0^ »1*^' ^^-n^. k* *>^ i^ ^^^ .* .^ . ,-• /%--!e^:'>-X •'^^•v" - w^" i^M, X/ .-^C^", %.*^ V .••i;^-*. cv -^^ .^ji;^!.^-^ •/>*%. -.IK- /X or- '* .^^' -^ • 3 * 'bV ._^/ /%. "•^^^•' -**'-v \^.- /-^-^ ""*'' ^-^ /,c:^*°^*=o " •'^^ '*'^'*^^''^- '" -^^ -^" s* . 5 <=e<v ; » <i> \ Vc,^^ 0" .♦ 4L* «<* •J' . - ''^^O^ "/l^^*- '>i~*"^ ,0 ^^ •^"o -ov^ ^*\ '*^ .0^ A<^^ C ♦ *°o .0 ^^ * : <i> 3K 3-n, "■•" %,«- .' ;* «.^ • / 1 ^' r .V. 0°*/ <> *'...* «G V'^^ 5^"-. ** ,^^" ^.i. - :. >. ^^ .<'.l-*;"<^^ " .o^ ..^'^•. V " ^<^"' _. '^-0^ v" 'ij;^'* c^. )* .v«. ;• »* ^-. .*^ '^o. o-v. -o^^^yi^-* ^Ho,. -.w^"." r-n*., \'^c^<K^: ^<°^ . . o - .0 ^<^/ 0' r'^*, q, ^^-^.K ^. * • . o ' ^0 "»<p. * <^ ^* >* .V- • \<>- ••'• /: -^oo "^ 6 *» " * 4 ^* . o^ * . . o « .0- .0' A[ TREATY OF BIG TREE ROBERT MORRIS A HISTORY OF THE TREATY OF BIG TREE AND AN ACCOUNT OF THE CELE. BRATION OF THE ONE HUNDREDTH ANNIVERSARY OF THE MAKING OF THE TREATY. HELD AT GENESEO, N. Y.. SEPTEMBER THE FIFTEENTH EIGHTEEN HUNDRED NINETY.SEVEN Published by the Livingston County Historical Society A. O. BUNNELL, PRINTER, DANSVILLE, N. Y. P. Publ. ?^ INTRODUCTION INTRODUCTION ^\ T THE annual meeting of the Livingston County Historical tJk Society, held in 1896, it was determined that the one hundredth I 1 anniversary of the meeting of the Treaty of Big Tree should be / celebrated in some appropriate manner under the auspices of the society. Accordingly, at the following annual meeting a committee was appointed to have the entire matter in charge ; such committee consisted of William A. Brodie, Chairman ; E. Fred Youngs, George B. Adams and Charles D. Newton, of Geneseo ; Asael O. Bunnell of Dans- ville ; Chaxmcey K. Sanders of Nunda ; S, Edward Hitchcock of Conesus ; and the president-elect, William A. Wadsworth, and the secretary-elect, Lockwood R. Doty, ex-officio. On the 15th day of September, 1897, the anniversary ceremonies took place at Geneseo. A large number of guests representing other Historical Societies in the State, and others, were present, including Mr. Gouverneur Morris, the eldest male descendant and great grandson of Robert Morris, and Mr. A. Sim Logan and Mr. Andrew John, mem- bers of the Seneca Nation of Indians, representing the contracting par- ties to the treaty. A short business meeting was held at the society's log cabin, pre- sided over by the vice-president, S. E. Hitchcock, in the absence of the President, who was detained in a western state by illness, followed by an informal reception there. At 1 :30 o'clock a visit was made in car- riages to the site of the Council House and the Headquarters of the Treaty Commissioners. At 2:80 o'clock exercises were held in the spacious chapel of the Normal School building, which had been cour- teously tendered to the society by the Principal and Local Board. These exercises consisted of choral and orchestral music rendered by students of the Normal School under the direction of Mr. W. W. Kil- lip of Geneseo; Prayer by Rev. J. E. Kittredge, D. D., of Geneseo; address by the Chairman of the Committee, W. A. Brodie ; Historical Address by John S. Minard, of Fillmore, N. Y., and presentation of various Historical Documents by Dr. George Rogers Howell, Archivist of New York State Library, who also presented to the society, on behalf of Mr. Gouverneur Morris, a photographic copy of Rembrandt Peale's portrait of Robert Morris. A banquet was spread for guests of the society, numbering about one hundred, in the gymnasium of the Normal School building at Treaty of Big Tree 8 six o'clock ; responses to toasts proposed in a felicitous man- ner by Vice-President Hitchcock, were made by Col. John R. Strang of Geneseo ; Hon. Gouverneur Morris of Detroit ; Hon. Wallace Bruce, Mr. A. Sim Logan and Mr. Andrew John of Versailles, N, Y. Exercises were held in the evening at the Normal Chapel, consist- ing of music, an address by Hon. Wallace Bruce on the subject "A Great Century," and a short speech by Mr. A. Sim Logan. The committee were assured by all who attended the celebration that it was entirely successful and most appropriately conducted. It is sought in the following pages to preserve the history of this most important treaty and the incidents attending this celebration of its one hundredth anniversary. Maps, portraits, papers and corres- pondence have been added to enhance its historical as well as general interest so far as practicable. The address of Mr. William H. Samson of Rochester, delivered before the Society in 1894, was the first compre- hensive and completely accurate accoiint of the Treaty and the nego- tiations leading up to it, and is reproduced entire. I wish to express my obligations to Hon. William P. Letch worth, Mr. Howard L. Osgood and Mr. William H. Samson for special aid in collecting the matter here presented, which is offered to the public in the hope that it will redound in some measure to the credit of the Livingston County His- torical Society. LocKwooD R. Doty, Secretary. AFTERNOON MEETING PRAYER BY REV. J. E. KITTREDGE, D. D. ^\ LMIGHTY GOD, our Heavenly Father, thou art the God of ^^ the years and of the centuries. Thou art from everlasting I A to everlasting. We adore thee reverently ; we worship ^ thee heartily, thou our Creator, Benefactor, Redeemer ; we offer thee at this hour, with the acknowledgement of individual un- worthiness, our humble, grateful praise. Accept, we beseech thee, our hearty thanks for life, with all its meaning and precious possibilities, its blessed conditions and environ- ment, the goodly heritage that is ours in this garden of the Lord through the compact we recognize of a hundred years ago ; for mater- ial comfort, social amenities, and educational and religious gifts; for freedom of thought and action ; for incentives to all highest things ; for opportunities of good and the promise of life everlasting through Jesus Christ our Lord. We bless thee for an historic past, for an ampler present, for a future so grand in promise. We thank thee for the wonderful century we celebrate today. We thank thee for the good men and women who came hither years ago — choice seed of thy selecting ; for their Christian enterprise ; for the homes they built, the churches and schools they founded, the courts of justice they established ; for all forces that touch and guard the highest interests of man. We thank thee for human brotherhood, O thou Our Father. Thou hast made of one blood all the peoples of the earth. May we bear this kinship well in mind. May thy blessing rest on those who represent here the earlier and the earliest occupants of this soil. Bless this great commonwealth and the broad land we love. Extend thy gi-ace over all the earth. Crown with thy favor this special occasion. Instriict us by its historic memorials. Be with those who present them to us, those who speak and those who listen. Bless those whose memory reaches back toward the opening of the century. Bless those whose heart is in the living present and whose eye is toward the future. May thy benedic- tion be upon us all. And this we ask through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen. HISTORICAL ADDRESS BY HON. JOHN S. MINARD ^^\ EASURED by its effect upon the material prosperity of ill Western New York, the treaty of Big Tree, which was 111 concluded 100 years ago today, stands second to no other ^ \ event in its whole history; for upon that occasion was extinguished the title of the Seneca nation of Indians to all the territory, the right of pre-emption to which the state of New York had ceded to the commonwealth of Massachusetts, which lies west of what is known as the Phelps and Gorham purchase, with the exception of several reservations, unimportant in extent, in the immediate neighborhood of their principal villages. With commendable propriety, therefore, the Livingston County Historical Society has provided for a proper commemoration of the event, and we are assembled today within sight and hearing distance of the scene of the treaty, for the purpose of celebrating with exercises becoming the character of that event, the centennial anniversary of that important preparatory step toward the appropriation and settle- ment by the whites, of the territory treated for, and which made an occasion like this a possibility. In treating the subject assigned to me, I will consider briefly, the territory which was the subject of negotiation; notice some of the early explorers and pioneers; consider the causes which led to the transaction ; sketch some of the leading characters who took part in the business ; give a synopsis of the proceedings ; and then consider the effect of the treaty in stimulating settlements and inaugurating improvements. One hundred years ago the territory which was treated for at the council fire of Big Tree, presented a decidedly primitive condition of forest ; of vast extent, of trees innumerable, of shrubs of many kinds, of herbage in endless variety ; broken only by occasional open flats along the rivers and larger streams, which were tilled by the Indian women, and yielded bounteous crops of com, beans, squashes and other vegetables, when only slightly stirred by their rude instruments of husbandry. It was a land of lofty summits, and lovely and reposeful valleys and lowlands ; of silvery lakes, gushing springs, gurgling rills, babbling brooks, winding streams, foaming cataracts and beautiful cascades. This wilderness was thickly peopled with deer, bears, Treaty of Big Tree 14 wolves, panthers, beavers and other animals, and the lakes and streams were fairly alive with fish of many kinds. A sparse population of Seneca Indians, the most powerful and warlike of that famous confed- eracy of the Six Nations, the League of the Iroquois, which has chal- lenged the admiration of historians, and won for its people the proud distinction of "Romans of the West," inhabited the valleys of the Gen- esee and Allegheny rivers, and Cattaraugus, Tonawanda and Buffalo creeks, along the courses of which streams they established their prin- cipal villages. Within its limit was situated the old chief town of Ga-o-ya-de-o (Caneadea), which for years was the western door of the long house of the Iroquois, and the beautiful flats along the Genesee were said to have been the terrestrial paradise of the Senecas. La Salle and Hennepin in 1679 had coasted along the southern shore of Lake Ontario, gazed with awe and admiration iipon Niagara Falls, con- structed the Griffin, and launched the first sail boat on the waters of Lake Erie. In 1682 La Salle had discovered Chautauqua lake, and sixty-seven years later De Celoron had recorded its name. In the autumn of 1700 Colonel Romer with a few attendants, made his way up the Genesee to a point near Belvidere, thence to the famous oil spring near Cuba, and thence on to the Allegheny and Ohio ; and in 1720 Charlevoix, coasting along the southern shore of Ontario, sent his lieutenant, Chabert Joncaire, over the same route pursued by Colo- nel Romer. At the time of the treaty, Lemuel B. Jennings, Captain Nobles and James and William Wadsworth had settled at this place ; Ebenezer Allen had commenced operations in Mt. Morris ; Horatio and John H. Jones in Leicester ; Buffalo had only four or five houses ; Na- thaniel Dyke had made a beginning along the line between Wellsville and Andover, and Major Moses Van Campen, the famous scout and Indian fighter of the Revolution, Rev. Andrew Gray, and the McHen- rys had founded homes in Almond. Over the possession of this won- derful region had arisen, way back in the times of British dependency, a dispute between the colonies of New York and Massachusetts. Mas- sachusetts claimed it under a grant from King James I. to the Plymouth Company, bearing date Nov. 3, 1620, and New York laid claim to the same territory, by virtue of a grant from Charles II. to the Duke of York, dated March 12, 1664, and the voluntary submission of the Six Nations to the crown in 1684. This contention, all owing to faulty and overlapping property descriptions in the grants, was dropped during the Treaty of Big Tree 15 period of the war only to be resumed after the restoration of peace, and continued till December 16, 1786, when the states, which in the new or- der of things had succeeded the colonies, had the good sense to settle the matter by commissioners appointed for the purpose. New York retaining the sovereignty, and ceding to Massachusetts the right to pur- chase the title of the Indians, in other words, the right of pre-emption. So many years having been spent in the controversey, both states had become tired of it and Massachusetts was anxious to avail herself of the proceeds of the sale of her rights. The depressed condition in which the states were left at the close of the war had begun to wear away, the population of the seaboard districts had become somewhat crowded, indeed in some places actually congested, and many faces were turned interior- ward, in quest of new homes. As a result, the spirit of speculation was aroused, and capitalists turned their attention to investments in land. Among these speculators were Oliver Phelps and Nathaniel Gorham, who soon commenced negotiations with Massa- chusetts, for the purchase of her right to pre-emption. The negotia- tion was successful, the contract bearing date March 31, 1788, giving the consideration and terms of payment, to quote the instrument, as "three hundred thousand pounds, in consolidated securities of this commonwealth, or two thousand pounds specie, together vsdth two hundred and ninety thousand pounds in like securities, Messrs. Phelps and Gorham being required to give security for the payment of the same, "one-third in one year, one-third in two years, and one-third in three years." Messrs. Phelps and Gorham were anxious to make an early pur- chase of the Indian title, and thus be enabled to dispose of their lands, or a part at least, in time to apply the effects upon their contract with Massachusetts, and hustled things with such vigor and celerity, that on the 8th of July, 1788, at Buffalo Creek, was concluded a treaty, by which the sale of all the lands of the Indians east of a boundary which to quote the conveyance, was: "A meridian which will pass through that corner or point of land, made by the confluence of the Shanahas- gwaikon creek, so-called (Canaseraga), with the waters of the Genesee river ; thence running north along said meridian to the corner or point last mentioned ; thence northwardly along the waters of the said Gen- esee river to a point two miles north of Shanawagerus village, so-called (Canawaugus) ; thence running in a direction due west, twelve miles ; Treaty of Big Tree 16 thence running in a direction northwardly, so as to be twelve miles distant from the most westward bends of the said Genesee river, to the shore of the Ontario lake," and about two and one-half million acres were embraced in the tract. The consideration was £2,100 and an annuity of $500. The legislature of Massachusetts on the 21st of November, 1788, passed an act, vesting the title to this land in Messrs. Phelps and Gor- ham, they relinquishing all the lands west of this tract, which were included in the contract. Though not entirely pertinent to the subject, it may still in a sort of parenthetical way be observed, that to this deed was appended the name of Governor John Hancock, not, how- ever, in his own hand, as appears by the accompanying explanation: "The secretary signed his excellency's name, by his order, he being unable to put his signature by reason of the gout in his right hand." So, incidental to our investigations the very important historical fact is disclosed, that on the 21st of November, 1788, His Excellency Gov- ernor John Hancock was afflicted with the gout ! On account, how- ever, of the advance of the securities with which they were to make their payments, Phelps and Gorham were unable to meet their engage- ments with Massachusetts, and so reserving two townships (Tp. 10 R. 3, and Tp. 9. R. 7) Canandaigiia and Geneseo (?), they sold the tract to Robert Morris, who had begun to turn his attention to land speciila- tions. Mr. Morris held it but a short time, and turned it over to Sir William Poulteney and others in England, at a profit, it has been said, of something like $160,000. These successful transactions made Mr. Morris eager for more lands upon which he could realize still more profits. On the 11th of May, 1791, he secured from Massachusetts the pre-emption right to all the lands in the state of New York west of the tract purchased by Messrs. Phelps and Gorham. For this it is said that he paid the sum of $333,333.33. Mr. Morris held this tract but a short time, and in 1792-3, sold it to a syndicate of Holland capitalists, afterwards known as the "Holland Land Company," reserving the eastern portion, about 12 miles in width , parts of which he had sold to other parties, or placed as security for loans as in the case of the Church tract. This came to be called the "Morris reserve." One condition of this sale was that Mr. Morris should extinguish the Indian title, and until such time as he should perform that part of the agreement, the syndicate reserved Treaty of Big Tree 17 £37,500 of the purchase money. Mr. Morris at this time had a son, Thomas, abotit 21 years of age, who had received a liberal education at Geneva and Leipsic, and was then engaged in studying law. He was a promising young man, of good natural ability, fine presence, and had the happy faculty, as the sequel will show, of quickly discovering the motives of men, of being quick to act, and quite likely to do about the right thing in a case of emergency. This son, Mr. Morris determined to settle in the new country, "as an evidence of his faith in its value and products ;" it is safe to presume also, with an eye to his future usefulness in effecting the purchase of the Indian lands. Readily com- plying with the wishes of his father, Thomas left Philadelphia in the summer of 1791, and following what was then called "Sullivan's path,' he reached Newtown in time to attend Pickering's council. At the council he made the acquaintance of many of the leading Indians, who were so favorably impressed with him, as to give him the name 0-te- ti-ana, which Red Jacket had borne in his younger days. Pursuing his journey to Niagara, he stopped on his return, at Can- andaigua, with which place he was so much pleased as to make it his home. He was admitted to the bar, and in 1794 attended the first court ever held in Canandaigua. In 1794-5-6, he was a member of assembly from Ontario. From 1796-1801 he was state senator, and from 1801-1803, was a member of congress. Robert Morris was naturally quite anxious for a final settlement of matters with the Holland syndicate, but owing to the war between the Western Indians and the United States, in which, however, the Six Nations were not involved, he deferred making any formal over- tures to the Senecas, till peace was restored, as he feared that in case he should succeed in buying their lands during the progress of the war, they could the more easily be induced to join the Western tribes in hostility to the United States. At last peace with the Western Indians having been restored, Mr. Morris in August, 1796, directed a letter to President Washington, wherein he asked that a commissioner be ap- pointed to preside at a treaty to be held with the Seneca nation, for the purpose of enabling him to ' 'make a purchase in conformity with the formalities of law," of the tract of country for which he had already paid a large sum of money. In this letter he stated, "My right to pre- emption is unequivocal, and the land is become so necessary to the growing population, and surrounding settlements, that it is with diffi- Treaty of Big Tree 18 culty that the white people can be restrained from squatting or set- tling down upon these lands, which if they should do, it may probably bring on contentions with the Six Nations. This will be prevented by a timely, fair, and honorable purchase." Accordingly in due time, Isaac Smith, a member of congress from New Jersey, was appointed, but having received the appointment of judge of the supreme court, he declined to act, and Colonel Jeremiah Wadsworth, a distinguished member of congress from Connecticut was appointed in his place. The time had now arrived when active and immediate prepara- tions for the treaty were in order. The fact that the Indian village of Big Tree, though not situated upon the territory for which negotia- tions were to be instituted, was so very accessible to the people of the Senaca nation and was the nearest village to reach from Philadelphia, New York, and Canandaigua, doxibtless had much to do in fixing it as the place for holding the treaty. The 20th of August, 1797, was set as the time. Mr. Morris had appointed his son, Thomas, and his friend, Captain Charles Williamson, as his agents, but Mr. Williamson, hav- ing other engagements, was able to be present only a small part of the time ; which threw the burden of responsibility entirely upon Thomas Morris. Robert Morris prepared a most elaborate and carefully written letter of instructions to his agents, giving his directions and sugges- tions under twenty-four separate and distinct heads. In his prefatory remarks he said : I am to sustain all the expense ; this circumstance does not induce a desire to starve the cause, or to be niggardly ; at the same time, it is natural to desire a consistent economy to be observed, both as to the expense of the treaty, and the price to be paid for the lands." He inclosed with his letter a written speech, with which he proposed that his son should open the treaty. The third article sug- gests that "The business of the treaty may be greatly propelled prob- ably, by withholding liquor from the Indians ; showing and promising it to them when the treaty is over." Article 6 reads: "Annuities of from §20 to $60 per annum may be given, to influential chiefs to the extent of $250 or §300 per annum." Article 7 says : "Captain Brandt, although not belonging to the Seneca nation, yet being an influential character, he must be satisfied for his services, on as reasonable terms as possible, after the purchase is made." "Jones and Smith, as interpreters, are to do their duty fully Treaty of Big Tree 19 and faithfully, or I will not convey the lands contracted for with them, but if they do their duty, the deeds for those lands shall be delivered lapon the receipt of the money they are in that case to pay." It was also provided that Mr, Johnson, of Niagara, and Messrs. Dean and Parish, should be employed as interpreters and compensated with reas- onable liberality." Article 12 read: "Mr. Chapin will render any services that consist with the duties of his station, and must have a proper compliment or compensation." 14 : "The whole cost and charges of this treaty, being at my expense, you will direct everything on the principle of a liberal economy. The Indians must have plenty of food, and also of liquor, when you see proper to order it to them." "The commissioners, their secretaries, interpreters, and all who are officially employed at or about this treaty, must be provided for at my cost." A herd of cattle was driven along, and stores of provisions of various kinds in liberal quantities had to be transported over bad roads, in some places hardly any roads at all, to the scene of the treaty. In Doty's history of Livingston county is found this list of provisions and presents, which with the prices extended, gives something of an idea of the magnitude upon which the enterprise was carried out : 1,500 rations of beef, one day at $5 per hundred $75 00 1,500 rations of flour at $3.50 per 100 pounds 38 00 1,500 rations of whiskey, 25 gallons at $1.50 37 00 1,500 rations of tobacco 5 00 These for 30 days would amount to $4,650. 750 3-ft. blankets at $2 1,500 00 750 2i ft. blankets at $1.50 1,125 00 150 pieces blue shrouding, 24 yds, each at $1 per yard 3,600 00 100 pieces green leggings stuff, 18 yds. in piece, twilled 3-4 wide at 1,350 00 200 pieces com. calico, at 4s, 14 yds. per piece 1,370 00 50 yds, com. Holland, at 4s, 24 yds per piece 600 00 500 butcher or scalping knives 35 00 50 bags Vermillion 100 00 300 pounds powder 600 00 800 pounds lead 50 00 100 small brass kettles, of 4 to 6 qts 100 00 50 brass kettles of 12 qts 100 00 100 black silk handkerchiefs, presents for the chiefs in broad- cloth, red or green, of good quality 100 00 Amounting in the aggregate to $15,360 00 and several cows to give to the squaws. Two pipes of wine were brought along, probably mainly for the commissioners, secretaries, in- terpreters and other officials and visiting gentlemen. Treaty of Big Tree 20 The state of Massachiisetts appointed General William Shepard to attend and represent the commonwealth ; Captain Israel Chapin, who had succeeded his father, General Chapin, as superintendent of Indian affairs, was to be present ; William Bayard of New York, Joseph Elli- cott, and possibly some others, were to guard the interests of the Hol- land syndicate, and James Rees, afterwards of Geneva, was to act as secretary on the part of Mr, Morris. There were quite a number of other whites there, attracted perhaps as much by the desire to see, and learn what was going on as anything else ; some who came seeking opportunities to make something if the chance was presented, and some chronic mischief makers, intent on meddling, and thus making it a hard job to effect the purchase. The Indians were more prompt in their appearance than were the whites. Many arrived before the day appointed, and nearly all were there by the 20th. Glowing accounts of the marvellous wealth of Mr. Morris the merchant prince of his day, had come to the ears of the Indians. They had been told of the lavish distribution of fine presents which would be made, of the fat hogs and oxen that would be served out to them, with other dainties in great pro- fusion, with whiskey in limitless quantities ; that it was indeed to be a feast of fat things. The effect of these stories was to draw a large crowd of Indians together. Those only who were too old, or too young, too badly crippled, or too sick to go stayed at home, and a solemn and awfully prophetic stillness pervaded the grand old woods. Only at Big Tree, where a hundred camp fires were lighted and a hundred kettles swung were there any signs of life. It has been said that the first oxen killed were "devoured raw, reeking in the blood," so hungry had the crowd become. It was, without a doubt, one of the largest assemblages of Seneca Indians ever seen. The names of fifty-two sachems, chiefs and warriors are appended to the conveyance which was made and executed at this treaty, but of all this number a few only can be noticed and briefly at that. Young King was in one res- pect the most important Indian character at the treaty, for, had he been so inclined, he could have arrested the whole proceeding, and prevented the sale of their lands. He arrived late, and the Indians would proceed no further until everything had been made known to him, and received his approval. He was a lineal descendant of Old Smoke, or Old King, the leader of the Indians at the Wyoming mas- sacre. RED JACKET Treaty of Big Tree 21 Young King was a brave warrior, a wise counselor and was pos- sessed of high social qualities. He was born at Canandaigua about 1760, and his first experience in warfare was in fleeing to Niagara with his mother before the advancing and victorious hosts of Sullivan's army. At the the time of the treaty he was of lofty stature, and majestic mein, a king, indeed, in personal appearance. After passing through a period of drunkenness and dissipation, he became converted to Christianity, and died on the Buffalo reservation in 1835, greatly regretted by both Indians and whites. Red Jacket was about 39 years old at the time of the treaty, and was generally regarded as the greatest orator of the whole Six Nations. He had won but little fame as a warrior, but was by no means the coward some have represented him to be. When asked ironically by a white man of his deeds in war, he replied, "lam an orator, I was bom an orator," His fame rests mainly on his phenomenal eloquence. His speeches though interpreted by uneducated men, and taken down hastily and carelessly, cannot be read without surprise and admiration at their poetry, grace and strength. He was at the treaty at Fort Stamoix in 1784, at which LaFayette was present. Though not very conspicuous in that council he made one speech that the great French- man always remembered with admiration. The first of his remarkable speeches was delivered at the great Indian council at the mouth of Detroit river in 1786. Red Jacket took a prominent part in the treaty at Buffalo Creek July 8, 1788, unsuccessfully opposing the sale of lands to Messrs. Phelps and Gorham. The first of his speeches that has been preserved was delivered at Pickering's council