A

T  R  E  A  T  Y,

Held at the

Town of LANCASTER,

 In Pennsylvania,

By the Honourable the Lieutenant-Governor of the Province,

And the Honourable the Commissioners of the Provinces

Of

VIRGINIA and MARYLAND

With the  I  N  D  I  A  N  S   of the   S I X   N A T I O N S,  in JUNE, 1744.

 

* * *

 

The focus of this treaty is a land dispute between Virginia, Maryland, and the Iroquois League. Pennsylvania arranged the treaty council in an attempt to play the role of honest broker. Virginia and Maryland agreed to attend because the Iroquois threatened to forcibly extract payment from frontier settlements, which they claimed had encroached upon their lands. This threat was relayed through Pennsylvania.

              

The treaty includes a number of important elements for the upcoming November treaty council in Easton, Pennsylvania. Early in these deliberations, the conflict between pen and ink work (i.e. written treaties) and Indian concepts of oral tradition emerge. When the whites appear to be getting the upper hand with their references to earlier treaties, Canassatego retaliates with his version of history, which he frames with two abiding claims to the land in question that he insists supercede the authority of colonial paper: we are from here; you are not. We conquered them; you did not.

 

Despite the forceful counterclaims of Virginia, both it and Maryland eventually agree to provide the Iroquois with a considerable amount of gifts. In return, Iroquois representatives put their marks on two official deeds (one for each colony), which verify the extinguishing of their ownership claims to the land desired (and partially settled) by Virginia and Maryland. While Maryland’s claims remained rather circumscribed after this treaty, Virginia interpreted its claim through the language of its colonial charter, which gave it title to a huge slab of North America that stretched all the way across the continent to the Pacific Ocean. Importantly, this claim included the Ohio River valley. This would, over the next decade bring Britain, France, and the Delaware into conflict.

 

For clarity, I have parsed this treaty into four parts. This structure does not follow the exact chronology of the treaty, but it does clarify some of the issues and much of the procedure. In Part I the Lt. Governor of Pennsylvania opens treaty proceedings. Part II concerns the land dispute between Maryland and the Iroquois. The Maryland representatives present a large collection of previous treaties and appear incredulous that the Iroquois are laying claims over land they implicitly and explicitly accepted as part of Maryland in past treaty councils. Part III concerns similar disputes between the Iroquois and Virginia. Compared to Maryland, the Virginians are quite combative. They also cite a number of previous treaties, but they also invoke the sovereign authority of the English monarch, which yields a brusque response from Gacharadodow who firmly rejects this authority. Finally, in Part IV the Governor of Pennsylvania acknowledges the resolution to these disputes and introduces some additional topics like war between the Iroquois and the Catawba, the possibility of a replacement for Conrad Weiser, and a general brightening of the covenant chain. Famously, during this portion of the treaty Canassatego advised the colonies to unite with one another in the manner of the Iroquois League.

 

* * *

 


PART I. OPENING

 

In the COURT-HOUSE in the Town of Lancaster, on Friday, the Twenty Second of June, 1744,

 

P R E S E N T,

 

The Honourable GEORGE THOMAS, Esq., Lieut. Governor of the Province of Pennsylvania, and the Counties of Newcastle, Kent and Sussex, on Delaware.

 

The Honourable Thomas Lee, Esq;

Colonel William Beverly,

        Commissioners of Virginia.

 

The Honble Edmund Jennings, Esq;

Philip Thomas, Esq;

Colonel Robert King,

Colonel Thomas Colville,

        Commissioners of Maryland.

 

The Deputies of the Onandagoes, Senecas, Cayogoes, Oneidas and Tuscaroraes.[1]

 

        Conrad Weiser, Interpreter.

 

THE Governor and the Commissioners took some of the Indian Chiefs by the Hand, and, after they had seated themselves, the Governor bid them welcome into the government; and there being Wine and Punch prepared for them, the Governor and several Commissioners drank Health to the Six Nations; and Canassatego, Tachanoontia, and some other Chiefs, returned the Compliments, drinking the Healths of Onas, Assaragoa, and the Governor of Maryland.[2]

 

        AFTER they were all served with Wine, Punch, Pipes and Tobacco, the Governor told the Indians, that as it was customary, and indeed necessary, they should have some Time to rest after so long a Journey, and as he thought three Days would be no more than sufficient for that Purpose, he proposed to speak to them on Monday next; after which, the honourable Commissioners would take their own Time to deliver what they had to say.

 

        CANASSATEGO answered the Governor: We thank you for giving us Time to rest; we are come to you, and shall leave it entirely to you to appoint the Time when we shall meet you again. We likewise leave it to the Governor of Maryland, by whose Invitation we came here, to appoint a Time when he will please to mention the Reason of his inviting us. As to our Brother Assaragoa, we have at this present Time nothing to say to him; not but we have a great deal to say to Assaragoa, which must be said at one Time or another; but not being satisfied whether he or we should begin first, we shall leave it wholly to our Brother Onas to adjust this between us, and to say which shall begin first.

 

 

In the COURT-HOUSE at Lancaster, June 25, 1744. A. M.

 

The GOVERNOR spoke as follows:

 

Honourable Gentlemen, Commissioners for the Governments of Virginia and Maryland, and Brethren, Sachims, or Chiefs of the Indians of the Six Nations:

 

Friends and Brethren, Sachims, or Chiefs of the Indians of the Six Nations:

 

THESE, your Brethren of Virginia and Maryland, are come to enlarge the Fire, which was almost gone out, and to make it burn clearer; to brighten the Chain which had contracted some Rust, and to renew their Friendship with you; which it is their Desire may last so long as the Sun, the Moon and the Stars, shall give Light. Their Powers are derived from the Great King of ENGLAND, your Father; and whatever Conclusions they shall come to with you, will be as firm and binding as if the Governors of these Provinces were themselves here. I am your Brother, and, which is more, I am your true Friend. As you know, from Experience, that I am so, I will now give you a few Words of Advice. Receive these your Brethren with open Arms; unite yourselves to them in the Covenant Chain, and be you with them as one Body, and one Soul. I make no doubt but the Governor of Canada has been taking Pains to widen the Breach between these your Brethren of Virginia and you; but as you cannot have forgot the Hatred the French have always borne to your Nations, and how kindly, on the contrary, you have been treated, and how faithfully you have been protected by the Great King of ENGLAND and his Subjects, you will not be at a Loss to see into the Designs of that Governor. He wants to divide you from us, in order he more easily to destroy you, which he will most certainly do, if you suffer yourselves to be deluded by him.

 

To enforce what had been said, the GOVERNOR laid down a Belt of Wampum; upon which the Indians gave the Yo-hah.

 

 

In the COURT-HOUSE at Lancaster, June 25, 1744. P. M.

 

Cannassatego’s Answer to the Governor’s Speech delivered in the Morning.

