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if he did not know how many dollars Gov. Penn had paid at Fort Stanwix, for said lands? The said Indian answered that he had not seen all the money, yet he had heard that he paid 10,000 dollars.That the said Col. Francis thereupon asked the said Indian whether he would on the following day, in the public conference, when the other business was done, declare the same in public, but not mention his name? Which the said Indian promised to do.—Whereupon Col. Francis told him, if he did that, he and Gov. Penn would make a present to the Onondago Indians. Which said discourse, at the request of Col Francis, was interpreted between them by this deponent. That when the Indians left his lodgings, he presented them with a bottle of rum. And this deponent further saith, that on the following day, in the public conference, the said Onondago chief made mention of the sale of these lands; but this deponent hath understood from the other Indians that it was without their knowledge.”
“The Rev. Mr. Kirkland, in his affidavit, respecting this speech or declaration of the Indian chief, deposeth, that it was received with many marks of disapprobation and some degree of resentment, expressed by many Indians, of the best character in said nation, saying was entirely foreign to the business of the treaty, and known beforehand only. to a few individuals, and several Indians soon told the deponent, that upon their complaining to their chief speaker Tegohagwanda, and his chief Black Cap, of the impropriety of such a piece of conduct, at that time, they replied that the Indians were not to blame—that it originated wholly from the white people, and they were importuned and pressed hard to make the speech. A few hours after Thomas Fulmer, interpreter at said treaty, told the deponent that Col. Francis sent for him to his lodgings, the evening before, and had a private conference with the Onondago chiefs upon the subject, and prevailed upon them to make the speech."
Here closes the documentary evidence respecting those two adverse and conflicting Indian deeds, too important to be omitted ; and which cannot fail from the interesting facts disclosed, amply to repay a careful perusal.
It addition, it is proper to say—that on the part of Pennsylvania, it is strenuously contended that the right of pre-emption before mentioned, granted by the Six Nations in 1736, of all lands within their charter, precluded them from selling, and making a valid convey. ance to the Susquehanna Company. So strongly was this pre
emption right relied on, that in the exhibition of claim at Trenton, it was alone mentioned, of her Indian grounds of claim—the subsequent deed of 1768 not being adverted to.
To this it is replied that the Indians then, and long after, supposed the claim of Mr. Penn not to extend above the Blue Mountains in a direction towards Wyoming.
On the part of Pennsylvania it was contended that Governor Dungan of New York, had obtained a pre-emption right to those lands, and sold the same to the Pennsylvania Proprietaries.
That the descriptive part of the Susquehanna deed was written on an erasure.
To this it was answered: The alteration took place before signing, at the desire of the Indians ; that it lessened, instead of increasing the boundaries. That the deed was left by Col. Dyer in the hands of an agent in England, from whom it was, as is alleged, unfairly obtained by the opposite party, who had it in possession in Philadelphia in 1782, and could, and would have produced it at the Trenton trial, if it had been vitiated by interlineation; and that as they did not, the presumptions were all in favour of its fairness.
Surprise having been expressed, that the Six Nations should so readily have made (or, if you please, permitted to be made in their name,) a deed for the contested territory, against the remonstrance of the Pennsylvania commissioners; and the still more powerful influence of urgent solicitations to sell to them; we beg leave to advert to a suggestion previously made, viz: that the Pennsylvania Proprietaries were not favorites of the Six Nations, for the reason that they had declined to recognize the Delawares as their subjects, but had persisted in regarding them as an independent people, and as such making treaties, and purchasing lands of them. Pride, jealousy, revenge, the strongest motives that sway the savage breast, would lead them to thwart the wishes, and counteract the policy of the Proprietaries, and throw themselves into the embrace of the subtle Yankees.
The Six Nations being admitted by both parties to have been the original owners of the land, the public or a jury of the country will decide, which of the two deeds was valid, and conveyed the soil, that at Albany of July 11, 1754, to the Susquehanna Company, or that of November 5, 1768, at Fort Stanwix, to the Pennsylvania Proprietaries. The reader will remember that, as a historian, meaning to be as impartial as early convictions, and long cherished prejudice will admit, I only claim, that there were such
reasoable grounds to believe the Connecticut title just, as that very honest men might have given their assent thereto, and be justified in taking every legal means to assert and defend it, until the question could be legally adjudicated.
The great trial at Trenton will be fully considered in due chronological order ; when unimpeachable facts will be presented, leading to irresistible conclusions, which will create astonishment throughout both Connecticut and Pennsylvania.
Nute.—The letter of Mr. Peters to Col. Johnson is entitled to special consideration. Hendrick enters thoroughly into the wishes of the Proprietary Government. He had been “made a hearty friend." He would join with Col. Johnson, and support him in any measures which the Government of Pennsylvania should advise, to get rid of the Connecticut deed." "Because there was no other way in the world to get rid of it, he was further desired to consider with you what will be the best method to procure the meeting of a council.” What council ? Look back to Hendrick's speech, January 15, 1755. “We agree with you that the deed should be destroyed. We agree with you that it is a false proceeding. We will give you our assistance, but you know that we cannot destroy the deed ourselves. That would be another mistake. It would be to do as bad as they have done. It must be the act of the Council of the Six Nations."
The remarks are too obvious to escape attention, and they weigh on the mind with too much force to be suppressed. That if the deed had been fraudulent, if it had been without adequate consideration—if it had been agreed upon not "at any public council, but of little knots of unauthorized chiefs," no such difficulties would have interposed themselves to its instant, indignant abjuration.
It may be instructive as well as amusing to contrast the 2000 pounds paid by the Susquehanna Company, with the consideration paid the Indians for land below the mountains.
