James Madison Papers

To James Madison from Two Chiefs of the Wyandot Nation, 24 October 1811

From Two Chiefs of the Wyandot Nation

Sandusky 24th October 1811


In behalf of ourselves & a number of our people We wish to Say a few words. Father we live on The United States Land at Lower Sandusky. Some of our own people have taken up the Tomahawk against us, & are murdering us day by day. Several of our people have been Killed & many more are threatened with Death, how many we do not Know. Father we beg you would interpose your Athority & Influence, Correct those who are murdering us & Stop the further progress of Destruction among us. Father we beg you to Correct the Crane,1 it is his party who are Cutting us off. Father We beg that you will not delay but hasten to Relieve us. We request that this Letter may be Kept Secret for if it Should be Known our lives would be taken immediately.

Father Perhaps this may be the last time that we Shall have an Opportunity to express our Affection & Confidence for you but we trust in God for Protection & Pray that your Safety & happiness may be objects of his Care.

Bowl his Mark

Wasp his Mark

Two of the Chiefs of the Wyandot Nation

RC (DNA: RG 107, LRRS, W-23:6). Witnessed by Samuel Tupper, Indian agent. Docketed by a War Department clerk as received 13 Dec. 1811.

1Tarhe, the Crane (1742–1818), was a Wyandot of the Porcupine clan. After the Battle of Fallen Timbers in 1794 he was instrumental in persuading the Wyandot in the Ohio country to accept the 1795 Treaty of Greenville, and he adhered to the terms of the agreement, despite growing opposition from those among his people who came to support Tecumseh and the Prophet. He later accompanied William Henry Harrison and the Northwest Army in the campaign of 1813 that climaxed at the Battle of the Thames (Hodge, Handbook of American Indians North of Mexico, 2:694).

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