Sunday, November 11, 2012

Exasperated White People?

No, it's not what you think. This has nothing to do with the 2012 Elections. When I came upon this, "All the white people are exasperated",  did bring to mind recent events.
I found these manuscripts at Virginia Memory Governor's Letters . I've been transcribing them. They are difficult to read so may contain some errors.
Our relation David Owens plays a key role in the negations with the Native Americans for the release of  prisoners who were part of the white settlement south of the Ohio River. They were being held prisoner in what is now Indiana.
Ft. Nelson 13th April 1784 (To James Sherlock)
This letter will acknowledge the receipt of by Mr. Coleman + the Indian messengers. I now find them back accompanied by Mr. David Owens who speaks the Tongue, and will inform you of everything more particularly than I can write. I expect you home this spring with all the Prisoners. The Governor from my recommendation of you has not been forgetful of you. For god's sake do not do my discredit. Your own Fortune in this great mission depends on your perfect conduct.
I sent a small talk to the Shawnee as well as the Wyandots: You are to interpret them, and if Mr. Owens can assist you. I am glad to find their disposition are for peace ________shall once more for ever hold the ____ chain of friendship together never to be broken.
I would have dispatched your messengers immediately, but I wished to have our Chiefs of this country to hear what I had to say in answer to the speeches I received, as well as to do honor to the messengers of our Brothers the Shawanese + Wyandots.
Your detention during this winter Jeffersonville be rather advantageous than detrimental; especially as I have hopes it paves the way for your bringing in the Prisoners without fail, and you have just reason not only to assist but be in a great measure assured of receiving to yourself a valuable consideration for any prisoners you bring in, from the Parents Guardians or friends of them respectively; exclusive of the views I have from Gov. in your favors. In short expect yourself on this occasion + there is next to a certainty of your being a man of consequence seen hereafter.
Genl. Clark is one of the comdrs. Appointed to threat with the Shawanese + others arrived. When he does I shall be enabled to find the necessary invitation for our meeting Shawanese but at any rate as the Wabashe tribes are expected in. I shall depend on your return to interpret for me. Your return is expected as quickly as possible.
I am highly displeased with Mr. Benjamin Pyatt for daring to tell such lies to our brothers. All the white people are exasperated at the news, but hope no regard will be paid to anything said by such a fool. Rest assured that agreeable to your present good conduct you have it in your power to do a great deal for yourself, in which you will always command the assistance and good office of ___Sir.
You friend + Humble Serv.
George Walls

Mr. David Owens
You are hereby in consequence of your appointment as Indian Interpreter, to proceed in Company with the Shawanese messengers, taking in your care the Speeches I send to the Shawanese + Wyndots you are to deliver these speeches to Mr. James Sherlock and give him all the assistance in your power to render essential Service to your Country. You are to advise with Mr. Sherlock what is, or may be expedient for the public Good, having in View that you Return to this place as quick as may be done without injuring the public welfare, + that in case Mr. Sherlock should not be immediately ready to accompany you, that you use your Best endeavours to bring home under your Escort all the prisoners which may be ready for your taking in charge from Mr. Sherllock.
Given under my hand at Fort Nelson (Falls of Ohio)
This 13th April 1784
Signed Geo. Walls
Maj. Comdr.

Copy of a Talk to the Shawnese Sent them by David Owens + two Shawanese Runners the 14 April 1784
Your messengers arrived in Saply? And we received them with Friendship as we would do our own flesh + Blood, which they can assure you of. We also received your good talk, and rejoice to find your Heart as good + inclined to Peace which is also our Desire as your Messengers will inform you.
Will lose no time in finding your good talks to our great Chiefs and your Elder Brother the Governor of the Big Knife. In the mean time we will not believe any foolish Stories to your prejudice + Atho Some of our Blood has been lately spilled at limestone Creek on our Side of the Big River, yet we are willing to believe it was the Cherokees who did it without your Knowledge or consent, however we shall soon drive out the bad Spirit from among them which has caused them to be so long be so long blind to their own good. We are sorry their misbehavior puts us to the necessity of Chastising them and are glad to hear your intention of putting a Stop to their Bad conduct this Spring.
Altho we cannot meet you immediately to treat, yet the Path is now open and cleared from the Briars and thorns that might hurt your feet, so that any of you Peaceable men may come in friendship and see us and Shake hands + Smoke and talk with us at any time until matters are finally Settled to the Satisfaction of us all and when they? Chiefs to leave us they may depart in Peace and friendship.
Brothers We are sorry for the Death of your great chief wry-neck, + consoles with you for his ___ We wish he had lived to see us once more lay hold of the strong chain of friendship, never let go.
We are glad to hear you desire no more Liquor to be sent into your Nation, as it always hinders both you and us in good intentions. If you may be a friend that we will do all in our Power to put a Stop to it; but Several of our Foolish People we hear have taken it among you without our knowledge or consent, which we are very Sorry for. We hope will be as good as your Promise in delivering up our flesh and blood this Spring which now taken prisoners in the time of War, as we long much to see them again. We are glad to hear you have given our messenger a good reception, + expect he will bring our flesh + Blood with him on his return.
Done at Fort Nelson of Ohio April 13th 1784.
Geo. Walls
Maj. Comd.

Speech to the Wyandots sent by the same messengers at s. Time
We have received your good speech by the Shawanese Messengers with four Strings of white + Six Strings of Black Wampum, which we accept as a Token of you friendship, + of the Sincerity of your Hearts.
I have Sent your talk to your Elder Brother the Govr. and the great chiefs of the big Knife + as soon as we receive an answer we will send to you and appoint a time and place of meeting in order finally to confirm the Peace we are both so desirous should take--------- among us, as well as to receive from your hand our flesh + blood which were taken prisoners in the time of War, which we make no doubt you will bring with you according to your promise.
Brothers. I hope you will not listen to ____foolish Stories, but believe that we are Sincere in wishing to hold fast the chain of Friendship forever. In token of which I send three Strings of white wampum.
Done at the Falls of Ohio April 12 1784
Geor. Walls
Maj. Comdr.

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