of the State of
Pennsylvania. In the _Colonial Records_ of Pennsylvania, the following
minutes appear:

  "PHILADELPHIA, _Saturday, October 23, 1790_.

"Presents--His Excellency THOMAS MIFFLIN, Esq., President. SAMUEL MILES,
CORNPLANTER and five other Indian Chiefs were introduced to Council.
The President informed them, that the Supreme Executive Council of
Pennsylvania was happy to see them, and ready to hear what they had to
say. The Chief then made a short address, and asked for further time to
conclude what to say, which was granted."

Subsequently the Chief made a more extended speech, to which Governor
MIFFLIN made an appropriate reply. Vol. XVI, p. 496.

WASHINGTON continued to be the friend of CORNPLANTER to the end of his
public career, and this confidence and friendship afforded a source of
consolation to the Chief, for the dissatisfaction of a portion of his
tribe, led on by the crafty RED JACKET, who opposed some of the treaties,
and favored a continuance of the war, by the Indians, on their own

In these and subsequent transactions, which the limits of this address
prevent me from presenting in detail, CORNPLANTER exerted his power
and influence in favor of peace. As early as 1791, he advocated the
cultivation of the soil, and the adoption of the arts of civilized life,
including the education of the Indian children. In a letter of that
year to Friends in Philadelphia, he says: "Brothers, the Seneca nation
see that the Great Spirit intends they should not continue to live by
hunting, and they look around on every side and inquire, who it is
that shall teach them what is best for them to do? Your fathers dealt
honorably by our fathers, and they have engaged us to remember it. We
wish our children to be taught the same principles by which your fathers
were guided. Brothers! We have too little wisdom among us, and we cannot
teach our children what we see their situation requires them to know. We
wish them to be taught to read, and write, and such other things as you
teach your children, especially the love of peace." I may here remark,
that the Friends did respond to this call, and through a long series of
years, put forth the most disinterested and philanthropic efforts in
behalf of the Seneca nation.

In 1791, CORNPLANTER was employed by WASHINGTON, on behalf of the
government of the United States, to proceed into the country of the
North-Western Indians, then at war with the United States, on an
embassy of peace and reconciliation. This arrangement was made during
CORNPLANTER'S visit to Philadelphia in that year. Before proceeding
on his mission, he returned to his home on the Allegheny, and soon
afterwards called a Council of the Six Nations. The result of which was
the appointment of representative Chiefs of the Six Nations, to attend
a Council with the Western Indians. This Council was held at Au Glaize,
(Fort Defiance, Ohio,) in October, 1792. CORNPLANTER, accompanied by a
large number of the Chiefs of the League, was in attendance. The hostile
Indians were determined to insist upon the river Ohio as their boundary;
and besides the encroachments of the whites upon their territory,
they had other grievances of which they complained. The Shawanese,
especially, were opposed to peace, except upon such terms as they well
knew would not be accepted by the United States. Their principal orator
said: "The President well knows why the blood is so deep in our paths."
CORNPLANTER'S efforts to effect a reconciliation between the Western
tribes and the United States failed.[S]

[S] Western Annals, p. 606.

CORNPLANTER, at this period, was perhaps the only Chief of the Senecas
and Six Nations, who remained firm and unshaken in his friendship for
the United States. About this time the repulse of General HARMAR, by
the Western Indians, had greatly emboldened them, and it was with great
difficulty that the peaceful suggestions of CORNPLANTER were acquiesced
in by the Six Nations, many of whom still desired to make common cause
with the Western tribes. In company with Colonel PROCTOR, of the United
States army, he proceeded to the country of the hostile Indians, and
endeavored to reconcile them to the United States. His mission failed,
chiefly through the evil influences of BRANT and RED JACKET, aided by
the machinations of British officers. At a subsequent period CORNPLANTER
renewed his efforts for peace, and even called forth in favor of his
measures, the opinions of the Indian women, who, as is natural to their
sex, were the friends of peace. On this occasion, RED JACKET, among other
remarks, said to the United States commissioners: "You know what we have
been doing so long, and what trouble we have been at, and you know that
it has been the request of our head warrior, CORNPLANTER, that we are
left to answer for our women, who are to conclude what ought to be done."
* * * *

"Colonel BUTLER, of the British, told us he must take our writings down
to Colonel GORDON,[T] as he is a very wise man, and perhaps he may
have something to say to us that may be for our good, and we want his
assistance, as he is the man that keeps all the vessels that are on
the Lake; therefore, my brother, make your mind easy, for your request
is granted. And when we hear from our brothers, the British, then we
shall know what time to start. And you must not be uneasy, that our
brother, ABEEL, (CORNPLANTER,) can not go with you, for he is very tired,
(referring to his former journey,) and must rest awhile, and take charge
of our young warriors, to keep them in peace while they are playing--for
fear of danger."

[T] The British commandant at Niagara.

The intrigue of RED JACKET, aided by the action of the British officers,
kept CORNPLANTER from this mission. There was, as suggested by a learned
historian, Mr. STONE, (in his life of RED JACKET,) another reason lying
still deeper in the minds of the Indian women, under whose influence
these proceeding's were had. CORNPLANTER was not only the principal war
Chief of the Senecas, but he was a man of great bravery and sagacity,
and withal a sincere friend of peace. The times were critical, and the
Indians at Buffalo creek, and the adjacent country, were in frequent
alarm. They wished to retain CORNPLANTER, as he could best restrain the
warlike propensities of the young warriors, while they could repose
greater confidence, both in his bravery and discretion, in the event
of actual danger during the absence of the messengers to the Western
Indians, than in any leader of their nation. This mission failed
entirely. "The man that kept the vessels on the Lake," refused to
recognize Colonel PROCTOR in his official capacity, and prohibited the
passage of the Indian deputies to Sandusky, on Lake Erie, their place of

A treaty held at Painted Post, in June, 1792, between Colonel PICKERING
and the Six Nations, was productive of peaceful and good results. It
checked the disposition of the young warriors to take part with the
Western Indians, and it led to another mission of peace, at the head of
which was the brave old Stockbridge Chief, HENRY AUPUMUT. It was also at
this treaty, that WASHINGTON, through his agent, Colonel PICKERING, made
an influential demonstration towards winning the attention of the Chiefs
to the policy of having permanent habitations, where they could cultivate
their lands, and commence the work of civilization among their people.

After this period, CORNPLANTER made another, but an unsuccessful embassy
to the hostile Indians. His efforts being unavailing, the war with the
Western Indians continued to rage until the year 1794, when, on the
20th of August of that year, Gen. WAYNE achieved his decisive victory
over them at the battle of the Miami, It was mainly due to CORNPLANTER'S
influence and exertions, that the Six Nations were not involved in that
battle, and its fatal consequences to the hostile Indians engaged in it.

Although the war with the Indians was terminated, there were perplexing
questions to settle between the United States and the Six Nations, in
which also, the States of Pennsylvania and New York were concerned.
These were principally questions of boundaries, and also in reference
to the grant of Presque Isle and the adjacent country. A Council was
held at Buffalo creek, on the 18th of June, 1794, in reference to
these difficulties. In this Council, CORNPLANTER took a conspicuous
part; his speech on the occasion is fully reported in the proceedings.
I make room for a single observation--addressing the commissioner as
the representative of the President, he said: "Brother! You know our
demands; we ask but for a small piece of land, and we trust, as you are
a great man, you can easily grant our request." It is unnecessary, on
this occasion, to give the details of this Council, nor of the Great
Council which was soon after held at Canandaigua, namely, in October and
November, 1794, at which CORNPLANTER, with other Chiefs, represented the
Six Nations. Colonel PICKERING was again the commissioner on the part of
the United States. The Friends of Pennsylvania and New Jersey had also
agents present, and exerted a highly beneficial influence.

Mr. STONE, to whose interesting work I am much indebted, speaking of this
treaty, says: "This was the last general Council held by the United
States with the Iroquois Confederacy, and a vast amount of important
business was transacted thereat. Several perplexing questions of
contested boundaries were settled, and the relations between the United
States and the Confederacy were adjusted upon a basis that has not been
since disturbed." CORNPLANTER arrived at this Council on the second day
after the day assigned for the meeting. He came with four hundred of the
Allegheny portion of the Senecas. There were sixteen hundred Indians
collected on this interesting occasion. It appears that CORNPLANTER was
subjected to some suspicions by his Indian associates, because of his
frequent interviews with Colonel PICKERING. He was reminded by one of
the Chiefs, that he was but a _War Chief_, and was exceeding the bounds
of his proper department, by partaking too largely in the conduct of
civil affairs. Colonel PICKERING interposed, and stated that the private
interviews he had with CORNPLANTER were at his special request. This
explanation was, for a time, satisfactory. Further evidences of the
distinction between the War Chiefs and Sachems were exhibited on this
occasion. RED JACKET speaks of CORNPLANTER and Captain BRANT, (the latter
was not present,) as only War Chiefs, and the proceedings show that
which does not appear in other transactions, namely: that there was a
marked distinction between the _Chiefs_ and the _Sachems_, the former
having the direction of affairs belonging to war, and the latter having
control of the civil government, under certain restrictions dependent
upon popular opinion; and it appeared that they regarded the military
power as entirely subordinate to the civil authorities. This single fact
shows that the untutored Ho-de-no-sau-nee (United People,) had made no
inconsiderable advance in the science of free government.

Subsequent transactions between the whites and the Indians, related to
the sale of the lands of the latter. Their power as a nation was gone.
Henceforth, if they were called together as a nation, or as separate
tribes, it was only through the agency of individuals or companies, who
desired to obtain grants of their lands. A treaty of this character was
held at Big Tree, in 1797, (the site of the present town of Genessee New
York,) in reference to a claim of ROBERT MORRIS, of Pennsylvania, the
assignee of the State of Massachusetts, of an alleged pre-emption right
to a portion of the territory of the Seneca tribe.