 

        Brother Onas,

YOU spoke in the Presence of Assaragoa and the Governor of Maryland to us, advising us to receive them as our Brethren, and to unite with them in the Covenant Chain as one Body, and one Soul. We have always considered them as our Brethren, and, as such, shall be willing to brighten the Chain of Friendship with them; but since there are some Disputes between us respecting the Lands possessed by them, which formerly belonged to us, we, according to our Custom, propose to have those Differences first adjusted, and then we shall proceed to confirm the Friendship subsisting between us, which will meet with no Obstruction after these Matters are settled.

 

Here they presented the GOVERNOR with a Belt of Wampum, in return for the Belt given them in the Morning by the GOVERNOR; and the Interpreter was ordered to return the Yo-hah.

 

            Then the GOVENOR, in Reply, spoke as follows:

 

        I receive your Belt with great Kindness and Affection; and as to what relates to the Governments of Virginia and Maryland, the honourable Commissioners, now present, are ready to treat with you. I shall only add, that the Goods for the Hundred Pounds Sterling, put into my Hands by the Governor of Virginia, as a Token of his good Dispositions to preserve Friendship with you, are now in Town, and ready to be delivered, in consequence of what was told you by Conrad Weiser when he was last at Onandago.

 


PART II. MARYLAND

 

The Commissioners of Maryland ordered the Interpreter to acquaint the Indians that the Governor of Maryland was going to speak to them, and then spoke as follows:

 

                Friends and Brethren of the united Six Nations,

        WE, who are deputed from the Government of Maryland by a Commission under the Great Seal of that Province, now in our Hands (and which will be interpreted to you) bid you welcome; and in Token that we are very glad to see you here as Brethren, we give you this String of Wampum.

Upon which the Indians gave the Yo-hah.

 

        WHEN the Governor of Maryland received the first Notice, about seven Years ago, of your Claim to some Lands in that Province, he thought our good Friends and Brethren of the Six Nations had little Reason to complain of any Injury from Maryland, and that they would be so well convinced thereof, on farther Deliberation, as he should hear no more of it; but you spoke of that Matter again to the Governor of Pennsylvania, about two Years since, as if you designed to terrify us.

 

        IT was very inconsiderately said by you, that you would do yourselves Justice, by going to take Payment yourselves: Such an Attempt would have entirely dissolved the Chain of Friendship subsisting, not only between us, but perhaps the other English and you.

 

        WE assure you, our People, who are numerous, courageous, and have Arms ready in their Hands, will not suffer themselves to be hurt in their Lives and Estates.

 

        BUT, however, the old and wise People of Maryland immediately met in Council, and upon considering very coolly your rash Expressions, agreed to invite their Brethren, the Six Nations, to this Place, that they might learn of them what Right they have to the Land in Maryland, and, if they had any, to make them some reasonable Compensation for it; therefore the Governor of Maryland has sent us to meet and treat with you about this Affair, and the brightening and strengthening the Chain which hath long subsisted between us. And as an Earnest of our Sincerity and Good-will towards you, we present you with this Belt of Wampum.

On which the Indians gave the Yo-hah.

 

        OUR Great King of ENGLAND, and his Subjects, have always possessed the Province of Maryland free and undisturbed from any Claim of the Six Nations for above one hundred Years past, and your not saying any thing to us before, convinces us you thought you had no Pretence to any Lands in Maryland; nor can we yet find out to what Lands, or under what Title, you make your Claim: For the Sasquahannah Indians, by a Treaty above ninety Years since (which is on the Table, and will be interpreted to you) give, and yield to the English Nation, their Heirs and Assigns for ever, the greatest Part (if not all) of the Lands we possess, from Patuxent River, on the Western, as well as the Choptank River, on the Eastern Side of the Great Bay of Cheassapeak. And, near Sixty Years ago, you acknowledged to the Governor of New-York at Albany, “That you had given your Lands, and “submitted yourselves to the King of England.

 

        WE are that Great King’s Subjects, and we possess and enjoy the Province of Maryland by virtue of his Right and Sovereignty thereto; why, then, will you stir up any Quarrel between you and ourselves, who are as one Man, under the Protection of that Great King?

 

        WE need not put you in mind of the Treaty (which we suppose you have had from your Fathers) made with the Province of Maryland near Seventy Years ago, and renewed and confirmed twice since that time.

 

        BY these Treaties we became Brethren; we have always lived as such, and hope always to continue so.

 

        WE have this further to say, that altho’ we are not satisfied of the Justice of your Claim to any Lands in Maryland, yet we are desirous of showing our Brotherly Kindness and Affection, and to prevent (by any reasonable Way) every Misunderstanding between the Province of Maryland and you our Brethren of the Six Nations.

 

        FOR this Purpose we have brought hither a Quantity of Goods for our Brethren the Six Nations, and which will be delivered you as soon as we shall have received your Answer, and made so bright and large a Fire as may burn pure and clear whilst the Sun and Moon shall shine.

 

        WE have now freely and openly laid our Bosoms bare to you; and that you may be the better confirmed of the Truth of our Hearts, we give you this Belt of Wampum.

Which was received with the Yo-hah.

 

After a little Time Canassatego spoke as follows:

               

                Brother, the Governor of Maryland,

        WE have heard what you have said to us; and, as you have gone back to old Times, we cannot give you an Answer now, but shall take what you have said into Consideration, and return you our Answer some Time to Morrow. He then sat down, and after some Time he spoke again.

 

               

In the COURT-HOUSE at Lancaster, June 26, 1744. P. M.

 

CANASSATEGO spoke as follows:

 

                Brother, the Governor of Maryland,

        WHEN you mentioned the Affair of the Land Yesterday, you went back to old Times, and told us, you had been in Possession of the Province of Maryland above One Hundred Years; but what is One Hundred Years in Comparison of the Length of Time since our Claim began? since we came out of this Ground? For we must tell you, that long before One Hundred Years our Ancestors came out of this very Ground, and their Children have remained here ever since. You came out of the Ground in a Country that lies beyond the Seas, there you may have a just Claim, but there you must allow us to be your elder Brethren, and the Lands to belong to us long before you knew any thing of them. It is true, that above One Hundred Years ago the Dutch came here in a Ship, and brought with them several Goods; such as Awls, Knives, Hatchets, Guns, and many other Particulars, which they gave us; and when they had taught us how to use their Things, and we saw what sort of People they were, we were so well pleased with them, that we tied their Ship to the Bushes on the Shore; and afterwards, liking them still better the longer they staid with us, and thinking the Bushes too slender, we removed the Rope, and tied it to the Trees; and as the Trees were liable to be blown down by high Winds, or to decay of themselves, we, from the Affection we bore them, again removed the Rope, and tied it to a strong and big Rock and not content with this, for its further Security we removed the Rope to the big Mountain[3] and there we tied it very fast, and rowll’d Wampum about it; and, to make it still more secure, we stood upon the Wampum, and sat down upon it, to defend it, and to prevent any Hurt coming to it, and did our best Endeavours that it might remain uninjured for ever. During all this Time the New-comers, the Dutch, acknowledged our Right to the Lands, and solicited us, from Time to Time, to grant them Parts of our Country, and to enter into League and Covenant with us, and to become one People with us.

