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Cornplanter's Plea TO Washington, 1790 To enforce the Treaties of Stanwix
Cornplanter's Plea TO Washington, 1790 To enforce the Treaties (1768 & 1784) of Stanwix
Father, when your army entered the country of the Six Nations, we called you the Town Destroyer, and to this day, when your name is heard, our women look behind them and turn pale; our children cling close to the necks of their mothers; but our counsellors and warriors, being men, cannot be afraid. But their hearts are grieved by the fears of our women and children; and the desire that the hatchet may be buried so deep as to be heard no more.
Father, we will not conceal from you that the Great Spirit and not man has preserved Cornplanter from the hands of his own nation. For they ask continually, where is the land which our children and their children are to lie down upon?
You told us, say they, that a line drawn from Pennsylvania to Lake Ontario would mark it forever on the east; and a line running from Beaver Creek to Pennsylvania would mark it on the west. But we see that it is not so. For first one comes then another comes and takes it away by order of that people who you told us promise to secure it to us forever. Cornplanter is silent, for he has nothing to answer.
When the sun goes down, Cornplanter opens his heart before the Great Spirit; and earlier than the sun appears again upon the hills, he gives thanks for his protection during the night; for he feels that among men, become desperate by the injuries they sustain, it is God only that can preserve him.- Cornplant loves peace, all he had in store he has given to those who have been robbed by your people, lest they should plunder the innocent to repay themselves.
The whole season, which others have employed in providing for their families, Cornplant has spent in endeavors to preserve peace; and at this moment his wife and children are lying on the ground, and in want of food. His heart is in pain for them; but he perceives that the Great Spirit will try his firmness in doing what is right.
Father! innocent men of our nation are killed one after another, though of our best families; but none of your people who have committed these murders have been punished. We recollect that you did promise to punish those who should kill our people; and we ask, was it intended that your people should kill the Senecas, and not only remain unpunished, but be protected from the next of kin?.
Fathers! these to us are great things. We know that you are very strong. We have heard that you are wise; but we shall wait to hear your answer to this, that we may know that you are just".
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