Without entering into the details of this treaty, or others of a similar
character, I refer to it because it developed one of the principles of
government of the Confederacy, heretofore but little known or noticed.
An appeal was taken by the women, from the opinion and decision of the
Sachems. CORNPLANTER being the principal War Chief, presented the appeal,
whereupon the Council was re-opened, and the proceedings were recognized
by the Sachems, FARMER'S BROTHER being their speaker, as being in
accordance with their laws and customs. The re-consideration resulted in
a change in the treaty beneficial to the Indians.

CORNPLANTER, at the head of his nation, as its principal War Chief, had
resisted the encroachment of the whites to the extent of his abilities.
But as we have shown, when the fortune of war, under the superior power
of the Thirteen Fires, rendered further resistance impossible, he had,
as a wise statesman, made the best terms of peace he could procure. After
the Revolutionary war, he desired to maintain friendly relations with the
United States; and to accomplish this object, he was ready, when urgent
necessity required it, to part with considerable portions of the Indian
territory. His course of conduct, in these transactions, was severely
criticised by rival Chiefs, and under their influence, his popularity,
with the main portion of his tribe, and with the other members of the Six
Nations, was seriously reduced, if not entirely destroyed.

It was during the period of his decline in power and authority, that
it is said he endeavored to regain his influence by inducing his
half-brother, Ga-ne-o-di-yo, (otherwise called "Handsome Lake,") who was
a Seneca Sachem, to assume the character of a prophet. It does not appear
by any satisfactory evidence, that CORNPLANTER had any agency whatever
in respect to the alleged revelations made by his singular and talented
relative. In the account which Ga-ne-o-di-yo gives of the trance which
led to his revelations, after stating that he had been ill for a long
time, he says: "I resigned myself to the will of the Great Spirit, and
nightly returned my thanks to Him, as my eyes were gladdened at evening,
by the sight of the stars of Heaven. I viewed the ornamented Heavens
at evening, through the opening in the roof of my lodge, with grateful
feelings to my Creator. I had no assurance that the next evening I could
contemplate His works; for this reason my acknowledgments to Him were
more frequent and sincere. When night was gone, and the sun again shed
his light upon the earth, I saw and acknowledged, in the return of day,
His continued goodness to me and to all mankind. At length I began to
have an inward conviction, that my end was near. I resolved once more
to exchange friendly words with my people, and I sent my daughter to
summon my brothers, Gy-ant-wa-chia, (CORNPLANTER,) and Ta-wan-nears,
(BLACK-SNAKE,) to come to my cabin." The daughter hastened to deliver
the message, but before she returned with Ta-wan-nears, (CORNPLANTER was
not at hand,) the Sachem had fallen into a state of insensibility, and
lay for many hours in that condition; after his recovery, he announced
to his tribe what he regarded as a revelation of the Great Spirit to the

[U] MORGAN'S League of the Iroquois. A most interesting work, dedicated
to Colonel PARKER, a Seneca Indian, now an officer of the United States
army, attached to the staff of General GRANT. Chapter 3d of this book is
devoted to the pretended revelation of Ga-ne-o-di-yo, and the doctrines
of the religion he inculcated.

As CORNPLANTER was the half-brother of the prophet, he was supposed to
be in some way connected with these revelations, more especially, as
the prophet strongly inculcated the principles of temperance, to which
the Chief had been, for many years, a devoted advocate. RED JACKET, and
others, used these transactions to the disadvantage of CORNPLANTER,
and from thenceforth he ceased to take any part in the affairs of the
Six Nations, and but little in that of the Seneca tribe generally,
but devoted himself chiefly to his own clan of that tribe. This clan,
or part of his tribe, had for many years been under his official and
personal direction. Reference, before this period, is often made to the
ABEEL Senecas, and in a map published in 1792, by READING HOWELL, a
considerable portion of the country on the upper waters of the Conewango,
and near Chatauque lake, is designated thus: "O'BEALS--Cayentona."[V]

[V] This map is in the possession of the Pennsylvania Historical Society;
it was recently presented by SAMUEL AGNEW, Esq.

In 1797, CORNPLANTER again visited Philadelphia, the seat of government
of the United States. His principal object appears to have been to pay
his respects to President WASHINGTON, and take an official leave of him
on his retirement from the public service. His address to WASHINGTON, on
this occasion, is marked with his usual good sense and eloquence. This
address was fortunately preserved among the papers of THOMAS MORRIS, son

[W] See _infra_, page 90.

General WASHINGTON'S answer was not preserved. As he entertained the
highest respect and esteem for CORNPLANTER, no doubt his words to the
Chief were expressive of his kind regards for his Indian friend, and his
best wishes for the happiness and prosperity of the Seneca tribe.

From henceforth the career of CORNPLANTER was unconnected with the
general history of his country. He fixed his permanent residence upon the
tract of land on the Allegheny river, granted to him by the Commonwealth
of Pennsylvania. The grant from the Commonwealth is dated March 16, 1796.
In the patent the tract is designated "Planter's Field," and his town is
called "Jennesadaga." It became his home in life, and is now his resting
place in death. Here he directed his efforts to the civilization and
moral improvement of his people, and as an efficient means to produce the
result inculcated the principles of temperance--to which he had himself
been long devoted.

In 1802 he visited President JEFFERSON, at the city of Washington,
for counsel and encouragement. In Mr. JEFFERSON'S excellent and
characteristic letter to him, he expresses his approbation of
CORNPLANTER'S conduct, and adds: "Go on then, brother, in the great
reformation you have undertaken. Persuade our Red Men to be sober,
and to cultivate their lands; and their women to spin and weave for
their families. * * * It will be a great glory to you to have been the
instrument of so happy a change, and your children's children, from
generation to generation, will repeat your name with love and gratitude
forever. In all your enterprises for the good of your people, you may
count with confidence on the aid and protection of the United States,
and on the sincerity and zeal with which I am animated in the furthering
of this humane work. You are our brethren of the same land; we wish you
prosperity, as brethren should do." Thus encouraged, our Chief devoted
his time and energies to the best interests of his people, and under his
influence and example they made considerable advances in civilization and
moral improvement.

When the war of 1812, with England, broke forth, CORNPLANTER, although
then far advanced in years, yet he offered his services to the United
States, to go on the war path, and accompanied by two hundred warriors of
his nation, repaired to Franklin, Venango county, when he learned that
Colonel SAMUEL DALE was about to march from that place to the frontiers
with the Venango regiment. Arriving at Franklin, he called upon Colonel
DALE, and desired a statement of the causes and objects of the war,
which being satisfactorily explained to him, he made an address, in
which he said: "That many years ago a boy came over the great waters and
settled among his people of the Six Nations; sometime thereafter the
father followed to keep him in subjection; the Indians helped the father,
but the boy was too much for both, and drove the father home. And now,
when the father had become an old man, and the boy a strong man, and a
good neighbor to his nation, he wished to show his friendship for the
Thirteen Fires by taking his two hundred warriors to assist to drive the
old man across the great waters."--Colonel DALE was obliged to inform the
Chief that he had no authority to receive his warriors into his regiment,
or take them to the frontiers. CORNPLANTER insisted that his warriors
ought not to stay at home and live idly in their wigwams whilst their
white friends and brothers were upon the war path. So persistent was he
in sending his warriors, that he could only be satisfied by the promise
of Colonel DALE to send for them when their services were required,
and when he should receive authority from the government to muster the
Indians into the service of the United States, and that in the mean
time he was to go home to his seat at Jennesadaga and have his warriors
ready to respond at a moment's call. They were not called for by Colonel
DALE, but CORNPLANTER, sent a considerable number of his warriors to the
American army; they acted as scouts, and were highly serviceable on the
frontiers, and in the Niagara campaign. His son, HENRY ABEEL, led these
warriors; he held the the commission of major, and did good service to
the United States in that war.

The condition of CORNPLANTER'S town in 1816, is thus described by Rev.
TIMOTHY ALDEN, of Allegheny college, Meadville, Pa., who visited it in
that year: "Jennesadaga, CORNPLANTER'S village, is on a handsome piece of
bottom land, and comprises about a dozen buildings. It was grateful to
notice the agricultural habits of the place, and the numerous enclosures
of buckwheat, corn and oats. We also saw a number of oxen, cows and
horses, and many logs designed for the saw-mill and the Pittsburg market.
Last year, (1815,) the Western Missionary society established a school in
the village, under Mr. SAMUEL OLDHAM. CORNPLANTER, as soon as apprised
of our arrival, came over to see us and took charge of our horses.
Though having many around him to obey his commands, yet in the ancient
patriarchal style, he choose to serve us himself, and actually went
into the field, cut the oats and fed our beasts. He appears to be about
sixty-eight years of age,[X] and five feet ten inches in height. His
countenance is strongly marked with intelligence and reelection. Contrary
to the aboriginal custom, his chin is covered with a beard three or four
inches in length. His house is of princely dimensions compared with most
Indian huts, and has a piazza in front. He is owner of thirteen hundred
acres of excellent land, six hundred of which encircle the ground-plot of
his little town. He receives an annual stipend from the United States, of
two hundred and fifty dollars. CORNPLANTER'S brother, lately deceased,
(called the Prophet,) was known by the high-sounding name, Goskukewanna
Kannedia, or Large Beautiful Lake."

[X] Mr. ALDEN was deceived by appearances. CORNPLANTER time, about
eighty-four years of age.