at Tioga Point in November, 1790 (?). At Colonel Proctor's treaty at Buffalo Creek, when the Senecas were urged to send a delegation to the Miamis, Red Jacket was conspicuous as a spokesman, first for the warriors, and then for the women. He is fotmd next at Colonel Pickering's treaty at Painted Post in June, 1791, and in March of the next year with fifty leading Senecas, he visited Philadelphia and took the chief part in negotiations with President Washington. Next he appeared at the great Indian council at Canandaigua ; then came the Big Tree council ; four years later he made his second visit to the seat of the federal gov- ernment. In 1810 he made his third and last visit to the government officials, which practically closed his public career. Red Jacket's whole life was devoted to unceasing efforts to preserve the nationality Treaty of Big Tree 22 and inheritance of his people. Continually brooding over the misfor- tunes of his race, and wearied with the long struggle, he became des- pondent, too frequently quaffed of the intoxicating cup offered him by unfriendly hands among the whites, and his last years were full of sorrow. He died on the Buffalo reservation January 20, 1830. Near the last he said : "I am about to leave you, and when I am gone and my warnings are no longer heard or regarded, the craft and avarice of the white man will prevail. Many winters have I breasted the storm, but I am an aged tree. I can stand no longer. My leaves are fallen, my branches are withered and I am shaken by every breeze. Soon my aged trunk will be prostrate and the foot of the exulting foe of the Indian may be placed upon it in safety ; for I leave none who will be able to avenge such an indignity. Think not I mourn for myself. I go to join the spirits of my fathers, where age cannot come ; but my heart fails when I think of my people who are soon to be scattered and forgotten." Farmer's Brother did more to facilitate the sale than any other. He was a cousin of Hi-ok'-a-too, the husband of Mary Jemison. He was one of the greatest warriors of the Seneca nation, courageous, vig- ilant, sagacious ; was in the old French war and commanded a party in the bloody battle in which Braddock lost his life. In 1763 he headed a party of Indians from the Genesee at the fearful tragedy of Devil's Hole, and during the Revolution was a faithful ally of the British ; but in the war of 1812, he led the warriors of his nation against the red coats. He was as famous in council as on the warpath. As a speaker his voice was powerful and melodious, his gestures graceful and im- pressive, his manner commanding. He took a conspicuous part in all the more important treaties held in this state, and always endeavored to promote the good of his people. He died in 1815 at the age of 90 years, and was buried with military honors in the old cemetery on Franklin Square, Buffalo. In 1851 his remains were exhumed and re-buried in Forest Lawn. Complanter, who took a prominent part in the Big Tree treaty, was born at Canawagus, about 1726. He was a half-breed, his father being one John Abul, a Dutchman from Albany, who traded much with the Senecas, carrying his pack on his back, exchanging trinkets for furs. Complanter became a thorough Indian, and has passed into history as one of the bravest, wisest and most highly esteemed Treaty of Big Tree 23 of the Seneca nation. He was a warrior at Braddock's defeat, was a firm ally of the British during the Revolution, but in later years became the friend of the Americans and an earnest advocate of peace, differing radically in that respect, from Red Jacket, and the two were constant, and sometimes bitter opponents. In 1784 he was at Fort Stanwix, and took a leading part in the treaty. He was also present at Phelps and Gorham's treaty with the Indians at Buffalo Creek, in 1788, always claimed that the Indians were cheated upon that occasion, and appealedconstantly, and generally in vain, for justice from the whites. He was greatly troubled when he remembered the disgraceful way in which from the very beginning, the whites had deceived and cheated the Indians. In many instances he was opposed to both Brant and Red Jacket. He died on the reservation in Pennsylvania, February 18, 1836. Horatio Jones was born in Bedford county. Pa., in 1763. At 18 years of age he enlisted in the Revolutionary army and the same year was taken prisoner by the Indians. Enduring many hardships on the march, he was taken to the Genesee country, made to run the gauntlet, it is claimed by the best authorities at 0-wa-is-ki (Wiscoy). He was adopted into an Indian family, accommodated himself to the situation, made himself as happy as the circumstances would permit, learned their language thoroughly, and was much employed as interpreter. Natur- ally ingenious, he made himself useful in repairing their hunting imple- ments and weapons. To all intents and purposes he became a thorough- bred Indian, was successful in the chase, a prodigy almost, on the race course, temperate in his habits, cheerful in disposition, and a general favorite with the Indians, with whom he came to have great influence, being frequently chosen to settle their disputes. Often by his interven- tion the lives of prisoners were saved. At one time the renowned Major Moses VanCampen's life was saved by his friendly interposition and great presence of mind. His Indian name was Ta-e-da-o-qua. Presi- dent "Washington appointed him Indian interpreter, and he held this office till after 1830. He died at Sweet Briar, his residence on the Genesee, in 1836. Jasper Parish was born in Connecticut in 1766. The family moved to Luzerne county. Pa., and when he was 11 years old he was taken prisoner by some Delaware Indians. He was released soon after the treaty at Fort Stanwix, but during his captivity had made himself so Treaty of Big Tree 24 familiar with their language as to be appointed interpreter and sub- agent of Indian affairs by the United States government and discharged his duties in a manner satisfactory at once to the goverament and the Indians. He settled in Canandaigua in 1792, and died in 1836. Joseph Brandt was expected by Robert Morris to have been present, and render valuable assistance, as is inferred from his letter of in- structions. His name does not appear in the proceedings, but as he was not much given to speech making, he may have been there and rendered important service notwithstanding. He was a noted warrior, but not being a Seneca will here and now be no further noticed. Mary Jemison, the white woman of the Genesee, was another of the notables present at the treaty. Doty says: "A large and temporary council house, the exact site of which it is now difficult to determine, was at once prepared for the occasion. Overhead it was covered with boughs and branches of trees, to shelter the assemblage from the sun. An elevated bench was pro- vided for the commissioners and other benches for spectators." James and "William Wadsworth had a log house so nearly completed as to admit of occupation by the commissioners and some others, and it was accordingly hired for the purpose. This house has long since disap- peared, but upon its site has been erected a moderate-sized stone building, it is supposed mainly for the pui-pose of permanently marking the place. Thomas Morris arrived on the 22d of August and found the Indians all collected and waiting for him. On the 23d he called them together and addressed them, bidding them welcome to the place where he had kindled the council fire, and apologized for the non-appearance of the commissioners, which he attributed to the bad weather, and warned them against the attempts of some white men whom he said he sup- posed were present while he spoke, and attended the treaty for the purpose of leading astray and deceiving the Indians ; that such conduct in those people was in contempt of the laws of their country, and that if they did not desist, he would see those laws put into execution. Cornplanter immediately arose, recapitulated the heads of his speech to the Indians and expressed his satisfaction at being infoi-med that mischief-makers would be prosecuted. Saturday, August 26th. late in the afternoon, the commissioners arrived and found the Indians receiv- ing their annual presents, which were being distributed by Mr. Chapin, Treaty of Big Tree 25 On Sunday, the 37th, the Indians held a council for condolence with Mr. Chapin on the death of his daughter, to which they invited the commissioners and all the gentlemen from a distance. On Monday, the 28th, the council was formally opened. Cornplanter, addressing himself to Mr. Morris, acknowledged the receipt of his speech of invi- tation by Jones and Parish, observed that on their part they had been punctual in attendance, and was sorry the gentlemen who had come to meet them had met with delays on the road. He then handed back the string of wampum which had been delivered to him by the inter- preters. The United States commissioner, Colonel Wadsworth, then ad- dressed the Indians, telling them that he was the commissioner of the United States, appointed by the president to hold a treaty with them, and stating that the treaty is "held agreeably with the law, on the petition of Robert Morris, Esq., and its object is to effect a purchase, if agreeable to you, of a parcel of your lands," concluding by intro- ducing General Shepard, the commissioner from Massachusetts, and Mr. Morris and Capt. Williamson, the son and friend of Robert Morris, who are his representatives and have full power to ask for him "in treating with you for the purchase of the lands in question. Brothers, I rejoice with you that the Great Spirit has brought us together, let us so conduct ourselves as not to offend him, lest he withdraw his protec- tion from us." Colonel Shepard then addressed them, saying in part: "Brothers: Your brother, the governor, and the executive council of the state of Massachusetts, desirous that justice should be done to people of every color, and particularly to their brothers of the Seneca nation, have sent me with power to attend this treaty on their behalf. * * * And I shall make it my business to to see that the negotiation between you is carried on upon principles of justice and fairness. Brothers, I am an old man, much accustomed to do public business for the state to which I belong. I have always observed when thus employed, that a spirit of harmony and conciliation was attended with happy effect among us, therefore, brothers, I hope that your minds will be united, and that the voice of one will express the sentiments of all. Brothers, I have now said all that I have to say to you at present. May the Great Spirit take you under his protection, and give wisdom and unan- imity to your councils." Treaty of Big Tree 26 Thomas Morris, then, in a short address, informed them that as the Great Spirit had prevented the attendance of his father at this treaty, he had appointed him and Charles Williamson, Esq., agents to treat with them on his behalf, as would appear by the power he then handed to them, and had directed the delivery of a speech which he had written to them from Philadelphia. Robert Morris's speech was then read to them. I will read the following excei-pts : "Brothers of the Seneca Nation : It was my vrish and my intention to have come into your country and to have met you at this treaty, but the Great Spirit has ordained otherwise, and I cannot go. I grow old and corpu.lent, and not very well, and am fearful of traveling so far during the hot weather in the month of August." Then, after referring to his appointment of his son and Captain Charles Williamson as his agents and saying some other good things, tending to create a confi- dence in his agents, he very adroitly proceeds to say : "Brothers, it is now six years since I have been invested with the exclusive right to acquire your lands, during the whole of which time, you have quietly possessed them without being importuned to sell them, but I now think that it is time for them to be productive to you ; it is with a view to render them so, that I have acquiesced in your desire to meet you at the Genesee river, I shall take care immediately to deposit in the Bank of the United States whatever my son and my friend may agree to pay to you in my behalf." Then, after some well-chosen words of flattery for their chiefs, with some of whom he had become acquainted, and expressing the hope that for their sakes the wise men now at the head of their affairs would so fix their business (by which of course he meant the disposal of their lands), that it would not be left in the power of wrong-headed men in the future to waste the property given to them by the Great Spirit for the use of themselves and their poster- ity, and making no definite proposal, closed by bidding them farewell and invoking the Great Spirit to ever befriend and protect them. Mr. Morris's speech was a masterpiece in its way, was well calculated to make a favorable impression ui^on the Indians, and he declared that he "desired nothing but fair, open and honest transactions." After the speech of Mr. Morris had been read, the speeches of the commissioners, which were in writing, and a string of wampum, were laid on the table, and they were informed by Thomas Morris that they had nothing further to say for the present, and the council fire was Treaty of Big Tree 27 covered for that day. Nearly all of the 29th was consumed in councils among the Indians alone. Late in the afternoon, all were summoned to their public council, when Red Jacket noticed the speeches of the day before, and thanked the Great Spirit for his care of the commis- sioners, and stated that they were "satisfied with the appointments made by the president, governor of Massachusetts, and this friend who called for this council fire." Then turning to Thomas Morris, he observed that it appeared from the speeches delivered that there was something kept back, but that from his expressions of fairness and candor they hoped all would be fairly laid before them. Mr. Morris replied that it was his intention "to act with fairness and sincerity, and he was then ready, if they were ready to hear him, to lay before them, more particularly, the business which had called them together. It was then suggested by Red Jacket, that as the sun was nearly down, it would perhaps be well to leave it for tomorrow, and the council fire was covered over. On the 30th the council was opened in the morning and Mr. Morris delivered an artfully written speech, in which he dwelt largely upon the advantages which would accrue to them, from the sale of their lands, as they would have a larger sum of money than had ever before been offered them for land ; that it would be enough to make them all happy, clothe all their naked and feed all their hungry; that by placing it in bank and drawing out the income yearly, not only themselves but their children, and their children's children, would be benefitted by the sale, for they would be allowed reservations at each of their villages, amply sufficient for their support for all time to come ; in addition to which he represented that they could reserve the right to hunt and fish, which the white settlers and their settlements would in no wise inter- fere with, illustrating this point by alluding to the fact that although they had nine years before sold the lands upon which they were then holding the council, they still killed more game upon it than upon the tract for which they were now treating. He refrained from making a definite offer, however, but took occasion to say that in case no pur- chase of their land was effected at this treaty, that his father, nor no one for him would ever again offer to buy, or ask for a council to be called for the purpose. He then sat down, and after a few moments one of the chiefs arose and stated that if he had nothing more to say to them at present they would like to be left alone to their private con- Treaty of Big Tree 28 sultations. The council fire was then covered over for the day. The whole of the last day of the month was consumed in counciling on Mr. Morris's speech, without arriving at any conclusion. Early in the morning on September 1st, Farmer's Brother came to Mr. Morris, making complaint that a person in the neighborhood of their camp had been selling Avhisky to the Indians, and many of them were drunk. Red Jacket among the number, and wished to know what could be done, as the man was still selling out the whisky. He was advised to go and seize the barrel and knock it in the head, which he immediately did. Red Jacket was greatly irritated by this wanton de- struction of the whisky and many of them fell to fighting, pulling hair and biting each other like dogs, wherever they could get hold, and no progress was made in the business of the treaty. Mr. Morris and Cap- tain Chapin went and forbid all the people residing near the Indians selling them whisky. There was great danger of a rupture at this juncture and it required all the coolness and wisdom the commission- ers and Mr. Morris could command, supplemented by the good offi- ces of Messrs. Jones and Parish, the interpreters, to prevent an out- break which might have resulted in the destruction of the lives of all the whites. On the afternoon of September 2d the sachems sent for the com- missioners and Mr. Morris to come to their council fire, Farmer's Brother then arose and stated that they then proposed to answer Mr. Morris's speech. Then Red Jacket arose and very j)lainly stated that they had no more lands than they wanted to set down upon; that they had been told that a great deal of money would be offei'ed them for their lands but they could not learn how much, as Mr. Morris had not told them, but he supposed he would now bring forward a great deal of money to show them, but reqiiested that he would hold his fists close, as they would rather have their lands than money. In the even- ing a private conference was held with the princij)al chiefs and sach- ems, when Mr. Morris offered them $100,000 for the whole of their lands and suggested that they invest it in stock of the United States, and it woiild bring them at least $6,000 yearly forever. The Indians requested him to make this offer in public council and the conference ended. On the 8d of September, Red Jacket sent a private note to Mr. Morris, stating that the speech he made the day before was not his own Treaty of Big Tree 29 sentiments, but was made to please some of his people, that his next speech would not be so harsh, and that he would finally answer his purpose if he persevered in the business. This looked like an intima- tion that he was '"open to conviction," and Mr. Morris, no doubt, at once took in the situation. In the afternoon in public coimcil Red Jacket arose and said in substance: "We told you yesterday, and we tell you now, that our seat is not too large for us to sit down upon comfortably. Once the Six Nations were a great people, had large coimcU fire at Onondaga, but now at Buffalo. Soon may have to move again. Now the Onondagas are nolwdy; have no lands of their own, but we are kind to our brothers, and let them sit down in our lands'. We are still respected as a great people, all owing to our lands. You ■want to buy all oui- lands, except such reservations as you might make for us to raise com on. It would make us nobody to accept such res- ervations, and where you might think proper. If this should be the case we coitld not say we were a free people. Brothers, this matter is of great magnitude, and we thank you for putting us in mind of this, and hope you will stick to the same advice you give us. Brothers, we wish you to put your speeches in A\Titmg, so that we can read them when we are old. There are a great many of our people who cannot remember long, but if they are all wrote down they can be read to them when they are old, and we shall know what has been said to us." Mr, Morris then delivered a speech, framed substantially in these words: '"Brothers, as you request, I will hereafter hand you my speeches in writing. I will attend you for that purpose as early tomorrow as you please. Brothers, you asked yesterday to know what price I would give you for your lands. I will tell you," but first I have something to say to you, which I wish you to give your serious attention to. so that you may understand well, and impress on your minds what I have to say. Brothers, if you do not sell your lands at this treaty, you will never have another opportunity of making a bar- gain in the presence of the whole nation, because my father will never, either in person or by agent, again meet j-ou. Brothers, I now offer you SIOO.OOO, which is more than you ever have been or ever will be again offered. I propose to you to make reservations round your towns and retain the right to hunt and fish on the lands sold, but your reser- vations must not be large. This sum is greater than was ever offered to you for lands: it would require at least thirty horses to bring it to Treaty of Big Tree 30 you from Philadelphia; it will fill several barrels. I would advise you to invest it in bank stock of the United States, where it will be safe, and forever bring you an amount of income of at least $6,000, which will be siTfficient to clothe you every year, which the game taken on your lands will not do if sold, but if you sell your lands you will not only have all the game you now have, but a very handsome sum of money annually also." This speech seemed to be well received and closed the business for the day. On the afternoon of the 4th the council was again convened, and Mr. Morris delivered the speech of the day before in vn-iting. Then Cornplanter arose, and said that the sachems had taken the whole busi- ness on themselves; that they had never made Mr. Morris an answer to the speech he (Mr. Morris) had made at Buffalo Creek, and he hoped they would not trifle away time, and finally give their friend, Mr. Morris, no more satisfaction than they had given him before. He should start for home tomorrow and whatever was done be it on them- selves. Was very glad the President had sent on a person to see that business was fairly transacted, and concluded by thanking him for his care and attention to them. Colonel Wadsworth then expressed him- self as sorry that a division in their councils had taken place; that it was no uncommon thing among the whites, and was the source of all their difficulties; but when national matters were before them, and the interests of the nation concerned, they ought to be united in their en- deavors to effect that which would be for the public good. He represented the United , States, and was there to see that justice was done; he did not want to buy their lands ; he did not ask them to sell their lands, and should not ask them, but he hoped they would unite in their councils and do what would be for the interests of their nation, and expressed a desire that they would come to a speedy conclusion of the business. Farmer's Brother then arose and expressed himself to the effect that "It was the first he had heard of a division in their councils, and that if it was so, it ought not to have been mentioned here; the white people ought not to have known it." After speaking at some length upon topics not immediately connected with the treaty, he sat down and Colonel Wadsworth repeated his advice as to unanimity said that great and brave men always, in cases of this kind, forgave each other and sat down and counciled together for the general good; he did not want Treaty of Big Tree 31 to buy their lands; the president knew he was rich and wanted for nothing, and that was the reason he was sent here; he hoped they would make up their minds on this business and let him go home, as he was old and had the gout, he had not long to live and wished to spend the remainder of his days with his family and friends. The council fire was then covered up. No council was held on the 5th as the time of the Indians was taken up with troublesome men who were meddling with the business, and treating them with whisky, which rendered them unfit for deliberations. On the 6th, after a somewhat desultory speech by Chief Warrior Little Beard, on some matters unimportant to recite here, Red Jacket arose and after some observations of no great importance, concluded his speech by saying that they had agreed to try the value of their lands and offered a tract of six miles square, beginning at the corner of the Gorham and Phelps purchase on the Pennsylvania line, at $1 per acre, saying that ' 'that was their price, that you need not offer us half that price, nor expect more land. Our friend. Colonel Wads- worth, will see that this bargain is just, and will confirm it." Then directing his talk to Mr. Morris, he said: "You know the value of land round a town that you settle, and we hope you will deal honorably with us. You will get $6 per acre, and we offer to sell at $1, therefore you ought to make your mind easy. Tomorrow would be a good time to answer this, or as Captain Williamson is present, you would consult with him and give your answer immediately. I have spoken my mind in a few words — very short." Mr. Morris then rose, and said that he would speak his mind in a few words, just as short, substantially to the effect, "that the offer was worthy of no consideration whatever, could not be accepted, and if that was their final determination, they might as well cover the council fire. Still if you are again desirious of considering the offer I have made, I shall wait your answer." He had no sooner seated him- self than Red Jacket ai-ose, and in great passion said: "Agreed, let us cover over the fire;" and furiously stretching his hand over the table said: "Let us shake hands, and part friends," and the business was considered closed. This offer of the Indians was not looked for; it was entirely unexpected. It was indeed a master stroke, and had the Indians steadfastly maintained that position, the result of the treaty would have been entirely different. Treaty of Big Tree 32 On the 7th in the afternoon, the commissioners, Mr, Morris and Captain Williamson, were notified that the warriors would hold a covmcil. They accordingly attended, and Cornplanter introduced his cousin. Little Billy, who he said would express their minds, which was to smooth the business of yesterday. Little Billy in a short speech, thanked the Great Spirit for his care over them the past night, and that He had permitted them to meet again; that they had kindled the fire, that their voices as warriors might be heard, alkaded to the short speeches of the day before, and the abrupt closing of the council which was regretted, and was sorry for that short speech and the conduct of one of their warriors; wished to unite once more as friends, as, if the business was left as at present, it would cause them much uneasiness, and said that it was their wish to treat friendly with each other on this business. Mr. Morris answered saying that he thanked the warriors for their friendly interference to remove the misunder- standing. He was desirious that all misunderstanding should be buried in oblivion, and cheerfully united with them in again opening a friend- ly fire, and if it was their intention to renew the business, he would meet them in calmness. Farmer's Brother then asked the attention of all, and expressing his sorrow at the misunderstanding that had arisen and thanking the warriors for taking an early moment to ease the minds of the nation, the commissioners, Mr. Morris and Captain Wil- liamson, went on to say, that "agreeable with an ancient custom of their people, when a difference arose, it was referred to the warriors and headwomen, so now he said the warriors and headwomen would answer the propositions that had been made to them." Then Colonel Wadsworth expressed his satisfaction, congratulating them on their warriors taking the business in hand, and hoped that they might soon make up their minds so he might return to his home. General Shepard addressed them to the same effect, and Little Billy closed the proceed- ings of the day with recommending that the warriors would, while the business was being considered, abstain from drinking, and attend only to the interests of the nation. On the moraing of the 7th, Mr. Morris desired the interpreters to bring all the chief women to Mr. Wadsworth. After they were assem- bled, he told them that the business upon which he had convened the nation, was at an end; that their sachems had hastily covered the council fire, and he expected soon to go home. He repeated to the women the Treaty of Big Tree 33 offer he had made to the sachems, and then said that "he had brought tip from Philadelphia, some presents for them, and as they were not to blame for the ill-treatment he had met with from the chiefs, he would at all events, give them these things, and still would, in case