The deed to William Penn, to which we in particular refer, was given in 1685, and ran thus:
“This INDENTURE WITNESSETH, THAT We, Packenah, Jarckham, Sikals, Partquesott, Jervis, Essepenauk, Felktroy, Heckellappan, Econus, Machloha, Mettheonga, Wissa, Powey, Indian Kings, Sachemakers, right owners of all lands, from Quingquingus, called Duck Creek, unto Upland, called Chester Creek, all along by the west side of Delaware river, and so between the said creeks backwards as far as a man can ride in two days with a horse, for and in consideration of these following goods to us in hand paid, and secured to be paid by William Penn, Proprietary and Governor of the province of Pennsylvania and territories thereof, viz: 20 guns, 20 fathoms match-coat, 20 fathoms Stroudwater, 20 blankets, 20 kettles, 20 pounds powder, 100 bars of lead, 40 tomahawks, 100 knives, 40 pairs of stockings, 1 barrel of beer, 20 pounds red lead, 100 fathoms wampum, 30 glass bottles, 30 pewter spoons, 100 awl blades, 300 tobacco pipes, 100 hands of tobacco, 20 tobacco tongs, 20 steels, 300 flints, 30 pair of scissors, 30 combs, 60 looking glasses, 200 needles, one skipple of salt, 30 pounds sugar, 5 gallons molasses, 20 tobacco boxes, 100 jewsharps, 20 hoes, 30 gimblets, 30 wooden screw boxes, 100 string of beads.—Do hereby acknowledge, etc., given under our hands, &c., at New Castle, second day of the eighth month, 1685."
Commencement of Settlement, 1769—First Pennymite War-Conspicuous men of the two
parties marshalled for the field-Capt. Zebulon Butler, Col. John Durkee-Denison, the
Gores, M'Dowell, Shoemaker, Stewart and others, on the part of the Yankees. Capt. : Amos Ogden; John Jennings, Esq., Charles Stewart, with Clayton, Francis, Dick,
Morris, Ledlie and Craig, on the part of Mr. Penn-Capt. Ogden invested in Block-house at mouth of Mill Creek—A parley-Yankees outwitted—Taken prisoners and sent to Easton Jail-Liberated, return and take possession of Wyoming-Fort Durkee builtExpedition of Col. Francis-Mission of Col. Dyer and Elderkin to Philadelphia—Capt. Ogden returns—The four-pounder-Durkee taken prisoner and sent to PhiladelphiaThe Fort surrenders-Second expulsion of the Yankees.
The Susquehanna Company having completed their purchase of the soil, proceeded to make arrangements for establishing settlements at Wyoming, possession only being necessary, in their estimation, to render their title complete. Their purpose, unquestionably was, to do, as all the previous companies, cut out of the original Plymouth Charter, had done, namely, to obtain a confirmatory charter from the King, and establish at Susquehanna, an independent colony. From all the lights before us, we regard the proceedings as a spontaneous unofficial movement of the people of Connecticut. Perfect unanimity was not to be expected. The nature and history of man; reason and experience, preclude the idea. But we are confident in the opinion, that a people, generally, were never less divided upon any point of magnitude, than those of Connecticut on this subject. One thing more was demanded to satisfy the law. An assent, previous or subsequent to an Indian purchase within the limits of the colony, was required to render such purchase valid. Accordingly in May, 1755, on the petition of Phineas Lyman, and others, a Committee of the Susquehanna Company, reciting their purchase of the Indians, and praying the acquiescence of the Assembly, and their consent for an application to His Majesty, to erect them into a new colony, or plantation, it was among other things, Resolved, that,
They (the Legislature) hereby, accordingly, manifest their ready acquiescence therein," etc.
Subsequently, to wit: In 1782, the Agents of Connecticut in setting forth their claim before the Court at Trenton, distinctly declare, That the purchase of the Susquehanna adventurers had the approbation of the Assembly.
An attempt to establish a colony at Wyoming, in 1762 ; the massacre of twenty of the settlers, and the expulsion of the remainder, the subsequent year, has been already noticed. The purchase of the soil from the Indians by the Pennsylvania Government, in 1768, has been mentioned. And now commenced the strife, foot to foot, and hand to hand, of the conflicting parties for the possession of this beautiful valley. Gallant spirits, with a will to do, and courage to dare, met spirits equally gallant and determined. We approach the contest, still known in the common parlance of the country, as “ The First Pennymite War."* In the bosom of the wilderness, far removed from any civilized settlement, extensive plains, beautiful as Persian groves, or Eden's bowers, the prize to crown and reward the victor. Though widely separated by rugged hills, and deep-tangled forests, from the busy mart, or the church-warning bell, yet were the combatants fully aware that the eyes of anxious multitudes were upon them. All Connecticut was on tiptoe to watch, to cheer, and to sustain her adventurous colony at Wyoming. Philadelphia, the first city on the continent-abounding in wealth, distinguished for talents, with such portions of the surrounding country as was more especially within the circle of her influence, gazing with anxious suspense, were equally eager, and not less zealously determined to stand by the party that had nobly volunteered to defend the honour and maintain the rights of Pennsylvania. The respective combatants, in no inconsiderable degree resembling the Roundheads and Cavaliers of the civil wars, the preceding century.
Before the charge is sounded, and the battle begins, each party must be traced in its march to the field of action.
First, then, of the Susquehanna Company.- Preparatory to a recommencement of their settlement, a meeting was convened at Hartford, in 1768, at which it was resolved, That five townships, five miles square, should be surveyed and granted, each to forty settlers, being Proprietors, on condition that those settlers should remain upon the ground,“ man their rights” as was the phrase, and defend them
"Pennymite" and " Yankee” being the terms by which the parties were generally designated at the time; and are used by us in no invidious" sense."