Thus, in the altitude and with the authority of an ancient patriarch,
he continued to preside over his people, and promote their prosperity
and improvement, without interruption or molestation, until the year
1822, when the authorities of Warren county, within the bounds of which
he resided, attempted to levy taxes upon him and his clan. The old Chief
had never before been called on for that purpose, and he objected to
their payment. An armed sheriff's _posse_ was called out to enforce the
payment, but arriving near CORNPLANTER'S town, it was deemed prudent to
send forward a few of their number to confer with the Chief. When they
came to his house, they noticed a considerable number of Indians lounging
about, and some of them were partly concealed in the bushes near by.
CORNPLANTER received the committee with great dignity. The interview took
place near his house, and around the sides of it were arranged about one
hundred rifles. When asked for the payment of the taxes, the old warrior
sternly refused, and pointing to the guns, said, "an Indian for each
rifle;" and in response to his call, his clansmen sprang forward to the
house. Whereupon the sheriff and his men withdrew, without enforcing the
claim. CORNPLANTER afterwards, for the sake of peace, went to Warren, and
gave his note for the amount of the taxes. This note was never collected.
The Legislature of Pennsylvania released the taxes, and exonerated him
and his heirs forever, from the payment of taxes on the lands granted to
him by the Commonwealth.[Y] The Governor sent commissioners to explain
the transaction. CORNPLANTER met the commissioners at the court house in
Warren, when he made a characteristic and appropriate address.[Z]

[Y] Journal House of Representatives, 1822-3.

[Z] This address is fully presented in DAY'S Historical Collections, p.

This tax collector's raid would afford a fine subject for a painter: the
romantic scenery of the Allegheny river, the old warrior's wigwam, the
rifles arranged around it, the Indians in the bush, the last war-whoop of
the old Chief as he called his men to the rescue--worthy of perpetuation
as the expiring flash of the warlike fire of the last War Chief of his

THOMAS STRUTHERS, Esq., of Warren, was well acquainted with CORNPLANTER;
at my request, he has furnished the following statement of an interview
he had with the Chief in 1831: "In 1831, I accompanied some gentlemen,
residents of Pittsburg and Butler, who desired to pay their respects to
him. It was a pleasant day in May, when we called on him. He talked no
English. I introduced the gentlemen through an interpreter, whom I had
engaged, and informed him that they had called to pay their respects
to him. He seemed much pleased that his white friends were inclined to
pay him such attention. The introduction took place in front of his log
cabin, on the bank of the Allegheny river. He gave orders to some young
Indians, the import of which we soon ascertained, by the fact that they
immediately collected some boards, and placed them for seats around a log
sled, in the form of a hollow square. This done, the old Chief pointed
out to each of the party his seat, and all sat facing inward. He then
took his seat in the centre, and announced that he was prepared to hear
any communications we had to make. I told him we had not come to buy
lands or timber, nor to trade for furs and skins, but had called on him
in the spirit of friendship, to pay our respects to the great Indian
Chief, whom we had learned to admire as a warrior, and especially as the
friend of the United States, who had inculcated the principles of peace
and Christianity among his people. I referred briefly to the schools
established among his people by the Friends of Philadelphia.

"The old Chief replied in a speech, which would compare well with many
of our best State papers. His manner was dignified and eloquent, and
his eye lit up, as if by inspiration; so that it was very interesting
to listen to what he said, although we could not understand it, until
the interpreter rendered it to us. He spoke of the relations between the
white men and the red men--the war and bloodshed caused by the former, to
displace the latter from their hunting grounds--the peace effected with
the Six Nations--dwelt particularly on the virtues of General WASHINGTON,
the great and good White Father. He brought forth from a well covered
valise, in which they were carefully wrapped in linen cloth, two or
three "talks," as he termed them, on parchment, to which was appended
the autograph of WASHINGTON. He said he had met WASHINGTON a number of
times, and treated with him. His _single eye_ sparkled with animation,
when his name was mentioned. And in conclusion, he thanked the Great
Spirit that there were now no wars or blood-shedding going on, but that
peace and good will existed amongst all men and all nations, so far as he
could hear. He spoke as a statesman and philanthropist, whose mind was
occupied with the weighty interests of mankind, rather than with merely
the affairs and concerns of a family or tribe. He thanked us for our call
upon him, and invited us to dine with him, which we accepted. The bill
of fare was jerked venison and corn mush; the latter was prepared in the
Indian manner; each guest having a tin pan about half-full of hot water,
in which the Indian meal was mixed at the pleasure of the guest."

The personal appearance of CORNPLANTER, towards the close of his long
and eventful life, is well described by Judge THOMPSON, now of the
Supreme Court of Pennsylvania, in an article written in 1836, and
re-produced in DAY'S Historical Collections of Pennsylvania, p. 657. I
had a professional interview with the aged Chief, in the summer of 1835,
to which I have already briefly referred. His personal appearance was
therefore known to me. I agree with Judge THOMPSON, in his description of
him, and as the article contains other interesting remarks, I insert it
here, as follows:

"I once saw the aged and venerable Chief, and had an interesting
interview with him about a year and a half before his death. I thought
of many things, when seated near him beneath the wide spreading shade
of an old sycamore, on the banks of the Allegheny; many things to ask
him; the scenes of the revolution; the generals that fought its battles
and conquered the Indians; his tribe; the Six Nations, and himself. He
was constitutionally sedate; was never observed to smile, much less to
indulge in the luxury of a laugh. When I saw him he estimated his age
to be over one hundred years. I think one hundred and three was about
his reckoning of it. This would make him near one hundred and five years
old at the time of his decease. His person was much stooped, and his
stature was far short of what it once had been--not being over five feet
six inches at the time I speak of Mr. JOHN STRUTHERS, of Ohio, told me,
some years since, that he had seen him near fifty years ago, and at
that period he was about his height, viz: six feet, one inch. Time and
hardship had made dreadful impressions upon that ancient form. The chest
was sunken and his shoulders were drawn forward, making the upper part
of his body resemble a trough. His limbs had lost their symmetry, and
become crooked. His feet, too, (for he had taken off his moccasins,) were
deformed and haggard by injury. I would say that most of his fingers
on one hand were useless; the sinews had been severed by a blow of the
tomahawk or scalping-knife. How I longed to ask him what scene of blood
and strife had thus stamped the enduring evidence of its existence upon
his person. But to have done so, would, in all probability, have put an
end to all further conversation on any subject. The information desired,
would certainly not have been received, and I had to forego my curiosity.
He had but one eye, and even the socket of the lost organ was hid by the
overhanging brow resting upon the high cheek bone. His remaining eye was
of the brightest and blackest hue. Never have I seen one, in young or
old, that equalled it in brilliancy. Perhaps it had borrowed lustre from
the eternal darkness that rested on its neighboring orbit. His ears had
been dressed in the Indian mode, all but the outside had been cut away;
on the one ear the ring had been torn asunder near the top, and hung
down his neck like a useless rag. He had a full head of hair, white as
the driven snow, which covered a head of ample dimensions and admirable
shape. His face was not swarthy, but this may be accounted for from
the fact, that he was but half Indian. He told me that he had been at
Franklin, more than eighty years before the period of our conversation,
on his passage down the Ohio and Mississippi, with the warriors of his
tribe, on some expedition against the Creeks or Osages. He had long been
a man of peace, and I believe his great characteristics were humanity and

"It is said that BRANT and THE CORNPLANTER were never friends after
the massacre of Cherry valley. Some have alleged, because the Wyoming
massacre was, in part, perpetrated by the Senecas, that THE CORNPLANTER,
was there. Of the justice of this suspicion, there are many reasons for
doubt. It is certain that he was not the Chief of the Senecas at that

"As he stood before me--the ancient Chief in ruins--how forcibly was
I struck with the truth of the beautiful figure of the old aboriginal
Chieftain, who, in describing himself, said 'he was like an aged hemlock,
dead at the top, and whose branches alone were green.' After more
than one hundred years of most varied life--of strife--of danger--of
peace--he at last slumbers in deep repose on the banks of his own beloved

Pennsylvania has acted with liberality and kindness to this venerated
Chief. She granted to him three valuable tracts of land; on one of which
he had fixed his residence. It is the place where he now rests in the
quietude of the grave.

The first report on the subject of these grants to CORNPLANTER, is dated
March 24, 1789. It is contained in a communication from General MIFFLIN,
then President of the Supreme Executive Council of Pennsylvania, to
RICHARD PETERS, Speaker of the General Assembly, in which he encloses
General RICHARD BUTLER'S letter, recommending the grant of fifteen
hundred acres of land to THE CORNPLANTER, a Seneca Chief.[AA] General
BUTLER'S letter is dated March 23, 1789. In it he says: "I beg leave
to mention, that Captain ABEEL, _alias_ THE CORNPLANTER, one of the
principal Chiefs of the Seneca tribe of the Six Nations, has been very
useful in all the treaties since 1784, inclusive, and particularly to
the State of Pennsylvania; this he has demonstrated very fully, and
his attachment, at present, to the State, appears very great. This has
induced me to suggest to your Excellency and Council, whether it may
not be good policy to fix this attachment by making it his interest to
continue it. This, from the ideas he possesses of civilization, induces
me to think if the State would be pleased to grant him a small tract of
land within the late purchase, it would be very grateful to him, and have
that effect. This may be done in a manner that would render him service
without lessening his influence with his own people. The quantity need
not be large; perhaps one thousand or fifteen hundred acres. My wishes
for the quiet and interest of the State, as well as the merits of the
man, induced me to mention this matter."[AB]

[AA] Colonial Records of Pennsylvania, volume I, p. 37.

[AB] Pennsylvania Archives, 1786-90, p. 562.