 

AFTER this the English came into the Country, and, as we were told, became one People with the Dutch. About two Years after the Arrival of the English, and English Governor came to Albany, and finding what great Friendship subsisted between us and the Dutch, he approved it mightily, and desired to make as strong a League, and to be upon as good Terms with us as the Dutch were, with whom he was united, and to become one People with us: And by his further Care in looking into what had passed between us, he found that the Rope which tied the Ship to the great Mountain was only fastened with Wampum, which was liable to break and rot, and to perish in a Course of Years; he therefore told us, he would give us a Silver Chain, which would be much stronger, and would last for ever. This we accepted, and fastened the Ship with it, and it has lasted ever since. Indeed we have had some small Differences with the English, and, during these Misunderstanding, some of their young Men would, by way of Reproach, be every now and then telling us, that we should have perished if they had not come into the Country and furnished us with Strowds and Hatchets, and Guns, and other Things necessary for the Support of Life; but we always gave them to understand that they were mistaken, that we lived before they came amongst us, and as well, or better, if we may believe what our Forefather have told us. We had then Room enough, and Plenty of Deer, which was easily caught; and tho’ we had not Knives, Hatchets, or Guns, such as we have now, yet we had Knives of Stone, and Hatchets of Stone, and Bows and Arrows, and those served our Uses as well then as the English ones do now. We are now straitened, and sometimes in want of Deer, and liable to many other Inconveniencies since the English came among us, and particularly from that Pen-and-Ink work that is going on at the Table (pointing to the Secretary) and we will give you an Instance of this. Our Brother Onas, a great while ago, came to Albany to buy the Sasquahannah Lands of us, but our Brother, the Governor of New-York, who, as we suppose, had not a good Understanding with our Brother Onas, advised us not to sell him any Land, for he would make an ill Use of it; and, pretending to be our good Friend, he advised us, in order to prevent Onas’s, or any other Person’s imposing upon us, and that we might always have our Land when we should want it, to put it into his Hands; and told us, he would keep it for our Use, and never open his Hands, but keep them close shut, and not part with any of it, but at our Request. Accordingly we trusted him, and put our Land into his Hands, and charged him to keep it safe for our Use; but, some Time after, he went to England, and carried our Land with him, and there sold it to our Brother Onas for a large Sum of Money; and when, at the Instance of our Brother Onas, we were minded to sell him some Lands, he told us, we had sold the Sasquahannah Lands already to the Governor of New-York, and that he had bought them from him in England; tho’, when he came to understand how the Governor of New-York had deceived us, he very generously paid us for our Lands over again.

 

        THO’ we mention this Instance of an Imposition put upon us by the governor of New-York, yet we must do the English the Justice to say, we have had their hearty Assistances in our Wars with the French, who were no sooner arrived amongst us than they began to render us uneasy, and to provoke us to War, and we have had several Wars with them; during all which we constantly received Assistance form the English, and, by their Means, we have always been able to keep up our Heads against their Attacks.

 

        WE now come nearer home. We have had your Deeds interpreted to us, and we acknowledge them to be good and valid, and that the Conestogoe or Sasquahannah Indians had a Right to sell those Lands to you, for they were then theirs; but since that Time we have conquered them, and their Country now belongs to us, and the Lands we demanded Satisfaction for are no Part of the Lands comprised in those Deeds; they are the Cohongorontas[4]Lands; those, we are sure, you have not possessed One Hundred Years, no, nor above Ten Years, and we made our Demands so soon as we knew your People were settled in those Parts. These have never been sold, but remain still to be disposed of; and we are well pleased to hear you are provided with Goods, and do assure you of our Willingness to treat with you for those unpurchased Lands; in Confirmation whereof, we present you with this Belt of Wampum.

Which was received with the usual Ceremonies.

 

        CANASSATEGO added, that as the three Governors of Virginia, Maryland, and Pennsylvania, had divided the Lands among them, they could not, for this Reason, tell how much each had got, nor were they concerned about it, so that they were paid by all the Governors for the several Parts each possessed, and this they left to their Honour and Justice.

 

 

In the COURT-HOUSE at Lancaster, June 28, 1744. P. M.

 

The Commissioners [of Maryland] desired the Interpreter to tell the Indians they were going to speak to them. Mr. Weiser acquainted them herewith. After which the said Commissioners spoke as follows:

 

                Our good Friends and Brethren, the Six united Nations,

 

WE have considered what you said concerning your Title to some Lands now in our Province, and also of the Place where they lie. Altho’ we cannot admit your Right, yet we are so resolved to live in Brotherly Love and Affection with the Six Nations, that upon your giving us a Release in Writing of all your Claim to any Lands in Maryland, we shall make you a Compensation to the Value of Three Hundred Pounds Currency, for the Payment of Part whereof we have brought some goods, and shall make up the rest in what Manner you think fit.

 

        AS we intend to say something to you about our Chain of Friendship after this Affair of the Land is settled, we desire you will now examine the Goods, and make an End of this Matter.

 

        WE will not omit acquainting our good Friends the Six Nations, that notwithstanding we are likely to come to an Agreement about your Claim of Lands, yet your Brethren of Maryland look on you to be as one Soul and one Body with themselves; and as a broad Road will be made between us, we shall always be desirous of keeping it clear, that we may, from Time to Time, take care that the Links of our Friendship be not rusted. In Testimony that our Words and our Hearts agree, we give you this Belt of Wampum.

On presenting of which the Indians gave the usual Cry of Approbation.

 

        MR. Weiser acquainted the Indians, they might now look over the several Goods placed on a Table in the Chamber for that Purpose; and the honourable Commissioners bid him tell them, if they disliked any of the Goods, or, if they were damaged, the Commissioners would put a less Price on such as were either disliked or damnified.

 

        THE Indians having viewed and examined the Goods, and seeming dissatisfied at the Price and Worth of them, required Time to go down into the Court-House, in order for a Consultation to be had by the Chiefs of them concerning the said Goods, and likewise that the Interpreter might retire with them, which he did. Accordingly they went down into the Court-House, and soon after returned again into the Chamber.

 

        MR. Weiser sat down among the Indians, and discoursed them about the Goods, and in some short Time after they chose the following from among the others, and the Price agreed to be given for them by the Six Nations was, viz.

 

 

L.

s.

d.

Four Pieces of Strowds, at 7 L.

28

00

00

Two Pieces Ditto, 5 L.

10

00

00

Two Hundred Shirts,

63

12

00

Three Pieces Half-Thicks

11

00

00

Three Pieces Duffle Blankets, at 7 L.

21

00

00

One Piece Ditto,

6

10

00

Forty Seven Guns, at 1 L. 6 s.

61

2

00

One Pound Vermillion,

00

18

00

One Thousand Flints,

00

18

00

Four Dozen Jews Harps,

00

14

00

One Dozen Boxes,

00

1

00

One Hundred Two Quarters Bar-Lead,

3

00

00

Two Quarters Shot,

1

00

00

Two Half Barrels of Gun-Powder,

13

00

00

L.

