« AnteriorContinuar »
peace that would be beneficial to the Indians as well as to the United States. And had such a peace been accomplished, we felt a confidence that the justice and humanity of the United States, according to their present views of Indian affairs, would not only have continued, but extended their beneficence to the Indian nations; and so far as depended on them, have rendered the peace as lasting as the hills. And we should have been extremely happy in laying the foundation of so much good. We have now only to return home, and report our proceedings to the President of the United States. We shall sail with the first fair wind to Fort Erie.
BENJAMIN LINCOLN, Commissioners
Captain Wellbank, who arrived at the Miami Rapids with the Creeks and Cherokees, went to Detroit. There he demanded of the commanding officer a passage to Fort Erie ; which was accordingly granted him. His wishes were to see Gov. Simcoe, with whom he had business, or for whom he had letters. He returned to Detroit in the Chippewa, and came down to the mouth of the river the eleventh instant. On the 13th he called on the Commissioners and dined with
As he had lived among the Indians of the Creek nation, and was conversant with the Cherokees, we made inquiries into the causes of the hostilities, and what were their complaints. This information was in substance as follows.
Of the Creeks. That formerly the Creeks, in a grand council, repeatedly declared they were willing to confirm their lands, ceded by treaty to the United States, as far as the the north fork of the Oconee; but not to the south fork. He doth not take upon himself to say what they would now do. (The difference between a cession to one fork or the other, he says comprehends a tract of country about 300 miles in length, and from 30 to 70 in width, according to the course of the river.)
That in June or July, 1791, McGillivray wrote to Gen. Knox, informing him that the Creeks would not agree to relinquish their lands south of the north fork. Capt. Wellbank then repeated the following as a passage in McGillivray's
“At our last May meeting, the articles of the treaty were explained to the nation at Targe ; and with respect to the Apalachee, or main south branch of the Oconee, it turned out as I told you it would at New York; they will not agree to that, but unanimously agree to the north fork and hope Congress will require no more.” And then he goes on to describe (says Capt. Wellbank) the country between the two forks; mentioning the quantity of land, as well as its extent. He
says Thomas Gegg, in the Cherokee nation, gave him a copy of the letter, in his own hand-writing; and that at the head it is mentioned to be transcribed from a South Carolina newspaper. He farther observed that the letter had somehow or other been intercepted, and perhaps, or he believed, had never reached Gen. Knox. Gegg, he says, has now a commission for the peace from Governor Blount. [N. B. Thomas Gegg is the name of one of the witnesses to Governor Blount's treaty with the Cherokees.]
Our informant farther says it is the dispute about the lands lying between the two forks of the Oconee, which induces the Creeks to refuse to run the boundary line between them and the United States; and that after the treaty of New York, when McGillivray was at New Orleans, the Spanish Governor blamed the Creeks for giving up so much of their country to the United States. McGillivray said that the chiefs had done it; that the Governor of New Orleans sent among the Creeks a Captain Oliver, (a Frenchman in the Spanish service,) who inquired of the chiefs why they had given away so much of their country to the United States. The chiefs laid the blame on McGillivray, and he, to excuse himself, said that when the treaty was made, he was in the interior part of an enemy's country, and was compelled to give up the lands; that the Governor of New Orleans told McGillivray that he could not serve iwo masters ; that he must renounce the Spaniards or the United States ; that McGillivray then renounced the latter, and was going to burn his commission of Brigadier, received from the President but the Governor told him that would be improper, and that if he meant to relinquish it, he ought to return it inclosed in a letter.
Captain Wellbank says that he heard that a Richard Pendleton, a half-breed of the Cherokees, now living or being on Cumberland, was at New Orleans when McGillivray was
there, and could relate what he said, or some part of it. He had however mentioned the same things which he (Wellbank) now related. Wellbank describes McGillivray as a debauched and mercenary man, and extremely timid. He died on the 17th or 18th of February last. General Bowles had not arrived in the Creek nation, to his knowledge. He assured us that Bowles was really friendly to the United States,
of the Cherokees. Capt. Wellbank left their council the 24th of May, 1793, to come with some chiess to the northward. This nation object to the treaty with Governor Blount for the following reasons.
1st. That one line is stated to pass forty miles distant from Nashville, when they agreed only for ten miles, and that in the interpretation they were told that it was ten miles.
2d. That the Governor promised them two thousand dollars annually; that they demanded three thousand ; that the Governor said that he had not authority to grant so much, but would apply to Congress to allow them the third thousand dollars; when in fact the treaty stipulated the annual payment of one thousand dollars, contrary to the interpretation to them.
3d. That they never agreed to the road, or to the navigation of the Tennessee for the people of the United States, as mentioned in the 5th article.