The Great Founder of Pennsylvania established his government on "deeds
of peace." He has the unquestioned pre-eminence of having treated the
aboriginal inhabitants with greater justice and rectitude than any other
Proprietor or Founder of an American State.--"The settlement of this
Province (Pennsylvania) was founded on the principles of truth, equity
and mercy, and the blessings of divine Providence attended the early
care of the first founders to impress these principles on the minds of
the native inhabitants; so that when their numbers were great, and their
strength vastly superior, they received our ancestors with gladness,
relieved their wants with open hearts, granted them peaceable possession
of the land, and for a long course of time gave constant and frequent
proofs of a cordial friendship."[AC] It is, therefore, an appropriate
testimonial to the character of PENN, as well as to that of CORNPLANTER,
that the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania should, by her constituted
authorities, cause the erection of this monument to the memory of this
worthy and distinguished Indian Chief. And it is the only monument, so
far as my knowledge extends, erected by public authority in the United
States, either national, or sub-national, to the memory of an Indian

[AC] Address to Governor MORRIS by the "people called Quakers," April 12,
1756. Manuscript Historical Society of Pennsylvania.

The character of the venerable CORNPLANTER has been exhibited, though
I fear imperfectly, in this sketch of his life and services. We have
seen that he was a brave warrior and chieftain, an able statesman and
an eloquent orator. In the latter part of his life, especially, his
prominent characteristics were a love of peace and temperance. And it
is believed by those who knew him best, that the Truths of Christianity
had made a deep impression on his mind. A circumstance which occurred
about the year 1822, has been cited by several writers as an evidence of
his return to the superstitions of his race. I refer to his destroying a
sword and pistols, and some other military accoutrements which had been
presented to him by WASHINGTON, and a gold laced hat which was given
him by Governor MIFFLIN; also a French flag and superb belt of wampum,
trophies of valor, which had been for several generations in his family,
in honor of some of his mother's ancestors, who won them in battle from
the French. It is alleged that he did this act in a moment of alarm,
as if the Great Spirit had moved him to destroy the memorials of his
friendly relations with the whites. On the contrary, it clearly appears
that under the influence of Christianity, particularly as evinced in the
teachings of the Society of Friends, who had established schools in his
nation, he became so firm an advocate of peace, that he wished to remove
from him all the memorials that re-called to his recollection the scenes
of war and blood through which he had passed. He carefully preserved the
memorials of peace of which he was in possession. I myself noticed, for
he exhibited them to me, how great a regard he had for the parchment
documents which he possessed, that were subscribed by WASHINGTON; and
with what scrupulous care and painstaking he had preserved them. These
papers, and others of a like character, are now in the possession of the
family of CORNPLANTER, and are most interesting historical memorials.
Their preservation, in such manner as may be agreeable to the descendants
of the Chief, is a matter of interest and solicitude to all persons who
properly appreciate such materials of history.

Those who knew CORNPLANTER personally, had the greatest respect for him.
Dr. IRVINE, of Brokenstraw, a son of General C. IRVINE, an intimate
friend of the Chief, in a letter to me, says: "I frequently heard my
father say, that CORNPLANTER was one of the most honest and truthful men
he ever knew, whether white or red." Judge JOHNSON, of Warren, under
whose direction this (CORNPLANTER) monument is erected, states to me,
"so far as he was personally known to residents in this section of
country, he was regarded as a living example of integrity, truthfulness,
purity, temperance, fatherly affection for his tribe and race, and a
generous Indian hospitality to all. He possessed the universal affection
and veneration of his tribe and of all men who knew him."

Such was the life and career of CORNPLANTER; and such his character as
shown from history, from the testimony of contemporaries, and of living
witnesses. He died in this Indian village, (Jennesadaga,) on the 18th of
February, 1836, aged about one hundred and five years.

This is no ordinary occasion. A great Commonwealth, by a solemn act of
legislation, and by her agents here this day, honors the memory of the
distinguished Indian Chief, whose mortal remains lie mouldering in this
grave. We this day dedicate this monument to the memory of CORNPLANTER,
an Indian Chief of the Seneca tribe and of the Six Nations--and may we,
both white men and red men, and our children's children, as long as this
beautiful river bears its waters to the ocean, venerate his memory and
emulate his virtues.


I have recently examined Mr. KETCHUM'S history of Buffalo and the
Senecas. The _facts_ he presents corroborate the views I have presented
of the character and services of CORNPLANTER. I am surprised, however,
to notice that he expresses an _opinion_ adverse to our Chief. He does
him great injustice when he says; "There is no doubt that CORNPLANTER was
at heart in the British interest, up to the period of WAYNE'S victory in
1794." He also makes the extraordinary assertion, that CORNPLANTER acted
in concert with BRANT, during the period of the Indian troubles in Ohio,
after the Revolutionary war!

The contrary most clearly appears by the whole course of conduct of our
Chief; as well as by his speeches, his letters and his participation in
treaties. With BRANT, CORNPLANTER never was on friendly terms, and after
the war of the Revolution, their policy, and even personal relations,
were adverse and hostile. Mr. KETCHUM, himself, shows that there existed
between these Chiefs "a personal dislike."

While CORNPLANTER was aiding WASHINGTON and his agents, Colonels PROCTOR
and PICKERING, and others, to preserve peace with the hostile Indians
of the west, and conciliate the Six Nations, BRANT was the agent of the
British to keep up the war, and he even sent some of his warriors to
join the enemy, when they took up the hatchet; he made his home with
the British, and was in constant communication with Colonels GORDON and
M'KEE, the commanders at Niagara and Detroit, and with other British

The writer referred to adds the following: "As a warrior, whatever may be
thought or said by whites, CORNPLANTER, in the estimation of the Indians
who were their contemporaries, was the superior of BRANT. The Senecas
were a nation of warriors; and it will be admitted that they did the most
of the fighting for the Six Nations, during nearly two centuries of their
history, with which we are conversant. From the time CORNPLANTER came on
the stage, (and he entered upon the war path early,) down to the close of
the Revolutionary war, he had no superior, and few equals as a warrior.
His other qualifications will be judged by the record he has left in
his speeches and letters, and in the archives of our State and National
Government."--Vol. 1, p. 411.

I am content to let the personal and political character of our Chief
be judged by the records thus referred to. And I think I have shown in
this MEMORIAL, _from these records_, that CORNPLANTER was not only a
distinguished warrior, statesman and orator, but that he was, after the
close of the Revolutionary war, the active, faithful and devoted friend
of the government and people of the United States. And that he also well
deserves the inscription on the monument erected by Pennsylvania to his
memory, "Distinguished for talent, courage, eloquence, sobriety and
love for his tribe and race, to whose welfare he devoted his time, his
energies and his means, during a long and eventful life."

There is one trait in the character of CORNPLANTER, not heretofore
noticed, which is referred to by Colonel PROCTOR in his narrative, and
which I think ought to be presented here. Colonel PROCTOR was sent by
WASHINGTON, to visit CORNPLANTER, to engage him and other Chiefs, to
go on an embassy of peace to the Western Indians. He traveled by way of
Wyoming and the Susquehanna. I quote from his narrative, under the date
of March 20, 1791.

"This day we set forward for Captain Waterman Baldwin's, above
Wilkesbarre; arrived there in the evening, halted for him part of two
days, as I had orders to take him with me to the residence of THE
CORNPLANTER, at which place he was intended to act as instructor to
the Indian youth, as also a director in the mode and management of
agriculture, for the use and benefit of the Indians. This gentleman was
made prisoner by CORNPLANTER during the late war, (Revolution,) _and was
treated by him with remarkable tenderness, until legally exchanged_."



                     JOHN LUKE AND STEPHEN S. SMITH.

The following addresses were then made by the Indians herein mentioned;
they were translated by HARRISON HALFTOWN and BENJAMIN WILLIAMS, both
Senecas. Mr. SNOWDEN took notes of these addresses, and has written them
out as follows:

JOHN LUKE, a councillor of the Seneca nation, said: Brothers! White men
and Indians:--It has been laid upon me to say a few words. We were well
pleased when we heard that the State of Pennsylvania had directed that a
monument should be put up to the memory of CORNPLANTER, at his grave. And
we were pleased when word came to us that the white people and Indians
should be here to-day to see the monument set in its proper place, and to
hear what our white brothers should say on the occasion. We are thankful
for what has been done by Pennsylvania, and for the good words we have
heard this beautiful day. The occasion will long be remembered by us.
This monument, more enduring than the wampum which our forefathers used
to record events and keep them in remembrance, will remind us of the
kindness of Pennsylvania to our great and good Chief, and keep bright the
chain whose links have united us to the Quaker State even from the time
of ONAS (WILLIAM PENN) to the present day. Brothers! THE CORNPLANTER was
known to us to be an honest man, and without deceit, and we are glad to
hear, by the words spoken this day, that our white brethren so regard
him, and respect his memory. He made the treaties and speeches referred
to this day, and I now say that it is proper that all the people should
remember that every word that has been said, so far as I understand them,
are words of truth. We always understood that CORNPLANTER desired his
children, and his nation, to follow the example of the white people in
cultivating the land. It lies upon our hearts that we should remember the

Friendship was established between the red men and the white men by
treaties, and we wish them to stand permanent. This is all I have to say
in behalf of my people. Farewell!

STEPHEN S. SMITH, a Seneca Indian, and a Chief of the Six Nations, then
rose and said: Friends and Brothers! We are grateful for what is done
and said here this beautiful day. The sun shines upon us, and we are
here as brothers to do honor to the memory of old CORNPLANTER. It is in
accordance with the laws and customs of the Six Nations that the people
should meet to commemorate the memory of the dead.