220

15

00

Pennsylvania Currency.

 

        WHEN the Indians had agreed to take these Goods at the Rates above specified, they informed the Interpreter, that they would give an Answer to the Speech made to them this Morning by the honourable the Commissioners of Maryland, but did not express the Time when such Answer should be made. At 12 o’Clock the Commissioners departed the Chamber.

 

 

In the COURT-HOUSE at Lancaster, June 29, 1744. A. M.

 

Canassatego spoke as follows, looking on a Deal-board, where were some black Lines, describing the Courses of Potowmack and Sasquahanna:

 

                Brethren,

YESTERDAY you spoke to us concerning the Lands on this Side Potowmack River, and as we have deliberately considered what you said to us on that Matter, we are now very ready to settle the Bounds of such Lands, and release our Right and Claim thereto.

 

        WE are willing to renounce all Right to Lord Baltimore of all those Lands lying two Miles above the uppermost Fort of Potowmack or Cohongoruton River, near which Thomas Cressap has a hunting or trading Cabin, by a Northline, to the Bounds of Pennsylvania. But in case such Limits shall not include every Settlement or Inhabitant of Maryland, then such other Lines and Courses, from the said two Miles above the Forks, to the outermost Inhabitants or Settlements, as shall include every Settlement and Inhabitant in Maryland, and from thence, by a North-line, to the Bounds of Pennsylvania, shall be the Limits. And further, If any People already have, or shall settle beyond the Lands now described and bounded, they shall enjoy the same free from any Disturbance whatever, and we do, and shall accept these People for our Brethren, and as such always treat them.

 

        WE earnestly desire to live with you as Brethren, and hope you will show us all Brotherly Kindness; in Token whereof, we present you with a Belt of Wampum.

Which was received with the usual Ceremony.

 

        SOON after the Commissioners and Indians departed from the Court-House Chamber.

 

 

In the COURT-HOUSE at Lancaster, June 30, 1744. P. M.

 

        THE honourable the Commissioners ordered Mr. Weiser to tell the Indians that a Deed, releasing all their Claim and Title to certain Lands lying in the Province of Maryland, which by them was agreed to be given and executed for the Use of the Lord Baron of Baltimore, Lord Proprietary of that Province, was now on the Table, and Seals ready fixed thereto. The Interpreter acquainted them therewith as desired, and then gave the Deed to Canassatego, the Speaker, who made his Mark, and put his Seal, and delivered it; after which, thirteen other Chiefs or Sachims of the Six Nations executed it in the same Manner, in the Presence of the honourable the Commissioners of Virginia, and divers other Gentlemen of that Colony, and of the Provinces of Pennsylvania and Maryland.

 


PART III. VIRGINIA

 

In the COURT-HOUSE at Lancaster, June 27, 1744. A. M.

 

The Commissioners of Virginia ordered the Interpreter to let the Indians know the Governor of Virginia was going to speak to them, and they spoke as follows:

 

                Sachims and Warriors of the Six United Nations, our Friends and Brethren,

AT our Desire the Governor of Pennsylvania invited you to this Council Fire; we have waited a long Time for you, but now you are come, you are heartily welcome; we are very glad to see you; we give you this String of Wampum.

Which was received with their usual Approbation.

 

        TELL us what Nations of Indians you conquered any Lands from in Virginia, how long it is since, and what Possession you have had; and if it does appear, that there is any Land on the Borders of Virginia that the Six Nations have a Right to, we are willing to make you Satisfaction.

 

Then laid down a String of Wampum, which was accepted with the usual Ceremony, and then added,

 

        WE have a Chest of new Goods, and the Key is in our Pockets. You are our Brethren; the Great King is our common Father, and we will live with you, as Children ought to do, in Peace and Love.

 

        WE will brighten the Chain, and strengthen the Union between us; so that we shall never be divided, but remain Friends and Brethren as long as the Sun gives Light; in Confirmation whereof, we give you this Belt of Wampum.

Which was received with the usual Ceremony.

 

TACHANOOTIA replied:

                Brother Assaragoa,

        You have made a good Speech to us, which is very agreeable, and for which we return you our Thanks. We shall be able to give you an Answer to every Part of it some Time this Afternoon, and we will let you know when we are ready.

 

 

In the COURT-HOUSE at Lancaster, June 27, 1744. P. M.

 

TACHANOONTIA spoke as follows:

 

                Brother Assaragoa,

SINCE you have joined with the Governor of Maryland and Brother Onas in kindling this Fire, we gladly acknowledge the Pleasure we have is seeing you here, and observing your good Dispositions as well to confirm the Treaties of Friendship, as to enter into further Contracts about Land with us; and, in Token of our Satisfaction, we present you with this String of Wampum.

Which was received with the usual Ceremonies.

 

                Brother Assaragoa,

        YOU desire to know if we have any Right to the Virginia Lands, and that we will make such Right appear, and tell you what Nations of Indians we conquered those Lands from.

 

        NOW we answer, We have the Right of Conquest, a Right too dearly purchased, and which cost us too much Blood, to give up without any Reason at all, as you say we have done at Albany; but we should be obliged to you, if you would let us see the Letter, and inform us who was the Interpreter, and whose Names are put to that Letter; for as the whole Transaction cannot be above a Year’s standing, it must be fresh in every Body’s Memory, and some of our Council would easily remember it; but we assure you, and are well able to prove, that neither we, nor any Part of us, have ever relinquished our Right, or ever gave such an Answer as you say is mentioned in your Letter. Could we, so few Years ago, make a formal Demand, by James Logan, and not be sensible of our Right?[5] And hath any thing happened since that Time to make us less sensible? No; and as this Matter can be easily cleared up, we are anxious it should be done; for we are positive no such thing was ever mentioned to us at Onandago, nor any where else. All the World knows we conquered the several Nations living on Sasquahanna, Cohongoronta, and on the Back of the Great Mountains in Virginia: the Conoy-uch-such-roona, Coch-now-was-roonan, Tohoa-irough-roonan, and Connutskin-ough-roonaw, feel the Effects of our Conquests, being now a Part of our Nations, and their Lands at our Disposal. We know very well, it hath often been said by the Virginians, that the Great King of ENGLAND, and the People of that Colony, conquered the Indians who lived there, but it is not true. We will allow they have conquered the Sachdagugbroonaw, and drove back the Tuscarroraws, and that they have, on that Account, a Right to some Part of Virginia; but as to what lies beyond the Mountains, we conquered the Nations residing there, and that Land, if the Virginians ever get a good Right to it, it must be by us; and in Testimony of the Truth of our Answer to this Part of your Speech, we give you this String of Wampum.

Which was received with the usual Ceremony.

 

                Brother Assaragoa,

        WE have given you a full Answer to the first Part of your Speech, which we hope will be satisfactory. We are glad to hear you have brought with you a big Chest of new Goods, and that you have the Key in your Pockets. We do not doubt but we shall have a good Understanding in all Points, and come to an Agreement with you.

