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father should get foolish, in my old days, I desire you may use it upon me as well as others.
“ Now fathers, it is you who are the disturbers in this land, by coming and building your towns; and taking it away unknown to us, and by force.
.“ Fathers, we kindled a fire a long time ago, at a place called Montreal, where we desired you to stay, and not to come and intrude upon our land. I now desire you may dispatch to that place ; for be it known to you, fathers, that this is our land and not yours.
“ Fathers, I desire you may hear me in civilness ; if not, we must handle that rod which was laid down for the use of the obstreperous. If you had come in a peace. able manner, like our brothers the English, we would not have been against your trading with us, as they do ; but to come, fathers, and build houses upon our land, and to take it by force, is what we cannot submit to.
“ Fathers, both you and the English are white, we live in a country between; therefore, the land belongs to neither one nor the other. But the great Being above allowed it to be a place of residence for us ; so fathers, I desire you to withdraw, as I have done our brothers the English; for I will keep you at arms length. I lay this down as a trial for both, to see which will have the greatest regard to it, and that side we will stand by, and make equal sharers with us. Our brothers, the English, have heard this, and I come now to tell it to you; for I am not afraid to discharge you off this land.”
This he said was the substance of what he spoke to the general, who made this reply.
“ Now my child, I have heard your speech : you spoke first, but it is my time to speak now. Where is my wampum that you took away, with the marks of towns in it? This wampum, I do not know, which you have discharged me off the land with: But you need not put yourself to the trouble of speaking, for I will not hear you. I am not afraid of flies, or musquitoes, for Indians are such as those; I tell you down that river I will go, and build upon it, according to my command. If the river was blocked up, I have forces sufficient to burst it open, and tread under my feet all that stand in opposition together with their alliances ; for my force is as the sand upon the sea shore: therefore here is your wampum; I sling it at you. Child, you talk foolish; you say this land belongs to you, but there is not the black of my nail yours. I saw that land sooner than you did, before the Shannoahs and you were at war: Lead, was the man who went down and took possession of that river. It is my land, and I will have it, let who will stand up for, or say against it. I will buy and sell with the English (mockingly.) If people will be ruled by me, they may expect kindness, but not else.”
The half king told me he had inquired of the general after two Englishmen, who were made prisoners, and received this answer:
“ Child, you think it a very great hardship that I made prisoners of those two people at Venango. Don't you concern yourself with it: we took and carried them to Canada, to get intelligence of what the English were doing in Virginia.”
He informed me that they had built two forts, one on lake Erie, and another on French creek, near a small lake, about fifteen miles asunder, and a large waggon road between : They are both built after the same model, but different in size: that on the lake the largest. He gave me a plan of them of his own drawing.
The Indians inquired very particularly after their brothers in Carolina goal.
They also asked what sort of a boy it was who was taken from the south branch; for they were told by some Indians, that a party of French Indians had carried a white boy by Kuskuska town, towards the lakes.
26th. We met in council at the long house about nine o'clock, where I spoke to them as follows:
“ Brothers, I have called you together in council, by order of your brother the governor of Virginia, to acquaint
you, that I am sent with all possible dispatch, to visit, and deliver a letter to the French commandant, of very great importance to your brothers the English ; and I dare say to you, their friends and allies.
“ I was desired, brothers, by your brother the governor to call upon you, the sachems of the nations, to inform you of it, and to ask your advice and assistance to proceed the nearest and best road to the French. You see, brothers, I have gotten thus far on my journey.
“ His honour likewise desired me to apply to you for some of your young men to conduct and provide provisions for us on our way; and be a safe guard against those French Indians who have taken up the hatchet against us. I have spoken thus particularly to you, brothers, because his honour our governor treats you as good friends and allies, and holds you in great esteem. To confirm what I have said, I give you this string of wampum.”
After they had considered for some time on the above discourse, the half king got up and spoke :
“ Now my brother, in regard to what my brother the governor had desired of me, I return you this answer.
“ I rely upon you as a brother ought to do, as you say we are brothers, and one people. We shall put hcart in hand, and speak to our fathers, the French, concerning the speech they made to me; and you may depend that we will endeavour to be your guard.
“ Brother, as you have asked my advice, I hope you will be ruled by it, and stay until I can provide a company to go with you. The French speech belt is not here, I have it to go for to my hunting cabin. Likewise, the people whom I have ordered in are not yet come, and cannot until the third night from this ; until which time brother I must beg you to stay.
« I intend to send the guard of Mingos, Shannoahs, and Delawares, that our brothers may see the love and loyalty we bear them."
As I had orders to make all possible dispatch, and waiting here was very contrary to my inclination, I thanked him in the most suitable manner I could ; and told him that my business required the greatest expedition, and would not admit of that delay. He was not well pleased that I should offer to go before the time he had appointed, and told me, that he could not consent to our going without a guard, for fear some accident should befal us, and draw a reflection upon him. Besides, said he, this is a matter of no small moment, and must not be entered into without due consideration ; for I intend to deliver up the French speech belt, and make the Shannoahs and Delawares do the same. And accordingly he gave orders to king Shingiss, who was present, to attend on wednesday night with the wampum, and two men of their nation to be in readiness to set out with us next morning. As I found it was impossible to get off without affronting them in the most egregious manner, I consented to stay.
I gave them back a string of wampum which I met with at mr. Frazier's, and which they sent with a speech to his honour the governor, to inform him, that three nations of French Indians, viz. Chippoways, Ottoways, and Orundaks, had taken up the hatchet against the English ; and desired them to repeat it over again. But this they postponed doing until they met in full council with the Shannoah and Delaware chiefs.
27th. Runners were dispatched very early for the Shannoah chiefs. The half king set out himself to fetch the French speech belt from his hunting cabbin.
28th. He returned this evening, and came with Monakatoocha, and two other sachems to my tent; apd begged (as they had complied with his honour the governor's request, in providing men, &c.) to know on what business we were going to the French? This was a question I had all along expected, and had provided as satisfactory answers to, as I could; which allayed their curiosity a little.
Monakatoocha informed me, that an Indian from Venango brought news, a few days ago, that the French had called all the Mingos, Delawares, &c. together at that place; and told them that they intended to have been down the river this fall, but the waters were growing cold, and the winter advancing, which obliged them to go into quarters ; but that they might assuredly expect them in the spring, with a far greater number ; and desired that they might be quite passive, and not intermeddle unless they had a mind to draw all their force upon them: for that they expected to fight the English three years (as they supposed there would be some attempts made to stop them) in which time they should conquer. But that if they should prove equally strong, they and the English, would join to cut them all off, and divide the land between them: that though they had lost their general, and some few of their soldiers, yet there were men enough to re-enforce them, and make them masters of the Ohio.
This speech, he said, was delivered to them by one captain Joncaire, their interpreter in chief, living at Venango, and a man of note in the army.
29th. The half king and Monakatoocha, came very early and begged me to stay one day more: for notwithstanding they had used all the diligence in their power, the Shannoah chiefs had not brought the wampum they ordered, but would certainly be in to night; if not, they would delay me no longer, but would send it after us as soon as they arrived. When I found them so pressing in their request, and knew that returning of wampum was the abolishing of agreements; and giving this up was shaking off all dependence upon the French, I consented to stay, as I believed an offence offered at this crisis, might be attended with greater ill consequence, than another day's delay. They also informed me, that Shingiss could not get in his men; and was prevented from coming himself by his wife's sickness ; (I believe, by fear of the French) but that the wampum of that