Brothers! We are now a feeble people in numbers and in power; our
forefathers were strong and powerful. This is known to us, and it is
grateful to our hearts to hear the history of the Six Nations described
to us to-day. It is gratifying to us to hear the words we have heard this
day, so true and plain, delivered by our brother, from Philadelphia,
who so well depicted the life and character of CORNPLANTER. And here at
his grave, where his bones are buried, it is our duty to remember his
instructions to his people, to work, and also, to plant our land; and
now it is our duty to prosecute that work as his children. Brothers! We
have been told that the Indians are like the leaves which fall at this
season of the year. The leaves do fall, but we live in hope that the next
summer will bring them forth again. My wish is, that what remains of the
Six Nations, and their children's children, should continue to live on
the lands which they now own by means of reservations secured to them by
the States of New York and Pennsylvania. I am not willing to see the day
when these hills will no longer look down upon the cabins of our people.
I hope they will live here, and on the New York reservations, neighbors
of our friends, the white people, until we and they are called away unto
the place of everlasting rest; where there is but one people, one mind
and one tongue. I hope our children, to the remotest generations, will
come here and look at this monument to old CORNPLANTER, and read what is
inscribed upon it; and my desire is that the Indians of the Seneca nation
should continue to live here, not only as long as this handsome monument
stands, but as long as these hills and valleys remain, and the waters of
the Allegheny mingle with the Ohio and Mississippi. And now, on behalf of
my nation, I return thanks to the State of Pennsylvania, and to our white
brethren present, for what has been so well done this day; and say to all

                         NOTE BY J. R. SNOWDEN.

The following is a brief statement of the present location and population
of the Six Nations of Indians:


    1. Senecas on the Allegheny river, in Pennsylvania,
         fifteen miles above Warren, at CORNPLANTER'S
         town, (Jennesadaga.)
        Population                                            80
        Acres of land owned                                  300
    2. Senecas on the Allegheny reservation, in New York,
         a few miles above the Pennsylvania line.
        Population about                                     900
        Acres of land                                     26,600
    3. Senecas on Cattaraugus reservation, in Erie and
         Cattaraugus counties, New York.
        Population about                                   1,700
        Acres of land under cultivation                    5,000
    4. Senecas at Tonnawandas, in New York.
        Population about                                     700
        Acres of land                                      7,000


    1. Oneidas, in Oneida and Madison counties N. York.
        Population about                                     250
        Acres of land                                        400
    2. The largest remnant of this tribe, (Oneidas,)
         reside in Brown county, Wisconsin.
        Population about                                     800
        They possess a large body of land.


      The residence of this tribe is about six miles
        south of the city of Syracuse, in the State
        of New York.
      Population about                                       350
      Acres of land owned                                  7,600


      Their residence is about seven miles north-east
        of Niagara Falls.
      Population about                                       350
      Acres of laud held by them                           6,250


      Senecas                                              3,380
      Oneidas                                              1,050
      Onondagos                                              350
      Tuscaroras                                             350
        Total                                              5,130

The present condition of these remnants of the Six Nations is quite
respectable. In most of the reservations they have schools and places
of public worship. Many of them belong to the Methodist and Baptist
churches. The Chief of the Six Nations, STEPHEN S. SMITH, who made a
speech at the inauguration of the CORNPLANTER monument, is a minister
in the Baptist church. He is a man of intelligence and respectability,
I here insert a letter I have recently received from him, which will
doubtless be interesting to our readers.

                                           "AKRON, N Y., _July 10, 1867_.

"DEAR SIR:--I am very desirous of obtaining a copy of the history of the
life of CORNPLANTER. If you have a copy of the history that you spoke at
the raising of the monument on the CORNPLANTER reservation last October,
and will send it to me for the use and benefit of our young men, you will
confer a favor upon me and them that I shall be most grateful to re-pay,
when an opportunity is presented. And if you have a copy of the minutes
of the addresses delivered that day, and taken by yourself, I should be
most happy to receive a copy of the same also.

"If your noble State saw fit to appropriate money to fence the grave of
the deceased CORNPLANTER, I shall be most happy to meet you there and
assist you in surrounding the last resting place of our departed brother,
with the respectful barricade furnished by a grateful people.

"I am sorry, that it is necessary, in speaking of our honored brother,
JOHN LUKE, who was with us at the monument meeting last October, that he
will be with us no more at our meetings this side of the setting sun. He
took his departure for the great spiritual hunting ground last April.

                                   "Yours truly,
                                           "STEPHEN S. SMITH,
                                               "_Chief of Six Nations_.

  "TO JAMES ROSS SNOWDEN, Philadelphia."

An appropriation having been made for that object, by the Legislature at
its last session, a substantial and appropriate fence was placed around
the grave and monument of CORNPLANTER on the 20th of September, 1867.
It consists of marble posts with carved caps; iron rails with chains and
tassels, and presents a very handsome appearance.

In honor of the completion of the monument, and to express their
thanks to the Great Spirit, and their gratitude to the Commonwealth of
Pennsylvania and her agents, the Senecas had a "green corn feast," on the
23d, 24th and 25th of September. It was a great occasion, and was largely
attended. Their ceremonies had relation not only to the completion of
the monument, but to express their thanks to the Great Spirit for the
abundant crops which have this year rewarded their agricultural labors.
The erection of the CORNPLANTER monument, and the proceedings relating
to it, have had an excellent and benign influence upon these Indians. A
friend writes to me: "The natives are greatly pleased with all that has
been done; they have better crops than usual, and act more civilized.
These proceedings have increased their self-respect, and made an enduring
mark upon their grateful hearts."



The Joint Resolution of the Legislature of Pennsylvania, authorizing the
erection of the monument to CORNPLANTER, is in the following words:

WHEREAS, SOLOMON O'BAIL, a grandson of CORNPLANTER, an Indian,
who rendered eminent services to the State and Nation, during the
Revolutionary war and the early history of Pennsylvania, and MARK PIERCE,
his interpreter, have just had a hearing before the Senate:

AND WHEREAS, A recognition of the eminent services of CORNPLANTER, is due
from the government of Pennsylvania; therefore.

_Be it Resolved by the Senate and House of Representatives of the
Commonwealth of Pennsylvania in General Assembly met_, That the State
Treasurer shall pay to SOLOMON O'BAIL, the sum of five hundred dollars
out of any moneys in the treasury not otherwise appropriated, and the
further sum of five hundred dollars to SAMUEL P. JOHNSON, to be expended
in erecting and enclosing a suitable monument in memory of CORNPLANTER.


                                          JAMES E. KELLEY,

                               _Speaker of the House of Representatives_.

                                          DAVID FLEMING,

                                                 _Speaker of the Senate_.

  APPROVED--The twenty-fifth day of January, Anno Domini
  one thousand eight hundred and sixty-six.

                                                       A. G. CURTIN.

                         SPEECH OF CORNPLANTER,


Father! The voice of the Seneca nation speaks to you, the great
councillor, in whose heart the wise men of all the Thirteen Fires have
placed their wisdom. It may be very small in your ears, and we therefore
entreat you to hearken with attention, for we are about to speak of
things which are to us very great. When your army entered the country
of the Six Nations, we called you the Town Destroyer; and to this day,
when that name is heard, our women look behind them and turn pale, and
our children cling to the necks of their mothers. Our councillors and
warriors are men, and cannot be afraid; but their hearts are grieved with
the fears of our women and children, and desire it may be buried so deep
as to be heard no more. When you gave us peace, we called you father,
because you promised to secure us in the possession of our lands. Do
this, and so long as the lands shall remain, that beloved name shall live
in the heart of every Seneca.

Father! We mean to open our hearts before you, and we earnestly desire
that you will let us clearly understand what you resolve to do. When our
Chiefs returned from the treaty at Fort Stanwix, and laid before our
council what had been done there, our nation was surprised to hear how
great a country you had compelled them to give up to you without your
paying, to us, anything for it. Every one said that your hearts were yet
swelled with resentment against us for what had happened during the war,
but that one day you would re-consider it with more kindness. We asked
each other, "What have we done to deserve such severe chastisement?"

Father! When you kindled your Thirteen Fires separately, the wise men
assembled at them told us that you were all brothers, the children of
one great father, who regarded, also, the red people 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 you were children and had no guns; that when
they had shaken you, you would submit. We hearkened to them, and were
deceived, until your army approached our towns. We were deceived; but
your people, in teaching us to confide in that King, helped to deceive
us, and we now appeal to your heart--is the blame all ours?

Father! When we saw that we were deceived, and heard the invitation which
you gave us to draw near to the fire which you had kindled, and talk with
you concerning peace, we made haste towards it. You then told us that we
were in your hand, and that by closing it you could crush us to nothing,
and you demanded from us a great country as the price of that peace which
you had offered us--as if our want of strength had destroyed our rights.
Our Chiefs had felt your power, and were unable to contend against you,
and they, therefore, gave up that country. What they agreed to has bound
our nation, but your anger against us must by this time be cooled, and
although our strength has not increased, nor your power become less,
we ask you to consider calmly, were the terms dictated to us by your
commissioners reasonable and just?

Father! Your commissioners, when they drew the line which separated the
land then given up to you, from that which you agreed should remain to
be ours, did most solemnly promise that we should be secured in the
peaceable possession of the lands which we inhabited east and north of
that line. Does this promise bind you?

