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Europe, of equal excellence and perfection, and, in proportion to its strength, in equal quantities with those of its more poweriul and opulent neighbors.
FREQUENT ruptures had occurred among the different nations of Indians, and it had required the exercise of no small share of policy, to steer a course which would free them from the necessity of taking an active part in their wars : the Creeks particularly, held in remenbrance the assistance which they had rendered general Oglethorpe in his attack upon Augustine, as well as the services which he had received from them when the Spaniards attacked him on St. Simon's island.
Traders had heretofore taken out licenses from the governors of Carolina and Georgia, for carrying on commerce with the Indians: this plan however, had been found on experiment, to be very objec
stionable; the traders were so far removed from the
power to which they were amenable, that they comınitted frauds on the ignorant savages with whom they were licensed to trade, so that scarcely a month passed without some complaints; it was therefore thought that the office of a superintendent was necessary in the southern as well as the northern district of America. Accordingly this office was given to captain John Steuart, who was in every respect well qualifie for the trust; as Attakullakulla had given it as his opinion, that the southern provinces would receive no molestation from the Indians, if this officer was appointed to reside among them, and to advise and direct them. After his commission arrived from the king, the southern provinces promised themselves peace and tranquillity with the Indians. Plans of lenity were likewise adopted by the government, with respect to Indian tribes, and every possible precaution was taken to guard against oppression, and prevent any rupture with them. Experience had shewn that rigorous measures, such as humbling them by force of arms, were not only very expensive, inhuman, bloody, and incompatible with the christian character, but also seldom accompanied with any good effects : such ill treatment generally rendered the savages cruel, suspi. cious and distrustful, and kept them in preparation for the renewal of hostilities, by keeping alive their ferocious and warlike spirit. Their extirpation, though it might be easily effected
would be as dishonorable and incorrect as it was cruel; and the prosperity of the provinces, would be retarded by the attempt : whereas by treating them with gentleness and humanity, it was thought they would by degrees lose their savage spirit
, and become more harmless and civilized. It was hoped that by establishing a fair and free trade with them, their rude temper would in time be softened, their manners amended, and their wants increased; and instead of implacable enemies, ever bent on war and mischief, they might be rendered good allies, and beneficial to the trade of
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It was thought advisable by the superintendent of Indian affairs, soon after his appointment, to call a general congress of the southern tribes; and Mobile was fixed on as the most proper and convenient place for the meeting. As captain Steuart was well acquainted with the humors, tempers and characters of these tribes, his speech, in which is exhibited a good specimen of the language and manner proper for addressing barbarous nations, may not be unworthy of the reader's perusal.
“ Friends and brothers—the Supreme Being, who made the world and all its inhabitants, has been pleased to permit many great warriors of the British and Indian nations, to meet together in peace. The great king, who is the father of all white people in Great Britain and America, and defends them from danger, this day stretches out
his arms to receive his red children into favor : he has been pleased to appoint me superintendent of the affairs of all Indian nations to the southward of Virginia : in his name I speak to you ; and as the words you hear are his words, I hope you will listen to them with attention, and allow them to remain deeply impressed on your minds : they are calculated to promote not only your happiness, but that of your children, and children's children forever.
“ When the great kings of Britain and France were at variance, the storms of war raged through this great forest; the Indian nations were divided, brothers against brothers, and your country was stained with blood; malice and revenge went forth ; all paths were made crooked ; and your land was covered with darkness. Now that it has pleased the Author of Life, to restore the blessings of light and peace, it is our duty to make a proper use and improvement of them. As fogs gathered in the night, are dispersed by the rising sun, so words dictated by the rage of war, should be forgotten in time of peace. The great king, full of wisdom and magnanimity, knows the frailty of his red children, and forgives their disobedience and rebellion : he extends his love to them all, even to those who lifted up the hatchet against him: to render them secure, he has resolved that the English and French shall be forever separated by the great river Mississippi, and that all nations on this side of it shall have
him for their common father: he commands all the strife and enmity between his white and red children to cease, and expects that the allies of Britain will take those Indians, the former allies of France, by the hand, and live together like brethren of one family. That his white and red children may be near one another, and mutually supply each others wants, he has ordered some of his good subjects to come over the great waters, and live on the fruits of this land, which the Supreme Being made for the use of mankind in general. To open this friendly intercourse, I have invited you all to meet me at this place, and I rejoice that so many brothers are come to accept the royal favor and protection.
“ Ye Chickesaw warriors, I speak to you, and I know your ears are open to my words. The great king regards you as children brought up their father's house, who from their infancy have been dutiful and obedient, and by that means merited what you have always enjoyed, his par. : ticular care and affection. While darkness sur. rounded you on every side, he has defended
you from all those snares and dangers to which you were exposed; now the day is clear aud unclou. ded, your father continues to love you. The paths from your towns to all nations shall be made straight and plain, and nothing shall be permitted to hurt your feet; your children shall rejoice and grow up in safety, and your houses shall be filled with abundance of corn and veni.