 

        WE shall open all our Hearts to you, that you may know every thing in them; we will hide nothing from you; and we hope, if there be any thing still remaining in your Breast that may occasion any Dispute between us, you will take the Opportunity to unbosom your Hearts, and lay them open to us, that henceforth there may be no Dirt, nor any other Obstacle in the Road between us; and in Token of our hearty Wishes to bring about so good an Harmony, we present you with this Belt of Wampum.

Which was received with the usual Ceremony.

 

                Brother Assaragoa,

        WE must now tell you what Mountains we mean that we say are the Boundaries between you and us. You may remember, that about twenty Years ago you had a Treaty with us at Albany, when you took a Belt of Wampum, and made a Fence with it on the Middle of the Hill, and told us, that if any of the Warriors of the Six Nations came on your Side of the Middle of the Hill, you would hang them; and you gave us Liberty to do the same with any of your People who should be found on our Side of the Middle of the Hill. This is the Hill we mean, and we desire that Treaty may be now confirmed. After we left Albany, we brought our Road[6] a great deal more to the West, that we might comply with your Proposal; but tho’ it was of your own making, your People never observed it, but came and lived on our Side of the Hill, which we don’t blame you for, as you live at a great Distance, near the Seas, and cannot be thought to know what your People do in the Back-parts: And on their settling, contrary to your own Proposal, on our new Road, it fell out that our Warriors did some Hurt to your People’s Cattle, of which a Complaint was made, and transmitted to us by our Brother Onas; and we, at his Request, altered the Road again, and brought it to the Foot of the Great Mountain,[7] where it now is; and it is impossible for us to remove it any further to the West, those Parts of the Country being absolutely impassable by either Man or Beast.

 

        WE had not been long in the Use of this new Road before your People came, like Flocks of Birds, and sat down on both Sides of it, and yet we never made a Complaint to you, tho’ you must be sensible those Things must have been done by your People in manifest Breach of your own Proposal made at Albany; and therefore, as we are now opening our Hearts to you, we cannot avoid complaining, and desire all these Affairs may be settled, and that you may be stronger induced to do us Justice for what is past, and to come to a thorough Settlement of the future, we, in the Presence of the Governor of Maryland, and Brother Onas, present you with this Belt of Wampum.

Which was received with the usual Ceremony.

 

                Then Tachanoontia added:

        HE forgot to say, that the Affair of the Road must be looked upon as a Preliminary to be settled before the Grant of Lands; and that either the Virginia People must be obliged to remove more Easterly, or, if they are permitted to stay, that our Warriors, marching that Way to the Southward, shall go Sharers with them in what they plant.

 

 

In the COURT-HOUSE at Lancaster, June 28, 1744. P. M.

 

The Commissioners of Virginia desired the Interpreter to let the Indians know, that their Brother Assaragoa was now going to give his Reply to their Answer to his first Speech, delivered them the Day before in the forenoon.

 

        Sachims and Warriors of the united Six Nations,

WE are now come to answer what you said to us Yesterday, since what we said to you before on the Part of the Great King, our Father, has not been satisfactory. You have gone into the old Times, and so must we. It is true that the Great King holds Virginia by Right of Conquest, and the Bounds of that Conquest to the Westward is the Great Sea.

 

        IF the Six Nations have made any Conquest over Indians that may at any Time have lived on the West-side of the Great Mountains of Virginia, yet they never possessed any Lands there that we have ever heard of. That Part was altogether deserted, and free for any People to enter upon, as the People of Virginia have done, by Order of the Great King, very justly, as well by an ancient Right, as by its being freed from the Possession of any other, and from any Claim even of you the Six Nations, our Brethren, until within these eight Years. The first Treaty between the Great King, in Behalf of his Subjects of Virginia, and you, that we can find, was made at Albany, by Colonel Henry Coursey, Seventy Years since; this was a Treaty of Friendship, when the first Covenant Chain was made, when we and you became Brethren.

 

        THE next Treaty was also at Albany, above Fifty-eight Years ago, by the Lord Howard, Governor of Virginia: then you declare yourselves Subjects to the Great King, our Father, and gave up to him all your Lands for his Protection. This you own in a Treaty made by the Governor of New-York with you at the same Place in the Year 1687, and you express yourselves in these Words, “Brethren, you tell us the King of England is a very great King, and why should not you join with us in a very just Cause, when the French join with our Enemies in an unjust Cause? O Brethren, we see the Reason of this; for the French would fain kill us all, and when that is done, they would carry all the Beaver Trade to Canada, and the Great King of ENGLAND would lose the Land likewise; and therefore, O Great Sachim, beyond the Great Lakes, awake, and suffer not those poor Indians, that have given themselves and their Lands under your Protection, to be destroyed by the French without a Cause.”

 

        THE last Treaty we shall speak to you about is that made at Albany by Governor Spotswood, which you have not recited as it is: For the white People, your Brethren of Virginia, are, in no Article of that Treaty, prohibited to pass, and settle to the Westward of the Great Mountains. It is the Indians, tributary to Virginia, that are restrained, as you and your tributary Indians are from passing to the Eastward of the same Mountains, or to the Southward of Cohongorooton, and you agree to this Article in these Words; “That the Great River of Potomack, and the high Ridge of Mountains, which extend all along the Frontiers of Virginia to the Westward of the present Settlements of that Colony, shall be fore ever the established Boundaries between the Indians subject to the Dominions of Virginia , and the Indians belonging and depending on the Five Nations; so that neither our Indians shall not, on any Pretense whatsoever, pass to Northward or Westward of the said Boundaries, without having to produce a Passport under the Hand and Seal of the Governor or Commander in Chief of Virginia; nor your Indians to pass to the Southward or Eastward of the said Boundaries, without a Passport in like Manner from the Governor or Commander in Chief of New-York.

 

        AND what Right can you have to Lands that you have no Right to walk upon, but upon certain Conditions? It is true, you have not observed this Part of the Treaty, and your Brethren of Virginia have not insisted upon it with a due Strictness, which has occasioned some Mischief.

 

        THIS Treaty has been sent to the Governor of Virginia by Order of the Great King, and is what we must rely on, and, being in Writing, is more certain than your Memory. That is the Way the white People have of preserving Transactions of every Kind, and transmitting them down to their Childrens Children for ever, and all Disputes among them are settled by this faithful kind of evidence, and must be the Rule between the Great King and you. This Treaty your Sachims and Warriors signed some Years after the same Governor Spotswood, in the Right of the Great King, had been, with some People of Virginia, in Possession of these very Lands, which you have set up your late Claim to.

 

                Brethren,

        THIS Dispute is not between Virginia and you; it is setting up your Right against the Great King, under whose Grants the People you complain of are settled. Nothing but a Command from the Great King can remove them; they are too powerful to be removed by any Force of you, our Brethren; and the Great King, as our common Father, will do equal Justice to all his Children; wherefore we do believe they will be confirmed in their Possessions.

