George Washington Papers
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To George Washington from Henry Knox, 14 July 1794

From Henry Knox

8 oClock P.M. 14 July 1794

sir

I have the honor to submit a letter from General Chapin just received by Express from Pittsburg, and what was dated at Fort La Beuf 26th June, There are two enclosures the first of which are the proceedings of the six nations at Buffaloe Creek, and the other an Answer of Capt. Denny and Mr Ellicot.1 I have the honor to be with perfect respect sir your obedien<t> Servant

H. Knox

ALS, DLC:GW; LB, DLC:GW.

1A copy of Israel Chapin’s letter to Knox of 26 June and the proceedings of the Indian council at Buffalo Creek on 18 June, certified as "true copies" by War Department clerk John Stagg, Jr., on 7 Nov., were submitted to Congress on 20 Nov. (DNA: RG 46, Third Congress, 1793-95, Senate Records of Legislative Proceedings, President’s Messages; see also ASP, Indian Affairs description begins Walter Lowrie et al., eds. American State Papers. Documents, Legislative and Executive, of the Congress of the United States. 38 vols. Washington, D.C., Gales and Seaton, 1832–61. description ends , 1:520-22). At the council, the chiefs of the Six Nations, whom Chapin characterized as "much agitated with regard to the movements made by the State of Pennsylvania," called upon GW to support the boundary they had requested: "Brother. The great Spirit has so ordered that every nation shall have some one at their head—You are to look over your people and settle all difficulties. And we the Six Nations expect that you will not be unmindful of us but see that we have justice done as well as your own people.

"Brother. We the Six Nations now call upon you we pay no attention to what has heretofore been done by Congress—their proceedings we consider as unjust. We wish for nothing but Justice, and hope that it will take place.

"Brother. You know our demands—we ask but for a small piece of land and we trust as you are a great man you can easily grant our request.

"Brother. You wish to be a free people in this Country, who have come from the other side of the water and settled here and why should not we whose forefathers have lived and died here and always had possession of the Country?

"Brother. We the Six Nations have determined on the boundary we want established and it is the Warriors who now speak.

"Brother. You have the Map on which the boundaries are marked out which we want established.

"Brother. We want room for our Children—It will be hard for them not to have a Country to live in after that we are gone.

"Brother It is not because that we are afraid of dying that we have been so long trying to bring about a peace—We now call upon you for an answer as Congress and their Commissioners have often times deceived us, and if these difficulties are not removed the consequences will be bad."

The spokesman, John Obail (Cornplanter), added that "a number of our warriors are missing, and we know not what is become of them, but suppose they have been killed by the Americans" and that "The establishing of a Garrison at Presque Isle may occasion many accidents as the Southern Indians may do injury and we may be blamed without a cause." Then he addressed Chapin, asking him to "exert yourself in removing those people off our lands."

Chapin replied that the "business is of a serious nature" and that the Indians could "rest assured that the President is your friend and that he will pay attention to the business which you laid before him."

The reply of Ebenezer Denny and Andrew Ellicott to those proceedings was given on 26 June. They told the Indians that although "the King of Great Britain ceded to your Brethren of Pennsylvania all the Lands which they claim," the state had also "fairly and openly made the purchase of all the Lands to which they lay claim." The Indians’ proposal would "take back from your Brethren of Pennsylvania a large Tract of land which they have purchased from you," and hence Denny and Ellicott could not "remove from those Lands unless directed by the great Council of our people," to whom the proceedings would be sent (DNA: RG 46, Third Congress, 1793-95, Senate Records of Legislative Proceedings, President’s Messages; see also ASP, Indian Affairs description begins Walter Lowrie et al., eds. American State Papers. Documents, Legislative and Executive, of the Congress of the United States. 38 vols. Washington, D.C., Gales and Seaton, 1832–61. description ends , 1:516-17).

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