Imágenes de páginas
PDF
EPUB
[merged small][ocr errors][merged small]

Monsieur De La Barre's Speech, addressed to Ga

rangula, an Onondaga Chief, the Indians and French officers at the same time forming a circle round about him.

The king, my master, being informed that the Five Nations have often infringed the peace, has ordered me to come hither with a guard, and to send Ohguesse to the Onondagas, to bring the chief sachems to my camp. The intention of the great king is, that you and I may smoke the calumet of peace together; but on this condition, that you promise me, in the name of the Senecas, Cayugas, Onondagas, and Mohawks, to give entire satisfaction and reparation to his subjects, and for the future never to molest them.

“The Senecas, Cayugas, Onondagas, Oneidas, and Mohawks, have robbed and abused all the traders that were passing to the Illinois and Miamies, and other Indian nations, the children of my king; they have acted, on these occasions, contrary to the treaty of peace with my predecessor. I am ordered, therefore, to demand satisfaction; and to tell them, that in case of refusal, or their plundering us any more, that I have express orders to declare war. This belt confirms my words. The warriors of the Five Nations have conducted the English into the lakes, which belong to the king, my master, and brought the English among the nations that are bis children to destroy the trade of his subjects, and to withdraw these nations from him. They have carried the English thither, notwithstanding the prohibition of the late governor of New York, who foresaw the risk that both they and you would run. I am willing to forget those things; but if ever the like should happen for the future, I have express orders to declare war against you. This belt confirms my words. Your warriors have made several barbarous incursions on the Illinois and Miamies. They have massacred men, women, and children; they have made many of these nations prisoners, who thought themselves safe in their villages in time of peace. These people, who are my king's children, must not be your slaves: you must give them their liberty, and send them back into their own country. If the Five Nations shall refuse to do this, I have express orders to declare war against them. This belt confirms my words.

“This is what I have to say to Garangula, that he may carry to the Senecas, Opondagas, Oneidas, Cayugas, and Mohawks, the declaration which the king, my master, has commanded me to make. He doth not wish them to force him to send a great army to Cadarackui fort, to begin a war, which must be fatal to them. He would be sorry that this fort, that was the work of peace, should become the prison of your warriors. We must endeavour on both sides to prevent such misfortunes. The French, who are the brethren and friends of the Five Nations, will never trouble their repose, provided that the satisfaction which I demand be given ; and that the treaties of peace be hereafter observed. I shall be extremely grieved if my words do not produce the effect which I expect from them; for then I shall be obliged to join with the governor of NewYork, who is commanded by his master to assist

1

me, and burn the castles of the Five Nations, and destroy you. This belt confirms my words.”

Garangula, after walking five or six times round the circle, answered the French governor, who sat in an elbow chair, in the following strain : « YONNONDIO,

“) honour you, and the warriors that are with me likewise honour you. Your interpreter has finished your speech: I now begin mine. My words make haste to reach your ears; hearken to them.

“Yonnondio, you must have believed, when you left Quebec, that the sun had burnt up all the forests, which render our country inaccessible to the French, or that the lakes had so far overflown the banks, that they had surrounded our castles, and that it was impossible for us to get out of them. Yes, Yonnondio, surely you must have dreamt so; and the curiosity of seeing so great a wonder, has brought you so far. Now you are undeceived, since that I and the warriors here present, are come to assure you that the Senecas, Cayugas, Onondagas, Oneidas, and Mohawks, are yet alive. I thank you in their name for bringing back into their country the calumet which your predecessor received from their hands. It was happy for you that you left under ground that murdering hatchet which has been so often died in the blood of the French. Hear, Yonnondio; I do not sleep; I have my eyes open, and the sun which enlightens me, discovers to me a great captain at the head of a company of soldiers, who speaks as if he were dreaming. He says that he only came to the lake to smoke on the great calumet with the Onondagas; but Garangula says that he sees the contrary ; that

it was to knock them on the head, if sickness had not weakened the arms of the French.

“I see Yonnondio raving in a camp of sick men, whose lives the great spirit has saved, by inflicting this sickness on them. Hear, Yonnondio: our women had taken their clubs; our children and old men had carried their bows and arrows into the heart of your camp, if our warriors had not disarmed them, and kept them back, when your messenger Ohguesse came to our castles. It is done, and I have said it. Hear, Yonnondio; we plundered none of the French but those that carried guns, powder and ball to the Twightwies and Chictaghicks, because those arms might have cost us our lives. Herein we follow the example of the Jesuits, who stave all the kegs of rum brought to our castles, lest the drunken Indians should knock them on the head. Our warriors have not beaver enough to pay for all these arms that they have taken ; and our old men are not afraid of the war.

This belt preserves

my words.

“We carried the English into our lakes to trade there with the Utawawas and Quatoghies as the Andirondocks brought the French to our castles to carry on a trade, which the English say is theirs. We are born free. We neither depend on Yor nondio nor Corlear.

“We may go where we please, and carry with us whom we please. If your allies be your slaves, use them as such. Command them to receive no other but your people. This belt preserves my words.

“We knocked the Twightwies and Chictaghicks on the head because they had cut down the trees of peace, which were the limits of our country. They have hunted beavers on our land. They had acted contrary to the customs of all Indians; for they left none of the beavers alive: they killed both male and female. They brought the Satanas into

the country to take part with them, after they had concerted ill designs against us. We have done less than either the English or French, that have usurped the lands of so many Indian nations, and chased them from their own country. This belt preserves my words.

Hear, Yonnondio; what I say is the voice of all the Five Nations: hear what they answer. Open your ears to what they speak. The Senecas, Cayugas, Onondagas, Oneidas, and the Mohawks, say, that when they buried the hatchet at the Cada. rackui (in the presence of your predecessor) in the middle of the fort, they planted the tree of peace in the same place, to be there carefully preserved, that in place of a retreat for soldiers, that fort might be a rendezvous for merchants; that in place of arms and ammunition of war, beavers and merchandize should only enter there..

Hear, Yonnondio; take care for the future, that so great a number of soldiers as appear there do not choke the tree of peace planted in so small a fort. It will be a great loss, if after it had so easily taken root, you should stop its growth, and prevent its covering your country and ours with its branches. I assure you, in the name of the Five -Nations, that our warriors shall dance to the calumet of peace under its leaves, and shall remain quiet on their mats, and shall never dig up the hatchet till their brother, Yonnondio, or Corlear, shall, either jointly or separately, endeavour to attack the country, which the great spirit has given to our ancestors. This belt preserves my words; and this other, the authority which the Five Nations have given me.'

Then Garangula, addressing himself to Monsieur La Main," said, “ take courage, Ohguesse, you have spirit, speak-explain my words; forget nothing; tell all that your brethren and friends say

« AnteriorContinuar »