 

        AS to the Road you mention, we intended to prevent any Occasion for it, by making a Peace between you and the Southern Indians, a few Years since, at a considerable Expense to our Great King, which you confirmed at Albany. It seems, by your being at War with the Catawbas, that it has not been long kept between you.

 

        HOWEVER, if you desire a Road, we will agree to one on the Terms of the Treaty you made with Colonel Spotswood, and your People, behaving themselves orderly like Friends and Brethren, shall be used in their Passage through Virginia with the same Kindness as they are when they pass through the Lands of your Brother Onas. This, we hope, will be agreed to by you our brethren, and we will abide by the Promise made to you Yesterday.

 

        WE may proceed to settle what we are to give you for any Right you may have, or have had to all the Lands to the Southward and Westward of the Lands of your Brother the Governor of Maryland, and of your Brother Onas; tho’ we are informed that the Southern Indians claim these very Lands that you do.

 

        WE are desirous to live with you, our Brethren, according to the old Chain of Friendship, to settle all these Matters fairly and honestly; and, as a Pledge of our Sincerity, we give you this Belt of Wampum.

Which was received with the usual Ceremony.

 

       

In the COURT-HOUSE at Lancaster, June 30, 1744. A. M.

 

Gacharadodow, Speaking for the Indians, in Answer to the Commissioners Speech at the last Meeting, with a strong Voice, and proper Action, spoke as follows:

 

                Brother Assaragoa,

THE World at the first was made on the other Side of the Great Water different form what it is on this Side, as may be known from the different Colours of our Skin, and of our Flesh, and that which you call Justice may not be so amongst us; you have your Laws and Customs, and so have we. The Great King might send you over to conquer the Indians, but it looks to us that God did not approve of it; if he had, he would not have placed the Sea where it is, as the Limits between us and you.

 

                Brother Assaragoa,

        THO’ great Things are well remembered among us, yet we don’t remember that we were ever conquered by the Great King, or that we have been employed by the Great King to conquer others; if it was so, it is beyond our Memory. We do remember we were employed by Maryland to conquer the Conestogoes, and that the second time we were at War with them, we carried them all off.

 

                Brother Assaragoa,

        YOU charge us with not acting agreeable to our Peace with the Catawbas, we will repeat to you truly what was done. The Governor of New-York, at Albany, in Behalf of Assaragoa, gave us several Belts of Wampum from the Cherikees and Catawbas, and we agreed to a Peace, if those Nations would send some of their great Men to us to confirm it Face to Face, and that they would trade with us; and desired that they would appoint a Time to meet at Albany for that Purpose, but they never came.

 

                Brother Assaragoa,

        WE then desired a Letter might be sent to the Catawabas and Cherikees, to desire them to come and confirm the Peace. It was long before an Answer came; but we met the Cherikees, and confirmed the Peace, and sent some of our People to take care of them, until they returned to their own Country.

 

        THE Catawbas refused to come, and sent us word, That we were but Women, that they were Men, and double Men, for they had two Penises; that they could make Women of us, and would be always at War with us. They are a deceitful People. Our Brother Assaragoa is deceived by them; we don’t blame him for it, but are sorry he is so deceived.

 

                Brother Assaragoa,

        WE have confirmed the Peace with the Cherikees, but not with the Catawbas. They have been treacherous, and know it; so that the War must continue till one of us is destroyed. This we think proper to tell you, that you may not be troubled at what we do to the Catawbas.

       

                Brother Assaragoa,

        WE will now speak to the Point between us. You say you will agree with us as to the Road … It is always a Custom among Brethren or Strangers to use each other kindly; you have some very ill-natured People living up there; so that we desire the Persons in Power may know that we are to have reasonable Victuals when we are in want.

 

        YOU know very well, when the white People came first here they were poor; but now they have got our Lands, and are by them become rich, and we are now poor; what little we have had for the Land goes soon away, but the Land lasts for ever. You told us you had brought with you a Chest of Goods, and that you have the Key in your Pockets; but we have never seen the Chest, nor the Goods that are said to be in it; it may be small, and the Goods few; we want to see them, and are desirous to come to some Conclusion. We have been sleeping here these ten Days past, and have not done any thing to the Purpose.

 

THE Commissioners told them they should see the Goods on Monday.

 

 

In the COURT-HOUSE at Lancaster, July 2, 1744 P. M.

 

The Indians begin told, by the Interpreter, that their Brother Assaragoa was going to speak to them, the Commissioners spoke as follows:

 

                Sachims and Warriors, our Friends and Brethren,

 

AS we have already said enough to you on the Subject of the Title to the Lands you claim from Virginia, we have no Occasion to say any thing more to you on that Head, but come directly to the point.

 

        WE have opened the Chest, and the Goods are now here before you; they cost Two Hundred Pounds Pennsylvania Money, and were bought by a Person recommended to us by the Governor of Pennsylvania with ready Cash. We ordered them to be good in their Kinds, and we believe they are so. These Goods, and Two Hundred Pounds in Gold, which lie on the Table, we will give you, our Brethren of the Six Nations, upon Condition that you immediately make a Deed recognizing the King’s Right to all the Lands that are, or shall be, by his Majesty’s Appointment in the Colony of Virginia.

 

        AS to the Road, we agree you shall have one, and the Regulation is in Paper, which the Interpreter now has in his Custody to show you. The People of Virginia shall perform their Part, if you and your Indians perform theirs; we are your Brethren, and will do no Hardships to you, but, on the contrary, all the Kindness we can.

 

        THE Indians agreed to what was said, and Canassatego desired they would represent their Case to the King, in order to have a further Consideration when the Settlement increased much further back. To which the Commissioners agreed, and promised they would make such a Representation faithfully and honestly; and, for their further Security that they would do so, they would give them a Writing, under their Hands and Seals, to that Purpose.

 

        THEY desired that some Rum might be given them to drink on their Way home, which the Commissioners agree to, and paid them in Gold for that Purpose, and the Carriage of their Goods from Philadelphia, Nine Pounds, Thirteen Shillings, and Three-pence, Pennsylvania Money.

 

        Canassatego further said, That as their Brother Tocarry-hogan[8] sent them Provision on the Road here, which kept them from starving, he hoped their Brother Assaragoa would do the same for them back, and have the Goods he gave them carried to the usual Place; which the Commissioners agreed to, and ordered Provisions and Carriages to be provided accordingly.

 

        AFTER this Conference the Deed was produced, and the Interpreter explained it to them; and they, according to their Rank and Quality, put their Marks and Seals to it in the Presence of several Gentlemen of Maryland, Pennsylvania and Virginia; and when they delivered the Deed, Canassatego delivered it for the Use of their Father, the Great King, and hoped he would consider them; on which the Gentlemen and Indians then present gave three Shouts.

 

 


PART IV. CONCLUSIONS

 

In the COURT-HOUSE at Lancaster, July 3, 1744 A. M.