of success, give them a number of cows, and that if he failed in the purchase, the expense he had already been at, was so great as to prevent his fulfilling the latter intention; he begged them to contrast their present situa- tion with the one in which they would be placed if provided with money enough to provide the comforts of life. He concluded by deliv- ering a string of wampum, and told them that whenever they experi- enced the hardships of poverty, to show it to their chiefs and tell them that with that belt they had been offered wealth which the chiefs rejected. This was a rare good stroke of business diplomacy. The women soon declared for selling, and things took on a different aspect. He then went on to tell the women about the large amount of money he had offered them, told them how many horses it would take to bring it, and how many barrels it would fill, and what wonderful things it would do for them. When the proceedings of the afternoon were concluded Farmer's Brother asked Mr. MoitIs if he were going home early in the morn- ing. Mr. Morris said he should prepare to go, "but that it would take him several days to pack his things, and that he was obliged on this account to stay, that notwithstanding the business was ended, he did not want to leave his brothers in bad temper; that he had kindled the council fire and therefore it was his, and not Red Jacket's business to put it out; that as things were, they might again meet, become recon- ciled to each other, and part friends." Young King arrived this day; his friend and cousin having died he refused to attend to business till the day after his burial. The business was then explained to him and he expressed himself as opposed to the sale; that the nation might do as it thought best, but his voice was against it. Notwithstanding these protestations Young King eventually yielded and withdrew his opi)osition. No public council was held on the 8th, the day being consumed in counciling in small parties, both men and women. It was surmised, however, that progi'ess was being made toward a more favorable con- sideration of Mr. Morris's offer. As it was important that the efforts of some persons who were dealing out whisky and insinuating that Mr. Treaty of Big Tree 34 Morris was going to cheat them, should be thwarted, one Alexander Ewing, a leader among them, was taken into custody, and not being able to procure bail, was sent to Canandaigua jail, which caused much alarm among the intermeddlers and effectually suppressed their practices. When the council was opened on the 9th, Little Billy stated that before entering on business one of the Cayuga brothers desired to address a few words to the Seneca nation. The Cayuga, in a brief speech, coimseled deliberation, as the business was of great importance, and urged that they should be united. Little Billy then spoke, saying in substance to Mr. Morris and Captain Williamson: "We hope you will make your mind easy on the business before us; it has long been before us; an answer was given by the sachems which was not agreea- ble; the business has been referred to us, the waiTiors; we counciled on it yesterday but the day being rainy and uncomfortable nothing was concluded; today we are united as one, and will now deliver our mind in writing and request the person who wrote it for us to read it publicly; there is no secret in it." Complanter's speech was then read. He said in part: "The coun- cil fire was kindled at the request of Mr. Morris. The sachems covered the council fire, but Mr. Morris claims it was not entirely covered ; that he means to lay the business before the warriors and women. I wish to remind you of some of the promises made by the United States at the close of the war. The commissioners told us they had got strong and if we would be peaceful they would take us under protection, and make our seats firm and permanent, even if they were surrounded by white people, and we should not be disturbed. I have always told my people to look up to General Washington as our father, as he was the governor of the thirteen fires. We are happy to find that you have grown to be a great people, and are now fifteen fires. We have been told that our land would become very valuable to us. We are sorry to find that the president has consented to the sale of our lands at this council fire. It would have been more satisfactory to us had it been left all to ourselves. We wish to act as we please in this business; under this situation we hope the president. General Chapin and all the gentlemen interested will take pity on us. We have furnished seats for many brothers of other nations. In every town are buried the bones of our ancestors. This Treaty of Big Tree 35 makes us very stingy of our lands. Still, if you will leave the matter entirely to us we will conclude a bargain with Mr. Morris." The speech concluded by asking Mr. Morris to consult the Book of the Great Spirit and see if he could find anything in it directing white people to intrude on Indian. Colonel Wads worth then addressed the Senecas, in an effort to disabuse their minds of some erroneous impressions, closing in these words: "I despair of asking you to let me go home; I must patiently wait your time." Mr. Morris then addressed the Indians, in part to this effect: "I was in hopes to be informed by you and your women, whether you intended to sell the whole of the lands, or if not, what part, but if you have not had time to consult on the several points referred to you, you can yet have it, and make your answer when you please. * * * l consider the offer I now make you for yovir lands to be strictly honorable, generous and calculated for your real benefit." Complanter then said: "Brothers, we now understand you perfectly well. The commissioner tells us we are mistaken in our idea of the president. We heartily thank him for removing the mistake from our minds. We shall again take into consideration the business before us and give an answer as soon as possible. We beg our brother, Mr. Morris, will lend us the large map of our country, which shall be care- fully restored." At the opening of the council on the 10th General Shepard informed the Indians that Colonel Wadsworth was not well enough to be present, but that everything should be made known to him. Little Billy then rose and stated that they were not prepared to give an answer to Mr. Morris's proposition and Cornplanter would make it known. Com- planter then proceeded, reciting the purpose of the council, stating that it was understood by him that it was old Mr. Morris who desired the council fire, that he only had the right to purchase our lands, and we are now, after making the reserves, prepared to close the bargain. That the sum offered they considered as small, but as they were to make such reserves as will suit their purpose, he advised that he (Mr. Morris) make his mind easy on the business. Mr. Morris might consid- er the reservations as too large, but the mode in which the country is to be settled will give the whites great advantages, and that it would be but generous to add to the annuity. Our seats we want to be large enough, so that we can give our Indian brethren room in case they Treaty of Big Tree 36 should be crowded by the whites, and we wish it distinctly understood that they are to be our own forever." To this Mr. Morris replied, among other things saying: "I am happy to find that you have determined on a sale of your lands, for if this treaty had failed it would have been impossible for my father to have collected the chiefs and warriors again on this business. * * * In case the matter should have ever been called up again, it would become necessary for some of your sachems to visit Philadelphia, and it would not be as satisfactory as an open and fair one like this, at which every man, woman and child capable of thinking can know what is pass- ing; but brothers, as you have not described your reservations, you can- not expect my consent, until informed of their extent. I am not unrea- sonable, nor do I wish to be tight, but as the sum I offer is very large the reservations ought to be small. * * * I would wish you immediately to appoint chiefs, to describe the reservations necessary for each tribe." Little Billy then addressed the nation, mentioning "that by the speech they had just heard, they would see the necessity of appointing suitable persons to make the reserves," and proposed that "each village should make their appointments, that they might be ready to meet on this business tomorrow," and then the council was closed for the day. Young King must have absented himself from some of the proceedings as on the 11th he is said to have arrived with a young war chief (name not given) who desired to be informed of all that had passed, so James Rees read to him the journal, and all the speeches, and he expressed himself as satisfied. Much of the time of the 12th, 13th, 14th and loth was spent in determining on the reservations. It was with much difficulty that they could be kept within reasonable bounds. The Buffalo Indians were very extravagant in their demands, at first claiming 980,000 acres. The Cattaraugus tribe wanted about 650,000 acres; the Genesee Indians wanted two miles along the river and as many back; the Cana- waugus Indians, eight miles square; Big Tree and Little Beard each six miles square; while Shongo and Hudson wanted for the Carrica- dere (Caneadea) Indians, a tract fifty miles long, by six wide. Mr. Morris was assisted in the negotiations relative to the reservation by Joseph Ellicott, and their only way of settling the matter was by counciling with each party separately, and a very warm time they had of it. The greatest obstacle to a reasonable adjustment was Red Jacket, Treaty of Big Tree 37 who insisted upon a reservation which would have included 900,000 acres for the Buffalo Indians alone; he was very violent in their contention, that their national pride and character would be lost unless they retained that amount. Mr. Morris declared that he was unreasonable, that he had offered them all the whole of their land was worth, and generously allowed them what in reason they might wish to retain, and now after receiving pay for their lands, they wanted to take half of it back. Red Jacket persisted, but Mr. Mon-is would not yield, said his father would call him unfaithful, and upbraid him with folly if he did. Finally Mr. Morris offered the Buffaloes 100 square miles; which they rejected, and told him that "they were the sellers, and would not be told what they would part with; they would sell only what they pleased." To which he replied that "he was the payer and would only pay for what he pleased." They asked him how much he proposed to deduct from the $100,000 if they would make the reservations no smaller. He told them $25,000, to which they consented, and begged that it be so put in the writing. It was however finally agreed that the Buffalo reservation should contain 200 square miles and the $100,- 000 consideration remain. The extent and descriptions of the several other reservations were finally agreed upon as they appear in the conveyance. Red Jacket made the final speech of the treaty, and Mr. Morris was requested to cover the council fire. The deed of conveyance was then prepared, and distinctly read and explained to the Indians. Colonel Wadsworth then asked if they understood it perfectly. They replied that they understood it well, and it was in every respect agreeable. They were then asked to sign. At this juncture Red Jacket arose and presenting Ebenezer Allan's daughter, desired to be informed as to the situation of the land the nation had given to Allan and his children. Mr. Morris said that his father had bought of, and paid Allan for it, and how he was paying the nation for it again. The young woman here interrupted him with "No, Mr. Morris, it was only the improvements he sold." To which he replied that "the papers would prove the contrary." She then turned to Colonel Wadsworth and said : "I forbid the commissioners from buying any of the lands given to me by the Indians." He told her she had been wrongly advised; that he had nothing to do with it, but that for her satisfaction he would examine as to her claim, and give any certificate thereof that was proper, if she would call on him in the Treaty of Big Tree 38 morning, Colonel Wadsworth then gave notice that he would leave early in the morning, as he was anxious to get home. And the council of the Big Tree was ended. The names of fifty-two Indians; sachems, chiefs and warriors of more or less renown, but all in a high degree representative, were appended to the treaty, or deed of conveyance, and the property conveyed was described as follows : ' 'All that certain tract of land except as hereinafter excepted, lying within the county of Ontario, and state of New York, being a part of a tract of land, the right of pre-emption whereof was ceded by the state of New York to the commonwealth of Massachusetts, by deed of cession, executed at Hartford on the 16th day of December, 1786, being all such part thereof as is not included in the Indian purchase made by Oliver Phelps and Nathaniel Gorham, and bounded as follows to wit: Easterly by the land confirmed to Oliver Phelps and Nathaniel Gorham, by the legislature of the com- monwealth of Massachusetts, by an act passed the 21st day of Novem- ber, 1788; southerly by the northern boundary line of the state of Pennsylvania; westerly, partly by a tract of land, part of the land ceded by the state of Massachusetts, to the United States, and by them sold to Pennsylvania, being a right angled triangle, whose hypothenuse is in or along the shore of Lake Erie; partly by Lake Erie, from the northern point of that triangle to the southern bounds of a tract of land one mile in width, lying on, and along the east side of the strait of Niagara, and partly by the said tract to Lake Ontario, and on the north by the boundary line between the United States and the king of Great Britain, excepting nevertheless and always reserving out of this grant and conveyance, all such pieces or parcels of the aforesaid tract, and such privileges thereunto belonging, as are next hereinafter partic- ularly mentioned, which said pieces or parcels of land so excepted, are by the parties to those presents, clearly and fully imderstood to remain the property of the said parties of the first part, in as full and ample manner as if these presents had not been executed." Robert Morris signed by his attorney, Thomas Morris. It was sealed and delivered in presence of Nathaniel W. Howell, Joseph Ellicott, Israel Chapin, James Rees, Henry Aaron Hills, Henry Abeel, Jasper Parish and Horatio Jones, as interpreters, also witnessed, and Jere Wadsworth and William Shepard appended their names to certificates thereto. The following signed on the part of the Seneca Nation: Treaty of Big Tree 39 Koyengquahtah, alias Young King, Ma X mark, (L. S.) Soonookshewan, his X mark, (L. S.) Konutaleo, alias Handsome Lake, his X mark, (L. S.) Sattakanguyase, alias Two Skies of a Length, his X mark, (L. S.) Onayawos, or Farmer's Brother, his X mark, (L. S.) Soogooyawautau, alias Red Jacket, his X mark, (L. S.) Gishkaka, alias Little Billy, his X mark, (L. S.) Kaoundoowana, alias Pollard, his X mark, (L. S.) Ouneshalarkau, or Tall Chief, by his agent Stevenson, (L. S.) Onnonggarhiko, alias Infant, his X mark, (L. S.) Teahdowaingqua, alias Thomas Jemison, his X mark, (L. S. Tekonnondee, his X mark, (L. S.) Oneghtaugooan, his X mark, (L. S.) Connawaudeau, his X mark, (L. S.) Taosslaieffi, his X mark, (L. S.) Kocenwahka, or Cornplanter, his X mark, (L. S.) Oosaukaunendauki, alias To Destroy a Town, his X mark, (L. S.) Sooloowa, alias Parrot Nose, his X mark, (L. S.) Toonahookahwa, his X mark, (L. S.) Hirowennounen, his X mark, (L. S.) Konnahtaetone, hisX mark, (L. S. Taouyaukauna, or Blue Sky, his X mark, (L. S.) Woudougoohkta, his X mark, (L. S.) Sonauhquakau, his X mark, (L. S.) Twaunaulyana, his X mark, (L. S.) Takaunondea, his X mark, (L. S.) Shequinedaughque, or Little Beard, his X mark, (L. S.) Jowao, his X mark, (L. S.) Saunajie, his X mark, (L. S.) Tauoiyuquatakausea. his X mark, (L. S.) Taoundaudish. alias Black Chief, his X mark, (L. S.) Tooauquinda, his X mark, (L. S.) Ahtaon, his X mark, (L. S.) Taukooshoondakoo, his X mark, (L. S.) Kauneskanggo, alias Col. Shongo, his X mark, (L. S.) Soononjuwan, alias Gov. Blacksnake, his X mark, (L. S.) Tonowamya, or Capt. Bullet, his X mark, (L. S.) Jaahkaaeyas, his X mark, (L. S.) Taughikshanta, his X mark (L. S.) Sukkenjoonan. his X mark, (L. S.) Ahquatieya, or Hot Bread, his X mark (L, S.) Suggonundan, his X mark, (L. S.) Taunowaintooh , his X mark. (L. S.) Konnonjoowauna, alias Big Kettle, his X mark, (L. S.) Soogooeyandestak, his X mark, (L. S.) Haul wan anekkan. by Young King, his X mark (L. S.) Sauwijuwan, his X mark, (L. S.) Kaunoohshauwen, his X mark, (L. S.) Taukonondaugekta, his X mark, (L. S.) Kavuyanoughque, or John Jennison, his X mark, (L. S.) Holegush, his X mark, (L. S.) Taknaahquan, hisX mark. (L. S.) Treaty of Big Tree 40 The reservations, as finally agreed upon, were the Canawagus, Big Tree, Little Beards, Squawkie Hill, Gardeau, each of two square miles, and Caneadea, of sixteen square miles, all on the Genesee river' one at the oil spring near Cuba of one square mile, one at Allegheny- river of forty-two square miles, and one each at Buffalo and Tona- wanda creeks, containing together two hundred square miles, and one at Cattaraugus of forty-two square miles, in all 198,400 acres. By some inadvertence the Oil Spring reservation was not enumerated with the others in the conveyance. This was noticed by some of the Indians, and some accounts say a "big drunk" followed, and the Indians threatened to annul the whole transaction, unless the Oil Spring reser- vation was reconveyed to them. The matter was laid before Thomas Morris, who took a piece of paper, with his own hand, wrote thereon such a conveyance, signed and executed it, and gave it to Handsome Lake, a leading chief, stating to him its purport. Handsome Lake died soon after, and the paper was never after seen. Having never been re- corded the legal status was the same as at the moment of the discovery of the omission. The paper title being in the Holland Land Company, it was sold to Benjamin Chamberlain, Staley N. Clark and William Gallagher. Gov. Horatio Seymour afterward held one-fourth part of it. The Indians directed their attorney, Daniel Sherman, to begin an action of ejectment against Philonious Pattison, who had acquired the part on which was the spring, and after considerable litigation won the case, mainly on the testimony of Governor Blacksnake, who said that for years he had kept in a chest under his bed a map made by Joseph Elli- cott, of the Indian lands sold at the treaty of Big Tree, with the reser- vation marked in red ink. Blacksnake said that Ellicott presented the map to the Senecas at a council of Tonawanda in 1801, stating that the map contained a correct description of the reservations made by the Big Tree treaty. The qiaestion as to the title of the Indians to Oil Spring reservation has never since been raised. It is said that Gover- nor Seymour utterly refused to take any part in the defence of the suit, The title of the Oil Spring reservation is still in the Seneca Indians. Mary Jemison insisted on the Gardeau reservation being described by natural boundaries which she herself designated. It was towards the last of the business, and Mr. Morris, no doubt pretty well tired out, assented, under the impression, says Doty, that not more than 150 acres would be included. When finally surveyed, it was found to measure Treaty of Big Tree 41 17,927 acres, which proved that she was sharp enough for Mr. Morris. Ebenezer Allan did not show up in the proceedings. If present, he kept shady, so to speak, and possibly was one of that disturbing ele- ment which caused considerable trouble during the progress of nego- tiations. The deed from the Indians of the lands for his daughters was given to him in trust for them. Yet it is said that Allan sold and conveyed it to Robert Morris when on a visit to Philadelphia, that Morris was aware of the fact, that he had no right to sell it, and the daughters were thus cheated out of their land. On the part of Mr. Morris the treaty of Big Tree was conducted with most consummate skill. With him it was indeed a case of must, with the must very much emphasized. When Thomas Morris told the Indians, as he did repeatedly, in substance, that they would never have another offer for their lands, he put up the biggest kind of a bluff, for no man knew better than he, that in the event of failure of the treaty, renewed efforts would have to be put forth to secure the title to this land. The bluff probably had to some extent at least the desired effect, but that it was ably supplemented by some very effective work on the part of Thomas Morris and his friends during the hiatus which interrupted the proceedings there can be no doubt. Robert Morris had plainly indicated the course to pursue, and if Red Jacket, Cornplanter, Little Billy, Pollard, Farmer's Brother and Young King received gratuities, pensions or bribes, ranging from $10 to $250 per annum for their influence with their people to effect a sale, are they any more to be blamed than Thomas Morris, acting under the deliberate and explicit directions of his illus- trious father? In a case of bribery, it is not always easy to determine which is the guiltier, the briber or the bribee. It would have made a much fairer page of history, had it not been deemed necessary to resort to methods which did not exactly square up to the requirements of absolute honesty, yet for those who sometimes justify questionable methods on the ground that "the end justifies the means," it is of course easy to condone the transaction on the part of Mr. Morris. His strong arm and mighty services during the years of the war for independence can never be forgotten, and under the circum- stances it is best perhaps to "lay this flattering unction to our souls," and console ourselves with the comforting reflection that it was all Treaty of Big Tree 42 overruled for the beat interests of humanity. As for the Indians let us flatter ourselves that it was only one of those cases of the inevitable, so willed by the Great Spirit, and that in the happy hunting grounds they have met the sachems, chiefs, warriors, hunters, squaws and papooses of long ago in regions more fair and a country far more beau- tiful even than this paradise of the Senecas, which they once inhabited and over which at Big Tree they higgled for a few cents per acre, where all is peace and happiness, and age and decrepitude cannot come. But casting all reflections and observations aside, let us close by saying that the treaty of Big Tree was the key which unlocked the gates of this great empire of forest and opened it up to the light of civilization, and the glorious acts of peace. A great tide of immigration was anx- iously awaiting the issue, and hailed with delight the auspicious result. The Holland Company, as it had now come to be called, hastened preparations for surveying; the transit meridian, the boundary line between its purchase and the Moras reserve, was established in the summer of 1798, by Joseph and Benjamin Elicott; the same season Augustus Porter ran the boundary lines of the several reservations; George Burgess made a traverse of the Genesee river from the great elm at the mouth of Canandaigua creek, to the Pennsylvania line, and many surveyors were soon employed in establishing meridians, and running township and sub-division lines. A land office was established at Batavia, maps of the tract were placed where they would do the most good, and glowing accounts of the wonderful new country, of its tim- ber, soil, climate, productions and water, were given in the leading journals. Let us witness a transformation. An army appears; not with banners, but armed with hickory sticks, upon which are hung wedge- shaped pieces of glittering steel, thin and sharp. Its ranks are filled with stalwart men, with nerves of steel, steady purjiose and strong will. It is followed by log sleds and lumber wagons, drawn mostly by oxen, and loaded with furniture becoming frontier life, and their wives and children. All at once, as if by magic, a thousand rude cabins appear in as many small openings in the woods. The merry ring of the set- tler's ax is heard, and crash on crash come thundering to the earth, the proud monarchs of the forest. Piles are made, fires are lighted, and the blackened soil and stumps are quickly succceeded by fields of golden Treaty of Big Tree 43 grain. The clearings widen, comfortable log dwellings and school- houses appear; saw and grist and carding mills are erected, roads are opened, streams are bridged, stores are put up at the comers; postoffices and post-routes are established; the stage and boat horns succeed the war-whoop and the wild yell of exultation of the Senecas. only soon to be succeeded by the whistle of the locomotive, and the rattle and roar of the railroad cars; and today the territory of the Holland purchase and Morris reserve interlaced with more miles of railway than it had of main Indian trails at the time of the Big Tree treaty, and the country is covered with a network of telegraph, telephone and trolley wires, which is truly wonderful. Before 1850 the last howl of the last wolf had been heard, the deer disappeared before rifle of the pioneer, and the panther and bear retreated to more secluded regions, and today the log dwelling and the log school-house are among "the things that were, but are not." The mighty power of Niagara has been harnessed, and made to subserve the purposes of man. Electricity has been impressed into service, and optimists discern within its limits, in the near future, the greatest manufacturing center of the world. Over 160 tovsTiships and distinct municipalities, hundreds of thriving villages, a full half -score of bustling cities, among them the second in the state, schools, churches, academies, seminaries, colleges and universities, scattered here and there, all conspire to give this territory a position everything considered, second to no other of like extent upon the continent. It is indeed a heritage of which we may be justly proud. Let us be thankful for the high privilege of living here today, and fondly cherish the hope that the hundred years to come will abound more and more with the evidences of material, social and religious prosperity, and that when the bi-cen- tennial of the Big Tree treaty shall appear upon the dial of the centur- ies, our successors may have as good if not better cause for grateful <;ommemoration than we have today. FEMARKS OF MR. GEORGE ROGERS HOWELL rY\ R- PRESIDENT, Ladies and Gentlemen:— I have come from- 111 Albany to present for your inspection some Indian treaties 1*1 to be exhibited a little later. A descendant of Robert Mor- ^ \ ris, whose treaty with the Indians we celebrate this day, Mr. Gouverneur Morris of Detroit, has requested me to present in his name to the Livingston County Historical Society this portrait of his ancestor. But before everything else I wish to present to the village of Geneseo my congratulations that it has in its midst an orchestra and a body of singers, all its own citizens, capable of giving such music as we have heard this afternoon, music which would have been creditable to any body of performers in any place. This portrait of Robert Morris is a photograph of a portrait in oil made by Rembrandt Peale which is considered by the family to be the best of him in existence. It is, and will always be, valuable to the Society, as it represents a man and an event, — the man through whom came the possibility of your ancestors obtaining homes in this fertile valley, and the event, the passing of the title from the Indian to the white man. As we grade men Robert Morris was a great man. He was one to whom was given the ability to see avenues to great fortune in the undertaking of great affairs. These avenues are closed to the eyes of most men. I presume there are men before me who are not millionaires. Well, do not mourn over that as if you had failed to improve the talents given you. You may rest assured that special talents are as necessary to perceive and recognize avenues to great wealth as truly as they are to a Mendelssohn to write those incompara- ble masterpieces of music that have charmed the world for genera- tions. Money making is an inborn gift, an endowment by the Almighty, and if you have it, though born in Podunk or Cranberry Center you will find your way to the centers of wealth and power and population. But if you have not this peculiar talent it is no fault of yours, and you can be just as happy withoiit it, and make that wife in your home just as happy with your love and care and protection. Your children will love you as well, and the great Judge over all will be just as ready to receive you with the plaudit "Well done" as if you had amassed millions. Now, then, Robert Morris was a man of large affairs, and in laying the foundations of a large personal fortune he opened up an immense tract of land to be converted from a wilder- Treaty of Big Tree 45 ness to the famous grainfields of the Genesee valley. The forest through your labors and those of your ancestors has become the garden of the empire state. But what a drama had just been enacted on the Atlantic seaboard from Massachusetts to Georgia. Thirteen colonies had been governed by a king three thousand miles away across the water, and little cared king or ministry or parliament for the sufferings of an over-taxed people so long as the never-ceasing stream of taxes and tithes from the colonies flowed into the treasury at home. But the time for self- government had come, freedom was in the air, and the colonies declared their independence and became a nation. And then for a second time two nations were battling for the possession of half a continent. It was a life and death struggle, prolonged through suffer- ing and losses, where every home mourned a victim in the cause of liberty. When Great Britain in despair abandoned the field, the end of the war found the country impoverished and its population deci- mated. But a new nation had been born, where freedom had her home and flung wide open the doors to the oppressed throughout the world. And then came the time to repair the damages of war. The young men began to look to the fertile fields to the west of the old frontiers. Here in New York dwelt the Six Nations, in mental and physical endowments the equals of the white race. If their moral condition was inferior, it was not so many hundred years ago when our ances- tors were no better. Recall to mind that scene in Charles Kingsley's Hereward the Wake, where, after the conquest of England by William of Normandy, the Saxons are sent back to their homes in the fens of Lincolnshire in boats rowed by men whose eyes had been put out, directed by men whose hands had been lopped off. The Indian made one great mistake. He did not adopt the civilization of the white race. Emerson enjoins the man who aspires for better things to hitch his wagon to a star, but the poor Indian took to the woods. But the earth was not given as an inheritance to man for hunting. The human race long ago discovered it was easier to take one's dinner from the beef-barrel in the cellar than to seek it running wild in the woods. The earth does her best under cultivation and a race of hunters must always give way to tillers of the soil. Even now the solution of the Indian problem is, along with education, to assign land to them in severalty, and then compel them to adopt the ways of cizilization. Treaty of Big Tree 46 Mr. Howell then exhibited three treaties: 1. A copy of the treaty of Robert Morris with the Indians Sept. 16, 1797, when for $100,000 he obtained possession of the tract of the Senecas. This was made in duplicate at the same time (1797) and deposited in the archives of the state. 