Hear now, we beseech you, what has happened concerning that land. On the
day in which we finished the treaty at Fort Stanwix, commissioners from
Pennsylvania told our Chiefs that they had come there to purchase all the
lands belonging to us within the lines of their State, and they told us
that their line would strike the river Susquehanna, below Tioga Branch.
They then left us to consider of the bargain till next day. On the next
day, we let them know that we were unwilling to sell all the lands within
their State, and proposed to let them have part of it, which we pointed
out to them in their map. They told us that they must have the whole;
that it was already ceded to them by the great King, at the time of
making peace with you, and was _their own_; but they said that they would
not take advantage of that, and were willing to pay us for it--after the
manner of their ancestors. Our Chiefs were unable to contend at that
time, and, therefore, they sold the lands up to the line which was then
shown to them as the line of that State. What the commissioners had
said about the land having been ceded to them at the peace, our Chiefs
considered as intended only to lessen the price, and they passed it
by with very little notice; but since that we have heard so much from
others, about the right to our lands, which the King gave when you made
peace with him, that it is our earnest desire that you will tell us what
it means.

Father! Our nation empowered JOHN LIVINGSTON to let out part of our
lands on rent, to be paid to us. He told us that he was sent by Congress
to do this for us, and we fear he has deceived us in the writing he
has obtained from us. For since the time of our giving that power, a
man of the name of PHELPS has come among us, and claimed our whole
country, northward of the line of Pennsylvania, under purchase from that
LIVINGSTON, to whom he said he had paid twenty thousand dollars for it.
He said, also, that he had bought, likewise, from the Council of the
Thirteen Fires, and paid them twenty thousand dollars more for the same.
And he said, also, that it did not belong to us, for the great King had
ceded the whole of it when you made peace with him. Thus he claimed the
whole country north of Pennsylvania, and west of the lands belonging to
the Cayugas. He demanded it; he insisted on his demand, and declared that
he would have it _all_. It was impossible for us to grant him this, and
we immediately refused it. After some days, he proposed to run a line at
a small distance east-ward of our western boundary, which we refused to
agree to. He then threatened us with immediate war if we did not comply.

Upon this threat, our Chiefs held a council, and they agreed that
no event of war could be worse than to be driven, with our wives
and children, from the only country which we had any right to, and,
therefore, weak as our nation was, they determined to take the chance of
war, rather than submit to such unjust demands, which seemed to have no
bounds. STREET, the great trader to Niagara, was then with us, having
come at the request of PHELPS, and as he always professed to be our great
friend, we consulted him upon this subject. He also told us that our
lands had been ceded by the King, and that we must give them up.

Astonished at what we heard from every quarter, with hearts aching with
compassion for our women and children, we were thus compelled to give
up all our country north of the line of Pennsylvania, and east of the
Genesee river, up to the fork, and east of a south line drawn from that
fork to the Pennsylvania line.

For this land, PHELPS agreed to pay us ten thousand dollars in hand, and
one thousand forever. He paid us two thousand dollars, and five hundred
dollars in hand, part of the ten thousand, and he sent for us to come
last spring and receive our money, but instead of paying us the remainder
of the ten thousand, and the one thousand dollars due for the first
year, he offered us no more than five hundred dollars, and insisted that
he agreed with us for that sum, to be paid yearly. We debated with him
for six days, during which time he persisted in refusing to pay us our
just demand, and he insisted that we should receive the five hundred
dollars; and STREET, from Niagara, also insisted on our receiving the
money as it was offered to us. The last reason he assigned for continuing
to refuse paying was, _that the King had ceded all the lands to the
Thirteen Fires_, and that he had bought them from you, and _paid you for

We could bear this confusion no longer; and determined to press through
every difficulty, and lift up our voice that you might hear us, and
to claim that security in the possession of our lands, which your
commissioners promised us. And we now entreat you to inquire into our
complaints, and redress our wrongs.

Father! Our writings were lodged in the hands of STREET, of Niagara, as
we supposed him to be our friend; but when we saw PHELPS consulting with
STREET, on every occasion, we doubted of his honesty towards us, and we
have since heard that he was to receive, for his endeavors to deceive us,
a piece of land ten miles in width, west of the Genesee river, and near
forty miles in length, extending to Lake Ontario; and the lines of this
tract have been run accordingly, although no part of it is within the
bounds which limits his purchase. No doubt he meant to deceive us.

Father! You have said that we are in your hand, and that by closing it
you could crush us to nothing. Are you determined to crush us? If you
are, tell us so; that those of our nation who have become your children,
and have determined to die so, may know what to do.

In this case, one Chief has said he would ask you to put him out of pain.
Another, who will not think of dying by the hand of his father or his
brother, has said he will retire to the Chatauque, eat of the fatal root,
and sleep with his fathers in peace.

Before you determine on a measure so unjust, look up to God, who has made
_us_ as well as _you_. We hope he will not permit you to destroy the
whole of our nations.

Father! Hear our case; many nations inhabited this country, but they
had no wisdom, and therefore they warred together. The Six Nations were
powerful, and compelled them to peace; the lands, for a great extent,
were given up to them, but the nations which were not destroyed, all
continued on those lands, and claimed the protection of the Six Nations,
as the brothers of their fathers. They were men, and when at peace, had a
right to live on the earth. 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.
To him we gave four miles around Niagara, as a place of trade. We have
already said how we came to join against you; we saw that we were wrong;
we wished for peace; you demanded a great country to be given up to you;
it was surrendered to you, as the price of peace, and we ought to have
peace, and possession of the little land which you then left us.

Father! When that great country was given up, there were but few Chiefs
present, and they were compelled to give it up, and it is not the Six
Nations, only, that reproach these Chiefs with having given up that
county, the Chippewas, and all the nations who lived on those lands
westward, call to us, and ask us "Brothers of our fathers, where is the
place you have reserved for us to lie down upon?"

Father! You have compelled us to do that which has made us ashamed. We
have nothing to answer to the children of the brothers of our fathers.
When, last spring, they called upon us to go to war to secure them a bed
to lie upon, the Senecas entreated them to be quiet, till we had spoken
to you. But on our way down, we heard that your army had gone toward the
country which those nations inhabit, and if they meet together, the best
blood on both sides will stain the ground.

Father! We will not conceal from you that the Great God and not man has
preserved THE 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." You to us say, that the line drawn
from Pennsylvania to Lake Ontario would mark it forever on the east, and
the line running from Buffalo creek to Pennsylvania would mark It on the
west, and we see that it is not so. For first one, and then another,
comes and takes it away by order of that people which you tell us
promises to secure it to us. He is silent, for he has nothing to answer.
When the sun goes down, he opens his heart before God, and earlier than
that 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 him. He loves peace, and all that he had
in store he has given to those who have been robbed by your people lest
they should plunder the innocent to re-pay themselves. The whole season
which others have employed in providing for their families, he has spent
in his endeavors to preserve peace; at this moment his wife and children
are lying on the ground, and in want of food; his heart is in pain for
them, but he perceives that the Great God will try his firmness in doing
what is right.

Father! The game which the Great Spirit sent into our country for us to
eat is going from among us. We thought that he intended we should till
the ground with the plough, as the white people do, and we talked to one
another about it. But before we speak to you concerning this, we must
know from you, whether you mean to leave us and our children any land to
till. Speak plainly to us concerning this great business.

All the lands we have been speaking of belonged to the Six Nations, and
no part of it ever belonged to the King of England, and he could not give
it to you.

The land we live on, our fathers received from God, and they transmitted
it to us for our children, and we cannot part with it.

Father! We told you that we would open our hearts to you. Hear us once

At Fort Stanwix, we agreed to deliver up those of our people who should
do you any wrong, that you might try them, and punish them according to
your law. We delivered up two men accordingly, but instead of trying them
according to your laws, the lowest of your people took them from your
magistrate and put them immediately to death. It is just to punish murder
with death; but the Senecas will not deliver up their people to men who
disregard the treaties of their own nation.

Father! Innocent men of our nation are killed one after another, and our
best families; but none of your people who have committed the murders
have been punished.

We recollect that you did not promise to punish those who killed our
people, and we now ask, was it intended that your people should kill the
Senecas, and not only remain unpunished by you, but be protected by you
against the revenge of the next of kin?

Father! These are to us very great things. We know that you are very
strong, and we have heard that you are wise, and we wait to hear your
answer to what we said, that we may know that you are just.




  _The reply of the President of the United States, to the Speech of_
  and Counsellors of the Seneka Nations of Indians_.

I, the President of the United States, by my own mouth, and by a written
Speech, signed by own hand and sealed with the seal of the United States,
speak to the Seneka nation, and desire their attention, and that they
would keep this Speech in remembrance of the friendship of the United

I have received your Speech with satisfaction, as a proof of your
confidence in the justice of the United States--and I have attentively
examined the several objects which you have laid before me, whether
delivered by your Chiefs at Tioga Point, in the last month, to Colonel
PICKERING, or laid before me, in the present month, by THE CORNPLANTER,
and the other Seneka Chiefs, now in Philadelphia.

In the first place, I observe to you, and I request it may sink deep in
your minds, that it is my desire, and the desire of the United States,
that all the miseries of the late war should be forgotten and buried
forever. That in future the United States and the Six Nations should
be truly brothers, promoting each other's prosperity by acts of mutual
friendship and justice.

I am not uninformed that the Six Nations have been led into some
difficulties with respect to the sale of their lands since the peace. But
I must inform you that these evils arose before the present government
of the United States was established, when the separate States and
individuals under their authority, undertook to treat with the Indian
tribes respecting the sale of their lands.

But the case is now entirely altered--the general government only has
the power to treat with the Indian nations, and any treaty formed and
held without its authority, will not be binding.

Here then is the security for the remainder of your lands.--No State, nor
person, can purchase your lands, unless at some public treaty held under
the authority of the United States. The general government will never
consent to your being defrauded. But it will protect you in all your

Hear well and let it be heard by every person in your nation, that the
President of the United States declares, that the general government
considers itself bound to protect you in all the lands secured you by
the Treaty of Fort Stanwix, the twenty-second of October, one thousand
seven hundred and eighty-four, excepting such parts as you may since have
fairly sold to persons properly authorized to purchase of you.