 

The GOVERNOR spoke as follows:

 

                Friends and Brethren of the Six Nations,

AT a Treaty held with many of the Chiefs of your Nations Two Years ago, the Road between us was made clearer and wiser; our Fire was enlarged, and our Friendship confirmed by an Exchange of Presents, and many other mutual good offices.

 

        WE think ourselves happy in having been instrumental to your meeting with our Brethren Virginia and Maryland; and we persuade ourselves, that you, on your Parts, will always remember it as an Instance of our Goodwill and Affection for you. … I now proceed, with the Consent of the honourable Commissioners for Virginia and Maryland, to tell you, that all Differences having been adjusted, and the Roads between us and you made quite clear and open, we are ready to confirm our Treaties with your Nations, and establish a Friendship that is not to end, but with the World itself. And, in Behalf of the Province of Pennsylvania, I do, by this find Belt of Wampum, and a Present of Goods, to the Value of Three Hundred Pounds, confirm and establish the said Treaties of Peace, Union and Friendship, you on your Parts doing the same.

Which was received with a loud Yo-ha.

 

        THE Governor further added, The Goods bought with the One Hundred Pounds Sterling, put into my Hands by the Governor of Virginia, are ready to be delivered when you please. The Goods bought and sent up by the People of the Province of Pennsylvania, according to the List which the Interpreter will explain, are laid by themselves, and are likewise ready to be delivered to you at your own time.

 

After a little Pause the Commissioners of Virginia spoke as follows:

 

                Sachems and Warriors of the Six Nations,

        THE Way between us being made smooth by what passed Yesterday, we desire now to confirm all former Treaties made between Virginia and you, our Brethren of the Six Nations, and to make our Chain of Union and Friendship as bright as the sun, that it may not contract any more Rust for ever; that our Childrens Children may rejoice at, and confirm what we have done; and that you and your Children may not forget it, we give you One Hundred Pounds in Gold, and this Belt of Wampum.

Which was received with the usual Ceremony.

 

                Friends and Brethren,

        ALTHO’ we have been disappointed in our Endeavours to bring about a Peace between you and the Catawbas, yet we desire to speak to you something more about them. We believe they have been unfaithful to you, and spoke of you with a foolish Contempt; but this may be only the Rashness of some of their young Men. In this Time of War with our common enemies the French and Spaniards, it will be the wisest Way to be at Peace among ourselves. They, the Catawbas, are also Children of the Great King, and therefore we desire you will agree, that we may endeavour to make a Peace between you and them, that we may be all united by one common Chain of Friendship. We give you this String of Wampum.

Which was received with the usual Ceremony.

 

                Brethren,

        OUR Friend, Conrad Weiser, when he is old, will go into the other World, as our Father have done; our Children will then want such a Friend to go between them and your Children, to reconcile any Differences that may happen to arise between them, that, like him, may have the Ears and Tongues of our Children and yours.

 

        THE Way to have such a Friend, is for you to send three or four of your Boys to Virginia, where we have a fine House for them to live in, and a Man on purpose to teach the Children of you, our Friends, the Religion, Language and Customs of the white People. To this Place we kindly invite you to send some of your Children, and we promise you they shall have the same Care taken of them, and be instructed in the same Manner as our own Children, and be returned to you again when you please; and, to confirm this, we give you this String of Wampum.

Which was received with the usual Ceremony.

 

Then the Commissioners of Maryland spoke as follows:

 

                Friends and Brethren, the Chiefs or Sachims of the Six united Nations,

        THE Governor of Maryland invited you hither, we have treated you as Friends, and agreed with you as Brethren.

 

        AS the Treaty now made concerning the Lands in Maryland will, we hope, prevent effectually every future Misunderstanding between us on that Account, we will now bind faster the Links of our Chain of Friendship by a Renewal of all our former Treaties; and that they may still be the better secured, we shall present you with One Hundred Pounds of Gold.

 

        WHAT we have further to say to you is, Let not our Chain contract any Rust; whenever you perceive the least Speck, tell us of it, and we will make it clean. This we also expect of you, that it may always continue so bright as our Generation may see their Faces in it; and, in Pledge of the Truth of what we have now spoken, and our Affection to you, we give you this Belt of Wampum.

Which was received with the usual Ceremony.

 

CANASSATEGO, in return, spoke as follows:

 

                Brother Onas, Assaragoa, and Tocarry-hogan,

        WE return you Thanks for your several Speeches, which are very agreeable to us. They contain Matters of such great Moment, that we propose to give them a very serious Consideration, and to answer them suitably to their Worth and Excellence; and this will take till To-morrow Morning, and when we are ready we will give you due Notice. …

 

 

In the COURT-HOUSE at Lancaster, July 4, 1744 A. M.

 

CANASSATEGO Speaker.

 

        Brother Onas,

YESTERDAY, you expressed your Satisfaction in having been instrumental to our meeting with our Brethren of Virginia and Maryland.  We, in return assure you that we have great Pleasure in this Meeting, and thank you for the Part you have had in bringing us together, in order to create a good Understanding, and to clear the Road; and, in Token of our Gratitude, we present you with this String of Wampum.

Which was received with the usual Ceremony.

               

 

                Brother Assaragoa;

        YOU told us Yesterday that all Disputes with you being now at an End; you desired to confirm all former Treaties between Virginia and us, and to make our Chain of Union as bright as the Sun.

 

        WE agree very heartily with you in these Propositions; we thank you for your good Inclinations; we desire you will pay no Regard to any idle stories that may be told to our Prejudice.  And, as the dispute about the Land is now entirely over, and we perfectly reconciled, we hope, for the future, we shall not act towards each other but as becomes Brethren and hearty Friends.

 

        WE are very willing to renew the Friendship with you, and to make it as firm as possible, for us and our Children with you and your Children to the last Generation, and we desire you will imprint these Engagements on your Hearts in the strongest Manner; and, in Confirmation that we shall do the same, we give you this Belt of Wampum.

        Which was received with Yo-hah from the Interpreter and all the Nations.

 

                Brother Assaragoa;

        YOU did let us know Yesterday, that tho’ you had been disappointed in your Endeavors to bring about a Peace between us and Catawbas, yet you would still do the best to bring such a Thing about.  We are well pleased with your Design, and the more so, as we hear you know what sort of People the Catawbas are, that they are spiteful and offensive, and have treated us contemptuously.  We are glad you know these things of the Catawbas; we believe what you say to be true, that there are, notwithstanding, some amongst them who are wiser and better; and, as you say, they are your Brethren, and belong to the Great King over the Water, we shall not be against a Peace on reasonable Terms, provided they will come to the Northward to treat about it.  In Confirmation of what we say, and to encourage you in your Undertaking, we give you this String of Wampum.

Which was received with the usual Ceremonies.

 

                Brother Assaragoa;

        YOU told us likewise, you had a great House provided for the Education of Youth,[9] and there were several white People and Indians Children there to learn Languages, and to write and read, and invited us to send some of our Children amongst you, &c.

 

        WE must let you know we love our Children too well to send them so great a way, and the Indians are not inclined to give their children Learning.  We allow it to be good, and we thank you for your Invitation; but our customs differing from yours, you will be so good as to excuse us.