2. A second treaty of the Senecas with the state of New York wherein they surrendered for $500 a strip of land a mile wide bordering the east bank of the Niagara river, of date Aug. 20, 1802. 3. The original treaty of the Oneidas Sept. 22,1788, when they ceded all their lands except a small reservation for themselves to the state of New York to which is attached a belt of wampum. This was signed by the chiefs and sachems of the Oneidas. These deeds or treaties are all in the New York State Library. AT THE BANQUET ADDRESS BY TOASTMASTER S. E, HITCHCOCK O^ EMBERS of the Livingston County Historical Society, III Gi-uests, and Friends: — I shall trespass but a moment upon 1*1 your patience owing to the lateness of the hour; but I should " ^ be false to my duty as well as to my inclination if I failed to give expression to the feeling which I know is at this moment upper- most in the minds of all present, that of sorrow for the enforced absence of our honored President. Detained by illness in a distant state, we know that his heart goes out to us in best wishes for our welfare and for the success of our celebration. And our thoughts go out to him laden with regret at his absence and wishes for his speedy restoration to health. One hundred years ago today the Genesee Valley was the scene of a momentous event. It was the dawning of what we, in the hurry and bustle of the closing hours of the nineteenth century, call civilization. It was the closing of the deep and solemn reign of the civilization of Nature. It was the passing of this valley into the hands of the white man, who should cause it to teem with busy towns and fruitful fields. It was the passing out of the hands of those to whom the Almighty had intrusted it, so far as we know, since the morning stars sang together. Gathered as we are gathered in commemoration, it is fitting that our thoughts should be carried directly to that great event, and I therefore propose as our first toast, "The Treaty of Big Tree — Its Moral and Material Influence." RESPONSE BY COL. JOHN R. STRANG The Treaty of Big Tree — Its Moral and Material Influence. THE OPENING of Western New York to settlement and civiliza- tion did not in precise terms depend upon the ratification of the Big Tree Treaty, because, before that was made in 1797, there was already a considerable settlement of white people within the limits of the lands transferred by it to Robert Morris, the first white settler in this town being as early as 1789, and several of the prominent early pioneers having purchased lands and taken up their residence within the town between that date and 1797. But its ratifi- cation was a throwing wide open of the gate for the advancing tide of settlement and civilization, in consequence of the ability thereafter to procure a perfect title to land which had theretofore been held by Mor- ris under an imperfect Indian title. After the purchase from the In- dians at the close of the War of the Revolution, the extinguishment of the Massachusetts title to large parts of the lands in Western New York, Morris had contracted to sell various portions of the vast tract so acquired, to various persons in this and other lands, binding himself to procure the extinguishment of the Indian title within a given period. As before remarked, the extinguishment of the Indian title made all these conveyances good, and the purchasers were able to hold and con- vey the entire fee of the lands. The attention of a large part of the Northern States, particularly New England and Pennsylvania, had been already called to the beauty and fertility of the land in the Gene- see Valley and other parts of Western New York, and no sooner was the treaty of Big Tree signed than the tide of emigration set in to Western New York, especially from New England, Pennsylvania and Maryland, and before the lapse of many years, large tracts of these fertile lands, which have since become the garden of the continent, passed into possession and occupancy of actual settlers from the states named. It was the best class of population with which to found and estab- lish a new country, the settlers bringing with them the customs and habits of thrift and industry, and the moral and religious characteris- tics, which prevailed in the homes from which they came, added to which was the spirit of enterprise, which induced them to seek out and make their homes in this, then so distant a country. In after years Treaty of Big Tree 51 other circumstances brought into their midst a large number of Scotch- Irish settlers, whole towns in Western New York coming to be inhab- ited by the latter, some of whom were from the parent country, and others from the eastern part of the state of New York. These various nationalities and classes of people soon assimilated and became a homo- geneous people, carefully rearing and nursing in their midst all that tended toward education, enlightenment and civilization, and as we trace down the years since the beginning of the century, we cannot fail to notice how the Valley of the Genesee, and indeed the whole of Western New York, has ever been prominent in educational matters and in all things which tended to lift up and ennoble the mass of the people. Commerce and manufactures soon had a steadfast foothold among them ; canals and railroads afforded them access to market and a means of intercommunication among themselves, and as the result, we have today in the western part of this state, a country of which every one of its citizens must be proud, which contains within the limits of the very land covered by the treaty of Big Tree, two of the most prosperous cities of the state, inhabited by at least half a million of people, to say nothing of the beautiful villages, hamlets and homes, with which the whole land is now covered. In the few moments which I have at my disposal to respond to this toast, I cannot enter into details further, but have already given suffi- cient to indicate the moral and material influence which the ratifica- tion of the treaty of Big Tree had on Western New York, and must close by saying that the land which in 1797 was inhabited substantially only by Indians, and whose millions of fertile acres were unused and uncultivated, and under the foliage of whose forest trees this treaty was discussed and signed, has by the character, thrift and energy of its settlers, guided and directed by the first pioneers, become the home of education, civilization and refinement, and made to blossom as a rose. RESPONSE BY HON. GOUVERNEUR MORRIS Robert Morris — "A Friend in Need is a Friend Indeed." f IKE all gi-eat men, Robert Morris had his calumniators, but his I whole life was open and above petty things, and his whole ^^ course during the trying time of our revolution showed him to ^W be a man fearless in the path of duty, and too noble to deign to notice the trivial charges that are always the lot of public men. His patriotism and sacrifices for his country duiing the revolution, and his close friendship with Washington are matters of history, and it may well be said that our revolution might have failed without Wash- ington, but must have failed without Morris. Both to the Colony of Pennsylvania and to the United States he gave his time and credit at great sacrifice to his own business interests and personal comfort, and he was always found ready in the time of need. On the formation of the government in 1781 he was unanimously elected Superintendent of Finances, at a time when the exhausted credit of the government threatened the most alarming consequences; when the army was utterly destitute of the necessary supplies of food and cloth- ing, and even the confidence of Washington was shaken, Robert Morris, upon his own credit, and from his own private resources, furnished those pecuniary means, without which all the physical force of the country would have been in vain. The following letter conveying his sentiments in relation to the high trust reposed in him was submitted to Congress and is worthy of being produced here, also his formal acceptance of the office : Philadelphia, 13th March, 1781. His Excellency, the President of Congress— Sir : I had the honour to receive your excellency's letter of the twenty -first of last month, en- closing the act of congress of the twentieth, whereby I am appointed, by an unanimovis election of that honourable body, to the important office of "Superintendent of Finance." Perfectly sensible of the honour done me by this strong mark of confidence from the sovereign author- ity of the United States, I feel myself bound to make the acknowledg- ments due by pursuing a conduct formed to answer the expectations of congress, and promote the public welfare. Were my abilities equal to my desire of serving America, I should have given an immediate determination after this appointment was made ; but, conscious of my own deficiences, time for consideration was absolutely necessary. Lit- tle, however, of the time which has elapsed, have I been able to devote to this subject, as the business before the legislature of Pennsylvania (wherein I have the honour of a seat,) has demanded, and continues to demand, my constant attendance. ,^. ., HON. GOUVERNEUR MORUl^ Treaty of Big Tree 53 So far as the station of Superintendent of Finance, or indeed any other public station of office, applies to myself, I should, without the least hesitation have declined an acceptance ; for after upwards of twenty years assiduous application to business as a merchant, I find myself at that period when my mind, body, and inclination, combine to make me seek for relaxation and ease. Providence has so far smiled on my endeavors as to enable me to prepare for the indulgence of those feelings, in such manner as would be least injurious to the interests of my family. If, therefore, I accept this appointment, a sacrifice of that ease, of much social and domestic enjoyment, and of my material in- terests, must be the inevitable consequence : And, as my ambition was entirely gratified by my present situation and character in life, no motive of that kind can stimulate me to acceptance. Putting myself out of the question the sole motive is the public good ; and this motive, I confess, comes home to my feelings. The contest we are engaged in, appeared to me, in the first instance, just and necessary ; therefore I took an active part in it ; as it became dangerous, I thought it the more glorious, and was stimulated to the greatest exertions in my power when the affairs of America were at the worst. Sensible of the want of arrangement in our monied affairs, the same considerations impel me to this undertaking, which I would embark in without hesi- tation, could I believe myself equal thereto ; but fearing this may not be the case, it becomes indispensably necessary to make such stipula- tions as may give ease to my feelings, aid to my exertions and tend to procure ample support to my conduct in office, so long as it is founded in, and guided by, a regard to the public prosperity. In the first place, then, I am to inform congress, that the prepara- tory steals I had taken to procure to myself relaxation from business with least injury to the interests of my family, were by engaging in certain commercial establishments with persons in whom I had perfect confidence, as to their integrity, honour and abilities. These establish- ments I am bound in honour, and by contracts, to support to the extent agreed on. If, therefore, it be in the idea of congress, that the office of superintendent of finance is incompatible with commercial concerns and connexions, the point is settled ; for I cannot, on any consideration, consent to violate engagements, or depart from those principles of honour which it is my pride to be governed by. If, on the contrary, congress have elected me to this office under the expectation that my mercantile connexions and engagements were to continue, an express declaration of their sentiments should appear on the minutes, that no doubt may arise, or reflection be cast, on this score hereafter, I also think it indispensably necessary that the appointment of all persons who are to act in my office, (under the same roof, or in imme- diate connexion with me,) should be made by myself; congress first agreeing that such secretaries, clerks or officers, so to be appointed, are necessary, and fixing the salaries for each. I conceive that it will be impossible to execute the duties of this office with effect, unless the absolute power of dismissing from office, or employment, all persons whatever that are concerned in the official expenditure of public monies, be committed to the superintendent of finance ; for. unless this power can be exercised without control, I have little hopes of efficacy in the business of reformation, which is probably the most essential Treaty of Big Tree 54 part of the duty. These being the only positive stipulations that occur to me at this time, the determination of congress thereon will enable me to determine whether to accept or decline the appointment. I must, however, observe, that the act of congress of February, describing the duties of the superintendent of finance, requires the execution of many things for which adequate powers are not provided ; and it cannot be expected that your officer can, in such case, be responsible. These, however, may be the subjects of future discussions. With sentiments of the highest respect for you and congress, I have the honour to subscribe myself Your Excellency's most obedient and humble serv't, Robert Morris. Philadelphia, May 14, 1781. Sir : — The honour conferred by congress in appointing me super- intendent of finance, their several resolutions of the twentieth of March, twenty-first and twenty-seventh of April, which your excellency has been pleased to transmit, and a serious conviction of that duty which every citizen owes to his country, especially in times of public calamity, will no longer permit me to hesitate about the acceptance of that office, although I must again repeat that I have the fullest sense of my own inability. I shall, however, strive to find such assistance as will enable me, in some measure, to answer the reasonable expectations of congress, to whom I can promise for myself nothing more than honest industry. You will readily perceive that much time must be consumed in procur- ing proper officers, fixing on men for assistants whose ability and integrity may be depended upon, in laying plans for obtaining money with the greatest ease for the people, and expending it to the greatest advantage of the public, forming arrangements necessary to carry their plans into execution, and obtaining information as to the present state of things, in order that abuses may be, if possible, speedily and effectually remedied. Besides this, it will be necessary that I should confer with the commander-in-chief on the various exi^enditures of the war, and the means of retrenching such as are unnecessary. Let me add that the account of my private business must be adjusted, so as that all my affairs may be put into the hands of other persons and subjected to their management. My necessary commercial connex- ions, notwithstanding the decided sense of congress expressed in their resolution of the twentieth March, might, if the business were trans- acted by myself, give rise to illiberal reflections equally paiufnl to me, and injurious to the public. This reason alone would deserve great attention ; but further I expect that my whole time, study, and atten- tion, will be necessarily devoted to the various business of my depart- ment. Having thus stated some of the causes which will prevent me from immediately entering on the arduous task assigned me, I pray leave to call the attention of congress to the advanced season, and then I am persuaded their own good sense vdll render it unnecessary for me to observe that very little can be expected from my exertions during the present campaign ; they will therefore, easily perceive the propriety of the request I am to make, that the business may go on according to Treaty of Big Tree 55 the present arrangements, or such other as congress may devise until I can take it up, which I promise to do as speedily as possible. By this means I may be enabled so to dispose of the several members of my department as to form them into a regular system ; whereas, by throw- ing the whole immediately upon me, I shall be inevitably involved in a labyrinth of confusion from which no human efforts can ever extricate me. Another consideration of great magnitude, to which I must also pray the attention of congress, is the present public debts. I am sure that no gentleman can hope that these should be immediately paid out of an empty ti'easury. If I am to receive and consider the application on that subject, if I am to be made responsible, that alone, will, I fear, be full employment for the life of one man, and some other must be chosen to attend to the present, and provide for the future. But this is not all : if, from that or from any other cause, I am forced to commit a breach of faith, or even to incur the appearance of it, from that moment my utility ceases. In accepting the office bestowed on me, I sacrifice much of my interest, my ease, my domestic enjoyments, and internal tranquillity. If I know my own heart, I make these sacrifices with a disinterested view to the service of my country. I am ready to go still further ; and the United States may com- mand everything I have except my integrity, and the loss of that would effectually disable me from serving them more. What I have to pray, then, is, that the adjustment of all my trans- actions, and of all that relates to the present system, may be completed by the modes already adopted, that whatever remains unpaid may become a funded debt, and that it may in that form be committed to me to provide for the yearly interest, and for the eventual discharge of the principal. This task I will cheerfully undertake, and if in the progress of things, I am enabled to go further, with equal cheerfulness it shall be done : bvit I must again repeat my serious conviction that the least breach of faith must ruin us forever. It is not from vanity that I mention the expectations which the public seemed to have formed from my appointment ; on the contrary, I am persuaded they are raised on a weak foundation, and I must lament them because I foresee that they must be disappointed. I must, therefore, entreat that no flattering prospect of immediate relief be raised. Congress well knows that the public credit cannot be restored without method, economy, and punctual performance of contracts. Time is necessary to each ; and therefore the removal of those evils we labour under can be expected from time only. To hold out a different idea would deceive the people, and consequently injure the public service. I am sure it is unnecessary to add, before I close this letter, that I confidently expect my measures will meet with the fullest support from congress, so long as they are honestly directed to the general welfare. In this conviction, and with every sentiment of respectful attention, I have the honor to be. Your Excellency's most obedient and humble servant, Robert Morris. Treaty of Big Tree 56 Robert Morris was remarkable for his domestic habits ; and in his intercourse with his family and friends, and, indeed, with general society, no one made greater exertions to do kind offices. His great cheerfulness and benevolence attracted the esteem of a numerous circle of acquaintance, and the veneration of the people. Independent in his principles and conduct, he never courted the countenance of living man. Warmly devoted to his friends, he was almost idolized by them, but especially by those who were particularly dear to him — Alexander Hamilton and Gouverneur Morris. Whenever Washington came to Philadelphia his first visit was to Robert Morris. I think I can safely leave it to future historians to vindicate his honor and unselfishness, and repel any aspersions upon his course, most of them the product of jealousy and vindictiveness. He was utterly free from selfish ambition and was willing to retire when his work was done. The time must come when our country will properly appreciate his services and recognize in a proper manner his worth. ANDREW JOHN RESPONSE BY ANDREW JOHN /V\ R. PRESIDENT, Ladies and Gentlemen : It is the greatest ill pleasure to me that the Managers of the Livingston County 1*1 Historical Society, extend their invitation to our Lidian P \ people to participate at this commemoration of one hundred years ago today of our forefather's signing, known as "The Treaty of Big Tree," and the Seneca Indians responded who are now present at this occasion of which I am proud to be one of the members, whom represented now of the said party of the first part to this great Treaty. Though the people who signed this treaty have past away to the happy hunting grounds, and their descendants now today gathered here — the very grounds where our ancestors negotiated which involve a large amount of land. At that time our people, the Indians, ceded a large tract of land known as Western New York for a mere nominal sum of money for the consideration, excepting and reserving to the Indians certain privi- leges and reservations mentioned in treaty. This sale of land from the Indians to Robert Morris contained a large tract of land, for one hundred thousand dollars. The Seneca Indians are getting only six thousand dollars interest per annum at present, while the white people occupying the land mentioned in said Big Tree Treaty are getting millions and millions of dollars interest. From the standpoint of my race many incidents of the most disgraceful tricks and robberies perpe- trated upon the poor untutored sons of the forest. Still the Seneca Indians are happy and clinging upon the agreements and solemn obli- gations mentioned in the treaties under which they are protected a»d are now enjoying within the borders of this great Empire State. Let us now look over some of the history of way back. It would have been strange indeed if the Natives had borne tamely such whole- sale robbery of their property, but early in the story begins a worse record. In 1623, a company of worthless white indented servants in Massachusetts, after robbing the cornfields of the people of Plymouth, changed their quarters and dispersed in little parties, prowled around like tramps, begging and stealing from the Indians. Had they been red savages and the whites the sufferers from such depredations, their exterminations would have been regarded as a bounden duty, for in a new coiintry such men deserve no mercy. But they were Englishmen, and when news was brought from Plymouth that the Natives, tired of Treaty of Big Tree 58 their thefts, were plotting for their destruction, the outrage was deemed unpardonable. Miles Standish, with eight companions visited the Indian settlement, "imder the pretense of trade." Enticing the leading Chief with three of his followers into a cabin, the door was closed and the Christians murdered the heathen in cold blood. This was the transaction that in the words of a learned historian "excited some misgivings" in the mind of John Robinson. Events like this, with which the early history of America is replete roused the indigna- tion of the Natives from Massachusetts to Georgia, and resulted in the feeling which has been stigmatized as the "inextinguishable hatred which the red men felt for the white intruder." But crimes of this character were not the worst that were perpetrated upon the Natives. We hold up our hands in horror of the tortures practiced by the Indians on their prisoners. In 1637 the Christian white men of Con- necticut put a red captive to death by tearing him limb from limb with ropes fastened to his legs and arms. How, during the war with King Philip the whites burned the savages in their wigwams, driving them back into the flames at the point of the bayonet, and how they murdered the women and children is known to every student. But robbing, torture and massacre all pale before the crowning infamy which drove the Natives to despair. The most distinguishing trait of the Indian was his love of personal freedom. He knew no Master, and recognized no Lord, save as in a dull vague way he looked up to the Great Spirit. The league of the Six Nations or Iroquois, as the French termed them when they spoke of this Indian Confederacy, was the most re- markable people in wisdom, oratory, political and the knowledge of the country during the early days when their glory was in full blast. The vast territory of country upon which they had immediate control com- prises north by St. Lawrence, east by Atlantic Ocean, south by Ten- nessee, west by Mississippi river, from this vast territory of country reduced that the control now at present by the Seneca Nation of In- dians in the western part of this state about fifty-five thousand acres of land. In speaking of the "Treaty of Big Tree" on the part of the party of the first part of which we are now represented here today are now enjoying upon one of the reservations reserved and the interest money from the United States treasury annually to the Senecas, in pursuance Treaty of Big Tree 59 to the agreements of this Treaty, in relation to this Big Tree Treaty of "Which we are now celebrating today a Centennial, I will now show and hold up in my hands an original letter from the United States to the Senecas, the same reads as follows : War Department, May 14, 1798. Brothers : — By the Indenture made between you and Robert Mor- ris, Esquire, under the authority of the United States at Gennessee, in the County of Ontario in the State of New York, on