4th. That they did not agree to submit to Congress the regulation of their trade, as stipulated in the 6th article; that the interpreters were bribed by Governor Blount, in consequence of which Carey had fled the country ; that Thompson, who is an Indian, the other intrepreter, stands his ground, but has in effect acknowledged the bribery, and has acknowledged that his fee was eighty guineas. He informed some of his acquaintance that he expected to bring in the value of two negroes, for he had so much due for private services.
Captain Wellbank says that he charged Carey with bribery. In excuse he said that he told Thompson that he did not interpret right. Thereon Thompson checked him, and said “ hold your tongue ; 'tis none of your business ; I am a native of the land." Wellbank says that Carey spoke this in presence of Sir John Nesbitt and another gentleman from South Carolina. Captain Wellbank thinks the United States have not yet received just information of the dispute with the
Cherokees. All the persons, he says, are land-jobbers, and interested to misrepresent. He also says that as soon as Governor Blount was appointed Governor of the territory, General Pickens told the Cherokees that a worse man for them could not have been appointed; that he loved land, and would have all their lands. He farther observes that Governor Blount has erected three stations (or three stations are erected) in the Cherokee country, over the line settled by the treaty. He particularly mentioned Major Craig's station at Nine-mile Creek, between twenty and thirty miles from Knoxville.
August 14th. Captain Wellbank being with us, said that his business in coming was of a mercantile nature, relative to supplying the Indians with goods ; that he wished for peace, but desired that justice might be done to the Indians; that the Creeks had been dissatisfied with the high price of goods they received from the Spaniards, but they would soon obtain relief, for the chiefs had applied to the king of Great Britain, praying that they may have their supplies from the British ; that an Act of Parliament had been passed for the purpose ; and a port, about seven miles westward of the mouth of Apalachicola river, was to be the place of entry; that the house of Panton, Leslie & Co. of Pensacola, at the close of the war in the year 1783, obtained permission from the king of Spain to supply the Indians with goods for the space of ten years.
Cherokees. Captain Wellbank said that the Bloody Fellow and other chiefs, who went to Philadelphia to represent the grievances of the nation, reported on their return that the President (on authority of the States) promised redress; that the nations waited six months, and found none.
The Bloody Fellow then said, “Congress are liars, General Washington is a liar, and Governor Blount is a liar.”
Captain Wellbank, while in conversation with us, said that the Spaniards had erected a fortification on the east side of the Mississippi, within the territory of the United States, on what is called the Walnut Hills; that when the Indians first had notice that works were erecting, they set off in order to demolish them ; but they were met by a runner who gave them a statement of facts; thereon they returned.
General Lincoln's Journal. .
Aug. 17. Our business being over, we left the mouth of Detroit river for Fort Erie, where we arrived the 21st.
Aug. 23. Col. Pickering and Mr. Randolph having commenced their journey for Philadelphia by the way of the Mohawk river, Albany, and New York, I left Fort Erie and went to Queenstown, where we remained at Mr. Spencer's to the 28th. We then went down to Navy Hall, and there waited for the return of Capt. Bunbury of the 5th regiment, who set off on the 24th to see the Governor and to receive his commands for me, if any he had. But being informed that he had not arrived at York, where the Governor was, on the 28th, and the wind being fair, we left Niagara the 30th of August, at four o'clock in the morning. We made that day the greatest part of our passage to Kingston, formerly called Frontenac, where we arrived on the 31st day, about ten in the morning. In this town a garrison is kept up of one company for the defence of the king's stores, where they are lodged as a place of deposit. Part of old fort Frontenac is now standing ; the best part is the magazine. It is said that there are towards one hundred houses in the town. Below this large vessels cannot well pass; therefore the stores and merchandize go up in boats to this place.
About one o'clock the same day we went on board of a returning boat, conducted by four Frenchmen. The boat was, as all boats for the transportation of goods, without decks. We immediately set off for Montreal. About dark we entered what is called the Thousand Islands, so called from the great number of small islands in the river. We passed on all night without any other covering than the heavens. Some of the company threw themselves down on the baggage; but this mode I did not like; I thought it best to sit up. In the morning we found ourselves clear of the islands, in a clear open river, little more perhaps than a mile wide. We went on shore and took breakfast, and immediately after pursued our route, and continued our course the whole day, in which we passed several rapids, the most material of which was the Long Sault. At five in the afternoon we reached Cornwall, a town on the bank of the river, which contains a little church and thirty-odd dwelling-houses. We then passed on by several islands, on which some of the Caghnawaga Indians resided ; if they can be said to reside any where. At evening we entered Lake St. Francis. About ten o'clock