 

        WE hope Tarachawagon[10] will be preserved by the good Spirit to a good old Age; when he is gone under Ground, it will then be time enough to look out for another; and no doubt but amongst so many thousands as there are in the World, one such man may be found, who will serve both Parties with the same Fidelity as Tarachawagon does; while he lives here, there is no Room to complain.  In Token for our Thankfulness for you Invitation, we give you this String of Wampum.

Which was received with the usual Ceremony

 

                Brother Tocarry-hogan,

        YOU told us yesterday that since there was now nothing in Controversy between us, and the Affair of the Land was settled to you Satisfaction, you would now brighten the Chain of Friendship which hath subsisted between you and us ever since we became Brethren; we are well pleased with the Proposition, and we thank you for it; we also are inclined to renew all Treaties, and keep a good Correspondence with you.  You told us further, if ever we should perceive the Chain had contracted any Rust, to let you know, and you would take care to take the Rust out, and preserve it bright.  We agree with you in this, and shall, on our Parts, do everything to preserve a good Understanding, and to live in the same Friendship with you as our brother Onas and Assaragoa; in Confirmation whereof, we give you this Belt of Wampum.

On which the usual cry of Yo-hah was given.

 

                Brethren,

        WE have now finished our Answer to what you said to us Yesterday, and shall now proceed to Indian Affairs, that are not of so general a Concern.

               

                Brother Onas, Assaragoa, and Tocarry-hogan,

        AT the close of your respective Speeches Yesterday, you made us very handsome Presents, and we should return you something suitable to your Generosity; but, alas, we are poor, and shall ever remain so, as long as there are so many Indian Traders among us.  Theirs and the white Peoples Cattle have eat up all the Grass, and made Deer scarce.  However, we have provided a small Present for you, and tho’ some of you gave us more than others, yet as you are all equally our Brethren, we shall leave it to you to divide it as you please—and then presented three Bundles of Skins, which were received with the usual Ceremony from the three Governments.

 

        WE have one thing further to say, and that is, We heartily recommend Union and a good Agreement between you and 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 Union and Amity between the Five Nations; this has made us formidable; this has given us great Weight and Authority with our neighboring Nations.

 

        WE are a powerful Confederacy; and, by your observing the same Methods our wise Forefathers have taken, you will acquire fresh Strength and Power; therefore, whatever befals you, never fall out with one another.

 

            The GOVERNOR replied:

 

        THE honourable Commissioners of Virginia and Maryland have desired me to speak for them; therefore I, in Behalf of those Governments, as well as the Province of Pennsylvania, return you Thanks for the many Proofs you have given in your Speeches of your Zeal for the Service of your Brethren the English, and in particular for your having so early engaged in a Neutrality the several Tribes of Indians in the French Alliance.  We do not doubt that you will faithfully discharge your Promises.  As to your presents, we never estimate these things by their real Worth, but by the Disposition of the Giver.  In this Light we accept them with great Pleasure, and put a high Value upon them.  We are obliged to you for recommending Peace and good Agreement amongst ourselves.  We are all subjects, as well as you, of the Great King beyond the Water; and, in Duty to his Majesty, and from the good Affection that we bear to each other, as well as from a Regard to our own Interest, we shall always be inclined to live in Friendship.

 

        THEN the Commissioners of Virginia presented the Hundred Pounds in Gold, together with a Paper, containing a Promise to recommend the Six Nations for further Favor to the King; which they received with Yo-hah, and the Paper was given by them to Conrad Weiser to keep for them.  The Commissioners likewise promised that their public Messengers should not be molested in their Passage through Virginia, …

 

        THEN the Commissioners of Maryland presented their Hundred Pounds in Gold, which was likewise received with the Yo-hah.

 

        Canassatego said, We mentioned to you Yesterday the Booty you had taken from the French, and asked you for some of the Rum which we supposed to be Part of it, and you gave us some, but it turned out unfortunately that you gave us it in French Glasses, we now desire that you give us some in English Glasses.

 

        THE Governor made answer, We are glad to hear that you have such a Dislike for what is French.  They cheat you in your Glasses, as well as in everything else.  You must consider we are at a Distance from Williamsburg, Annapolis, and Philadelphia, where our Rum Stores are, and that altho’ we brought up a good Quantity with us, you have almost drunk it out, but notwithstanding this, we have enough left to fill our English Glasses, and will show the Difference between the Narrowness of the French, and the Generosity of your Brethren the English towards you.

 

        THE Indians gave, in their Order, five Yo-hahs; and the honorable Governor and commissioners calling for some Rum, and some middle-sized Wine Glasses, drank health to the Great King of ENGLAND and the Six Nations, and put an end to the Treaty by three loud Huzza’s, in which all the Company joined.

 

        IN the Evening the governor went to take his Leave of the Indians, and, presenting them with a Sting of Wampum, he told them, that was in return for one he had received of them, with a Message to desire the Governor of Virginia to suffer their Warriors to go through Virginia unmolested, which was rendered unnecessary by the present Treaty.

 

        THEN, presenting them with another String of Wampum, he told them, that was in return for theirs, praying him, that they had taken away one Part of Conrad Weiser’s Beard, which frightened their Children, he would please to take away the other, which he had ordered to be done.

 

The Indians received these two Strings of Wampum with the usual Yo-hah.

 

        THE Commissioners of Virginia gave Canassatego a Scarlet Camblet Coat; and took their Leave of them in Form, and at the same time delivered the Passes to them, according to their Request.

 

        THE Commissioners of Maryland presented Gachradodow with a broad Gold-laced Hat, and took their Leave of them in a similar Manner.

 

A true Copy, compared by                 RICHARD PETERS, Secry.

 

T H E    E N D

 

 

Source: Indian Treaties Printed by Benjamin Franklin, 1736-1762 (Philadelphia: Historical Society of Pennsylvania, 1938). There is some formatting for brevity – I have omitted the list of attendees for each phase of the negotiation because, with the exception of the two noted talks with the Maryland Commissioners in the Court-House, those in attendance remained quite constant. I have also removed the discussion of several peripheral issues and some procedural elements. In addition, I silently corrected typographical errors, and in a few cases modernized spelling, but only for clarity.



[1] All of the nations of the Iroquois League save the Mohawks.

[2] Onas is the proprietary of Pennsylvania; Assaragoa is the Governor of Virginia.

[3] The “big rock” refers to the Oneida Country. The “big Mountain” refers to Onondaga, the seat of the Grand Council of the Iroquois League.

[4] Another name for the Potomack Indians.

[5] This refers to the threat that the Iroquois conveyed through Pennsylvania to Maryland and Virginia, which precipitated this treaty council.

[6] “The road” is an Iroquois path to the south, which was customarily used by parties going to make war on their traditional enemies the Catawba and Cherokee.

[7] Probably the Alleghenies.

[8] The Governor of Maryland.

[9] The College of William and Mary in Virginia.

[10] Conrad Weiser