the 15th day of September, 1797, in consideration of One Hundred Thousand Dollars, to be by the said Robert Morris, vested in the stock of the Bank of the United States, and held in the name of the President of the United States for the use and behoof of the Seneca Nation of Indians. You bargained and sold a large tract of country mentioned in the said Indenture to the said Robert Morris, excepting nevertheless, and always reserving out of this Grant and Conveyance all such pieces or parcels of the aforesaid tract and siich privileges thereunto belong- ing, as therein afterwards particularly mentioned, which said pieces or parcels of land so excepted, are by the parties to the presents clearly and fully understood to remain the property of the Seneca Nation in as full and ample a manner as if the presents had not been executed. It being also provided by the same instrument, as understood by the parties, that all such pieces or parcels of land as are thereby reser- ved, and are not particularly described as to the manner in which the same are to be laid off, shall be laid off in such a manner as shall be determined by the Sachems and Chiefs, residing at or near the respect- ive villages where such Reservations are made, a particular whereof to be endorsed on the back of the deed and recorded with the same. I write this letter by order of the President of the United States, to inform the Seneca Nation of Indians that the one hundred thousand dollars, being the consideration money in the Indenture mentioned has been vested conformably to the intention of said instrument, and that the President being thereof satisfied, hath by and with the consent and advice of the Senate, accepted, ratified and confirmed the Conven- tion or Treaty aforesaid. And that Joseph Ellicott, a beloved man, skilled in surveying has been employed to lay off the Reservations, excepted and made in the aforesaid Deed. To him, therefore, the Sachems and Chiefs concerned will give their directions for laying off the same. I am also to assure the Seneca Nation that Joseph Ellicott is a gentleman of integrity, and that the Nation may confide to him the laying off of the Reservations aforesaid, having no doubt he will exe- cute the trust with fidelity and impartial justice. Dividends upon the Stock of the Bank of the United States pur- chased with the one hundred thousand dollars, for the use and behoof of the Seneca Nation of Indians, vidll be paid half yearly, the first dividend about the middle of July next, which will be remitted to the Seneca Nation in such manner as they shall direct, and their orders Treaty of Big Tree 60 for the remittance of future dividends when they are paid, will be always attended to. Wishing you health, I am, Brothers, Your friend and obedient servant, James McHenry, Sec'y of War. To the Chiefs and Sachems of the Seneca Nation. We perceived by the foregoing letter how careful and watchful by the President of the United States for the welfare and interest for the Seneca Indians. In review just a few out of many unpleasant inci- dents that happen along about the 16th century, how dark and gloomy- must have been over the people of this country, even one hundred years ago today this country was owned by the Seneca Nation of Indians, and it was in a wild state, unimproved, uncultivated and unsettled excepting small spots here and there, villages by Natives. By signing the Big Tree Treaty by Indians made this country a great change ; today we see most magnificent farms all over this country, and the civilization prevails among the people where one himdred years ago everything was wild. Today the Seneca Indians are enjoy- ing the fruits of civilization as well as the white people, especially when they are participating in this great Centennial Celebration. I will now conclude my short speech by extending my sincere thanks to the managers of the Livingston County Historical Society for the honor extended to me in making this address. ^'^ RESPONSE BY A. SIM LOGAN The Former Owners of Our Beautiful Valley, the Senecas ; Their Brave Warriors and Gifted Orators. /V\ R. TOASTMASTER and Gentlemen : A3 a representative of f I 1 *^® Seneca Nation of the Iroquois Indians, I come before f A I you on this occasion as a representative of the people who P \ once held sway over this entire continent, and as I have consented to make a short speech on this joyoiis occasion, I do so with a proper sense of the obligation I am under to my own race. We have laid aside all those feelings of animosity which actuated our forefath- ers when they saw that the vast country over which they roamed must give way to the civilization of the white man, and we have learned that it is better for us to settle down and cultivate well a small piece of ground rather than to roam over all creation, and we have learned also that our children must take their places in the grand pro- cession of progress, and, in order to do this, we must have elementary and high schools where our young men and women may be equipped for a successful career. It is well known to those who have studied my people that when we get the better of your civilization, we thrive Tinder it, and our children take equal rank with yours in the acquisi- tion of knowledge. It has been said, Mr. Toastmaster. that the only good Indian is a dead one. Give us your schools and your Christianity, and a fair chance in life, and do not treat us as dogs, and we will show by our love for our white brothers, and by our improvement that there are good Indians who are not dead. The Indians are not decreasing in this country ; they are increas- ing, and so Mr. Toastmaster, you are likely to have the Indian prob- lem on your hands for some time to come, and the only proper settle- ment of the Indian problem is to educate and Christianize my people. And it is a great deal cheaper to do this than to exterminate us. President Grant stated that it has cost this government two millions of dollars to kill an Indian, but it costs only about S'200 on the average to educate and Christianize an Indian, and an educated Indian is more glory to your race and to your civilization than a murdered one. Yoiir Centennial celebration is a great event, and I am here today, not to glory over the departure of my people from this region, but to assure you that, though we have parted with our fertile lands, and Treaty of Big Tree 62 gone from your immediate midst, with a good heart we rejoice in the improvement which God has spead over this land, and we unite with you on this great occasion out of respect for our white brother and his government and for our great white father at Washington who recog- nizes the Indians as wards of his government, to look with a father's interest after the welfare of us, who, like you, are the children of the Great Spirit. Although, Mr. Toastmaster, my people are increasing in the Uni- ted States, our ancient customs are gradually fading away, and we shall, under the influence of the progress of the age, in taking our places in the procession with you, lay aside the customs of our fath- ers, but we hope to prove ourselves worthy of the advantages which our white brothers have brought us, and act well the part which the Great Spirit created us to perform. Wi^ T. F. JAMEKSOX President Seneca Nation of Indians EVENING MEETING ADDRESS BY HON. WALLACE BRUCE A Great Century. Ill R. CHAIRMAN, members of the Livingston County Historical 111 Society, Mr. Governeur Morris, representatives of the Seneca I ^ Tribe, Ladies and Gentlemen : I regard it a great privilege to take part in this interesting Centennial ceremony. It has been my fortune to participate in four centennials :— The centennial of a bat- tle, the centennial of peace, the centennial of a poet's birthday, and now the centennial of a great treaty ; the first commemorating Stark's victory at Bennington, the second the disbanding of the Amer- ican army under Washington, at Newburg, the third among the Berk- shires in memory of "William Cullen Bryant, and the fourth here amid your beautiful hills and valleys, on the fifteenth day of September, 1897. (Applause.) When I received your invitation to deliver an address on the occa- sion, it occurred to me that I would take as my subject "From Tree to Temple." I wanted to come and talk to you, rather than to deliver an extended or over-carefully prepared oration, for I knew that the histor- ical part of the exercises would be well done in the afternoon — a paper which I may say in passing, adds great wealth not only to this society but also to this entire community. It occurred to me that the "Tree" had gone and that the "Temple" had come, I thought of the spot which had been pointed out to me on a previous visit by a friend now presiding over these exercises, where once stood the historic log house and the old "Wadsworth Homestead," of the changes which had trans- pired since the transfer of the Indian title ; the contrast of the life and surroiindings of 1797 with 1897, and came to the conclusion that I would limit my talk to the very brief subject of "A Great Century." (Laughter.) I am proud, Mr. Chairman, to stand here in the presence of des- cendants of men, whose lines coming together after one hundred years, surround a great island of history. It is not often that divergent civ- ilizations, or that civilivation and barbarism which have struggled adversely, meet at last, forming thereby a peaceful delta of prosperity. I am glad to be here with the grandson of Robert Morris, the great Banker of the American Colonies, the financial refuge of Freedom in the hour of adversity, and one of the committee with Washington Treaty of Big Tree 66 for designing yonder flag. (Applause.) It is something also to remember and to tell our children that we met here a relative, the grandson of Logan, the Indian orator whose speeches we used to study- in our school books, and were he, who sat today at your board and thrilled his auditors, stirred by the same motive as his illustrious ancestor, the pride of boundless and ancestral freedom, there would be no lack of transmitted ability. If there is a student of elocution here, if would be well for him to engrave upon his memory the superb gesture and utterance of this his namesake. It is indeed a great century. None of us can fully comprehend it. Most of us have lived in less than a third of it ; only a few during half of it ; a still smaller few who have reached three score or four score years. What was it then? What is it now? These meadow lands a primitive forest. The emporium of our state and country enrolled scarcely 80,000 people. Its chief street reached only from the Battery to where the City Hall now stands. Maiden Lane, Fulton street and Park Place were pleasant strolling places along the edge of an almost unbroken wilderness. Brooklyn, across the way, was a town of barely two thousand inhabitants. A clergyman recently told me that his grandfather in 1807 sold his farm, the entire acreage now known as Brooklyn Heights, for three thousand dollars. It is quite possible, representatives of the Seneca Tribe, that Robert Morris paid too much instead of too little for the property. (Laugh- ter.) When we stop to think that New York Island was bought for twenty-four dollars we come to the conclusion that real estate some years ago was not held at the figures of today. When, more- over, we recall the fact that be bought from Napoleon two-thirds of our present territory for a few million dollars, we conclude that the price of property has not materially depreciated in value ; so we need not come here in the spirit of criticism or of apology, but rather as the advocate of the great patriot of the Revolution, who in the consum- mation of this purchase, was an instrument in the hands of God to help forward the civilization of his country. There is moreover a great truth to be derived from this Centennial gathering summed up in one comprehensive sentence : that civilization holds a mortgage on barba- rism ; that education holds a mortgage on ignorance which time at last forecloses. Lord Bacon's great aphorism "Knowledge is Power," s written and re- written on every page of the world's history. Treaty of Big Tree 67 In the brief review of the period here contemplated, the contrasts of material progress present a strange blending of the humorous and the marvelous. One hundred years ago it often took seven or eight days for a sloop to go from New York to Albany. Washington Irving refers to a "nine days' voyage" up the river. One of our swift steamers today gives us a sort of a passing glimpse. I was recently in the Cats- kills when a search-light from a steamer ten miles away was thrown on the cliffs, and I got up and read by it at intervals for half an hour, Gibbon's "History of Rome." (Laughter.) The time was when it took a stage coach three days to go from New York to Boston, and two coaches carried all the passengers. In those days our grandfath- ers mowed these meadow lands with old-fashioned scythes, and gar- nered their wheat with quaint-fingered cradles. Today we start a great reaper on one side of a five-thousand acre lot out west, and the wheat is cut, threshed, winnowed and tied up in bags while the machine is in motion. It took the first steamship, the "Savannah." nineteen days to cross the Atlantic, and it was such a ciiriosity that it went visiting around at the various ports. Today we take one of the modem grayhounds of the deep, visit London, Paris, Berlin and Rome and are home again, at our desks in New York, within the time of the first outward voyage of that first steamer. Twenty-five years ago a writer in Harper's Monthly boasted that we coxild go from New York to San Francisco in twelve days. In a few years there will be a sum- mer excursion with a shorter schedule from New York to St. Peters- burg, and I expect some day to sit in a coach marked Behring Straits and hear the brakeman call out "Klondyke." (Applause.) The other day I talked with Ann Arbor. She was eight hundred miles away (laughter) but we arranged a lecture appointment in three minutes by the watch. The telephone today accomplishes what the old century never dreamed of, and in addition to the telephone and the telegraph we now have captured the "X Ray," one of the main advantages of which is, if we happen to ask a friend for the loan of ten dollars, and he says he is sorry he hasn't it, all we have to do is to turn on the "ray" and he has to immediately transmit the X. (Laughter.) This is the first age that has been able to see through everybody. One of these days we will just sit in our rooms, push a button to bring an electric carriage, and finally we will all do our farm- ing, while swinging in a hammock under an awning, by simply turn- ing a few motor switches. (Applause.) Treaty of Big Tree 68 What evolutions in labor and locomotion from the splint-broom and the aickle to the carpet-sweeper and the lawn-mower, from the sleepy coach and clicking reel to the trolly-car and the bicycle. Even the very word "Ceutiiry" today no longer suggests to many people a period of glorious achievement but a cycling journey from New York to Philadelphia . I wrote a poem when a boy on the Moon trying to catch her husband, the Sun, but now she has only to get a "Lunar" to be equal to the course. (Laughter.) Our patient grandmothers knew nothing of sewing machines, and never dreamed of an apple parer ; nor would the latter invention have been more popular then than now, although I have known of the work being so pressing in my own native town that it kept many a young couple busy often until eleven or twelve o'clock in the evening in order to keep the family going in apples. (Laughter.) I remember an aunt who used to whirl the spinning-wheel in the homestead garret, and I recall today, no sweeter music, but now the old wheel is a silent heir-loom. Some great machine in Massachusetts or Rhode Island with pale-faced persons beside it transacts all the work. A bale of cotton is iintied at one end of a steaming factory, and about a quarter of a mile away it comes out in cylinders of printed cloth. I visited last week a mill where a tree was ground into pulp and presented the next day in the shape of an illustrated newspaper, with news whispered in the meantime from, the furthermost islands of the sea. Wonderful, indeed, has been the ■work of the hundred years that we are contemplating here in retro- spect this Centennial day in this beautiful village of Geneseo ! (Ap- plause. ) In tracing the growth of material progress, we moreover note the development of a new type of character, for the productions of this country are not alone in the line of mechanism. It is a marvel that we can convert steam and electricity into servants of commerce. It is wonderful that a whisjier along a trembling wire seems to know no limit, and that through storm and sunshine we are enabled to talk face to face with friends a thousand miles distant, that we can chronicle a laugh and almost transmit a smile, but the greatest marvel of the century is not the telephone, the telegraph, or the swift flying steamer nay nor the rearing of the greatest temple in the world, the Constitu- tion of the United States ; not the melting back of a great Citizen Army into the field, the office, and the workshop from which it came Treaty of Big Tree 69 to guard the threshold of a nobler humanity, but the crowning devel- opment and marvel of these hundred years is the American Man. (Applause.) If the statement needs any amendment, the American Woman (laughter) or as Robert Burns has wittily put it in abiding truth : "The prentice-hand was tried on man And then were made the lassies." (Applause.) In this new tj-pe of character the crowning quality seems a natural readiness to meet emergencies and overcome them. When the young American officer went to Alexandria to bring to New York the obelisk presented to this country by the Khedive of Egj'pt and the people of Alexandria gathered about it in angry protest, the young American simply wrapped the stars and stripes about it and told his men to proceed. (Applause.) It is recorded in the history of the Hudson that General Putnam, at Peekskill, sent a despatch to Washington : "Nathan Palmer was taken as a spy, tried as a spy, and will be hanged as a spy. P. S.— He is hanged." That brief postscript suggests the germ of American straightforwardness without time for particulars or details. A gentleman from Boston dropped in recently on the pioneer life of an old college classmate, whom he had not seen for years, and was astonished to hear him tell of a great "petrified" forest only a few miles distant ; everything that approached it, he said, became petri- fied. A buffalo ran into it one day and there it stood on its fore-feet petrified — with heels in the air — suddenly an-ested in his flight. A piece of dirt, he said, was thrown up in its flight and there it remains, in the air petrified. That can't be, said the Bostonian, think of gravity ! Gravity? Why that was petrified too. (Laughter.) No one but an American, with undaunted readiness, would have ever dreamed of a reply, which, in extravagant humor, set at naught even the primal laws of the universe. (Applause.) Nor can we forget, as a people, in this hour of remembrance, the great Providences which have attended and shielded us, throughout the century just completed. The old motto of Connecticut, "He who transported us will sustain us," is as true today as when it was first written. It was providential in the beginning of our history that there was room enough here for the development of individual liberty, wherein the feudalism of man to man, of serf to superior, and of knight to lord, might pass into the grander and higher feudalism of Treaty of Big Tree 70 institutions. The French and Indian wars were also providential, in that they taught the early colonists self-reliance. The Braddock cam- paign was a training-school of liberty ; the Blue Ridge a fortress and a refuge of fredom. Indeed, every battle of the Revolution records a series of Providences. A friend recently told me that his great aunt, who was a Tory, and lived on Long Island, had the fact brought to her that Washington was drawing off his forces under the cover of night. She sent a trusty servant to advise General Howe, but her messenger unwittingly found his way into the Hessian instead of the English camp, where even the officers were unable to understand the communication, so they locked the colored man up for the night and the next morning Washington and his army were on the Heights of Manhattan. If that servant had reached the British General, Washington would have been captured. Nor did these Providences close with the Revolution. They have abided all through our history. Napoleon was in need of money to prosecute his ambition, and while Britain was fitting out her ships to take possession of New Orleans, and thereby plant her flag on the Mississippi and all its tributaries, even to the gateway of Chautau- qua lake. Napoleon sold to us through our envoy, Thomas Jefferson, who was then in Paris, fully two-thirds of our present territory for a few millions of dollars. It was intended from the beginning that this country should be one and indivisible from gulf to lake, from sea to sea. (Applause.) This ceding of Fieach territory brought to us naturally in a few years California and Florida, and then just to straighten out our national boundary we "redeemed" a portion of Mex- ico so that we wouldn't walk off. (Laughter.) The Civil War came, and early in its history the Battle of Bull Run. General Slocum said a few years ago, in Brooklyn, that he regarded this defeat at first as a serious calamity, but came at last to see that it was a great Pro\'idence. If we had been victorious in the beginning, he said, the purposes of the war would not have been accomplished — a freedom for all beneath the flag. (Applause.) The battle of Gettysburg came. At the close of the first day's fight General Meade and his staff sat through a good part of the night in a little house on the hillside and discussed the question whether they should go or stay. They stayed — and all perhaps because a little boy had led the line as it fell back to Cemetery Ridge, which became a bulwark of freedom. It is said that a boy by mistake misdirected Grouchy or the Treaty of Big Tree 71 decisive battle of Waterloo might have been a blow to Saxon suprem- acy in Europe and throughout the world. Every struggle of the centuries for human rights has been climactory. Marathon and "Waterloo anticipate Yorktown and Appomatox, and this flag which we love to call Old G-lory, has threads in it that reach back to Mt. Aararat. It was only quarter finished when Washington and Morris went to the old Scotch woman of Philadelphia to make a circle of thirteen stars. (Applause.) The Providences of God have been great, not only in giving us Washington in the past, but also in these later days, the flower of American manhood, Abraham Lincoln. (Applause.) It sometimes seems that no one else could have guided the Ship so safely, a man who knew how to say and do the right thing at the right time. "You can fool some of the people all of the time, and all of the i)eople some of the time, but you can't fool all of the people all of the time." He said "It isn't safe to swap horses while crossing the stream," a sentence more effective in his re-election than a thousand campaign speeches. He wrote to one of his Generals that if he wasn't using the army he would like to borrow it. When Richmond was captured a great crowd early in the morning surged into the White House grounds and called for Lincoln. The window opened and the old Irish butler said, "Whist, boys, the old man will be down directly." The chief ruler of no other land in the world could have received such an introduction without loss of dignity, but no other sentence so clearly reveals the close relation between the people and their executive. Lincoln appear- ed and said "In this hour of our triumph let us remember that they are our brothers." How the man seems sent straight from the skies to speak words of love and honesty. (Applause.) But in spite of all our Providences there have always been men who said "you can't do it." They proclaimed it way back there to Job. You remember the three who came to see him, Bildad, Eliphaz and Zophar, but Job answered "No doubt ye are the people and wisdom shall die with you." Centuries go by and people said to Columbus "You can't do it. There is no land out there anyway," but Columbus said "sail on, sail on," until a new continent lifted itself from the sea. They came to John Hancock and said "there is no use of writing your name so big for it can't be done," and he replied "I propose to write it so that his Majesty can read it without his spectacles." Time went ou Treaty of Big Tree 72 until tliey came to Webster and said "It is no use, you can't answer the argument of Hayne." "I don't propose to answer it, but to crush him," replied the great statesman, as he welded another rivet in the history of Constitutional liberty. Then they found a man down at Shiloh, G-eneral Grant, whose very initials were somehow suggestive of the permanency of the United States, and they said, "Don't cross that stream for if you are defeated you will not have boats enough to bring you back," but the great soldier on his way to Vicksburg said "If we are defeated there will be boats enough to bring back what are left." (Applause.) There is only one thing which it seems this country can't do, and that is to complete the Capitol at Albany. (Laughter.) I am not sure however, but that they propose to take your Centennial for the crowning column this winter. So much for these Providences and great marvels. Time does not permit us to continue or to elaborate them, and the hour does not allow us to call the long roll of heroes who went down to the front in the protection of country and birthright, for what would be the possessions recalled by this day's observance had it not been for their noble deeds ? Who can paint that panorama, clear and perfect in detail '? Who can trace the telling bullets in that storm of leaden hail? Who can twine a fitting garland for each dear heroic name. Or untwist the strands of glory in the cable of our fame ? This suflficeth and abideth— every thread is firm and true ; Homespun texture, double woven, colors fast— red. white and blue ; Knotted well at Appomattox, tied to keep the threads in place, Never more to be unraveled in the nation's onward race. But above all achievements, inventions and triumphs, one proph- ecy from out the ages still shines undimmed. "His name shall be called wonderful !" Our little dreams are fulfilled and the wonder ceases. When the great bridge between New York and Brooklyn was being built, day by day we looked up through the cables of woven steel, and wondered whether ever, from pier to pier, across that vdde space, a highway could be constructed It was accomplished and the wonder ceased. We take a microscope and multiply the spaces beneath the glass a hundred-fold and wonder at the anatomy of life and the beauty of God's creation, but the wonder ceases with our attainment. We point a telescope into the sky and foretell the location of a new star by mathematics. The star appears and the marvel ceases. But after all material triumphs fade away and vanish, after all our greatest inventions have been lost in a series of higher accomplishments, this sentence shall abide in sublime futurity: "His name sAa/Z be called wonderful !" (Long continued applause. ) APPENDIX ADDRESS BY MR, W. H, SAMSON Before the Livingston County Historical Society in 1894. ij^ FTER the close of the Revolutionary war and the successful estab- 1^ lishment of the independence of the colonies, there was a serious f dispute between New York and Massachusetts regarding the lands in what is now Western New York. Massachusetts claimed the title by virtue of a grant from King James I to the Ply- mouth company, made November 3, 1620, and New York claimed it by virtue of the grant of Charles II to the Duke of York, dated March 12, 1664, and the voluntary submission of the Iroquois to the crown in 1684. Happily this dispute was amicably adjusted. By a compact dated December 16, 1786, signed by commissioners representing the two states. New York secured the sovereignty and jurisdiction and Massa- chusetts the right to buy from the native Indians. There were no reasons why Massachusetts should delay the sale of its rights, and on April 1, 1788, the legislature of that state agreed to convey to Nathaniel Gorham and Oliver Phelps, who were acting for themselves and others, all its right and title for 300,000 pounds in the consolidated securities of the commonwealth, or about one million dol- lars, provided that these speculators would extinguish the Indian title. On the 8th of July, 1788, a treaty was concluded at