You complain that JOHN LIVINGSTON and OLIVER PHELPS have obtained your
lands, assisted by Mr. STREET, of Niagara, and they have not complied
with their agreement.

It appears, upon inquiry of the Governor of New York, that JOHN
LIVINGSTON is not legally authorized to treat with you, and that every
thing he did with you has been declared null and void, so that you may
rest easy on that account.

But it does not appear from any proofs yet in the possession of
government, that OLIVER PHELPS has defrauded you.

If, however, you should have any just cause of complaint against him, and
can make satisfactory proof hereof, the Federal Courts will be open to
you for redress, as to all other persons.

But your great object seems to be the security of your remaining lands,
and I have, therefore, upon this point, meant to be sufficiently strong
and clear.

That in future you cannot be defrauded of your lands.--That you possess
the right to sell, and the right of refusing to sell your lands.

That, therefore, the sale of your lands, in future, will depend entirely
upon yourselves.

But that when you may find it for your interest to sell any parts of your
lands, the United States must be present by their agent, and will be your
security, that you shall not be defrauded in the bargain you may make.

It will, however, be important that before you make any farther sales of
your land, that you should determine among yourselves who are the persons
among you that shall give such conveyances thereof as shall be binding
upon your nation, and forever preclude all disputes relative to the
validity of the sale.

That, besides the before-mentioned security for your land, you will
perceive by the law of Congress for regulating trade and intercourse with
the Indian tribes--the fatherly care the United States intend to take of
the Indians. For the particular meaning of this law I refer you to the
explanations given thereof by Colonel PICKERING, at Tioga, which, with
the law, are herewith delivered to you.

You have said in your Speech, "That the game is going away from among
you, and that you thought it the design of the Great Spirit that you till
the ground;--but before you speak upon this subject, you want to know
whether the United States means to leave you any land to till?"

You now know that the lands secured to you by the Treaty of Fort Stanwix,
excepting such parts as you may since have fairly sold, are yours, and
that only your own acts can convey them away. Speak, therefore, your
wishes on the subject of tilling the ground. The United States will be
happy to afford you every assistance in the only business which will add
to your numbers and happiness.

The murders which have been committed upon some of your people by the bad
white men, I sincerely lament and reprobate, and I earnestly hope that
the real murderers will be secured, and punished as they deserve. This
business has been sufficiently explained to you here, by the Governor of
Pennsylvania, and by Colonel PICKERING, on behalf of the United States,
at Tioga.

The Senekas may be assured, that the rewards offered for apprehending the
murderers will be continued until they are secured for trial, and that
when they shall be apprehended, that they will be tried and punished as
if they had killed white men.

Having answered the most material parts of your Speech, I shall inform
you, that some bad Indians, and the outcast of several tribes who reside
at the Miamee Village, have long continued their murders and depredations
upon the frontiers lying along the Ohio. That they have not only refused
to listen to my voice inviting them to peace, but that upon receiving
it they renewed their incursions and murders with greater violence than
ever. I have, therefore, been obliged to strike those bad people, in
order to make them sensible of their madness. I sincerely hope they will
hearken to reason, and not require to be further chastised. The United
States desire to be the friends of the Indians, upon terms of justice and
humanity.--But they will not suffer the depredations of the bad Indians
to go unpunished.

My desire is that you would caution all the Senekas and Six Nations, to
prevent their rash young men from joining the Miamee Indians.--For the
United States cannot distinguish the tribes to which bad Indians belong,
and every tribe must take care of their own people.

The merits of THE CORNPLANTER, and his friendship for the United States,
are well known to me, and shall not be forgotten, and as a mark of the
esteem of the United States, I have directed the Secretary of War to make
him a present of two hundred and fifty dollars, either in money or goods,
as THE CORNPLANTER shall Like best--and he may depend upon the future
continued kindness of the United States;--and I have also directed the
Secretary of War to make suitable presents to the other Chiefs present
in Philadelphia;--and also, that some further tokens of friendship to be
forwarded to the other Chiefs, now in their nation.

Remember my words, Senekas--continue to be strong in your friendship for
the United States, as the only rational ground of your future happiness,
and you may rely upon their kindness and protection.

An agent shall soon be appointed to reside in some place convenient to
the Senekas and Six Nations. He will represent the United States. Apply
to him on all occasions.

If any man brings you evil reports of the intentions of the United
States, mark that man as your enemy, for he will mean to deceive you and
lead you into trouble. The United States will be true and faithful to
their engagements.

Given under my Hand and the Seal of the United States, at Philadelphia,
this twenty-ninth day of December, in the year of our Lord one thousand
seven hundred and ninety, and in the fifteenth year of the Sovereignty
and Independence of the United States.

                                                           GO. WASHINGTON

            TH. JEFFERSON.

                         SPEECH OF CORNPLANTER,


Father:--Your speech, written on the great paper, is to us like the first
light of the morning to a sick man, whose pulse beats too strongly in
his temples and prevents him from sleep. He sees it and rejoices, but
is not cured. You say that you have spoken plainly on the great point.
That you will protect us in the lands secured to us at Fort Stanwix, and
that we have the right to _sell_, or to _refuse_ to sell it. This is
very good. But our nation complain that you compelled us at that treaty
to give up too much of our lands. We confess that our nation is bound by
what was there done; and acknowledging your power, we have now appealed
to yourselves against that treaty, as made while you were too angry at
us, and therefore unreasonable and unjust. To this you have given us no

Father! That treaty was not made with a single State--it was with the
Thirteen States. We never would have given all that land to one State.
We know it was before you had the great authority, and as you have more
wisdom than the commissioners who forced us into that treaty, we expect
that you have also more regard to justice, and will now, at our request,
re-consider that treaty, and restore to us a part of that land.

Father! The land which lies between the line running south from Lake
Erie to the boundary of Pennsylvania, as mentioned at the treaty at Fort
Stanwix, and the eastern boundary of the land which you sold, and the
Senecas confirmed to Pennsylvania, is the land in 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 piece.

Father! Look at the land which we gave to you at that treaty, and then
turn your eyes upon what we now ask you to restore to us, and you will
see that what we ask you to return _is a very little piece_. By giving
it back again you will satisfy the whole of our nation. The Chiefs who
signed that treaty will be in safety, and peace between your children and
our children will continue so long as your land shall join ours. Every
man of our nation will then turn their eyes away from all the other lands
which we then gave up to you, and forget that our fathers ever said that
they belonged, to them.

Father! We see that you ought to have the path at the carrying-place
from Lake Erie to Niagara, as it was marked down at Fort Stanwix, and we
are all willing, that it should remain to be yours. And if you desire to
reserve a passage through; the Conewango, and through the Chatauque lake,
and land for a path from that lake to Lake Erie, take it where you best
like. Our nation will rejoice to see it an open path for you and your
children while the land and water remain. But let us also pass along the
same way and continue to take the fish of those waters in common with you.

Father! You say that you will appoint an agent to take care of us. Let
him come and take care of our trade; but we desire he may not have any
thing to do with our lands; for the agents which have come among us, and
pretended to take care of us, have always deceived us whenever we sold
lands; both when the King, of England and the States have bargained with
us. They have by this means occasioned many wars, and we are, therefore,
unwilling to trust them again.

Father! When we return home we will call a Great Council, and consider
well how lands may be hereafter sold by our nation. And when we have
agreed upon it, we will send you notice of it. But we desire that you
will not depend on your agent for information concerning land; for after
the abuses, which we have suffered by such men, we will not trust them
with any thing which relates to land.

Father! There are men that go from town to town and beget children, and
leave them to perish, or, except better men take care of them, to grow
up without instruction. Our nation has looked round for a father, but
they found none that would own them for children, until you now tell us
that your courts are open to us as to your own people. The joy which
we feel at this great news so mixes with the sorrows that are past,
that we cannot express our gladness, nor conceal the remembrance of our
afflictions. We will speak of them at another time.

Father! We are ashamed that we have listened to the lies of LIVINGSTON,
or been influenced by the threats of war by PHELPS, and would hide
that whole transaction from the world, and from ourselves, by quietly
receiving what PHELPS; promised to give us for the lands they cheated
us of. But as PHELPS will not pay us even according to that fraudulent
bargain, we will lay the whole proceedings before your court. When the
evidence which we can produce is heard, we think it will appear that the
whole bargain was founded on lies which he placed one upon another; that
the goods that he charges to us as part payment were plundered from us;
that if PHELPS was not directly concerned in the theft, he knew of it at
the time and concealed it from us, and that the persons that we confided
in were bribed by him to deceive us in the bargain, and if these facts
appear, that your court will not say that such bargains are just, but
will set the whole aside.

Father! We apprehend that our evidence might be called for as PHELPS was
here, and knew what we have said concerning him; and as EBENEZER ALLEN
knew something of the matter, we desired him to continue here. NICHOLSON,
the interpreter, is very sick, and we request that ALLEN may remain a few
days longer, as he speaks our language.

Father! The blood which was spilled near Pine creek is covered, and we
shall never look where it lies. We know that Pennsylvania will satisfy us
for that which we spoke of to them before we spoke to you. The chain of
Friendship will now, we hope, be made strong as you desire it to be. We
will hold it last, and our end of it shall never rust in our hands.

Father! We told you what advice we gave the people you are now at war
with, and we now tell you, that they have promised to come again to our
towns next spring. We shall not wait for their coming, but will set out
very early and show to them what you have done _for_ us, which must
convince them that you will do for them every thing which they ought to
ask. We think they will hear and follow our advice.