Buffalo Creek. It was attended by leading sachems, warriors and chiefs of the Five Nations. At this treaty the Indians sold to Phelps and Gorham for £2,100 and an annuity of $500, all their land east of the Genesee and a small portion west of it. The whole tract being described as follows: "Beginning in the north boundary line of the stateof Pennsylvania in the parallel of forty-two degrees north latitude, at a point distant eighty-two miles west from the northeast corner of Pennsylvania, on the Delaware river, as the said boundary line hath been riin and marked by the commissioners appointed by the states of New York and Pennsylvania respectively; and from said point or place of beginning, running west upon said line to a meridian which will pass through that corner or point of land made by the influence of the Shanahasgwaikon creek, so-called, with the waters of the Genesee river; thence running north along the said meridian to the comer or point last mentioned; thence northwardly along the waters of the said Genesee river to a point two miles north of Shanawageras village, so-called; thence running in a direction due west twelve miles; thence running a direc- tion northwardly, so as to be twelve miles distant from the most west- ward bends of said Genesee river to the shore of the Ontario lake; thence eastwardly along the shores of said lake to a meridian which will pass through the first point or place of beginning alwve mentioned; thence south along said meridian to the first point or place of beginning aforesaid; together with all and singialar the woods, houses, streams, rivers, ponds, lakes, upon, within, and in any wise appertaining to said territory." This tract embraced a little over two and a half million acres, measuring about eighty-five miles on the east line and nearly forty-five miles on the south line. Within its bounds are the counties of Ontario, Treaty of Big Tree 76- Steuben and Yates, and portions of the counties of Monroe, Livingston, Wayne, Allegany and Schuyler. On November 21, 1788, the legislature of Massachusetts passed an act conveying this land to Phelps and Gorham, The advance in the value of the consolidated securities of Massa- chusetts, due to the assumption by the general government of the debts of the several states, brought ruin to Phelps and Gorham. They reserved to themselves two townships, but sold the remainder of the land to Robert Morris, who in turn disposed of it to Sir William Pultney and his associates in England. Not only were Phelps and Gorham compelled to part with the lands purchased from the Indians, but they were obliged to surrender to Massachusetts the pre-emptive right to the lands west of the Genesee river, embracing about 3,750,000 acres, to which they had been unable to extinguish the Indian title. Robert Morris who had made a profit of something like $160,000 on his sale to the Englishmen, was ready to embark in further specula- tions, and on May 11, 1791, purchased from Massachusetts the pre-emp- tive right to the lands west of the Genesee. He paid 100,000 pounds, equal to §833,333.33 in Massachusetts currency. In 1702 and 1793 he sold this land, except the eastern portion, since known as the Morris reserve, to certain capitalists in Holland, and it now became his duty to extinguish the Indian title . Until this should be done the Holland- ers reserved 37,500 pounds of the purchase price. Soon after making the purchase from Massachusetts, Mr. Morris resolved to settle his son Thomas in the Genesee country "as an evi- dence of his faith in its value and prospects " Thomas Morris was 20 years of age. He had been educated at Geneva and Leipsic and was then reading law. In obedience to the wishes of his father, he left Philadelphia in the early summer of 1791 and coming by way of Wilkes- barre and what was called "Sullivan's path," reached Newtown where he attended Pickering's council and received from the Indians the name of 0-te-ti-ana, which Red Jacket had borne in his younger days. Proceeding on his journey, Mr. Morris visited Niagara Falls. On his return, he passed through Canandaigua. The aspect of the little frontier village pleased him. and he resolved to make the place his home. Arranging his affairs in the east, he left New York in March, 1792, and went to Canandaigua. In 1793 he built a framed hoiise, filled in with brick — one of the two framed houses in the state west of Whites- boro. Mr. Morris was admitted to the bar, and in 1794 attended the first court held at Canandaigua. He devoted much of his time to the care of his father's property and the settlement and development of Western New York, and was honored and esteemed by the pioneers. In 1794, 1795 and 1796 he was a member of assembly from Ontario county. For five years beginning with 1796 he was a senator of the state of New York, and from December, 1801, till March 1803, he was a member of congress — the first representative in congress from that portion of the state of New York lying west of Seneca lake. He shared in the financial reverses of his father and in 1804 appointed John Greig his attorney and removed to New York city, where he practiced law until his death in 1848. Though Robert Morris desired a speedy settlement of his specula- Treaty of Big Tree 77 tions with the Hollanders, it was not until 1796 that he asked President Washington to order a treaty and appoint a commissioner to represent the United States. The delay in the application was very creditable, for it was due entirely to motives of public consideration. Morris'a letter was as follows: Philadelphia, August 25, 1796. Sir — In the year 1791 I purchased from the state of Massachusetts a tract of country lying within the boundaries of the state of New York, which had been ceded by the latter to the former state under the sanction and with the concurrence of the congress of the United States. This tract of land is bounded to the east by the Genesee river, to the north by Lake Ontario, to the west partly by Lake Erie and partly by the boundary line of the Pennsylvania triangle, and to the south by the north boundary line of the state of Pennsylvania. A printed brief of title I take the liberty to transmit herewith. To perfect this title it is necessary to purchase of the Seneca nation of Indians their native right, which I should have done soon after the purchase was made of the state of Massachusetts, but that I felt myself restrained from doing so by motives of public consideration. The war between the Western Indian nations and the L^nited States did not extend to the Six Nations, of which the Seneca nation is one; and as I apprehended that, if this nation should sell its right during the existence of that war, they might the more readily be induced to join the enemies of our country, I was determined not to make the purchase whilst that war lasted. When peace was made with the Indian nations I turned my thoughts towards the purchase, which is to me an object very interest- ing ; but upon it being represented that a little longer patience, until the western posts should be delivered up by the British government, might be public utility, I concluded to wait for that event also, which is now happily accomplished, and there seems no obstacle to restrain me from making the purchase, especially as I have reason to believe the Indians are '"esirous to make the sale. The delays which have already taken place and that arose solely from the considerations above mentioned have been extremely detri- mental to my private affairs : but. still being desirous to comply with formalities prescribed by certain laws of the United States, although those laws probably do not reach my case. I now make application to the President of the United States and request that he ■\^'ill nominate and appoint a commissioner to be present and preside at a treaty, which he will be pleased to authorize to be held with the Seneca Nation, for the purpose of enabling me to make a purchase in conformity with the formalities required by law, of the tract of country for which I have already paid a very large sum of money. My right to pre-emption is unequivocal, and the land is liecome so necessary to the growing popu- lation and surroimding settlements that it is with difficulty that the white people can be restrained from squattering or settling down upon these lands, which if they should do, it may probably bring on conten- tions with the Six Nations. This will be prevented by a timely, fair and honorable purchase. This proposed treaty ought to be held immediately before the hunting season or another year will be lost, as the Indians cannot be collected during that season. The loss of another year, under the pay- Treaty of Big Tree 78 ments thus made for these lands, would be ruinous to njy affairs ; and as I have paid so great deference to public considerations whilst they did exist, I expect and hope that my request will be readily granted now, when there can be no cause for delay, especially if the Indians are willing to sell, which will be tested by the offer to buy. With the most perfect esteem and respect, I am, sir, your most obedient and most humble servant, Robert Morris. G-eorge Washington, Esq., President of the United States. President Washington appointed a member of congress from New Jersey, named Isaac Smith, as the commissioner. But having been subsequently appointed a judge of the Supreme Court of his state, Mr. Smith found that his judicial duties would prevent his attendance at the treaty ; accordingly he declined, and Colonel Jeremiah Wadsworth, who had been a distinguished member of congress from Connecticut, was appointed in his place. Unable himself to take part in the treaty, Robert Morris appointed his son, Thomas, and Charles Williamson as his attorneys ; but Cap- tain Williamson, busy with his affairs at Bath, declined to act, and so the responsibility for conducting the difficult and delicate negotiations fell entirely upon the younger Morris. It was resolved to hold the treaty at Big Tree, near the settlement which afterwards became Geneseo. In meadow lands vnthin the cor- porate limits of the village of Geneseo, southwest from the park, about a quarter of a mile above the Erie railroad, and about the same distance west of the Mt. Morris road, is a cobblestone house ; on the site of this building there stood, 100 years ago, a small dwelling erected by William and James Wadsworth. This was rented by Thomas Morris for the entertainment of the principal persons at the treaty. He also caused a large council house to be erected, covered -with, boughs and branches of trees. Doty's "History of Livingston County" says that the Indian village of Big Tree was west of the Genesee river and that the big tree itself stood on the eastern bank. Some Geneseo anti- quarians of today declard that the village was east of the Genesee. Both are correct, the explanation being that the village was moved. At the time of the treaty, however, the village was west of the Gene- see. It not only appears so on the first map of the region made from actual surveys, but the treaty as agreed upon declared that the reserva- tion of Big tree should embrace the village, and Ellicott's map of 1804 shows the reservation to be west of the river. In 1805 the village was moved, and on the map showing the Phelps and Gorham purchase in 1806 Big Tree village appears east of the Genesee. The probability is that the council house was erected on the eastern bank, and Charles Jones, who derived his information from his father, Horatio Jones, who attended the treaty and took a prominent part in the negotiations, thinks it stood 500 feet northwest of the Wadsworth dwelling. The Indians began to arrive at Big Tree late in August, not the Senecas alone, but groups from the other nations — attracted doubtless, by the hope of presents and the possibility of good living. Fifty-two Indians signed the treaty. Many of them were famous in Indian annals. Young King, Chief Warrior, Handsome Lake, the Prophet, Treaty of Big Tree 79 Fanner's Brother, Red Jacket, Little Billy, Pollard, the Infant, Corn- planter, Destroy Town, Little Beard, Black Snake — these were the leaders of the Senecas at Big Tree, interesting men all of them. Time will not permit me to give biographies. It seems necessary, however, to explain that there were two Indians known to the whites as Big Tree. Ga-on-dah-go-waah, called sometimes Big Tree and sometimes Great Tree, was a full-blooded Seneca of the Hawk clan and resided for many years at Big Tree village. He attended the Buffalo treaty of July 8, 1788, when Phelps and Gorham made their purchase, and went to Philadelphia in the winter of 1790 with Cornplanter and Half Town to protest against what they regarded an unjust treatment from Phelps and his associates. He was there again with Red Jacket in 1792 and died in that city in April of that year. Conseqiiently he did not attend the Big Tree treaty. This chief's daughter had a son whose father was a Niagara trader named Pollard. The boy grew up in the Indian village and became in time a famous chief. His name was Ga-on-do- wau-na, which also meant Big Tree. He made himself conspicuous in border warfare, and was at the massacre of Wyoming. He it was who signed the Big Tree treaty. As an orator he was but little inferior to Red Jacket, and his character was finer. After the death of Corn- planter he was, perhaps, the noblest of the Senecas. He was among the first Indians on the Buffalo Creek reservation to embrace the truths of Christianity and thereafter his life was singularly blameless and beneficent. He was sometimes called Colonel John Pollard. He died on the reservation April 10, 1841, and was buried in the old Mission cemetery. Thomas Morris reached the Genesee on August 22d. The commis- sioners arrived four days later, Colonel Jeremiah Wadsworth to repre- sent the United States and General William Shepherd to represent the commonwealth of Massachusetts. Captain Israel Chapin, who had succeeded his father, General Israel Chapin, as siiperintendent of Indian affairs, attended ; James Rees, subsequently of Geneva, was there and acted as secretary, and among other white men who attended and were greatly interested in the negotiations were William Bayard of New York, the agent of the Holland land company ; two young gentlemen from Holland named Van Staphorst, near relatives of the Van Staphorst who was one of the principal members of the Holland company, Nathaniel W. Howell, Jasper Parish and Horatio Jones. Turner's two Histories, Stone's "Life of Red Jacket," and Doty's "History of Livingston County," contain accounts of the treaty of Big Tree which are practically the same, for they were based upon the careful, but not in all respects, accurate statement which Thomas Morris prepared in 1844 for the use of our local historians. But while I have condensed this narrative greatly in some respects, I have sup- plemented and corrected it, with the aid of several documents of con- siderable historical importance, which have been carefully preserved for nearly a hundred years. Through the kindness of the New York Historical society I have been able to procure a copy of Robert Morris's Letter of Instructions to Thomas Morris and Charles Williamson, his agents, for the man- agement of the treaty, and also a copy of Thomas Morris's Rough Treaty of Big Tree 80 Memoranda of the proceedings at the treaty. Both are unpublished manuscripts. The letter shows what Robert Morris wanted done and how his agents were to go about it. The memoranda are valuable because they contain copies of all the principal speeches delivered at the treaty. These documents are very long and the reading of them would occupy too much of your time. I will give a condensation of the Letter of Instructions. This is dated Philadelphia, August 1, 1797. Robert Morris says he has not the interest in the lands that he ought to have retained, but is in duty bound to extinguish the Indian title. Then follow instructions under twenty-four heads. He thinks the business of the treaty may be facilitated by withholding liquor from the Indians, "until the business is finished, showing and promising it to them when the treaty is over." He adds that the liquors and stores he sends up ' 'must be used and if not sufficient more must be got." The commissioners and other white men at the treaty must be entertained properly, and Mr. Morris insisted that Jones, Smith, Johnson, Dean, and Parish must be employed to assist in the negotiations, and that they should be "compensated with a reasonable liberality." Mr. Morris thoiight an annuity of .^4,000 or $5,000 forever would be a sufficient price for the land he desired ; but he added that if the Indians wanted the full purchase price in cash he would pay $75,000 within sixty or ninety days. He said : "The whole cost and charges of this treaty being at my expense, you will direct everything upon the principles of a liberal economy. The In- dians must have plenty of food, and also of liquor, when you see proper to order it to them." Concluding his voluminous instructions, Robert Morris said : "You are to consider what I have already written, rather as outlines for your conduct on this business than as positive orders not to be departed from. I have perfect confidence in your friendship, and also in your integrity, good sense and discretion, and therefore I confide to your management the whole of this business without limita- tion or restriction. * * '* If you can make the purchase on better terms than I have proposed I am sure you will do it, or on the contrary, should you be obliged to give more, I shall acquiesce. You know it is high time this purchase should be made, and it is of vast importance to all concerned to have it accomplished, therefore you must effect it at all events, and I can only repeat that although I wish to buy as reasonable as may be, yet I do not mean to starve the cause, for I must have it." The council was formally opened at 1 o'clock on the afternoon of August 28, 1797. Cornplanter spoke first. Turning to Thomas Morris he acknowledged the speech of invitation conveyed by Jasper Parish and Horatio Jones, and returned the string of wampum that had reached him with the invitation to the treaty. Then the commission- ers from the United States and Massachusetts presented their creden- tials and addressed the assembly, assuring the Indians that their inter- ests would be duly guarded and that no injustice would be done. Thomas Morris then made a short address, saying that his father was unable to appear, but had directed the delivery of the following speech which he had written to them from Philadelphia, (and which is now made public for the first time :) Brothers of the Seneca Nation — It was my wish and my intention Treaty of Big Tree 81 to have come into your country and to have met you at this treaty, but the Great Spirit has ordained otherwise and I cannot go. I grow old and corpulent, and not very well, and am fearful of traveling so far during the hot weather in the month of August. Brothers, as I cannot be with you at the treaty, I have deputed and appointed my son Thomas Morris, Esq., and my friend Charles Williamson, Esq., to appear for me and on my behalf to speak and treat with you in the same manner and to the same effect as I might or could do were I present at this treaty with you, and it is my request that you will listen to them with the same attention that you would to me. Brothers, I have the greatest love and esteem for my son and my friend. They possess my entire confidence and whatever they engage for on my behalf you may depend that I will perform the same as exactly as if I was there and made the engagements with you myself ; therefore I pray you to listen to them and believe in what they say. Brothers, it is now six years since I have been invested with the exclusive right to acquire your lands. During the whole of this time you have quietly possessed them without being importuned by me to sell them, but I now think that it is time for them to be productive to you. It is with a view to render them so that I have acquiesced in your desire to meet you at the Genesee river. I shall take care imme- diately to deposit in the bank of the United States whatever my son and my friend may agree to pay yovi in my behalf. Brothers, from the personal acquaintance which I have with your chiefs and head men, I am assured that their wisdom and integrity will direct the object of the treaty to the happiness of yourselves and your posterity. It is a pleasing circumstance to me that my business is to be transacted with such men, because while on the one hand they will take care of your interests, on the other whatever is done between them and me will be strong and binding. I hope that vsdse men will always be at the head of your councils, but for fear that those that succeed your present leading men should not deserve and possess your confi- dence as fully as these do, you had better have your business so fixed now as not to leave it in the power of wrong-headed men in future to waste the property given to yoii by the Great Spirit for the use of yourselves and your posterity. Brothers, I have now opened my mind to you, and as I depend on my son and my friend to carry on and conclude the business with you I shall only add that the President of the United States, approving of this treaty and being your father and friend, has appointed an honor- able and worthy gentleman, formerly a member of congress, the Hon. Jeremiah Wadsworth, Esq., to be a commissioner on behalf of the United States to attend and superintend this treaty, and the governor of the state of Massachusetts also appointed an honorable and worthy gentleman, formerly a general in the American army and now a mem- ber of congress, the Hon. William Shepherd, Esq., to be a commis- sioner to attend this treaty on behalf of the state of Massachusetts. These gentlemen will attend to what is said and done on both sides in order to see that mutual fair dealings and justice shall take place. Their office and duty will be rendered agreeable so far as depends on me because I desire nothing but fair, open and honest transactions. Treaty of Big Tree 82 Brothers, I bid you farewell. May the Great Spirit ever befriend and protect you. After the delivery of this shrewdly written speech, the council adjourned to give the Indians time to deliberate. There was a brief session the next day, when Red Jacket declared that something had been kept back, and asked for full particulars. On the following day Thomas' Morris delivered a long and carefully prepared speech, setting forth the reasons why, in his opinion, the Indians should sell their lands. Among other things, he said : "You will receive a larger sum of money than has ever yet been paid to you for your lands; this money can be so disposed of that not only you but your children and your children's children can derive from it a lasting benefit. It can be placed in the bank of the United States from whence a sufiBcient income can aimually be drawn by the President, your father, to make you and your posterity happy forever. Then the wants of your old and poor can be supplied, and in times of scarcity the women and children of your nation can be fed and you will no longer experience the miseries resulting from nakedness and want. * * Your white brethren are willing to provide you with the things which they enjoy provided you furnish them with the room which they want and of which you have too much. Brothers, you may perhaps suppose that by selling your lands you will do an injury to your posterity. This, brothers, is not the case. By disposing of the money which you will receive for them in the manner which I have mentioned, your children will always hereafter be as rich as you are now." Concluding, Mr. Morris said that if the Indians declined his offer "neither my father nor any person in his behalf will ever come forward and treat with you on the generous terms now proposed." It will be observed that Mr. Morris did not say that his father had already sold the lands to the Hollanders and was required to extinguish the Indian title, and that he would be compelled to nego- tiate again if the Indians refused now. Mr. Morris also refrained from naming the price he was willing to pay. On August 30tli and September 1st there was no public council. On September 2d brief speeches were made by Farmer's Brother and Red Jacket, which were not at all friendly. In the evening Thomas Morris announced privately to some of the chiefs that he was willing to pay $100,000, to be invested so as to yield the Indians $6,000 a year. On the following day Red Jacket made an elaborate speech, setting forth the objections to the sale of the lands. Mr. Morris then publicly named the price he was willing to pay, and declared that if this were refused his father would never again meet the Senecas in general council — which, of course^ was a decided stretching of the truth. On September 4th Cornplanter complained that the sachems were conduct- ing the whole business themselves, and threatened to go home. It was evident that there were serious divisions among the Indians. Indeed, a quarrel at this session was narrowly averted. There was no meet- ing on the 5th. Mr. Bayard and the two commissioners, becoming impatient, urged Mr. Morris to more vigorous action. He protested that he knew better than they the peculiarities of the Indian character; they insisted, and Mr. Morris, yielding reluctantly, gave at the next Treaty of Big Tree 83 session an emphatic negative to a proposition by the chiefs, declaring that if they had nothing better to offer, the council might as well end. Red Jacket immediately sprang to his feet and exclaimed : "You have now arrived at the point to which I wish to bring you. You told us in your first address that even in the event of our not agreeing, we would part friends. Here, then, is my hand. I now cover up the council fire." Apparently this ended the coimcil. The decision of the chiefs was received with great applause and the forest rang with savage yells. The commissioners and Mr. Bayard, seeing the unfor- tunate result of their interference, urged Mr. Morris to endeavor to rekindle the council fire, and promised that if he succeeded they would offer no further suggestions. Meeting Farmer's Brother, Mr. Morris declared that according to Indian usage only he who had kindled a council fire had the right to put it out ; consequently Red Jacket had exceeded his authority, and "the fire was still burning." This having been admitted, and a very important point having been gained, Mr. Morris called the Seneca women together, distributed handsome presents and argued with them in favor of the sale of the lands. It was one of the features of the Indian policy that the lands belonged to the warriors who defended them and the women who tilled them, and though the sachems usually negotiated the treaties, the warriors and women had the right, when the sale of land was in question to interfere. In this instance the women exercised their right, and the council reassembled. Then Cornplanter conducted the Indian side of the negotiations, Red Jacket having been superseded. Within a short time an agreement was reached and the Indian lands west of the Genesee, excepting ten reservations embracing 337 square miles, were sold to Robert Morris for $100,000, to be invested in the stock of the bank of the United States and held in the name of the President for the benefit of the Indians. The treaty was signed on September 15, 1797. The lands sold were described as follows : All that certain tract of land, except as hereinafter excepted, lying within the county of Ontario and State of New York, being part of a tract of land, the right of pre-emption whereof was ceded by the State of New York to the commonwealth of Massachusetts, by deed of cession executed at Hartford, on the sixteenth day of December, in the year of our Lord one thousand seven hundred and eighty-six, being all such part thereof as is not included in the Indian purchase made by Oliver Phelps and Nathaniel Gorham, and bounded as follows, to wit : easterly, by the land confirmed to Oliver Phelps and Nathaniel Gorham by the legislature of the commonwealth of 5lassachusetts by an act passed the twenty-first day of November, in the year of our Lord one thousand seven hundred and eighty-eight ; southerly, by the north boundary line of the state of Pennsylvania ; westerly, partly by a tract of land, part of the land ceded by the state of Massachusetts to the United States, and by them sold to Pennsylvania, being a right angled triangle, whose hypothenuse is in or along the shore of Lake Erie ; partly by Lake Erie, from the northern point of that triangle to the southern bounds of a tract of land one mile in width lying on and along the east side of the strait of Niagara, and partly by the said tract to Lake Ontario ; and on the north by the boundary line between Treaty of Big Tree 84 the United States and the king of Great Britain ; excepting neverthe- less, and always reserving out of this grant and conveyance, all such pieces and parcels of the aforesaid tract, and such privileges thereunto belonging, as are next hereinafter particularly mentioned, which said pieces or parcels of land so excepted, are by the parties to these pres- ents, clearly and fully understood to remain the property of the said parties of the first part, in as full and ample manner as if these pres- ents had not been executed. The following were the reservations as agreed upon: Cattaraugus reservation, containing 26,880 acres, in the counties of Chautauqua and Erie; Allegany reservation in Cattaraugus county, containing forty-two square miles; Buffalo Creek reservation in Erie county, containing 130 square miles; Tonawanda reservation in the counties of Erie, Gene- see, and Niagara, containing seventy-one square miles; Conawaugus reservation, two square miles; Big Tree reservation, two square miles; Little Beard's reservation, two square miles; Squawky Hill reservation, two square miles; Gardeau reservation, twenty-eight square miles; Caneadea reservation, sixteeen square miles; in all 837 square miles. The Senecas also intended to reserve the Oil Spring reservation, one mile square, containing their famous oil spring, three miles west of Cuba in the counties of Allegany and Cattaraugus, from which oil had been gathered for centuries. As it was not included in the deed, the title passed to Robert Morris and the Holland Land company, and then to three extensive land owners of Ellicottville. These men supposed it was an Indian reservation, and treated it as such until 1843, when one of them discovered that it was not one of the reservations mentioned in the treaty. Accordingly they had the land surveyed and sold. In 1856 the Indians began legal proceedings and ultimately succeeded in getting possession of the property. Governor Blacksnake supplied the most important evidence on the trial of the suit. He was present at the council at Big Tree and remembered that when the treaty was read over the omission of the Oil Spring reservation was noticed and commented on. and that Thomas Morris executed and delivered to Handsome Lake, the Prophet, a separate paper, reserving this tract to the Indians. Blacksnake also had in his possession a copy of the first map of the Holland Purchase made by Joseph Ellicott and presented by him, this map showing by means of red ink the eleven Indian reservations. There were two incidents at the Treaty of Big Tree that deserve more than passing notice— one as to the purchase money and the second in regard to the claim which was made by Indian Allan's daughter to the Mt. Morris tract. The consideration for the sale of the Indian lands to Robert Morris was $100,000 to be invested in the stock of the Bank of the United States, and the stock was to be held by the President for the benefit of the Indians. They were to receive interest or dividends on the stock, and it was very difficult for the white men to make the Indians tmderstand how money could make money — or, as they expressed it, how tnoney could grow. This was accomplished at length, however, and the Indians went away satisfied that Washington could guard their interests securely and that all would be well. Everything did go well till 1811, when there was a failure on the part of the government to pay. Then the anxious Treaty of Big Tree 85 Indians held a council at Buffalo Creek and Farmer's Brother, Young King, Pollard, Chief Warrior, and other Seneca chiefs agreed upon the following letter, which was sent to the seat of Federal government by- special messenger: To the Honorable William Eustis, Secretary at War: The sachems and chief warriors of the Seneca nation of Indians understanding you are the person appointed by the great council of your nation to manage and conduct the affairs of the several nations of Indians with whom you are at peace and on terms of friendship, come, at this time, as children to a father, to lay before you the trouble which we have on our minds. Brother, we do not think it best to multiply words; we will there- fore tell you what our complaint is. Brother, listen to what we say: Some years since we held a treaty at Big Tree, near the Genesee river. This treaty was called by our great father, the President of the United States. He sent an agent. Colonel Wads worth, to attend this treaty for the purpose of advising us in the business and seeing that we had justice done us. At this treaty we sold to Robert Morris the greatest part of our country. The sum he gave us was $100,000. The commis- sioners who were appointed on your part advised us to place this money in the hands of our great father, the President of the United States. He told us that our father loved his red children and would take care of our money, and plant it in a field where it would bear seed forever, as long as trees grow, or waters run. Our money has heretofore been of great service to us. It has helped us to support our old people and our women and children; but we are told the field where our money was planted is become barren. Brother, we do not understand your way of doing business. This thing is very heavy on our minds. We mean to hold our white brethren of the United States by the hand; but this weight lies heavy. We hope you will remove it. We have heard of the bad conduct of our brothers toward the setting sun. We are sorry for what they have done: but you must not blame us. We had no hand in this bad business. They have had bad people among them. It is your enemies have done this. We have persuaded our agent to take this talk to your great council. He knows onr situation and will speak our minds. Immediately upon the receipt of this letter at Washington $8,000 was appropriated and the Indians once more received their money. This $8,000 was "in lieu of the dividend on the bank shares held by the President of the United States, in trust for the Seneca nation, in the bank of the United States." There was something decidedly queer about the sale of the Allan lands. Ebenezer Allan had two half-breed daughters. Mary and Chloe, and on July 15, 1791, the Seneca sachems deeded to the girls a tract of land four miles square at what is now Mt. Morris. The deed declared that this land was to be in full of their share of all the lands belonging to the Seneca nation. This deed was executed at the treaty of New- town; it was approved by Timothy Pickering, United States commis- sioner; and it was recorded in the county clerk's oflBceat Canandaigua. The following is an extract from the deed: "Whereas, our said brother, Jen-uh-eheo, the father of the said Treaty of Big Tree 86 Mary and Chloe, has expressed to us a desire to have the share of the Seneca lands to which the said Mary and Chloe (whom we consider our children) are entitled to have, set off to them in severalty, that they may enjoy the same as their separate portions; now, know ye, that we, the sachems, chiefs and warriors of the Seneca nation, in the name and by the authority of our whole nation, whom according to our ancient customs in like cases we represent, and in consideration of the rights of said Mary and Chloe, as children and members of the Seneca nation, and of our love and affection for them, do hereby set off and assign to them, the said Mary and Chloe, and to their heirs and assigns, a tract of land, on part of which the said Jen-uh-sheo, our brother, now dwells upon the waters of the Jenusheo river in the county of Ontario, in the state of New York, bounded as follows; Beginning at an elm tree standing in the forks of the Jen-uh-sheo river (the boundary between our lands and the lands we sold to Oliver Phelps and Mr. Gorham), and running from thence due south four miles, thence due west four miles, thence due north four miles, and thence due east four miles, until the line strikes the said elm tree, with the appurtenances. To have and to hold the said tract of land, with the appurtenances, to them, the said Mary Allan and Chloe Allan, and to their heirs and assigns, as tenants in common, to their use forever." When he heard of this transaction. Secretary of War Knox became greatly excited. He thought Pickering had blundered. He called Washington's attention to the matter, and by direction of the President wrote to Governor Clinton of New York, and expressly disavowed the claim, which he supposed was implied by Pickering's action that the Indians could "alienate" their lands under the supervision of the United States and vsithout consulting New York and Massachusetts. But it was not Pickering but the secretary himself who blundered, and his mistake was due to his ignorance of the Indian laws of descent. When Knox called Pickering to account, the latter replied as follows: "It appeared to be understood by the Senecas that Messrs. Morris and Ogden, as the grantees of Massachusetts, had the right of pre-emp- tion of all their lands. But at the same time there existed nothing to bar a division of their whole country among themselves: and if they could divide the whole, they could certainly set off a part to two indi- viduals of their nation as their share. This was the object of their deed to Allan's children, whom they called their children, agreeably to the rule of descent among them, which is in the female line; and in this deed the land assigned is declared to be in full of those two chil- dren's share of the whole Seneca country. Here was the ground of my ratification. Now, you will be pleased to recollect that before the matter was opened in council I had repeated the law of the United States relative to Indian lands and the solemn declaration of the President last winter to the Complanter that they (the Indians) had the right to sell, or to refuse to sell, their lands, and that, in respect to their lands, they might depend on the protection of the United States, so that on this head they had now no cause for jealousy or discontent. This being by them well understood, I saw no way of avoiding the ratification of the assignment to their two children, without reviving, or rather exciting, their utmost jealousy, as it would have been denying the free enjoyment of their own lands by some members of the nation, Treaty of Big Tree 87 according to the will of the nation; and a denial, I was apprehensive, would lead them to think that the solemn assurance of the President was made but to amuse and deceive. Here you see my great induce- ment to the ratification." This of course was conclusive, and Secretary Knox had nothing more to say on the subject. With the Indian deed to his daughters in his possession Ebenezer Allan went to Philadelphia and sold the land to Robert Morris for dry goods and trinklets, and returned with these articles to what is now Mt. Morris and began to trade with the Indians. At the treaty of Big Tree four years later one of Allan's daughters appeared and denied the right of the Indians to sell the Mt. Morris tract. Thomas Morris replied that his father had already paid Allan for the laud and was now pacing the nation for it again. The girl denied it, and appealed to one of the commissioners, who replied that she had had bad advisers. The first edition of Seaver's "Life of Mary Jemison," was published in 1824 by James D. Bemis of Canandaigua. This little volume is now among the scarcest of American books. It contains some statements not be found in later editions. Among them is this, from the lips of the White Woman: "At the great treaty of Big Tree one of Allan's daughters claimed the land which he had sold to Morris. The claim was examined and decided against her in favor of Ogden, Trumbull and Rogers and others who were creditors of Robert Morris. Allan yet believed that his daughter had an indisputable right to the land in question and got me to go with Mother Farley, a half Indian woman, to assist him, by interceding with Morris for it, and to urge the propriety of her claim. We went to Thomas Morris, and having stated to him our business, he told us plainly that he had no land to give away, and that as the title was good, he never would allow Allan, nor his heirs, one foot, or words to that effect. We returned to Allan the answer we had received, and he, conceiving all further attempts to be useless, went home." When Allan visited him in Philadelphia, Robert Morris knew per- fectly well that Allan had no right to sell the land he offered, for it was not deeded to Allan, but to Allan's daughters. In Doty's excellent "History of Livingston County" the statement is made that Allan gave Morris a warranty deed, but this, I am con- vinced is a mistake. He had no right to give a deed : and as a matter of fact there is no deed or other document on record. If Allan execu- ted a paper of any kind, it was a contract or bill of sale of the im- provements. I think there can be no doubt that Ebenezer Allan's daughter was deliberately defrauded at the treaty of Big Tree. The white men took advantage of the ignorance of the Indians and forced the claim through. Robert Morris was well pleased with his son's management of this affair, and promised to give him one-half of the sixteen square miles of land. He was unable to keep his promise, however. As to Eben- ezer Allan, it is fair to assume that the Bluebeard of the border knew he had done a discreditable and dishonest thing, for otherwise he would have appeared at the treaty himself and substantiated the state- Treaty of Big Tree 88 ments of his daughter instead of sending Mary Jamison to plead pri- vately with Thomas Morris. In his account of the treaty — the account which all our historians have adopted — Thomas Morris says as little as possible about the means he used to influence the Indians after Red Jacket had raked up the council fire. He acknowledges that he argued with the warriors and women and distributed presents to the latter, and then says : "For some days the chief women and warriors might be seen scattered about in little knots ; after which I received a message informing me that the women and warriors would meet me in council and negotiate with me." It is a fact, however, which I am able to prove, and which is now made public for the first time, that during this interval Thomas Morris and the representatives of the Holland Land company were secretly bribing the warriors. They not only paid them money, but agreed to give them annuities so long as they lived. And it was by bribery rather than by argument, that Morris brought about the reopening of the council, and finally secured the consent of the Indians to sell. It is not surprising, therefore, that Morris tells us nothing of this in his statement ; and doubtless he was as careful to conceal the bribery from the Indians generally as he was to conceal it from the historians of Western New York. I have in my possession copies of some of the original documents, proving beyond question the truth of my state- ments. Here, for instance, is a receipt acknowledging the payment of one of the annuities : Received of Messrs. Leroy, Bayard & McEvers and Thomas Mor- ris, Esq., by the hands of Erastus Granger, the sum of two hundred and fifty dollars, being in full for my annuity for the year 1801 due me by agreement with Robert Morris at Big Tree in September, 1797. his Signed Com x Planter. In presence of Jasper Parrish. mark It is clear from this that Cornplanter's price was $250 a year so long as he lived, in addition to the cash payment at the treaty. Alto- gether, therefore, he received about $10,000 for his share in this trans- action. Doubtless Thomas Morris felt that Cornplanter's services were worth the price, for it was Cornplanter who conducted the negotiations for the Indians after the council fire had been rekindled. Of course he was not the only one who was paid. Young King, the "bearer of the smoking brand," received an annuity of $100, or a total of $3,800. In later years, as he thought of the power he could have wielded at the treaty, it is probable that he marvelled at his own mod- eration. Little Billy was another who sold himself. His price was the same as Yountr King's— $100 a year — and as Little Billy lived till 1834 he received $3,700. Pollard received $50 a year, or $2,200. Even the haughty Red Jacket consented to receive money and drew $100 a year. And so we might go on, if it were necessary, with these un- pleasant details. An interesting and unpiiblished anecdote regarding these annuities is furnished by William C. Bryant, Esq., the scholarly Indianologist of Treaty of Big Tree 89 Buffalo. It seems that tlie annuities were not always paid exactly on time, and the Indians were often worried. Millard Fillmore, subse- quently president of the United States, said to Mr. Bryant : "I don't remember seeing Complanter but on one occasion. He came to my office on Court street, soon after my return from Wash- ington, after congress had adjourned. He was a bowed, wrinkled and decrepit old man. He was attended by two or three younger Indians. He produced a capacious bag, similar in size to an ordinary mail bag, and took out a venerable treaty, which he explained to me. He said that soon after the treaty, was made the annuity was promptly paid — first it came when the tender blades of the corn broke from the mould ; then it came when the stalks were as high as a child's knee ; next it lingered till the grain was full and filled with milk, and now the stalks are dry and rustling and the Indians are very hungry for their money." Robert Morris himself expected that the Indians would have to be bribed and indeed authorized this procedure. In his letter of instructions he said : "Annuities of $20 to §60 may be given to influen- tial chiefs to the extent of $250 or 8300 per annum." And again, "Some dollars may be promised before the treaty and paid when finished, to the amount of $500 or $600, or if necessary $1,000 to the chiefs." It is to be regretted that the warriors betrayed their people for money, but they were importuned unceasingly by the avaricious, cunning, and unscrupulous whites. All sorts of plausible arguments and entreaties were made, and under the spells of the tempters the red men fell. The Indians were wrong, unquestionably ; but how can we censiire them severely ? Is there no bribery now-a-days ? Do our representatives, in our boasted nineteenth-century civilization, never betray their constituents? Are not charges of corruption pending even now against men who hold high ofifices of trust and power? Let us, therefore, pass by, with what charity we may, the fault committed by the untutored children of the forest, and condemn those who tempted them. On the part of Robert Morris and Thomas Morris, his son, the transaction was shameful. They, at least, could measure the breadth and depth of the iniquity, and the fact that they accomplished by the corrupt use of money what they could not accomplish bj' fair and honorable dealings must not only be admitted, but recorded to their great discredit. Though most of the Indians who gathered at Big Tree had partic- ipated in the inevitable horrors of border warfare we must judge them with charity. Let us not fall into the error so common among the historians of America, of unduly praising the condiict of the whites and unduly exaggerating the evil passions of the Indians. We must bear in mind that the whites, as well as the Indians, used the scalping knife and applied the torch, and that both committed exces- ses that both lived to regret. Many of the Indians who negotiated vnth Morris were men of high character. They had been brave in war, and they were eloquent and wise in council. They were imbued with feelings of lofty patriotism, and they loved their homes and their Treaty of Big Tree 90 families. The greeting of the patient wife at the end of a long and dangerous journey was returned with tenderness and love, and the laughter of the romping children was music in the warrior's ear. It was the Great Spirit who gave to these forest heroes the beans and the com, the gentle rains of spring, the smiling sun of summer and the golden days of harvest ; and in their leafy chapels the Indians offered up their prayers and thanked him for his goodness. "Ye say they all have passed away, That noble race and brave, That their light canoes have vanish'd From off the ci-ested wave ; That 'mid the forest where they roam'd There rings no hunter's shout ; But their name is on your watei's, Ye may not wash it out. "Ye say their cone-like cabins, That cluster'd o'er the vale. Have fled away like wither'd leaves Before the autumn's gale ; But their memory liveth on your hills Their baptism on your shore ; Your everlasting rivers speak Their dialect of yore." wm L A K E O X T MAP OF HOLLAND LAND COMPANY'S PRELIMINARY SURVEY 1797 THE TEXT OF THE TREATi^ r^ ONTRACT entered into under the sanction of the United States of I America, between Robert Morris and the Seneka nation of In- ^^ dians. ^ This indenture, made the fifteenth day of September, in the year of our Lord one thousand seven hundred and ninety-seven, between the sachems, chiefs and warriors of the Seneka nation of Indians, of the first part, and Robert Morris, of the city of Philadelphia, esquire, of the second part. Whereas, the commonwealth of Massachusetts have granted, bar- gained, and sold unto the said Robert Morris, his heirs and assigns forever, the pre-emptive right, and all other the right, title, and inter- est, which the said commonwealth had to all that tract of land here- inafter particularly mentioned, being part of a tract of land lying within the state of New York, the right of pre-emption of the soil whereof, from the native Indians, was ceded and granted by the said state of New York, to the said commonwealth ; and whereas, at a treaty held under the authority of the United States, with the said Seneka nation of Indians, at Genesee, in the county of Ontario, and state of New York, on the day of the date of these presents, and on sundry days immediately prior thereto, by the Hon. Jeremiah Wads- worth, esquire, a commissioner appointed by the President of the United States to hold the same, in pursuance of the constitution, and of the act of the congress of the United States, in such case made and provided, it was agreed in the presence and with the approbation of the said commissioner, by the sachems, chiefs and warriors of the said nation of Indians, for themselves and in behalf of their nation, to sell to the said Robert Morris, and to his heirs and assigns forever, all their right to all that tract of land above recited, and hereinafter par- ticularly specified, for the sum of one hundred thousand dollars, to be by the said Robert Morris vested in the stock of the Bank of the Uni- ted States and held in the name of the President of the United States, for the use and behoof of the said nation of Indians, the said agreement and sale being also made in the presence and with the approbation of the honorable Willard Shepard, esquire, the superintendent appointed for such purpose, in pursuance of a resolve of the general court of the commonwealth of Massachusetts, passed the eleventh day of March, in the year of our Lord one thousand seven hundred and ninety-one ; now this indenture witnesseth, that the said parties of the first part, for and in consideration of the premises above recited, and for divers other good and valuable considerations them thereunto moving, have granted, bargained, sold, aliened, released, enfeoffed and confirmed; and by the presents do grant, bargain, sell, alien, release, enfeoff, and confirm, unto the said party of the second part, his heirs and assigns, forever, all that certain tract of land, except as hereinafter excepted, Ijring within the county of Ontario, and State of New York, being part of a tract of land, the right of pre-emption whereof was ceded by the state of New York to the commonwealth of Massachusetts, by deed of cession executed at Hartford, on the sixteenth day of December, in the year of our Lord, one thousand seven hundred and eighty-six, being all such part thereof as is not included in the Indian purchase made Treaty of Big Tree 92 by Oliver Phelps and Nathaniel Gorham, and bounded as follows, to wit : easterly, by the land confirmed to Oliver Phelps and Nathaniel Gorham by the legislature of the commonwealth of Massachusetts, by an act passed the twenty-first day of November, in the year of our Lord, one thousand seven hundred and eighty-eight ; southerly, by the north boundary line of the state of Pennsylvania ; westerly by a tract of land, part of the land ceded by the state of Massachusetts to the United States, and by them sold to Pennsylvania, being a right angled triangle, whose hypothenuse is in or along the shore of lake Erie ; partly by lake Erie, from the northern point of that triangle to the southern bounds of a tract of land one mile in width, lying on and along the east side of the strait of Niagara, and partly by the said tract to lake Ontario ; and on the north by the boundary line between the United States and the King of Great Britain ; excepting neverthe- less, and always reserving out of this grant and conveyance, all such pieces or parcels of the aforesaid tract, and such privileges thereunto belonging, as are next hereinafter particularly mentioned, which said pieces or parcels of land so excepted, are, by the parties to these pres- ents, clearly and fully understood to remain the property of the said parties of the first part, in as full and ample manner as if these pres- ents had not been executed : that is to say, excepting and reserving to them, the said parties of the first part, and their nation, one piece or parcel of the aforesaid tract, at Oanawagus, of two square miles, to be laid out in such manner as to include the village, extending in breadth one mile along the river ; one other piece or parcel at Big Tree of two square miles, to be laid out in such manner as to include the village, extending in breadth along the river one mile ; one other piece or parcel of two square miles at Little Beard's town, extending one mile along the river, to be laid off in such manner as to include the village : one other tract of two square miles at Squawky Hill, to be laid off as follows, to wit : one square mile to be laid off along the river, in such manner as to include the village, the other directly west thereof and continiious thereto ; one other piece or parcel at Gardean, beginning at the mouth of Steep Hill creek, thence due east, until it strikes the old path, thence south until a due west line will intersect with certain steep rocks on the west side of the Genesee river, then extending due west, due north, and due east, until it strikes the first mentioned bound, enclosing as much land on the west side as on the east side of the river. One other piece or parcel at Kaounadeau, ex- tending in length eight miles along the river and two miles in breadth. One other piece or parcel at Cataraugos, beginning at the mouth of the Eighteen mile or Koghquangu creek, thence a line or lines to be drawn parallel to lake Erie, at the distance of one mile from the lake, to the mouth of Cataraugos creek, thence a line or lines extending twelve miles up the north side of said creek at the distance of one mile therefrom, thence a direct line to the said creek, thence down the said creek to lake Erie, thence along the lake to the first mentioned creek, and thence to the place of beginning. Also, one other piece at Catarau- gos. beginning at the shore of lake Erie, on the south side of Cataraugos creek, at the distance of one mile from the mouth thereof, thence running one mile from the lake, thence on a line parallel thereto to a point within one mile from the Connondauweyea creek, thence up the Treaty of Big Tree 93 said creek one mile, on a line parallel thereto, thence on a direct line to the said creek thence down the same to lake Erie, thence along the lake to the place of beginning. Also one other piece or parcel of forty-two square miles at or near the Allegenny river. Also, two hundred square miles, to be laid off partly at the Buffalo and partly at the Tannawanta creeks. Also excepting and reserving to them, the said parties of the first part and their heirs, the privilege of fishing and hunting on the said tract of land hereby intended to be conveyed. And it is hereby under- stood by and between the parties to these presents, that all such pieces or parcels of land as are hereby reserved, and are not particularly described as to the manner in which the same are to be laid off, shall be laid off in such manner as shall be determined by the sachems and chiefs residing at or near the respective villages where such reserva- tions are made, a particular note whereof to be endorsed on the back of this deed, and recorded therewith, together vsdth all and singular the rights, privileges, hereditaments, and appurtenances thereunto belonging, or in anywise appertaining. And all the estate, right, title, and interest, whatsoever of them the said parties of the first part and their nation, of, in, and to the said tract of land above described, except as is above excepted, to have and to hold all and singular the said granted premises, with the appurtenances, to the said party of the second part, his heirs and assigns, to his and their proper use, benefit, and behoof forever. In witness whereof, the parties to these presents have hereunto inter- changeably set their hands and seals, the day and year first above written. Robert Morris, by his attorney, Thomas Morris, (L. S.) Koyengquahtah, alias Yovmg King, his X mark, (L. S.) Soonookshewan, his X mark, (L. S.) Koniitaico, alias Handsome Lake, his X mark, (L. S.) Sattakanguyase, alias Two Skies of a Length, his X mark, (L, S,) Onayawos, or Farmer's Brother, his X mark, (L, S.) SoogooyawavTtau, alias Red Jacket, his X mark, (L. S.) Gishkaka, alias Little Billy, his X mark, (L. S.) Kaovmdoowana, alias Pollard, his X mark, (L. S.) Ouneshataikau, or Tall Chief, by his agent Stevenson, his X mark, Onnonggaihko, alias Infant, his X mark, (L. S.) (L. S.) Teahdowaingqua, alias Thomas Jemison, his X mark, (L. S. Tekonnondee, his X mark, (L. S.) Oneghtaugooau, his X mark, (L. S.) Connawaudeau, his X mark, (L. S.) Taosstaiefi, his X mark, (L. S.) Kooeutwahka, or Cornplanter, his X mark, (L. S.) Oosaukaunendauki, alias To Destroy a To"svn, his X mark, (L. S.) Sooeoowa, alias Parrot Nose, his X mark, (L. S.) Toonahookahwa, his X mark. (L. S.) Howwennounew, his X mark, (L. S.) Kounahtaetoiie, his X mark, (L. S. Taouyaukaima, his X mark. (L. S.) Woudougoohkta, his X mark, (L. S.) Sonauhquaukau, his X mark, (L. S.) Treaty of Big Tree 94 Twaunauiyana, his X mark, (L. S.) Takaunoudea, his X mark, (L. S.) Shequinedaughque, or Little Beard, his X mark, (L. S.) Jowaa, his X mark, (L. S.) Saunajie, his X mark, (L. S.) Tauoiyuquatakausea, his X mark, (L. S.) Taoundaudish, his X mark, (L. S.) Tooauquinda, his X mark, (L, S.) Ahtaou, his X mark, (L. S.) Taukooshoondakoo, his X mark, (L. S.) Kauneskanggo, his X mark, (L. S.) Soonanjuwan, his X mark, (L. S.) Tonowauiya, or Capt. Bullet, his X mark, (L. S.) Jaahkaaeyas, his X mark, (L. S.) Taughihshauta, his X mark (L. S.) Sukkenjoonau, his X mark, (L. S.) Ahquatieya, or Hot Bread, his X mark (L. S.) Suggonundan, his X mark, (L. S.) Taunowaintooh, his X mark, (L. S.) Konnonjoowauna, his X mark, (L. S.) Soogooeyandestak, his X mark, (L. S.) Hautwanauekkau, by Young King, his X mark (L. S.) Sauwejnwan, hisX mark, (L. S.) Kaunooh shall wen, his X mark, (L. S.) Taukonondangekta, his X mark, (L. S.) Kaouyanoughque, or John Jemison, his X mark, (L. S.) Hoiegush, his X mark, (L. S.) Taknaahquan, hisX mark, (L. S.) Sealed and delivered in presence of Nat. W. Howell, James Rees, Joseph Ellicott, Henry Aaron Hills, Israel Chapin, Henry Abeel. Jasper Parrish, ) j^i.