Father! You give us leave to speak our minds concerning the tilling of
the ground. We ask you to teach us to plough, and to grind corn; to
assist us in building saw mills, and to supply us with broad axes, saws,
augers, and other tools, so as that we make our houses more comfortable
and more durable; that you will send smiths among us, and above all, that
you will teach our children to read and write, and our women to spin and
to weave. The manner of your doing these things for us we leave to you,
who understand them; but we assure you we will follow your advice as far
as we are able.





Father! No Seneca ever goes from the fire of his friend until he has said
to him, "I am going." We, therefore, tell you, that we are now setting
out for our own country.

Father! We thank you from our hearts, that we now know there is a country
we may call our own, and on which we may lay down in peace. We see that
there will be peace between your children and our children, and our
hearts are very glad. We will persuade the Wyandotts, and other western
nations, to open their eyes and look towards the bed which you have made
for us, and to ask of you a bed for themselves and their children, that
will not slide from under them. We thank you for your presents to us,
and rely on your promise to instruct us in raising corn, as the white
people do; the sooner you do this the better for us. And we thank you for
the care you have taken to prevent bad men from coming to trade among
us. If any come without your license we will turn them back; and we hope
our nation will determine to spill all the rum which shall hereafter be
brought to our towns.

Father! We are glad to hear that you determine to appoint an agent that
will do us justice in taking care that bad men do not come to trade
among us; but we earnestly entreat you that you will let us have an
interpreter, in whom we can confide, to reside at Pittsburg. To that
place our people, and other nations, will long continue to resort. There
we must send what news we hear, when we go among the western nations,
which we are determined shall be early in the spring. We know JOSEPH
NICHOLSON, and he speaks our language so that we clearly understand what
you say to us, and we rely on what he says. If we were able to pay him
for his services we would do it, but when we meant to pay him, by giving
him land, it has not been confirmed to him; and he will not serve us any
longer, unless you will pay him. Let him stand between us we entreat you.

Father! You have not asked any security for peace on our part, but we
have agreed to send you nine Seneca boys to be under your care for
education. Tell us at what time you will receive them, and they shall
be sent at the time you shall appoint. This will assure you that we are
indeed at peace with you, and determined to continue so. If you can teach
them to become wise and good men, we will take care that our nation shall
be willing to receive instruction from them.

                         SPEECH OF CORNPLANTER,


Father! I thank the Great Spirit for protecting us through the various
paths which we have trod since I was last at this place. As I am told
you are about to retire from public business, I have come to pay my last
address to you as the Great Chief of the Fifteen Fires, and am happy to
find that I have arrived here in time to address you once more as father,
and to advise with you on the business of our nation. You have always
told us that the land which we live upon is our own and that we may make
such use of it as we think most conducive to our own comfort, and the
happiness of posterity.

Father! I wish, whilst I am able to do business, to provide for the
rising generation. Our forefathers thought that their posterity would
pursue their tracks, and support themselves by their hunts, as they did
in the extensive forests given them by the Great Spirit, and by them
transmitted to us. But the great revolution among the white people in
this country has extended its influence to the people of my color. Turn
our faces which way we will, we find the white people cultivating the
ground which our forefathers hunted over, and the forests which furnished
them with plenty, now afford but a scanty subsistence for us, and our
young men are not safe in pursuing it. If a few years have made such a
change, what will be the situation of our children when those calamities

Father! To those points I wish to draw your attention, and once more to
have your candid and friendly advice on what will be the best for the
present race, and how we can best provide for posterity. Your people have
a different mode of living from ours; they have trades and they have
education, which enables them to take different pursuits, by which means
they maintain themselves, provide for their children and help each other.

Father! I am also told that your people have a strong place for their
money, where it is not only safe, but that it produces them each and
every year an increase without lessening the stock. If we should dispose
of part of our country and put our money with your's in that strong
place, will it be safe? Will it yield to our children the same advantages
after our heads are laid down as it will at present produce to us? Will
it be out of the reach of our foolish young men, so that they cannot
drink it up to the prejudice of our children?

Father! You know that some of our people are fond of strong drink, and I
am sorry to observe that your people are too apt to lay that temptation
before them.

Father! The last time I was here I mentioned to you that my mind was
uneasy in regard to Mr. OLIVER PHELPS'S purchase, to which you desired me
to make my mind easy, and said that you would inquire into the business.
On my return I met Mr. PHELPS at Canandaigua, where he promised to give
me a piece of land and to build me a house, and give me some cattle. With
this I was satisfied, till I saw him again sometime after, when he, to my
surprise, had almost forgotten it; but when I put him in mind of it, he
gave me a horse and ten cattle, but refused the house and land because
land had raised so much in value.

Father! To one thing more I wish your attention. When I was returning
home the last time I was here, I was plundered by some of your unruly
people of several things, amongst which was a paper, given me by General
PARSONS, entitling me to one mile square of land at Muskingum, which I
have never been able to recover, and without your friendly assistance
must lose the land.[AD]

[AD] This is the land granted by the Ohio company referred to in Colonel
SNOWDEN'S Historical Sketch. It thus appears that CORNPLANTER'S title
papers for this land were stolen from him.

Father! I congratulate you on your intended repose from the fatigues and
anxiety of mind which are constant attendants on high public stations,
and hope that the same good Spirit which has so long guided your steps as
a father to a great nation, will still continue to protect you, and make
your private reflections as pleasant to yourself as your public measures
have been useful to your people.

                         SPEECH OF CORNPLANTER,


I feel it my duty to send a speech to the Governor of Pennsylvania at
this time, and inform him of the place where I was from, which was at
Connewaugus, on the Genessee river.

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 of 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 residenter
in Albany. I still eat 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 nor 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 home, he gave me no provision to eat on the
way. He gave me neither kettle nor gun, neither did he tell me that the
United States were about to rebel against the government of England.

I will tell you, brothers, who are in session of the Legislature of
Pennsylvania, that the Great Spirit has made known to me, that I have
been wicked; and the cause thereof has been the Revolutionary war in
America. The cause of the Indians being 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 that existed between the two parties. I have now informed you
how it happened that the Indians took a part in the Revolution, and will
relate to you some circumstances that occurred after the close of the war.

General PUTNAM, who was then at Philadelphia, told me there was to be a
Council at Fort Stanwix; and the Indians requested me to attend on behalf
of the Six Nations, which I did, and there met with three commissioners
who had been appointed to hold the Council. They told me that they would
inform me of the cause of the Revolution, which I requested them to do
minutely. They then said that it originated on account of the heavy
taxes, that had been imposed upon 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.

General PUTNAM then told me at the Council at Fort Stanwix, that by the
late war, the Americans had gained two objects: they had established
themselves an independent nation, and had obtained some land to live
upon, _the division line of which from Great Britain run through the
Lakes_. I then spoke, and said I wanted some land for the Indians to live
on, and General PUTNAM said that it should be granted, and I should have
land in the State of New York for the Indians. He then encouraged me to
use my endeavors to pacify the Indians generally, and as he considered
it an arduous task, wished to know what pay I would require. I replied,
that I would use my endeavors to do as he requested with the Indians, and
for pay therefore, _I would take land_. _I told him not to pay me money
or dry-goods, but land._ And having attended thereto, I received the
tract of land on which I now live, which was presented to me by Governor
MIFFLIN. I told General PUTNAM that I wished the Indians to have the
exclusive privilege of the deer and wild game, to which he assented. I
also wished the Indians to have the privilege of hunting in the woods and
making fires, which he likewise assented to.

The treaty that was made at the aforementioned Council, has been broken
by some of the white people, which I now intend acquainting the Governor
with. Some white people are not willing that the Indians should hunt any
more, whilst others are satisfied therewith; and those white people who
reside near our reservation, tell us that the woods are theirs, and they
have obtained them from the government. The treaty has also been broken,
by the white people using their endeavors to destroy all wolves, which
was not spoken about in the Council at Fort Stanwix, by General PUTNAM,
but has originated lately.

It has been broken again, which is of recent origin. White people get
credit from Indians, and do not pay them honestly according to agreement.
In another respect, also, it has been broken by white people residing
near my dwelling; for when I plant melons and vines in my field, they
take them as their own. It has been broken again, by white people using
their endeavors to obtain our pine trees from us. We have very few pine
trees on our land in the State of New York, and whites and Indians
often get into dispute respecting them. There is also a great quantity
of whiskey brought near our reservation, and the Indians obtain it and
become drunken.

Another circumstance has taken place which is very trying, to me, and I
wish for the interference of the Governor. The white people who live at
Warren, called upon me some time ago, to pay taxes for my land, which I
objected to, as I never had been called upon for that purpose before; and
having refused to pay, they 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 white
people; and also to cause that the money I am now obliged to pay, be
refunded to me, as I am very poor. The Governor is the person who attends
to the situation of the people, and I wish him to send a person to
Allegheny, that I may inform him of the particulars of our situation, and
he be authorized to instruct the white people in what manner to conduct
themselves towards the Indians.

The government has told us, that when difficulties arose between the
Indians and the white people, they would attend to having them removed.
We are now in a trying situation, and I wish the Governor to send a
person authorized to attend thereto the forepart of next summer, about
the time that the grass has grown big enough for pasture.

The Governor formerly requested me to pay attention to the Indians, and
take care of them. We are now arrived at a situation in which I believe
the Indians cannot exist, unless the Governor should comply with my
request, and send a person authorized to treat between us and the white
people the approaching summer. I have now no more to speak.

       *       *       *       *       *

Transcriber Note

All presumed typographical errors were corrected. Hyphenation of proper
names was not standardized. On page 27, Sir WILLIAM JOHNSTON is the
father of Sir JOHN JOHNSTON who is mentioned twice. The quotation beginning
on page 60 lacked a closing quote which was placed based on an internet
search of the document quoted.

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