^^^^^^.^^^ Horatio Jones, \ Interpreters. Done at a full and general treaty of the Seneka nation of Indians, held at Genesee in the county of Ontario, and State of New York, on the fifteenth day of September, in the year of our Lord, one thous- and seven hundred and ninety-seven, under the authority of the United States. In testimony whereof. I have hereunto set my hand and seal, the day and year aforesaid. JERE. WADSWORTH, (l.s.) Pursuant to a resolution of the legislature of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts, passed the eleventh day of March, in the year of our Lord one thousand seven hundred and ninety -one, I have attended a full and general treaty of the Seneka nation of Indians, at Genesee, in the county of Ontario, when the within instrument was duly execu- ted in my presence by the sachems, chiefs and warriors of the said nation, being fairly and properly understood and transacted by all the parties of Indians concerned, and declared to be done to their universal satisfaction : I therefore certify and approve of the same. Subscribed in presence of WILLIAM SHEPARD. Nat. W. Howell. MORRIS TO WASHINGTON rsOBERT MORRIS secured from Massachusetts in 1791 the right 1^ to buy the lands from the Indians ; but it was not till 1796 that 1 Y he was ready to open negotiations. Then he wrote the foUow- ^ ing letter to Washington : [For this letter, see page 77.] Commissioners having been appointed and other preparations for the treaty having been made, Robert Morris addressed the following letter to his son Thomas, and his friend, Charles Williamson, who were to carry on the negotiations with the Indians. This document is among the O'Reilly papers in the collection of the New York Histori- cal society. This is the first time that it has ever been published. All who are interested in the history of Western New York will read it with much interest : MORRIS'S INSTRUCTIONS. Philadelphia, August 1 , 1797. Thomas Morris and Charles Williamson, Esqrs. : Gentlemen— I send herewith my power of attorney constituting you my attorneys, and as such authorizing you to hold a treaty with the Seneca nation of Indians and such other nations, tribes, or chiefs as may be necessary and to purchase of them for my account all that tract of country the pre-emptive right of which I bought of the state of Massachusetts, being bounded on the east by the G-enesee river and certain boundary lines of Gorham and Phelps's Purchase, on the south by the north boundary line of the state of Pennsylvania, on the west by Lake Erie and certain boundary lines of the Pennsylvania Triangle and of a small tract or carrying place reserved to the state of New York near the river Niagara, and on the north by Lake Ontario. This tract of land you are too well acquainted with to render any other description necessary, and its importance to me you can properly estimate, although I have not that interest in it at present which I ought to have retained ; nevertheless there is a duty due from me to those to whom I have sold which I am as solicitous to perform as if the whole benefit was for myself; but, although I am not to reap all the benefit, I am to sustain all the expense. This circumstance does not in- duce a desire to starve the cause or to be niggardly ; at the same time it is natural to desire a consistent economy to be observed both as to the expense of the treaty and the price to be paid for the lands. In order to be as clear and distinct as possible I put each article of these in- structions numerically as they occur to me. First — I send herewith a written speech with which I propose that my son shall open the treaty by delivering the same to the Indians in my name and in my behalf. Second— In addition to this speech, you can each make such addi- tional introductory speeches as you may think proper and necessary. Third— The business of the treaty may be greatly propelled prob- ably by withholding liquor from Indians until the business is finished, showing and promising it to them when the treaty ia over. Treaty of Big Tree 96 Fourth — I propose that an annuity of four thousand or four thous- and five hundred dollars forever shall be the price of purchase for the whole tract of country to the pre-emption of which I have the right. Fifth— If they should want some money down, say 5,000 to 10,000 dollars, the annuity to decrease proportionately. Sixth — Annuities of 20 to 60 dollars per annum may be given to influential chiefs to the extent of 250 or 300 dollars per annum. Seventh — Some dollars may be promised before the treaty and paid when finished to the amount of 500 or 600 dollars, or if necessary 1,000 dollars, to the chiefs. Eighth — Captain Brant, although not belonging to the Seneca nation, yet being an influential character, he must be satisfied for his services on as reasonable terms as possible, after the purchase is made. Ninth — Jones and Smith as interpreters are to do their duty fully and faithfully or I will not convey the lands contracted for with them, but if they do their duty the deed of those lands shall be delivered upon receipt of the money they are in that case to pay. Tenth— Mr. Johnston of Niagara is to be employed as an interpre- ter and compensated with a reasonable lil^erality. Eleventh — Mr. Dean and Mr. Parish may also be employed on similar terms. Twelfth — Mr. Chapin will render any services that consist with the duties of his station, and must have a proper compliment or com- pensation. Thirteenth — If there be others whom I omit or do not know whom it may be proper to employ, you will exercise your discretion in regard to them. Fourteenth— The whole cost and charges of this treaty being at my expense, you will direct everything upon the principles of a liberal economy. The Indians must have plenty of food, and also of liquor when you see proper to order it to them. The commissioners, their secretaries, interpreters, and all who are officially employed at or about this treaty, must be provided at my cost. You will of course keep a table for yourselves and such of them as ought to be admitted to it. Such gentlemen strangers as visit there with friendly intentions, or from curiosity, you will of course entertain as often as you think proper. Fifteenth — The liquors and stores I sent up will be used and if not sufficient more must be got. Sixteenth— The articles sent up for presents to the Indian chiefs, their wives and children, you will distribute as you see proper, and you may tell them I did not send any goods for presents to the nation because I thought they could with the money they will receive half- yearly buy what may suit them best. Seventeenth — If you think twenty to thirty cows given to the women would have a good effect, this might be done in such way as to please them best. Eighteenth — The price or annuity offered for the whole tract of country if they do not incline to give up the whole may be put upon this footing, that the whole sum shall now be placed in the bank, and if they deliver me possession of only one-half the lands they shall draw only one-half the annuity and I will draw the other half, and so in Treaty of Big Tree 97 proportion to what tliey give iip, and at any time thereafter when they agree to give up more land they shall then draw more of the annuity in proportion, and when they surrender the whole of the land, they shall draw the whole of the annuity. Nineteenth — They may signify at any time their intention of making a further surrender of lands (beyond what now may be agreed for) to the superintendent of Indian affairs, and I or my successors will immediately appoint proper persons to receive and survey the lands and assign to them or their agents the securities for the propor- tion of the annuity equivalent to the lands so surrendered. Twentieth — It will be most agreeable if they will deliver the whole lands now, and receive the whole of the annuity, but if they should only consent to deliver a part, let that part be as large a pro- portion as you can possibly obtain ; and in this case it may be best perhaps to ask for it in the following manner : miles on the Penn- sylvania line beginning at the point on that line which bounds Gorham and Phelps Purchase, and running west miles, and from the ter- minating point on the Pennsylvania line to run due north to Lake Ontario, then east along the borders of said lake to the point of divis- ion on the north boundary of Gorham and Phelps's Purchase, and thence south along the west boundary lines of said Gorham and Phelps's Purchase and the Genesee river to the place of beginning : and in addition to this another quantity either on the northern or southern side of the tract as may be most palatable to the Indians. If on the southern side it will commence at the western point on the Pennsylvania line where the above tract stopped and run as far on the Pennsylvania line as they will agree, and also to go as far north on the west side of the above tract as they will agree, thence due west until a south line will strike the point where they stop on the Pennsylvania line unless they agree to go all the length of it to the corner of the Pennsylvania Triangle, and in that case the other line will run west to Lake Erie, or the boundary of that Triangle, which boundary would in that case also be the west boundary of the tract I contemplate. Shoiild they prefer to cede a tract bounded by Lake Ontario, the east, south, and west boundaries will be fixed in a similar manner to what I have proposed for the others. Twenty-first — If the Indians will not sell and deliver the whole tract you must stipulate and obtain liberty for the surveyor to traverse the borders of Lakes Erie and Ontario and measure all the boundary lines of the whole tract. Twenty-second — William Bayard vdll attend the treaty on behalf of the Holland company to whom I have sold a great part of these lands and perhaps Mr. Linklaen and Garrit Boon may also be there. I would wish you to communicate freely and confidentially with theee gentlemen or such of them as do attend, and particularly as to what part of the tract shall be taken into the purchase (in case the whole is not boiight) after Track No. 1 is secured. This Tract No. 1 is bounded on the east by the Genesee river and the boundary lines of Gorham and Phelps's Purchase, on the south by the Pennsylvania north boundary line running twelve miles west on that line, thence on the west by a line to be run from the point of Treaty of Big Tree 98 twelve miles due north to Lake Ontario, and thence bounded on the north by Lake Ontario to the north point of said Gorham and Phelps's Purchase, This tract must be included in the purchase at all events and the rest may be made agreeable to the Holland company and the Indians, but I hope and expect that the whole will be purchased. Twenty-third — In case the whole of the tract is agreed for, but the Indians choose to retain some part for their occupation, they will choose, I presume, Buffalo Creek, Tanewanta, and lands bordering on Lake Erie. In fixing this you will consult as much as can be the inter- ests and inclinations of the Holland company, conjointly with the pleasure of the Indians. Twenty-fourth— Although I have proposed an annuity to the In- dians as the price of their lands, yet if they prefer to be paid in money, I do not object. In that case I suppose seventy-five thousand dollars may be set down as the price of the whole, and in proportion for any part less than the whole, the money to be paid to them or their agent or agents within sixty to ninety days either at Philadelphia. New York, or Cauandaigua, as may be agreed on between you and them, consulting Mr. Bayard as to the time and place of payment. Should any other matter occur that I shall think necessary to be intimated to you, I shall, if there be time, write to you again as often as may appear useful. You are, however, to consider what I have already wTiten rather as outlines for your conduct on this business than as positive orders not to be departed from. I have perfect con- fidence in your friendship and also in your integrity and discretion and therefore I confide to your management the whole of this business without limitation or restriction except that if you make a purchase the Tract No. 1 must be a part of it. If you can make the purchase on better terms than I have proposed I am sure you will do it, and on the contrary should you be obliged to give more I shall acquiesce. Yoii know it is high time this purchase should be made and it is of vast importance to all concerned to have it accomplished ; therefore you must effect it at all events, and I can only repeat that although I wish to buy as reasonably as may be, yet I do not mean to starve the cause, for I must have it. With sincere regard and affection, I am, gentlemen, your friend and servant, Robert Morris. Thomas Morris and Charles Williamson, Esqrs., Ontario County, State of New York. Mr. Moi-ris could not be present at the treaty himself, but he sen* in manuscript a speech to the Senecas which he directed should be read to them. This Avas as follows : Brothers of the Seneca Nation — It was my wish and my intention to have come into your country and to have met you at this treaty, but the Great Spirit has ordained otherwise and I cannot go. I grow old and corpulent, and not very well, and am fearful of traveling so far during the hot weather in the month of August. Treaty of Big Tree 99 Brothers, as I cannot be with you at the treaty, I have deputed and appointed my son Thomas Morris, Esq., and my friend Charles WiUiamson, Esq., to appear for me and on my behalf to sj^eak and treat with you in the same manner and to the same effect as I might or could do were I present at this treaty with you. and it is my request that you will listen to them with the same attention that you would to me. Brothers, I have the greatest love and esteem for my son and my friend. They possess my entire confidence and whatever they engage for on my behalf you may depend that I will perform the same as exactly as if I was there and made the engagements with you myself ; therefore I pray you to listen to them and believe in what they say. Brothers, it is now six years since I have been invested with the exclusive right to acquire your lands. During the whole of this time you have quietly possessed them without being importuned by me to sell them, but I now think that it is time for them to be productive to you. It is with a view to render them so that I have acquiesced in your desire to meet you at the Genesee river. I shall take care imme- diately to deposit in the bank of the United States whatever my son and my friend may agree to pay you in my behalf. Brothers, from the personal acquaintance which I have with your chiefs and head men, I am assured that their wisdom and integrity will direct the object of the treaty to the happiness of yourselves and your posterity. It is a pleasing circumstance to me that my business is to be transacted with such men, because while on the one hand they will take care of your interests, on the other whatever is done between them and me will be strong and binding. I hope that wise men will always be at the head of your councils, but for fear that those that succeed your present leading men should not deserve and possess your confi- dence as fully as these do, you had better have your business so fixed now as not to leave it in the power of wrong-headed men in future to waste the property given to you by the Great Spirit for the use of yourselves and your posterity. Brothers, I have now opened my mind to you, and as I depend on my son and my friend to carry on and conclude the business with you I shall only add that the President of the United States, approving of this treaty' and being your father and friend, has appointed an honor- able and worthy gentleman, foiinerly a member of congress, the Hon. Jeremiah Wadsworth, Esq., to be a commissioner on behalf of the United States to attend and superintend this treaty, and the governor of the state of Massachusetts also appointed an honorable and worthy gentleman, formerly a general in the American army and now a mem- ber of congress, the' Hon. William Shepherd, Esq., to be a commis- sioner to attend this treaty on behalf of the state of Massachusetts. These gentlemen will attend to what is said and done on lx)th sides in order to see that mutual fair dealings and justice shall take place. Their office and duty will be rendered agreeable so far as depends on me because I desire nothing but fair, open and honest transactions. Brothers, I bid you farewell. May the Great Spirit ever befriend and protect you. Treaty of Big Tree 100 I yNOW all Men by these Presents that we the Chief Warriors and yi Chief Sachems of the Seneca Nation for and in consideration of * \ the sum of one dollar to us in hand paid by Mary Jemoson the ^ receipt whereof we do hereby acknowledge and are fully satisfied and contented and paid, have given, granted, bargained, aliened, releas- ed, conveyed and coniirmed unto her the said Mary Jemoson her heirs aud assigns forever one certain parcel or tract of land being and lying on the Genesee River beginning at the mouth of the steep hill creek and running a due east line till it strikes the old path ; thence south till a due west line will intersect with certain steep rocks on the west side Genesee River, then extending due west, due north, and due east, till it strikes the first mentioned bounds inclosing as much land upon the west side of the river as it does on the east side of said river. To have and to hold the above granted and bargained premises with all the appurtenances and privileges thereunto belonging to her the said Mary Jemoson her heirs and assigns forever and furthermore, we the said Chief Sachems and Warriors for ourselves, our heirs, executors and administrators do by these presents covenant, engage and promise to defend the above granted premises with all the appurtenances unto her the said Mary Jemoson her heirs and assigns forever will Warrant and Defend the above granted premises against all the claims and demands of all persons whatsoever in confirmation whereof, we have hereunto set our hands and seals this in the year of our Lord one thousand seven hiandred and ninety-seven, his Farmers x Brother mark his Little X Billy mark his Pollard X mark his Hanow x Shawen mark his Kayyea x Neghque mark his Tommy x Jimmisson mark his Corn X Planter mark his Howana x Zee mark Treaty of Big Tree iOl Signed, sealed and delivered in presence of Horatio Jones, William Johnston. C. Winny, Clias. Williamson, Thomas Morris. Be it remembered that on the thirtieth day of October in the year one thousand seven hundred and ninety-eight personally came before me, Moses Atwater, one of the judges of the Court of Common Pleas for the County of Ontario, Thomas Morris, who being duly sworn declared he saw the grantors of the within instrument affix their sig- natures to the same as an execution thereof. And that he the deponent with Charles Williamson in the presence of each other subscribed their names as witnesses to the same, I being personally acquainted with Thomas Morris and upon inspection of the said instrument finding no material erasures or interlineations do allow the same to be recorded. Moses Atwater. I certify the foregoing to be a true copy of the original instrument examined compared and recorded this thirtieth day of Octoljer A. D., 1798. G. B. Porter, Clk. ^^ Treaty of Big Tree 102 SENEKAS Concluded September 3, 1823. /^ T a treaty held under the authority of the United States at Mos- ^4 cow, in the county of Livingston, in the State of New York, r * between the sachems, chiefs and warriors of the Seneka nation ' of Indians in behalf of said nation, and John Greig and Henry B. Gibson of Canandaigua in the county of Ontario ; in the presence of Charles Carroll, esquire, commissioner appointed by the United States for holding said treaty, and of Nathaniel Gorman, esquire, sup- erintendent, in behalf of the State of Massachusetts. Know all men by these presents, that the said sachems, chiefs and warriors, for and in consideration of the sum of four thousand two hundred and eighty-six dollars, lawful money of the United States, to them in hand paid by the said John Greig and Henry B. Gibson, at or immediately before the ensealing and delivery of these presents, the receipt whereof is hereby acknowledged, have granted, bargained, sold, aliened, released, quit claimed, and confirmed unto the said John Greig and Henry B. Gibson, and by these presents do grant, bargain, sell, alien, release, quit, claim, and confirm, unto the said John Greig and Henry B. Gibson, their heirs and assigns forever, all that tract, piece or parcel of land commonly called and known by the name of the Gardeau reservation, situate, lying and being in the counties of Livingston and Genesee, in the State of New York, bounded as follows, that is to say : Beginning at the mouth of Steep Hill creek, thence due east, until it strikes the Old Path, thence south until a due west line will intersect with certain steep rocks on the west side of the Genesee river, thence extending due west, due north, and due east, until it strikes the first mentioned bound, enclosing as much land on the west side as on the east side of the river, and containing according to the survey and measurement made of the same by Augustus Porter, surveyor, seventeen thousand nine hundred and twenty-seven 137-160 aci'es, be the same more or less, excepting nevertheless, and always reserving out of this grant and conveyance twelve hundred and eighty acres of land, bounded as follows, that is to say : on the east by Gen- esee river, on the south by a line running due west from the center of the Big Slide so called, on the north by a line parallel to the south line and two miles distant therefrom, and on the west by a line running due north and south, and at such a distance from the river as to include the said quantity of twelve himdred and eighty acres and no more ; which said twelve hundred and eighty acres are fully and clearly understood, to remain the property of the said parties of the first part, and their nation, in as full and ample a manner, as if these presents had not been executed ; together with all and singular the rights, privileges, hereditaments, and appurtenances, to the said hereby granted premises belonging or in any wise appertaining, and all the estate, right, title and interest, whatsoever of them the said parties of the first part, and of their nation, of, in, and to the said tract of land above described, except as is above excepted. To have and to hold all and singular the above granted premises with the appurtenances, unto the said John Greig and Henry B. Gibson, their heirs and assigns, to the sole and only proper use, benefit, and behoof, of the said John Greig and Henry B. Gibson, their heirs and assigns forever. W93! H Treaty of Big Tree 103 In testimony whereof, the parties to these presents have hereunto, and to three other instruments of the same tenor and date, one to remain with the United States, one to remain with the State of Massachusetts, one to remain with the Seneka nation of Indians, and one to remain with the said John Greig and Henry B. Gibson, interchangeably set their hands and seals the third day of Septem- ber, in the year of our Lord one thousand eight hundred and twenty- three. Saquiungarluchta, or Young King, his X mark, (L. S.) Karlundawana, or Pollard, his X mark, (L. S.) Sagouata, or Red Jacket, his X mark, (L. S.) Tishkaaga, or Little Billy, his X mark, (L. S.) Tywaneash, or Black Snake, his X mark, (L. S.) Kahalsta, or Strong, his X mark, (L. S.) Chequinduchqite. or Little Beard, his X mark, (L. S.) Tuyongo, or Seneka White, his X mark, (L. S.) Onondaki, or Destroy To^vn, his X mark, (L. S.) Lunuchshewa, or War Chief, his X mark, (L. S.) Genvichsckada, or Stevenson, his X mark, (L. S.) Mary Jamieson, her X mark, (L. S.) Talwinaha, or Little Johnson, his X mark, (L. S.) Atachsagu, or John Big Tree, his X mark, (L. S.) Teskaiy, or John Pierce, his X mark, (L. S.) Teaslaegee, or Charles Cornplanter, his X m. (L. S.) Teoncukaweh, or Bob Stevens, his X mark, (L. S.) Checanadughtwo, or Little Beard, his X mark, (L. S.) Canada, his X mark, (L. S.) Sealed and delivered in the presence of Nat. W. Howell, Jasper Parrish, Ch. Carroll, Horatio Jones. Done at a treaty held with the sachems, chiefs, and warriors of the Seneka nation of Indians at Moscow, in the County of Livingston and State of New York, on the third day of September, one thous- and eight hundred and twenty-three, under the authority of the United States. In testimony whereof, I have hereunto set my hand and seal, the day and year aforesaid, by virtue of a commis- sion issued under the seal of the commonwealth of Massachusetts, bearing date the 31st day of August, A. D., 1815, pursuant to a resolution of the legislature of the said commonwealth, passed the eleventh day of March, one thousand seven hundred and nine- ty-one. N. Gorman, Superintendent. I have attended a treaty of the Seneka nation of Indians held at Moscow in the County of Livingston and State of New York, on the third day of September, in the year of our Lord one thousand eight hundred and twenty-three, when the within instrument was duly executed in my presence, by the sachems, chiefs, and warriors of the said nation, being fairly and properly understood and transacted by all the parties of Indians concerned, and declared to be done to their full satisfaction. I do therefore certify and approve the same. Ch. Carroll, Commissioner. *y ♦ V\ ^^^^^ ./\ ''-^^*\ -^^^""v ^^^*'' J'^ * '--'V /,-;.;^->o y.-^i-A .c°*-- ;♦ ^^^ V- ..^^ .^^"-. r .♦^•"'^. -. •^0^ ■ %/ :Mik'. %.^ .*ate'v \/ .'^i^"" -^ _/ /\ "^-^^*' ^^'% ^ _ •*t^o< "V'"^' A^ -•^, O. '• /^\^ %v^>>'/ . *^ ^°'i->. 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